There are 11 points separating Manchester United from the top of the Barclays Premier League (BPL) table. They are sitting in seventh position and have lost six out of 20 games to date. Under their new manager, David Moyes, the Red Devils’ current league position is their lowest since 1989/1990.
Now, it is January and the defending champions are practically limping to the finishing line. But does Manchester United actually have a chance of win the Champions League or the BPL now, and making amends for everything that has happened in the first half?
No Chance to Win the BPL Title
Manchester United may have absolutely no chance of resurrecting their season. Eleven points away from league leader, Arsenal, is already an enormous amount, especially at this stage of the season. Furthermore, the BPL is now even more challenging than ever. This competition is no longer the monopoly of one or two clubs.
In fact, if you look at the BPL table, there are at least four or five clubs that are in with a good chance to win the BPL trophy – including Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City. The dark horses for the third and fourth place Champions League positions also include Everton and Tottenham. What chance then, does the once-mighty Manchester United have, unless of course, every single one of these clubs slip up and make way for them?
United’s Only Silverware Chance
Their only chance for silverware now, is perhaps in the Carling “Mickey Mouse” Cup, which is a competition that their ex-manager Sir Alex Ferguson always used for blooding young talent. Now, it sounds so ironic that this knockout competition remains the only chance of silverware, for this once-mighty English giant.
So if Man United doesn’t want to end the season empty-handed, Moyes’ team had better get cracking and treat the return fixture against Sunderland, in the Carling Cup with the utmost respect. After all, it is perhaps their only chance for silverware, and furthermore, it takes on an added significance because the Black Cats already hold the advantage from the first leg, after having just inflicted a third straight loss onto the failing Red Devils with a 2-1 victory.
Don’t Even Count on the Champions League
Manchester United has absolutely no chance in the Champions League against big guns like Barcelona and Real Madrid. Sure, they finished top of their group and were given a relatively easy draw – on paper – against Olympiacos in the Round of 16 ties.
But when they can’t even beat teams like Sunderland and Swansea City, which they would have probably blown away in the past, how will Man United actually beat Olympiacos? In fact, the Greeks would definitely be relishing their chances in this tie right now and I won’t be surprised if they get the better of the Red Devils and end up winning this tie instead of the English club.
But even if United do manage to squeeze past the Greek side by the skin of their teeth, they will not have the advantage of seeding in the Quarter Final draw, and much stronger teams such as Barcelona and Real Madrid will possibly beat them to a pulp.
Can you remember the glorious Liverpool team of the 1980s that was winning trophies left, right and centre? What happened to them in the 1990s? Apart from the odd triumph here and there, Reds fans have been suffering throughout the last two decades, and even now, Liverpool is still on the road to recovery.
Like the Reds, Sir Ferguson’s era of glory now seems to be over. I must say that he was a great manager, but great managers cannot last forever. They come and go. Now, Moyes must spend and rebuild, otherwise Manchester United will certainly be spending some time in the doldrums.
Unless a miracle happens, I really cannot see Moyes’ Manchester United side being the dominant force in the BPL for at least a few more seasons. They may win a few trophies here and there over the next decade, but it certainly won’t be anything like what United’s fans were accustomed to in the last two decades.
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