When Pep Guardiola arrived at Manchester City last summer, everyone expected the Citizens to be the talk of the Premier League this season.
However, in reality, the Manchester outfit's place in the spotlight has somewhat been overshadowed by Chelsea's resurgence under another new boss in England's top flight, Antonio Conte.
The Italian arrived rather more modestly, compared to the fanfare that greeted Guardiola's arrival at the Etihad - after the Spaniard's two distinguished spells in charge of Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
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But despite Guardiola having won a combined total of 10 league titles and domestic cups in both Spain and Germany, as well as the Champions League twice, his first season in charge of City will end without silverware.
The Citizens are currently 15 points shy of league leaders Chelsea - who can win the title with victory over West Brom on Friday night - while Conte is in with a real chance of a league and FA Cup double in his debut campaign in England.
Few would have predicted that, if either of the English football's two new recruits could win the double, that it would have been Conte.
But that is the reality that faces Guardiola, who arrived in the north west of England with a weight of expectation on his shoulders.
However, the 46-year-old's only task now is to ensure that City finish in the top four and secure Champions League football.
Debut campaign surprised Guardiola
And the City boss has confessed that it is a reality that he didn't anticipate facing when the season kicked off back in August.
"It was intense. It was funny. I have enjoyed it," Guardiola recollected of his first season in charge of City, per Sky Sports.
"But I expected to fight until the end and I was not able to do this, especially in the Premier League. In the Champions League, we were not ready to compete with the best teams in Europe.
"But I was expecting to compete until the end and in the last three, four or five games to be fighting for the Premier League. We were not able to do that.
"But I am optimistic in the last three games we will be able to qualify for the Champions League and I think we will be stronger next season."
City discussions have already began
In reality, City's fight for the title has been over for quite some time. However, you can count on City improving over the summer and Guardiola has already started to put his plans in place.
"Internally we are going to discuss - and we have been talking about this for months - what can improve for us next season to be a stronger team," Guardiola added.
"We will keep the players we believe can help us a lot and buy new players to help us get stronger."
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