Graeme YSB Souness has today claimed that Manchester United’s trip to Japan to take place in the FIFA World Club Cup is a waste of time.
The team landed in Japan this morning, with the intention of winning the competition for a second time, as the only British club to ever do so.
There is a mixed feeling amongst our players over the competition, with Paul Scholes confessing he would rather stay at home and concentrate on the league, whilst Wayne Rooney wants to add another trophy to our collection from 2008.
Waste of time or worth our while?
Souness was a part of the 1981 side that lost in the final to Flamengo, under the previous name of Intercontinental Cup.
“We treated it as a testimonial and were told not to get injured,” said Souness. “Sir Alex Ferguson can’t say he’d rather not be going because it sends out the wrong message to his players but it’s something he can do without. Given a choice between being crowned the best team in world and winning the Premier League again I know which he’d choose. You spend goodness knows how long on a plane, allowing your body to get into another time zone and then back again. We didn’t take it that seriously. You can’t sleep the first night because of jet lag. We didn’t know what to eat and were ordering hamburgers in the middle of the night. At 3am the night before the game all the players were on the floodlit golf range because we couldn’t sleep.”
Well it’s not rocket science is it, the idea that the Premiership is more worthwhile than this competition in Japan. Obviously Sir Alex Ferguson wants another title. However, the two things don’t have to be mutually exclusive. United beat Palmeiras in the final of 1999 in Japan, yet still went on to win the Premiership for the next two seasons on the bounce.
United are the only British side to have won the competition, so to be crowned the best team in the World for the second time in our history would surely be pretty nice. With our squad, I don’t see why competing in Japan would rule us out of claiming the title again. We play best when our backs are up against the wall and returning to England for the new year knowing we have to win our games in hand could be what we need to give us the kick we’re missing at the moment.