Chelsea coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has already gone on record as saying that he wants to target the quadruple this season. The quadruple being the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and Carling Cup.
Manchester united coach Alex Ferguson has not been as brash, but with seven potential trophies this year, Fergie could well do the septuple. With the Charity Shield already taken care of, we look are the other six potential trophies that Manchester United could win this season.
Sir Alex Ferguson would like nothing more than to win his third Champions League title and tie Liverpool manager Bob Paisley for the most European Cups by a British manager. The Champions League is shaping up to be extremely competitive this season with Inter, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea and Liverpool all major competitors. The Champions League is won in the spring and a lot could change between now and then. United are undoubtedly one of the best 8 teams in Europe and probably one the top four teams. To win the Champions League you need a little bit of luck especially with the draw and I can see United reaching another Champions League semi-final but I think winning back to back European Cups will be to big a reach.
FIFA Club World Cup, formerly known as the FIFA Club World Championship:
Manchester United are the only English team to have win this cup and I expect them to put all their efforts into winning again in Japan this December. The FIFA Club World Cup will help United expand its global reach, especially in Asia and I expect that winning this will be a big goal of Manchester United. Based on the competition, there is no reason why Manchester United should not win this trophy.
Yes I have it behind the FIFA World Cup. I just think that from a marketing and legacy viewpoint that Fergie would rather win the FIFA Club World Cup then the Premiership, controversial as that might be. The reason is that United have won the Premier League the last two years and winning a third consecutive title is going to be extremely difficult, especially with the increased competition from Chelsea and Liverpool. I expect that United will end up as runners-up in the league.
UEFA Super Cup:
The UEFA Super Cup is an annual game between the reigning champions of the UEFA Cup and the Champions League. This year’s game between Manchester United FC and FC Zenit St. Petersburg will take place in Monaco on August 29th. United lost to lost in 1999 to Lazio 1-0 and Beat Red Star Belgrade 1-0 in 91.
This would have been a really good game last season as FC Zenit St. Petersburg was one of Europe’s most exciting teams last April and May. Now they are struggling at mid-table in the Russian league and their best player Andrey Arshavin is angling for a move to the Premier League. If United take this game seriously and play a full-team they I expect them to win this game easily. If Fergie decides to use the opportunity to play a lot of his reserves than that prediction will change. At the moment I put it in the win column.
Knockout tournaments like the F.A. Cup can be really tricky as you might have an off-day and suddenly be out of the Cup as Liverpool and Chelsea both saw last year. With the FIFA Club World Cup, the Champions League and Premier League race I don’t believe that any team has the squad to compete successfully compete on so many fronts. So no 5th F.A. Cup winners medals for Ryan Giggs.
This has really become a reserve competition for the bog four and I expect that Manchester United will treat this years tournament the same way. Sir Alex would be happen with a couple of wins to give players like Frazier Campbell an opportunity to play and impress. But I don’t think he will be to disappointed when United go out of the tournament before the semi-finals.
So out of seven trophies I see Manchester United winning three (Chariety Shield, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup) and coming close for two others (Champions League and Premier League). For most teams this would be an extremely successful year. Would Manchester United fans agree?