Manchester City had the Centurions, and then the Fourmidables. Now hail the Indomitables.

This Premier League title win is a triumph of the human spirit as much as it is testimony to the quality and persistence of the players, and the exceptional coaching and empathetic man-management of Pep Guardiola.

To storm back from the 13th position they occupied after losing to Tottenham in November, and not only streak past the field in the league but win the Carabao Cup, reach the FA Cup semi-finals and maintain a challenge for the Champions League, was a remarkable achievement.

To show such consistency, and keep such high standards in a period when the miseries of the Covid pandemic, the lockdown and all the attendant mental and physical strains they have imposed, is testimony to their character.

The planet has found the last 12 months incredibly tough, and footballers are not immune.

They have caught the bug, been strait-jacketed by it, lost loved ones to it, and had their lives - when they should be enjoying to the full - torn up and trammelled.

The triumph makes it three wins in four seasons for the Blues, who were being written off in the Autumn, amid confident predictions that reigning champions Liverpool were bedding in for the kind of dynasty of success they enjoyed in the Eighties.

Either that, or Tottenham would finally take a title that has eluded them for 60 years.

No team has won three out of four since Manchester United who actually made it four out of five when they won it in 2011.

To have the laser focus the City squad has shown, amidst a world in turmoil an misery, was worthy of the highest praise.

The Blues’ primary responsibility is to their supporters, and one fan made a poignant and moving point in an article in the fanzine “King of the Kippax”.

She wrote echoing the words of many, of how she has been grateful to her family for rallying round each other and helping everyone get through a traumatic time.

She added: “But I’m grateful, too, for City. So, so grateful.

“For when most of our basic rights and daily hobbies are taken away from us, City have been the one constant that we’ve still been able to enjoy.

“Through the snow, rain and freezing temperatures, City have been there to offer us normality and I think that has really helped me through the past few months.”

That sentence alone is worth any number of title wins - and while the sacrifice of footballers, from all clubs, pales besides the heroism of our health and care workers, in their own way they have done their bit to keep us going.

Think of Ruben Dias, a 23-year-old man, who joined City during the pandemic, leaving friends and family behind in Portugal.

He moved to a strange new city in a strange new country, and was basically asked to fill the boots of a legend, in Vincent Kompany, and make his presence felt in a squad of experienced players who have proved to be serial winners.

The fact that he not only managed to cope with all that, but emerged as a key figure in the team, an undroppable asset, is to his enormous credit.

If Dias does not sweep up the individual honours this season, something in football is deeply flawed.

We knew this squad of players had deep quality, and a camaraderie to see them through difficult moments, as well as a manager who perpetually gets the best out of them, both tactically and on a human level.

What we know now is that they also have a mental strength and character to do all those things while the world is falling apart.

The critics and the cynics have been out in force, of course.

They cite the depth of quality in City’s squad as the prime reason for their success this season and, while that is undoubtedly a factor, it is the management and organisation of that resource which has set City, and Guardiola, apart.

Every club in the so-called Big Six has two top players for every position, all have spent extravagantly in recent seasons, and all have whopping wage bills.

What gave City a big edge this season was not the quality or depth of their squad - they had those things last season, as well - but the way they adapted to what was always going to be an incredibly tough season.

It is worth remembering that City, and United, started the season with a handicap.

Taking part in the rebooted Uefa competitions in August meant that players for the two Manchester clubs had the minimum break of three weeks between the end of last season and the start of this.

No pre-season, no time to work on “principles” as Guardiola called it, no real time to refresh mentally and physically.

Pep Guardiola faces difficult selection decisions against Liverpool
Pep Guardiola's training ground work paid off

They then launched straight into a calendar which began late and has to finish early due to the European Championships.

As Guardiola has pointed out, the various authorities did not get their heads together and decide that, for the good of the quality of football or of player welfare, they should drop a competition here, or trim matches there.

Caught up in their own self-interest, Uefa, Fifa, the Premier League, the FA and the Football League all pursued their own ends - and the players simply played and played.

And they did so whilst teammates tested positive for Covid, or were close to someone who did, and had to self-isolate.

Liverpool were rightly pegged as favourites to win the league in those early weeks, carrying on the form which had swept them to their first title for 30 years in imperious fashion.

Their march stumbled on injuries to centre backs, notably Virgil Van Dijk, and to the misfiring of the attacking talents who had driven their title triumph.

They paid the price of Klopp’s policy of playing those players week in, week out. They simply could not maintain the consistency necessary to secure back-to-back titles, nor adapt to the intense circumstances in which English football found itself.

Guardiola did so. Much is made of the Catalan being an innovative and creative coach, who can tweak his team before and during games with a degree of insight that few possess.

But it was the management of his players as human resources that got City through this harsh campaign, the realisation that they had to change their approach, or burn out.

He and his staff cut the team meetings which would usually follow training sessions, he took them back to a slower, more patient game which relied heavily on possession, on making the ball do the work.

While Liverpool thrashed on with their “heavy metal football”, City’s normal rhythm and blues dropped to mellow soul.

Pep Guardiola outdid Jurgen Klopp

Adapting to the circumstances was not going to be enough, however, and the players themselves knew they had let standards slip.

Guardiola spoke to skipper Fernandinho, a man who commands instant respect and love in the City squad, and he called a New Year’s Day meeting, just a few days ahead of a crunch game against Chelsea.

Truths were spoken, standards were reset, a consensus of opinion was reached, and the squad was back on track, unified, determined and resolved to make the most of bad circumstances, and dredge triumph out of the trauma.

They had already made a start by beating Southampton and Newcastle, as well as battering Arsenal in the Carabao Cup quarter-final.

But they went to Chelsea stripped of five players after a Covid outbreak, won 3-1 and went from there to extend the winning streak to 21 in all competitions.

It was a run of astonishing quality and character, carefully guided through the never-ending slog of fixtures by Guardiola’s careful, often surprising, team rotation.

The fact that the Blues have had few injuries, after three seasons in which it became the norm to lose at least one key individual, and usually more, could be viewed as luck.

There is always an element of fortune when you reach the latter stages of a season with a full squad, but Guardiola’s adaptation, his rotation, and the way his players committed to the changes, was also key.

The only regret is that the City fans could not be there to see it, because - just as they did in 2017-18 and 2018-19 - they have played football which ranges from exquisite beauty to dominant, oppressive, relentless and restrictive.

And when you look at the ages of the players - Dias is 23, John Stones and Aymeric Laporte both 26, Aleks Zinchenko 24, Joao Cancelo 26, Rodri 24, Phil Foden 20, Bernardo Silva 26, Gabriel Jesus 24, Raheem Sterling 26 - they could get even better.

Three title wins out of four, and only fool would back against the making it four out of five, putting them in the same bracket as the Liverpool teams of the Seventies and Eighties, and the United sides of the Nineties and Noughties.