Man City documentary Together: Treble Winners shows lighter side of players

Tue, Apr 2, 2024
By editor


THE new Manchester City documentary streaming on Netflix from Tuesday 2 April is here to bring the fun.

Together: Treble Winners is a new six-part series documenting the club’s 2022-23 campaign, when they became only the second English club in history to win the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League in the same season.

Anyone hoping for intrigue, though, may be disappointed. There is no mention, for instance, of the 115 financial charges brought against the club last February, nor Joao Cancelo’s contentious exit from the squad last January to join Bayern Munich on loan.

Instead, the series – shot by City’s in-house media team – focuses on bringing out the playful personalities within the squad.

Whether that’s Erling Haaland ridiculing Kevin de Bruyne’s fashion sense, Scott Carson mock-wrestling with Ilkay Gundogan, or Bernardo Silva explaining why he named his dog after defender John Stones.

We do get to see boss Pep Guardiola tear into the team a couple of times during a winter dip in form, but this is otherwise a story of fraternal harmony.

The series ends with an address by chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak about the “special togetherness” of the group, which he attributes to their success.

It is a notable move away from some of the more tense behind-the-scenes football documentaries of this type, such as the Amazon Prime All Or Nothing brand featuring Arsenal, Spurs, and City themselves during their 2017-18 campaign.

Instead, this has the lighter touch seen more recently in We Are Newcastle United or even Married To The Game, which focused on footballers and their partners away from the pitch.

Here are some takeaways from Together: Treble Winners:

‘You are not hungry’ – Guardiola fires up his side

Pep Guardiola and players in Manchester City dressing room
Guardiola delivers a number of rousing speeches during the series, telling his players during the run-in, “I want my warriors” and “you are going to back me unconditionally”

City’s charge to a third consecutive Premier League title was not entirely a cakewalk, mainly owing to the challenge from Arsenal, who spent 248 days at the top of the table – the longest an English top-flight team has been at the summit without winning the competition.

In episode three, after being knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Premier League strugglers Southampton, Guardiola tears into his team, urging them to return “down to the earth” otherwise “the academy is ready”.

Looking ahead to a derby encounter with Manchester United just three days later, Guardiola warns his group to recover their “hunger”, because their opponents will be “starving” after waiting “10 years to kill us”.

‘You lose the ball? Anyone can do it?’ – Guardiola is serene during Champions League final

We also see flashbacks to Guardiola's team talk during the 2023 Champions League final
We also see flashbacks to Pep Guardiola’s team talk during the 2023 Champions League final

In episode six, the 53-year-old Guardiola shows himself just as adept with the carrot as he is the stick.

It’s 0-0 at half-time during the Champions League final against Inter Milan and he can sense his players are nervous. Guardiola reminds key midfielder Rodri that he is an “exceptional player”, adding “You lose the ball? Anyone can do it.”

Spaniard Rodri went on to score the winning goal as City completed the historic Treble in Istanbul.

‘You have to enjoy being kicked’ against Arsenal

Jack Grealish and Thomas Partey clash
Jack Grealish grabbed Thomas Partey by the collar during City’s 4-1 win over Arsenal in April 2023

Guardiola also has some interesting advice for his players before a crucial Premier League meeting with the Gunners in April.

“If you don’t finish the game with problems for the ankle, for the kicks, for the knees, for the shoulders, then you didn’t compete,” the Spaniard tells his players.

“You have to enjoy having been kicked. After kicks, stand up and go one more.”

Yorkshire accents, terrible singing and bonsai trees – Haaland is a big character

Erling Haaland crouches down, emotional, after winning the Champions League
Erling Haaland does a very good Yorkshire accent and stays zen by tending his bonsai tree

Erling Haaland made a phenomenal impact in his maiden season in English football. After signing for Manchester City in the summer of 2022, the 23-year-old striker scored 36 Premier League goals, beating the previous record of 34 held jointly by Alan Shearer and Andy Cole.

Haaland is a big character in this series and in episode two the Norwegian powerhouse – who finished with 52 goals in all competitions – tells us about how he “takes energy” from a special bonsai tree he has installed in the club’s physio room.

Aside from this, the Leeds-born forward’s imitation of John Stones’ Yorkshire accent in episode four is scarily accurate and his initiation song in episode one may lack melody, but is delivered with typical gusto.

Why Silva’s dog is named after Stones

John Stones and Bernardo Silva embrace on bench
Stones and Silva share a friendship on and off the field

On naming his French pitbull ‘John’, after team-mate and friend Stones, Bernardo Silva says “it suits him, he’s a beautiful boy, intelligent”.

We also meet Jack Grealish’s dog Skye, whom he loves “more than anything in the world” because she’s devoted to him win, lose or draw.

De Bruyne dresses like a dad

Kevin de Bruyne lifts Champions League trophy
De Bruyne isn’t a fan of Haaland’s garish outfits, while the Norwegian says of Belgian De Bruyne “his clothes are bad”

While many of Kevin de Bruyne’s team-mates treat the training ground as a catwalk, the 32-year-old Belgian midfielder mostly wears beige.

“It doesn’t make sense to make a fashion shoot coming into training,” he explains. “I’ve got no time, I need to wake up at 5:30 in the morning with three kids going to school – please, get me something comfortable, what is on top of the pile.”

Phillips mystery remains unsolved

Kalvin Phillips
Kalvin Phillips looks happy and involved throughout the series

Many viewers would have been hoping for an insight into Kalvin Phillips’ struggles at the club, looking to piece together clues as to why he didn’t win Guardiola’s trust and make more first-team starts.

England international Phillips signed for City for £45m in July 2022, but only managed two starts in 16 Premier League appearances across 18 months before being loaned to West Ham in January 2024.

Although he doesn’t get many pieces to camera during the series, the 28-year-old is present throughout, during all the training ground banter and dressing room bonding moments. Nothing to see here…


2nd April, 2024.