Pep Guardiola, Manchester City's Spanish coach, has been warned by the club's owners that his future is 'in the balance', and the team must show a significant improvement next year if he wants to keep his job.
Guardiola has brought unprecedented back-to-back Premier League titles to Maine Road, but his boss, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayad al-Nahyan, said:
"That was all in the past. We look to the future. Mr. Pep should not rest on his laurels, or complacency might creep in. That would be tragic."
Guardiola's management record, even before City, is impressive. Under him, Barcelona finished top of La Liga three times, and won the Champions League twice. At Bayern Munich, he won three more league titles.
But Sheikh Mansour stressed:
"Again, that was in the past. We strive for perfection, and have a philosophy of continuous improvement. We do not deviate from our plan or our goal. There will be improvement, or there will be changes."
The Sky Blues amassed 98 points in beating Liverpool to the title, after achieving 100 points in 2017/18. One sharp-eyed critic noted that City's two-season average is 99 points, which is one less than in 2017/18, and signals, therefore, a decline.*
Guardiola can lift some of the pressure from his shoulders by guiding City to an FA Cup final victory today against underdogs, Watford, managed by Elton John. Otherwise, it might be curtains.
* This average has been confirmed by Channel 4's Carol Vorderman