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Is Manchester City’s Treble Winners documentary worth the watch?


manchester city netflix documentary

Few European sides have ever completed the treble — league title, national Cup competition win and Champions League victory. Even fewer sides from England have achieved the feat. Only one, Manchester City, did so with a camera crew following them the entire time.

When ‘Together: Treble Winners’ was announced, it was largely met with widespread excitement from the global footballing community. Very rarely have fans been given a true behind-the-scenes look at a truly historic team, until now. It was made all the more sweeter by the fact the documentary would be distributed by Netflix, the world’s most popular streaming platform.

Such widespread accessibility to near-unprecedented success so soon after it’s achieved is unheard of in sport. Typically, celebratory documentaries are reserved for decades after the success is won and the celebrations are had.

Together: Treble Winners broke that mould, releasing just 10 months after City secured their first Champions League and first treble.

So, does it live up to the hype?

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Manchester City’s Netflix documentary: Worth the watch?

For football fans who want a pure glimpse at the behind-the-scenes workings of Manchester City’s 2023-24 season, the documentary has value.

While the pacing feels a little quick, understandably so considering 11 months of on-and-off-field instances squeezed into just six 40-or-so-minute-long episodes, the series provides enough of an insight into Pep Guardiola’s intensity, as well as the personalities and relationships of each of City’s stars.

Highlights include footage of Erling Haaland’s musical initiation to the club, Pep’s ballistic training ground antics, Bernardo Silva naming his dog after John Stones and Scott Carson displaying classic third goalkeeper antics.

Manchester City, Erling Haaland, Must have players, Fantasy Premier League
Erling Haaland features prominently in ‘Together: Treble Winners’

Series ignores elephant in the room

However, football fans hoping for a complete picture of all that transpired during the 2022-23 season shouldn’t be misled into thinking there would be any mention of two of the club’s biggest talking points from that campaign: the Premier League charging City with over 100 alleged financial breaches and the ugly split between the club and star fullback Joao Cancelo.

This should come as no surprise given the documentary was produced in-house by City Studios. No club in their right mind would veto a branch of themselves to produce a series exploring and unpacking the Premier League’s allegations against the club.

Not only would this have proved difficult to execute, given the nature of the charges, which allege the breaches began in 2009 and ended in 2018, well before but a handful of City’s current players’ tenure at the club began, but players, and likely the club’s coaching staff, would also be in the dark about the issue.

It is, after all, a matter for lawyers and accountants, not strikers and set-piece coaches. Any comments the players would’ve made had the series been produced by an external production company would’ve been watered down, assuming producers and directors would’ve been allowed to ask such questions at all.

But it’s impossible to sit and enjoy Together: Treble Winners without acknowledging the giant African elephant with ‘100-plus financial breaches’ tattooed down its trunk sat in the corner. For non-Manchester City fans, these charges are a heinous indication of the foul play implemented by the club to climb to their current position in European football.

For non-Manchester City fans, there would be no Erling Haaland, no Pep Guardiola, no Kevin De Bruyne and no treble without the 100-plus financial breaches the club are accused of committing over nearly a decade.

There is a sick, twisted feeling in the stomach of those watching the documentary, knowing all the hard work put in by City’s players and coaches week in, week out to understand Guardiola’s finely tuned, pseudoscientific tactics, and all the success and celebrations they inspired, would be marred, and even removed from the history books, in the event the Premier League’s charges are proven correct.

Only glossing over the charges, without properly addressing them, makes it seem as if they don’t exist, which very much isn’t the case. Unlike previous sporting documentaries, which analyse the wrongdoing of the main athlete – such as Untold: Johnny Football explores Johnny Manziel’s plethora of problems – ignorance of the issues hanging over City’s head is, in the mind of the club and the producers of Together: Treble Winners, bliss.

Of course, the crux of the documentary is celebrating City’s treble. After all, they were just the second English side to ever achieve such a feat. But, it’s impossible to properly appreciate these achievements when an asterisk the size of Jupiter sits beside them in the record books.

Portuguese superstar ‘Canceled’

Another glaring omission is the Joao Cancelo saga, which was quietly dealt with off-camera. At one point in time, Cancelo was one of Pep’s most trusted players, a creative outlet capable of playing in both fullback roles, and one of the pioneers of the inverted fullback position.

Halfway through the 2022-23 season, the Portugal international was frozen out of the City squad for reasons that remain, to this day, unbeknownst to anyone other than Cancelo and Guardiola. Together: Treble Winners would’ve been the perfect platform to give fans of City and other clubs an insight into how exactly a rift between a manager and one of his key players can occur so quickly.

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Except, the opportunity was missed and the Cancelo saga remains a relative mystery, despite the fullback speaking about the ordeal with Portuguese radio in early 2024.

As a series, Together: Treble Winners does indeed ‘bring you closer to this generational, star-studded squad than ever before,’ as was promised.

But as an all-encompassing, behind-the-scenes look at City’s unforgettable 2022-23 season, the series falls short of reflecting the full picture of its season.

pep guardiola, manchester city treble documentary, netflix
Manchester City’s historic treble documentary officially released
Picture of Kyle Robbins
Kyle Robbins
Kyle is a senior sports writer and producer at Only Sports who lives and breathes sport, with a particular burning passion for everything soccer, rugby league, and cricket. You’ll most commonly find him getting overly hopeful about the Bulldogs and Chelsea’s prospects. Find Kyle on LinkedIn.

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