Okay, obviously “good for Manchester” is a stretch. These are two of the toughest clubs in the world, and both could make arguments for the coveted third spot behind Madrid and Barça, so anything short of a quarterfinal appearance should be regarded as failing to meet expectation. Manchester City has so many high profile names and so much money invested in the squad, coupled with tremendous domestic form, this has to be a massive disappointment for both players and fanbase; out goes the chance of the coveted treble - or does it?
Manchester City and Manchester United playing in the Europa League is huge for the “other” European cup. Apart from the fact that, considering both teams stature, they’re both destined to meet up en route to the final in what will be as hotly contested of a match-up as the FA Cup match up from last season, it means that overall interest in the Europa League will be increase, as well as prestige. What could be more amazing than Udinese or Ajax or Porto beating the EPL giants in a thrilling final?
England and the world will be standing up to watch the Europa League much closer this year and although obvious disappointment fills both camps at the current, Mancini has already made his intentions clear: “We are going in the Europa League, it’s another trophy, an important trophy. “
Sir Alex, in typical class and style, stated that the Europa League and its Thursday games will be a “penalty” that could hamper their season, being forced to play more Sunday domestic games. Perhaps he should look to his cross town opponent and learn about some class.
Mancini made well to state that it is an “important trophy” because it is what keeps the hope for a Man City treble alive. Domestic success should be guaranteed and if they can continue their current form their season will go down as one of the finest in English football history, and the chance to back it up with a repeat in the FA Cup should be very realistic, and now with only one club of similar stature to battle with in the Europa League, their chances of a treble have actually increased due their loss in Naples and the subsequent elimination, certainly not decreased. The same applies for Manchester United. As it stands, if the Red Devils don’t finish the 11/12 football season without at least one trophy, even at the very least the Carling Cup, there will be a lot of question marks raised about Sir Alex’s job security, because we all know how fickle the British tabloids are.