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Man United Quadruple is Bittersweet Possibility

United Enjoy a Cold Cup of Carling

United Enjoy a Cold Cup of Carling

It’s the first of March and although there is everything to be decided, you can smell it in the air. This could be the year United do what hasn’t been accomplished by a British club since Celtic in 1967: winning the League, FA, and European Cups, in addition to the Premier League trophy.

Yet as can often happen in football, the circumstances behind the feat would be less than ideal.  Many pundits have argued convincingly that last year’s United, who won the European double, were a superior club who battled against difficult opposition in a fighting, post-Mourinho Chelsea in both the Premiership and European Cup.  This year, Chelsea has faltered with the early departure of Phil Scolari, and now United’s only other credible competition (sorry Villa) for the domestic crown is Liverpool, who showed clear signs yesterday they are running into the familiar Benitez melodrama: up-in-the-air ownership and swirling questions over the manager’s future.  The Premier League seems to have surrendered early.

The FA Cup, outside the possibility United fold to draw-obsessed Arsenal or maybe-resurgent-maybe-not Chelsea, could also be handed to the Red Devils.  And no one else outside of Barcelona looks as convincing for the Champions League title—the same Barca that has just dropped two games in a row.  Unless Inter can find a strategy that doesn’t include having Ibrahimovic attempt to dink past four United defenders on the edge of the area, Manchester United should go through to the quarterfinals.

For United fans, who no doubt have all been supporting world football’s Harlem Globetrotters since the pre-Ferguson/MUTV/Sky/Murdoch/Asian tours/Nike sponsorship period, the quadruple will be the epic, orgasmic climax of two decades of domestic dominance.  For the rest of us, it will reveal one direction football might take during the up-coming economic depression/recession: total dominance by one, enormously popular club with enough financial clout to weather the coming storm.  This probably won’t matter a damn for football’s pocketbook—after all, everyone loves a winner.

What it might mean for football’s soul is another matter entirely. This year, United could dominate because everyone else is shit.  And as clubs are forced to cut ticket prices, managers send b-sides to major cup competitions, the Premier League feels “lucky” it can still get lots of money in broadcast rights, and more and more lower tier clubs, some with histories as long as Newton Heath’s, simply fall off the face of the earth, we could be in for two decades more of this sort of thing.  So get ready for a new, fifth domestic cup competition, the next step up for the Uniteds of the world: the Quintuple.

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  1. Fateh

    March 3, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Great one Charlie. All you United haters listen up:-
    A few years ago United finished bottom of their Champions League Group. Any other club would have sacked their manager.Is it our fault that United is a slightly more sane club?
    Is it our fault that we had a manager who despite losing his best players in a plane crash had enough spunk and character to rebuild his team and crown them champions of europe?
    Till last year Chelsea had almost unlimited funds and world class players at the club(which they still do of course). They could have taken advantage of Man United’s seeming demise(as the media called it).
    Real Madrid not many years back could have chosen to balance their team properly.It would have been hard to stop Zidane,Figo,Ronaldo,Raul etc. in their prime if they had.
    Arsene Wenger could have kept Diarra so that the centre of midfield wouldn’t have seemed such a problem with Arsenal.
    Nobody told Juventus to be involved in a match-fixing scam when they had back to back Scudetto’s and the likes of Ibrahimovic(who a certain Jose Murinho called the best player in the world) to help set up a dynasty.
    Nobody tells Barcelona to be so one-dimensional,even if their one-dimensional play is breathtaking,sooner of later people were bound to find a way to stop them.
    Liverpool could have bought Ribery’s and Gourcuff’s instead of Bellamy’s and Penants and Crouch’s.Is their any wonder why united are a much better team?
    Is it united’s fault that they have a foreign owner,who despite being demonized,has showed everybody how a club should be run?
    The fact is,united do the things the right way.That’s why they are the best in the world.It’s not our fault that you screw things up when you have the oppurtinity to challenge is. But go on and hate us.As charlie said, we’re used to it.
    Lol, as voldemort said ” Greatness engenders Envy,Envy engenders Spite,Spite engenders people to write articles such as these”
    But united will still do the quintuple come May.

  2. eplnfl

    March 2, 2009 at 9:11 am

    Love the beer can photo! Wasn’t Harry well dressed for the game.

    Seeing Man U. win again won’t make me unhappy. What are the other choices. Fergie for all his faults does it the right way. He has developed a player or two in his time.

    What we should all hope to see is if Everton and Villa can make the Champions League. That would be a hopeful sign!

  3. ryan

    March 2, 2009 at 6:23 am

    this article is written as if the quadruple is a foregone conclusion. it is absolutely not. man united are the best team in the world right now, there is no doubt. the fa cup is famous for a reason, however, and last time i checked united and inter are level going into the second leg, where anything can happen. the premiership is surely theirs, but i would be shocked if united won both the fa cup (keep in mind who won it last season) and the champions league. i am not a man united hater, but it simply will not happen.

  4. Charlie

    March 2, 2009 at 1:11 am

    “The (long-welcome) anti-United backlash begins with this post.”

    What took everyone so long? We United Supporters have been waiting patiently for the rest of you to start coming up with your various excuses for the demise of your respective clubs.

    The author of this article opines, “United could dominate because everyone else is shit.” I don’t necessarily subscribe to that theory as a collective whole. While it is true that some clubs truly are “shit,” some simply don’t have the resources to compete, some obviously don’t give a damn (Spurs’ and Villa’s recent cup strategies, for example), while others (namely the other three squads of the so-called “Big Four”) are dysfunctional basket cases.

    How — and why — is this Manchester United’s fault? Like the street kids say, “Don’t hate the playa, hate the game.”

    Sir Alex (not “Mister Ferguson”) has built a formidable team that is, at the very least, as good as any other top side in Europe at the moment, if not better. So instead of acknowledging this fact and giving him credit, some instead choose to slag anything and everything United. Just Because.

    This is to be expected, of course — people are entitled to their opinion. But I sometimes think more people love to hate Manchester United than they love to support their own damn club.

    Can United pull off the Quadruple? Yes, absolutely. Will they? I don’t know, we’ll just have to wait and see. They certainly have a legitimate opportunity to do so. But whether United succeeds in this quest or stumbles at some point, all the ABU’s who frequent this forum (and other forums) will continue to emerge every so often from their dark and dungy hiding areas to pontificate their Anti-United views about this, that, and the other — like this article does. Full of excuses, lacking in praise, ad nausem, ad infinitum.

    Go ahead. We’re used to it.

    Glory Glory…

  5. Dave

    March 2, 2009 at 12:38 am

    So the Club World Cup wouldn’t give them a quintuple, then?

  6. Burt Reynolds

    March 2, 2009 at 12:00 am

    Tottenham already showed how much the UEFA Cup/Europa League means to them… so while I hate Man U, I’m glad they won. It gives a team like Fulham, Wigan or Everton that might actually try and challenge for it a better shot of making it to Europe.

  7. fundament666

    March 1, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    Manchester United will choke before they achieve the Quadruple. Really.

  8. Steel

    March 1, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    The (long-welcome) anti-United backlash begins with this post.

    I hope.

  9. Red Ranter

    March 1, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    This is assuming the other teams of the big four continue their downward spiral in the seasons to come.

    True, Wenger’s stubbornness, Chelsea’s shortsightedness, and Benitez’s, well, blindness to FACTs, have made this season easy for United, but the day things begin to get interesting for United will be the day Fergie retires. One suspects it won’t be too far off. And this is coming from a United fan.

  10. The Gaffer

    March 1, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    Yes, it’s quite depressing. I don’t know whether to congratulate Man United for their supremacy, or feel despondent that it looks like there are no other teams with a morsel of a chance to overtake Fergie’s side.

    To me, the Premier League is now a one horse race.

    The Gaffer

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