Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League game day has delivered some big surprises. England’s top contenders, Manchester United and Manchester City, both got the boot. While City’s failure to reach the knock-out stages was almost sealed on game day five, United’s loss at FC Basel came as “the hammer” of the group stages. Under-performing during the entire campaign, it came down to the last game and a single point was needed out of the game against Basel. While in soccer everything is possible, it was hard to believe United will not gather that one single point out of a “one-game-competition” against the Swiss.
Today, we all know what happened. United lost 2-1 and City’s faith was sealed despite the win against Bayern Munich’s B-Team. Looking at the Global press reports this morning shows lots of disbelieve with all the experts. Who would have thought that both English top teams will compete in the Europa League comes next spring?
Now what? Both clubs are crazy spenders in soccer. Both are depending on being successful in all competitions in order to match the expenses with revenue. Failure to reach the knock-out stages in the Champions League has left both with a major hole in their pockets. With the major “pot” gone, both are now taking a close look at what is left over the season and what could possibly help to close the hole in the pocket, or at least help to make it shrink.
In the Barclay’s English Premier League they are one and two. Sounds nice, however, that also means one of them will end up empty handed there as well. In January, they face each other in the FA Cup. Which in turn means, one of the two has to excuses themselves from that competition as well, very early. Carling Cup? Well, United already left the competition and now probably has second thoughts on that. While still in the Champions League exiting the Carling Cup is not such a huge problem, now it mounts up to another lost chance for silver ware. City is facing Liverpool in the semi-final and that seems in no way to be a guarantee for advancing into the final and eventually win the cup. Europa League? Well, of all the competitions, this is probably the least desirable. While it sounds nice, that is more a cup that is meant for clubs like Fulham or Braga. Both, United and City, could care less about that, even though “interest” in winning the golden pineapple has already been expressed.
Disaster is luring and already waving at both of them. It is quite likely that at least one of them is ending up with a scandalous season. To be quite straight, all that would excuse anything else now would be the win in the Premier League. It looks like only one can save the season.