So what next? – Pep Guardiola casts doubt over long-term Manchester City future

The battle for top spot went down to the final day but the reigning champions held their nerve at the Etihad Stadium, where they could not afford a slip-up with Arsenal breathing down their necks.

Phil Foden’s fantastic double got City off to a dream start against West Ham and, having been shaken by Mohammed Kudus’ outrageous overhead kick, a driven Rodri effort completed a 3-1 win.

Elated fans poured onto the pitch at the final whistle as City celebrated becoming the first side in English football history to win four successive top-flight titles.

“In terms of numbers, nobody has been better than us – the records, the goals, the points and four in a row,” said Guardiola, who praised Arsenal counterpart Mikel Arteta and departing Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.

“If I land here tomorrow and you say I will win six Premier Leagues in seven years, I would say ‘Are you crazy?’. It’s impossible. We have done something unbelievable.

“Six Premier Leagues in seven years, in this country with the modern football and the teams and everything. The teams and the organisation surprises me, it’s an incredible club.”

This is Guardiola’s 12th league title in 15 top-flight seasons as a manager and he is looking to add another FA Cup to his CV in next weekend’s Wembley final against rivals Manchester United.

The double would come hot on the heels of last season’s treble, leaving the City boss – whose deal runs out in 2025 – running out of things to motivate him.

“The reality is I’m closer to leaving than to staying,” Guardiola told Sky Sports. “It’s eight years, will be nine.

“Right now my feeling is I want to stay next season. We talked with the club, we have time to talk next season because I have to see the players as well, (to see) if they follow me, they follow us, for many reasons. I will stay and during the season we will talk when calm.”

Asked in the press conference if he feels like he has completed English football and what he felt was left to achieve, Guardiola shrugged his shoulders and said: “I had that feeling last season.

“When we won in Istanbul (in the Champions League final) I said, ‘It’s over, what am I doing here? It’s over, there’s nothing left’.

“But I have a contract, I’m here and still enjoying. Some of the moments I’m a bit tired but some of the moments I love, and after I said ‘OK, we are here’.

“(We) start winning games, looking good, different players, new players and I start to think about, ‘No-one has done four in a row, why don’t we try?’ And now I feel ‘It’s done, so what next?’ I don’t know right now.

“I know next is the FA Cup. Gary Lineker said to me, I didn’t know, that no team has done back-to-back Premier Leagues and FA Cups.

“It is our rivals and now what I want is for my players is to enjoy this two, three days, then we have two days to prepare the final.”

Sunday’s game was West Ham boss David Moyes’ final match in charge of a club he last season led to Europa Conference League glory – their first major trophy since 1980.

The 61-year-old was in good spirits despite the defeat and has no intention of rushing back into management despite opportunities already presenting themselves.

“I’ll wait until [Guardiola] goes before I come back!” Moyes said with a laugh.

“Look, I have to say that I’ve got things come to me already but probably not going to make me move at the moment.

“I want to have a break, I want to enjoy some time with the family.

“Ours is a privileged job at times but we had three weeks off (last summer).

“And actually, if you get a chance, if you look at the games we’ve played in the last four years, I think there might only be Man City, possibly Liverpool, that have played the same amount of games as us.

“You might say ‘What does that mean?’. Probably means you’ve been successful in some way. For the club, it probably means they’ve taken in more money than they’ve probably ever done as well.

“But for the managers and the players, it means it’s been pretty hard going.”

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