What are United’s quintuple chances now?
Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson dismissed the suggestion in his usual style.
After beating Spurs on penalties to win the English League Cup final on Sunday he was asked if United could complete a “quintuple” of trophies.
“It’s a media thing,” he shot back. “I’m not getting carried away with it. We’re keeping our feet on the ground.”
But with FIFA’s Club World Cup and the League Cup already in the trophy room and with the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup all realistic targets, it is not just a media thing. It’s a real possibility. Throw in the Community Shield and it becomes a sextuple. Or a “double treble” — which sounds good if you are winning it or even drinking it.
Former United striker Frank Stapleton is among many who think Ferguson has assembled the best squad United have ever had — and although they failed to break Spurs down in 120 goalless minutes at Wembley, they still had the nerve, guile and experience to ease to a 4-1 victory in the shootout.
Spurs manager Harry Redknapp believes they can do it too.
“They’ve got a big chance of winning the lot,” he said after the game, “They are the team to beat, the best in Europe and have a fantastic squad.”
The fact that United’s hero was current third-choice keeper Ben Foster highlights the strength in depth of the squad. He was voted man of the match and Ferguson has tipped him to become England’s No.1 keeper in the not too distant future.
Other youngsters like Darron Gibson and Danny Welbeck looked assured next to the likes of Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand.
It wasn’t a classic performance by any stretch of the imagination, but the hallmark of great teams is that they win things even when they are not at their best.
They have ready replacements in every position and with confidence sky-high and the defence virtually impregnable, it will take something very special to get the better of United over the coming weeks.
Or as Ferguson also said, a deflected shot off someone’s backside that could see them knocked out of the FA Cup at Fulham on Saturday.
Barring that, the race for the High Five is on. I think they have the strength, the players and the desire to do it. Do you?
PHOTO: Manchester United players celebrate winning the League Cup final against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley, March 1, 2009. REUTERS/Kieran Doherty