The Red Devils are officially the best club in the world after winning the Club World Cup last December. Although it was a relative walk in the park for United, it means that they are on for a possible quintuple this season, with a triumph in the Premier League and Carling Cup looking pretty likely. However, Sir Alex Ferguson reckons it will be a tall order to land the Champions League and FA Cup too.
The Guardian reports that the Scot regards a clean sweep as nigh-on impossible. After all, while the champions have a nice big squad, the Champions League in particular is fiercely competitive and it’s extremely rare to see a team win back-to-back competitions.
“It would be very difficult to do that,” said the United manager. “You would need the luck and you would need to keep all your players fit. If we keep everyone fit then, yes, we’d have a chance. When you’re in a competition, you’ve got to try to win it and, as long as you’re still in that competition, you’ve got a chance. What we have done well recently is that we’ve had a lot of injuries but the squad has compensated and whatever team I have picked the players have just got on with it. But, realistically, I don’t see it.”
Ferguson, however, is increasingly optimistic about United equalling Liverpool’s record of 18 league titles. His team will be five points clear if they win their game in hand against Fulham on 18 February, and Ferguson is encouraged by his players setting a new Premier League record of 12 successive clean sheets. “That’s quite a feat,” he said. “It’s not to be dismissed. Full credit has to go to the defence and the goalkeeper [Edwin van der Sar].”
What are Manchester United going to win this season? Is the Premier League practically in the bag, especially if Liverpool come a cropper at Portsmouth on Saturday? What about the Champions League, can any other team live with their rock solid defence and the attacking talents of Ronaldo, Rooney, Berbatov and Tevez? It’s looking like it could be a historic season for the Red Devils, just who can stop them steamrollering the opposition?