What an outrageous night. We could barely keep up as the Group B pendulum swung back and fourth over a crazy hour and a half, as PSV Eindhoven and Manchester United battled hard in their games against CSKA Moscow and Wolfsburg respectively for a spot in the last 16. At various stages of the night both had it all in their hands.
Eventually the footballing gods shone on the Dutch side, and Louis van Gaal’s men will be playing in the Europa League next year. Naturally there is a red mist over the vast majority of the Old Trafford faithful, who are (it could be said rightfully) annoyed that their team couldn’t get out of a fairly routine group.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom. And we at FFC Towers think there are some actual silver linings. So keep calm and carry on, United fans…
Manchester United are playing boring football. We all know it. League results have, however, remained fairly positive, but the financial reality of Champions League elimination may increase the itch on the United big shots’ collective trigger finger.
And would any United fans be really sad to see LVG go? Especially as Carlo Ancelotti is out of work and Pep Guardiola may be available at the end of the season
Unlike in the Champions League, United could feasibly get away with playing a second string side for the Europa League’s knockout phase. This might then help the club’s title/top four charge as the ‘first XI’ could best kept 100% fresh for key games.
Alternatively, the Europa League offers a Champions League qualification spot for the winner, with only ‘weaker’ teams standing in the way.
Well, were they? If they could not make it out of a fairly routine Group B, what chance would this United side have against a Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or Barcelona? An embarrassing defeat would do little to help United in their post-Sir Alex Ferguson recovery, so maybe it’s for the best…