The term "Big Six" is so prevalent in the Premier League that it is never questioned. But now it should be him.
To prove this for the entire past season, the launch of this campaign confirms that we are now dealing with a Big Two from Manchester City and Liverpool competing against each other on Sunday in Anfield.
25 points separated Liverpool last season in second place from Chelsea in third place. This is a huge gap, even conservative assessment.
Jürgen Klopp (left) and Pep Guardiola (right) meet on Sunday in Anfield
It is true that reigning champions Manchester City, who were one point ahead of Liverpool (98) last season, are currently only two points clear of Leicester and Chelsea, but only a few would bet that this advantage will increase significantly if they make an effort to keep up with Jürgen Klopp – six points ahead.
The Big Six have evolved over the last decade. In the last ten seasons, teams have defeated City Six, Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham only six times in their first six Premier League appearances.
The best known of course is Leicester's miracle title victory 2015/16. Besides them, Southampton (2015-16), Everton (2013-14 and 2012-13), Newcastle (2011-12) and Aston Villa (2009-10) were the only teams who shook up the establishment.
Not only will Leicester regain the first six places, but we will also be back in front of a title race with two horses, with United, Tottenham and Arsenal staying well behind the pace of Big Two.
Here are the key factors in chronological order, how the order has shifted …
MANCHESTER CITY SHEIK TAKE ACCOUNT
City was the last piece of the Big Six formation puzzle when they finished in the top six in 2010 for the first time since 1992.
The reason can hardly be discussed. The billionaire Sheikh Mansour took over the club in 2008 and immediately launched a high-investment project that has taken City to the Premier League and the European elite.
They have won the title four times, including the last two, and they have to thank the sheikh for that.
Fighting their way to the top table in the Premier League, they have also knocked their rivals off their feet and become the most dominant national team since their first title in 2012.
There is no indication that this dominance dissipates while Pep Guardiola is at the helm.
Sheik Mansour (center) took over Manchester City in 2008 and has delivered four titles so far
ARSENAL'S ACCEPTANCE UNDER ARSENE WENGER
When Arsenal's Invincibles won the Premier League in 2004 without losing a game, nobody would have thought that we would be sitting here 15 years later, without adding another title. But here we are.
In fact, Arsenal has not nearly won the title since then. The two seasons in which they took second place ended in 2005 and 2016, 12 and 10 points behind the champions.
Arsene Wenger's credit to winning three titles from 1998 to 2004 meant that the club refused to dismiss him, although they were in a final decline and still showed no sign that they were leaving could.
After helping United to dominate English football in two clubs, Arsenal have worked for Wenger for more than a decade and have not been among the top four for the past three seasons.
Arsenal went under Arsene Wenger in the descent and still can not escape
FERGIE LEAVES UNITED
This is probably the deciding factor for the establishment of a new order in Manchester City and Liverpool.
Again, the bare facts are the best. Manchester United won the Premier League in 13 of 21 seasons under Sir Alex Ferguson. Since retiring in 2013, he has not won any of the last six games, and this record is sure to extend to seven. Ole Gunnar Solskjær was 18 points behind Liverpool after eleven games.
Love or loathe him, Fergie had the Premier League firmly under control. The United players played for him over himself and the opposing teams would collapse in his presence. For those of us who grew up and saw United win everything, it is clear that the aura that United had was largely the aura of Ferguson.
After he left, the carpet was removed under United and City and Liverpool stepped into the breach.
Sir Alex Ferguson won the Premier League for the 13th time in his final season 2012-13
KLOPP ENTERS LIVERPOOL AT
Until recently, Liverpool was the weakest of the Big Six teams. Their place in the elite gave them as much about their history as anything that happens in the present.
There was the glorious defeat of 2013/14, when Brendan Rodgers team was tormenting close to winning the title. But until last season, this was the only time Liverpool had been in the top 2 since 2009.
Since we called the 2009/10 Premier League elite "Big Six," Liverpool has actually played four times outside the top six. Klopp changes everything.
After an initial sluggish response to his methods – they finished eighth in 2016 – Liverpool sings devastatingly to Klopp's music, with Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Virgil van Dijk emerging as world-class players.
Liverpool lost to Manchester City just once in 49 Premier League games last season. In the last two Champions League games, they were winners and runners-up. Not bad.
Klopp led Liverpool to Champions League fame last season and took it to the top of the league
CHELSEA CAN NOT TURN ON A MANAGER
The caveat first: It looks as if Chelsea has now long term for a manager in Frank Lampard, and they are in spite of their transfer ban in the Big Six-Sperrstadt and in Liverpool in the poorest health.
However, looking at the last decade, it was an upside down matter for the club. And that is mild. Chelsea have won three titles since 2009/10, but also prevailed in places 10 and 6 after defeating eight managers, with Lampard ninth.
No manager felt safe enough to make long-term plans, but there were short-term victories no bigger than winning the 2012 Champions League. However, the titles under Carlo Ancelotti, Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte both left managers with an opportunity which leaves within one year.
Chelsea fans hope that after a turbulent decade, Frank Lampard will remain long-term
PEP ENTER THE CITY
Manchester City has continued to evolve since Sheik Mansour took office in 2008.
Initially, investments in players were high and the risk was often high as they plunged into the elite under Mark Hughes and then under Roberto Mancini.
When Mancini finished their first Premier League title in 2012 and Manuel Pellegrini their second title in 2012, longer-term structures were created as the club became accustomed to the elite, but performances on the pitch were often inconsistent.
However, the standards on the course immediately increased by a few steps when City Guardiola was appointed in 2016. The first season under Pep was still inconsistent, as they won no trophy, but in the last two seasons under him have become the benchmark for brilliance in world football administration.
For a time, City was considered one of the richest clubs in the world and one of the most potential. Under Pep they now have the strong claim to be the best team in the world.
Guardiola won City's second successive Premier League title last season
SPORN BLOWN YOUR CHANCE UNDER POCHETTINO
For Mauricio Pochettino, the introduction of the new Big Two last year was a painful experience as his Tottenham crew missed the boat.
Spurs, who built a young and talented squad after Pochettino's 2014 debut, should have won the title when Leicester won him in 2016. But they slipped out at the finish as they came under pressure, and north London rival Arsenal finished second in the last day rubbing salt in the wound.
They dusted and ended Contes Chelsea in second place in 2017 before clashing with City and Liverpool into the New Year last season before losing seven of their last 12 Premier League games and finishing in fourth place after a catastrophic end landed the hard blow to lose the final of the Champions League against Liverpool.
A lack of investment after finishing second in 2017, when Liverpool and City started a smart business, was costly and it would be a surprise if Pochettino is still in the north of London next season.
Tottenham seems to have missed the chance of fame under Mauricio Pochettino
PEP AND KLOPP CONTINUE CONTINUE TO NEW LEVELS
It is clear that in the Premier League with Guardiola and Klopp we have two of the best managers in the world. City and Liverpool are smart enough – or lucky enough – to bring them to their clubs at the right time.
Amidst a series of Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham own goals over the past few seasons, City and Liverpool's hierarchies must be applauded for putting the right men in the game at the right time and then providing them with cash.
Every time Liverpool raises the bar last season, City has made it and they will keep up for a while. Fans of the other so-called Big Six teams compete for themselves when the new Big Two are fighting for the grand prizes of football. Those of us neutrals will just sit back, watch and enjoy.