Decade of Delights: Joe Butterfield chooses his highlights of a champion past 10 years following Manchester City

Joe Butterfield picks his highlights from a decade of consistent success for Manchester City.

Joe Butterfield

Player of the Decade

There are a few contenders for this one.

Sergio Aguero gave us our club’s greatest ever moment – a last minute winner to steal the title from our local rivals on the final day of the season – and has secured his place as the club’s all-time top goalscorer since then.

David Silva is potentially the greatest player the club has ever seen and has been here for almost the entire decade, joining in the summer of 2010. Despite this, there’s only one winner here for me and it’s Vincent Kompany.

A man who joined the club pre-takeover, he was on the Sheikh Mansour ride as much as any fan over the last decade and saw us rise from the “noisy neighbours” to the domestic treble winners of 2018/19.

His unquestionable quality on the pitch is what has earned him a place in almost every single pundit’s team of the decade but it’s his work off the pitch which has secured his place in Manchester City legend. Working with the Mayor of Manchester to raise money for homeless charities, studying for a Masters in Business Administration whilst still playing and, most importantly, marrying a city fan have all earned him the title of an honorary Mancunian. He may have left the club last season (what an ending, by the way) but this is nowhere near the last the club has seen of him.

Game of the Decade

It has to be the 6-1 at Old Trafford. This is the game which very much turned the tide in Manchester and showed that we were serious title challengers. People talk about the slow, gradual “power shift” in North London which has taken place over the last 5-6 years, whereas the power shift in Manchester almost took place in 90 minutes.

Balotelli’s iconic celebration, David Silva’s iconic through-ball to Dzeko, the Bosnian striker holding up six fingers whilst Kolarov celebrated on his shoulders, the game had it all. It should have been ten.

Goal of the Decade

There was only going to be one winner here. I have to give an honourable mention to Vincent Kompany and his incredible rocket into the top corner against Leicester, basically securing the title for us as his final act at the Etihad.

However, this isn’t quite as important as one of the Premier League’s most iconic goals of all time. Potentially THE most iconic. Sergio Aguero’s 93:20 moment is a moment of time which is impossible to repeat.

The last few minutes of the QPR game epitomise the emotional rollercoaster that football can be. From despair to false hope to sheer, unadulterated elation in the space of three minutes. When Aguero’s statue is inevitably built on his retirement, it’ll be the moment he strikes that ball against QPR and the fact that every City fan reading this will know exactly what pose that will be in tells you all you need to know about the weight of this goal.

Biggest disappointment of the Decade

It’s been a decade which has been relatively disappointment free. I think it has to be the FA Cup Final defeat to Wigan. After the heights of 2011/12, to go trophyless the following season in the fashion we did was pretty painful.

From Pantilimon’s surprise omission to Ben Watson’s 91st minute winner, it was painful from start to finish. Definitely a moment I’d like to forget.

Best memory of the Decade

Ignoring the obvious league wins and 93:20 goal, finding out that Pep Guardiola was going to be Manchester City’s manager was an incredible moment.

Pellegrini announcing it while I was in work made me stupidly unproductive for the rest of the day as I basically found myself hilariously giddy for the remainder of the day, excited by the news of what was to come. As if we didn’t already know, it was confirmation that City are a huge club.

Most underrated signing of the Decade

Alvaro Negredo. From a purely financial point of view, absolutely the best signing of the decade. Signed for £16 million in the summer of 2013, scored over 20 goals before getting injured, set us well on our way for a title win and then we managed to sell him on the following summer for £18 million, making a profit on him despite him being nowhere near the same player as he had been in the first half of the season.

The Beast is probably one of the most prolific strikers the club has ever had and he was only good for six months.

Best team of the Decade

I can’t look past the 2017/18 team. To get 100 points in a season was unprecedented at the time and the team was almost perfect. Stones and Otamendi were at their defensive best.

Laporte and Kompany took over for the latter half of the season and continued to be rock solid. Ederson revolutionised the goalkeeper role in the league.

De Bruyne was on another planet and a bald David Silva was the best version of David Silva we’ve ever seen. Fernandinho bossed the midfield while Sterling and Sané formed a lethal partnership on the wings, feeding Aguero and Gabriel Jesus for fun throughout the season. Football probably won’t get better than that team.


Hopes for the next ten years?

I hope we adjust to the departure of Pep in the right way.

I have faith that those in positions of power at the club won’t make the wrong decision but, as we’ve seen many times, when top, top managers leave a club it can sometimes be difficult to steady the ship. Look at Bayern since Pep left – if they weren’t in such a one horse race every year they’d look even worse than they already do.

As long as we’re still winning trophies semi-consistently, making decent in-roads in Europe and challenging for the title almost every season then the club has done more than enough in my eyes.

Worst case scenario is that the club’s quite public building up to Guardiola’s arrival leads to it falling apart the moment he leaves but I somehow doubt that will be the case. Best case scenario, we win the league every year for the next decade!

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