Monday, March 02, 2009

Is trophy clean sweep a realistic aim?

Manchester United added the Carling Cup to thier list of achievements this season and as expected the talk of a trophy clean sweep intensified.

But Sir Alex has dampened down the expectations of a possible six trophies - don't forget United's victory in the Community Shield - and believes the FA Cup might be a bridge too far.

The Champions are now seven points clear in the Premier League, with a game in hand, and success in both the FA Cup and the Champions League would enable Fergie's team to eclipse any previous single-season achievement in the English game.

"It would be great to think we could do it, but my experience says we could go to Fulham next weekend, there will be a deflected shot off someone's backside and we're out of the FA Cup," said Ferguson.

"I won't get carried away with it and the rest of the players will keep their feet on the ground.

"The best thing we can do is gather ourselves, energise ourselves for Newcastle on Wednesday, which will be a very difficult game for us, and go from there, taking it one step at a time."

United, who already have the Club World Cup in the trophy cabinent, needed a penalty shoot-out to defeat Tottenham at Wembley on Sunday and United are now football odds of 11.0 to clean up with the FA Cup, Premier League and Champions League.

With hundreds of thousands of pounds thought to be riding on United winning the Quadruple (Carling Cup, FA Cup, Premier League and Champions League) and some of that money placed at triple-figure odds the football gambling industry are facing a multi-million pound pay-out.

But as Ferguson points out it's a big ask for his squad, despite their undoubted depth and quality, and one bad bay at the office could be the end of their FA Cup or Champions League dream.

But while the sextuple is still possible let's make the most of it.

By Phil Tomlinson

1 comment:

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