What Does the Big 6 Need to Break Man City's Dominance?
What Does the Big 6 Need to Break Man City's Dominance?

The Premier League is one of the most competitive divisions in elite-level football, with some of the biggest and richest teams in the world.

Unlike some of its counterparts across Europe, where one or two clubs are dominant, the Premier League features what has become popularly known as 'The Big Six'.

Ilkay Gundogan's goal against Aston Villa in May ensured City's fourth national championship in the last five seasons. It is clear that Pep Guardiola's army is creating an empire in the most attractive tournament on the planet. At the summer market, The Citizens made the rest tremble with two free contracts, Erling Haaland and Kalvin Phillips.

Looking at the other members of the "Big 6", they still have about a month left to refine the lineup. An unnamed alliance gradually formed to break the yoke of the blue half of Manchester. But what exactly are Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and Man United aiming for for the rest of the transfer window?

Who are the Premier League 'big six'?

Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham are considered the 'big six' in the Premier League.

Why these particular clubs known as the 'big six'?

The reason is simple: it is because they are the most consistently successful teams in the division. Not only that, but they boast the biggest stadiums, broadest fanbases and, as a result, the healthiest bank accounts.

It should be noted that the 'big six' is a relatively modern designation and it is very much an informal title.

From the 2010s on, the top six teams in the Premier League at the end of each season tended to be made up of the aforementioned clubs, with the same teams generally vying for continental qualification.

Prior to that, in the 2000s, during the second decade of the Premier League era, a 'top four' of dominant teams emerged.

Like the 'big six', the 'top four' was shorthand for Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea - teams that had been perennial contenders in the division.

Man Utd

Manchester United are the most successful team in English football's Premier League era, with Sir Alex Ferguson helping to establish the club as the dominant force in the country.

The Red Devils have failed to maintain that dominance since Ferguson's retirement in 2013, but they remain a powerhouse financially and continue to challenge at the top end of the table.


Prior to the Premier League era, Liverpool were the top dogs in English football, but the Merseyside outfit had to wait until 2020 to get their hands on their first Premier League title.

Nevertheless, after a difficult period in the 1990s, Liverpool have always been there or thereabouts in the top flight, with managers such as Gerard Houllier, Rafa Benitez and Brendan Rodgers mounting title assaults.


While Arsenal's fortunes have declined since the latter half of the 2010s, particularly after the exit of Arsene Wenger, the Gunners were part of the traditional 'top four' and continue to be part of the 'big six'.

They have found themselves at the lower end of the 'big six' in recent years, having had to accept Europa League qualification instead of a place in the Champions League.


Though not a traditional powerhouse in English football, Chelsea grew in stature in the early days of the Premier League and soon became a fixture of the 'top four' with Roman Abramovich's investment.

With managers such as Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti and Antonio Conte delivering league titles, the Blues are now firmly established as one of the biggest teams in England.

Man City

Manchester City's part in the Premier League's 'big six' only occurred in the 2010s when they began to win titles.

Having been taken over by Sheikh Mansour's Abu Dhabi group in 2008, City became a dominant force in England, attracting some of the best players and managers in football.


Tottenham have always been one of the top clubs in England, having tasted intermittent success over the years, but they did not become consistent challengers at the top end of the table until the 2000s.

A Premier League title has thus far eluded them, but they have come close.

How Manchester City eclipsed United to become Premier League’s dominant force

Photo: telanganatoday
Photo: telanganatoday

The 2011 league title victory over United on the final day sealed the question of how soon the battle of Manchester would last. Sir Alex Ferguson may have come back next season to win the Premier League, but the writing was on the wall.

In 2012, City hired Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain – the architects of Barcelona’s famed success in the late 2000s and early 2010s. The idea was to replicate the continued success that Barcelona enjoyed, at Manchester. The owners of City Football Group then built and opened a £200m football campus – one that left behind Manchester United’s famed youth facilities in the rear-view mirror by some margin.

City meanwhile continued to wait while Guardiola took over the Bundesliga. And in 2016, they finally won their crown jewel – a transcendent manager who could guarantee success and a path forward like no other. During this time, and in the years to come, City flouted financial rules, unlike any club before them. Inflated sponsorship deals, breaking Financial Fair Play rules – the Manchester club went into choppy seas but when UEFA wouldn’t budge, the Court of Arbitration Sport provided the Citizens with get-out-of-jail cards. Money talked and titles started to flow.

While rebuilds and managers changed galore at a club that wanted to trust its managers the ‘old way’, City’s golden period under Guardiola began from 2017. He has won 10 trophies at the club, including three Premier League titles.

Just as City continued to lay the red carpet for one of the greatest managers football has seen, Manchester United embarked on life after Ferguson and club CEO David Gill. It meant a litany of failures – Moyes, Falcao, Di Maria, Blind, Herrera, Van Gaal – all came, all failed and all left United.

While United has stumbled from one mistake to another, City have continued their rise from 2008. They have focused on every tenet of football that a top club could pay attention to and maximised its utility to a hilt and within 14 years, created a dynasty of their own.

What Does the Big 6 Need to Break Man City's Dominance?

Photo: si
Photo: si


"The Kop" is doing very well with the transfer work up to now. They said goodbye to Takumi Minamino and Sadio Mane, picked up Darwin Nunez and renewed with Mohamed Salah. Besides, Jurgen Klopp's team also invests in the future with Fabio Carvalho and Calvin Ramsey. In terms of overall, the German strategist currently possesses a good enough workforce to compete for titles. It is no exaggeration to say that the transfer window at Anfield is closed.

However, Liverpool still have worries in the midfield. James Milner and Jordan Henderson gradually retreated to become the secondary duo as age began to affect. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is often injured, Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliot are still quite young, and Naby Keita plays unstable. The most reliable pairing at the moment is Fabinho and Thiago, but the Spaniard was also sidelined for 11 games last season.

It would be perfect if The Kop picked up another quality name in the midfield, but right now there are not too many rumors surrounding this. Let's wait for Liverpool's performance in pre-season to have the most accurate view of their strength.


There are two big problems waiting for Chelsea to solve this summer: attack and defence. The answer to the first question gradually appeared when Raheem Sterling was very close to Stamford Bridge. Even the Blues are interested in Cristiano Ronaldo. The European champion 2021 is in dire need of a striker who can bring in 15-20 goals per season. No one currently has the ability to do that, not even the one who turned the pitch, Romelu Lukaku.

In defense, the parting of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen left big holes. Thiago Silva is also entering the "retirement" phase, and Malang Sarr is a disappointment. Chelsea is currently actively looking for about two high-class central defenders. The most potential targets are Matthijs De Ligt and Jules Kounde. If Chelsea can pick up this duo, they will have a look worth waiting for.


Excitement is the general mood of Tottenham fans when witnessing what is happening. In turn, Ivan Perisic, Yves Bissouma and Richarlison landed. Coach Antonio Conte can shop as much as he wants, and it's not difficult to see a 3-5-2 framework taking shape in north London. However, it seems that "Rooster" still does not want to stop.

Tottenham want to reduce dependence on the duo Harry Kane and Son Heung-min. An attacking midfielder with a creative inclination is the right solution for Spurs' midfield, which is currently only full of "filling power". Besides, Conte is also looking for a quality left-back centre-back. Ben Davies does not meet the professional requirements, in the context that only Eric Dier and Christian Romero are trusted.


The Gunners also brought many positive signals to the fans. Gabriel Jesus has been brought back, creating confidence for the young attackers. However, Arsenal need at least one more element for the upline to add both quality and quantity. The opportunity to recruit Raphinha seems to be gone, but technical director Edu is still working hard.

In the midfield, Arsenal approached the signature of Youri Tielemans. This is the perfect piece to complete the best quality midfield in many years for the team. Arsenal lost too many points last season during Thomas Partey's injury period. The appearance of Tielemans gives Mikel Arteta more options in tactical assembly.

At the bottom, the Gunners welcome William Saliba back from his "study abroad" period. The current concern is the frequency of Kieran Tierney's injuries. Adding a left-back will help Arsenal have the perfect market in the afternoon. In contrast, the red and white team has a long list to liquidate such as Lucas Torreira, Hector Bellerin, Nicolas Pepe, Bernd Leno and Nuno Tavares.

Manchester United

Unlike the exciting moves from the opponent, the transfer period of Man United is still very bleak. Tyrell Malacia was not enough to reassure the fans. The main goal Frenkie de Jong encountered too many problems, while owner Cristiano Ronaldo voiced his request to leave. It will be a miracle if the Red Devils can solve all the problems before the market closes.

Besides De Jong's priority, new coach Erik Ten Hag is trying to convince two former Ajax students, Lisandro Martinez and Antony, to come to Old Trafford. There are no possible options in attack so hope will be focused on the resurgence of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial. Finally, despite having parted with 7 players in the first team, Man United still has many "news" to liquidate such as Phil Jones, Andreas Pereira, Axel Tuanzebe or Alex Telles.

A not very bright prospect awaits the Old Trafford team. Fans can only look forward to the leadership of the new Dutch teacher before dreaming of distant things.

Can Manchester City’s Premier League dominance be stopped?

With Pep Guardiola’s side seemingly cruising towards its fourth title in five Premier League campaigns, there appears to be little sign of stopping what is now a dominant force in English football. Liverpool’s 2019/20 title win provided hope that City’s formidable side could indeed be halted, but the Reds have failed to build on it since then and have essentially left Manchester City with a clear path to the title. Jurgen Klopp’s side aren’t the only team capable of stopping the Citizens, of course, with Chelsea being another contender that has scuppered City’s European hopes in particular after winning the Champions League last season. It’s in the league and over the course of an entire season where City’s squad depth and impressive guidance under one of the greatest managers of all time in Pep Guardiola is seemingly impossible to stop.

With Pep Guardiola’s contract set to expire in the summer of 2023, fans of other big clubs in the Premier League will be hoping that it signals the end of the club’s fruitful period under the former Bayern Munich coach. There is no doubting that Pep’s influence has enabled the club to become an established force in European football. The Champions League is perhaps the prize Guardiola is so desperate to win before he departs City, but should they fail to win it this campaign or the next, then Guardiola may be forced to admit defeat and walk away. The Spaniard certainly isn’t known for hanging around and the opportunity to test himself in another foreign environment will surely appeal, especially with the likes of Juventus being linked with a move for him in the not too distant future when his time in Manchester does eventually come to an end.

Money doesn’t guarantee success, but it certainly helps in a modern football climate that is packed full of wealthy club owners and ridiculous transfer fees and wages. As such, despite Manchester City having more money than any other club, notable rivals such as Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United will always be in the market for world-class stars. Given the competitive nature of the clubs, City’s dominance will surely be tested more frequently in the future.

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