We were told what a waste of time the FIFA World Club Cup was going to be over and over again. What were doing flying to Japan when we had a Premiership title to defend back in England? Who cares about this competition anyway?
A week after arriving in Japan, United are now ‘Champions of the World’ and our position in the league is even better than before we left. Our players are re-energised and hungry for silverware. It begs the question, can we do this every year?
Results back home
Arsenal and Liverpool drew, with Adebayor facing a one match suspension following his yellow card. Liverpool have now drawn three of their last four, and couldn’t beat the ten men of Arsenal, who lost their star striker with half an hour to play. Not great for morale.
Then just to really put a smile on our faces, Chelsea dropped points at Goodison Park. This was Chelsea’s toughest away day of the season so far, made even easier by the fact that Everton didn’t have any strikers available, meaning Tim Cahill was playing up front. Still, TinyTears doesn’t like to do things the easy way, so he decided to add a bit of spice in to the match by getting himself sent off ten minutes before half time.
John ‘British Bulldog/Man of Steel’ Terry leapt off the ground, clattering in to Osman, giving the referee no option but to show him the red card. My only surprise was that a ref finally has shown the balls to hand out punishment Terry! All going well, the FA should enforce the three match ban this time, meaning he will miss two Premiership games, before Chelsea’s FA Cup third round game.
United now have two games in hand on Chelsea and Liverpool. If we win them, we are on the same points as Chelsea and 1 point behind Liverpool. Considering we’ve already played all of our toughest matches, this is just the kind of position we wanted to be in.
Ready for more
The general feeling from the United players after winning is they feel good and they want more of the same. Our form has been hit and miss so far this season (fortunately, so has the form of our title rivals) and hopefully getting their hands on some silverware can refocus them, after the highs of the 2007-2008 season.
“Being a world champion is a great feeling,” said Rio. “Not many teams in the world have ever got their hands on a trophy like this and to be the first British side to do it is phenomenal. It was great to see Wazza put the ball in the back of the net. It wasn’t even really a proper chance, it was half a chance if that, so it was fantastic to see it go in. A lot has been said about this tournament not having the profile of other major competitions, but it’s always been a big trophy for us and now we’ve got our hands on it we want to win it again. We’ve been disappointed in ourselves in the last couple of months in terms of the way we’ve played and the results we’ve got in the league. We’ve had opportunities to get closer to the leading pack but we haven’t done. The Club World Cup final was very important in terms of confidence and hopefully you’ll now see the real Manchester United.”
He’s hitting a good spell just at the right time. Following on from his goal against Aalborg in the last game he played in, Rooney scored another three goals in the two games of the FIFA World Club Cup, which helped earn him the Player of the Tournament award (and a free car!). The same honour was bestowed on Kaka the season before when AC Milan won it (we should also note at this point that if this competition isn’t below 7 times European Cup winners and 17 Italian title holders AC Milan, then it isn’t below us either!).
And of course, to be in this competition against next season means we have to win the Champions League again in May. I fancy that!