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The Right Attitude? CL Over Premiership?

Van der SarManchester United are the only team in English football history to pull off the Treble, securing the league title, the European Cup and the FA Cup all in one season. This was United at their peak.

Since then, there has been talk of whether United could win it again. The current bunch of players is the best squad Sir Alex Ferguson has ever had, which he will quite happily admit. If that is the case, then surely another Treble should be on the cards?

Whilst Liverpool harp on about their European success, their last cup coming in 2005, United have the bragging rights for recent history. Considering Liverpool finished fifth in the Premiership the season they won the European Cup, it certainly questions the priorities of this team. The same can be said of the last winners, AC Milan, who were miles away from the top spot in their own league.

Barcelona proved that in the modern game, you could be crowned Champions of your own league as well as in Europe, when they achieved this in 2006, but those kind of teams are few and far between these days. It is looking more and more like you have to focus your attention on one or the other, your domestic title or the Champions League.

Manchester United goalkeeper, who returned to action against Aston Villa in the FA Cup, has today said that he ranks the Champions League above the Premiership. “It is very difficult to make a choice on trophies,” he said. “I don’t think you can really aim for one. I think you have to go with the flow a little bit. But, if you had to make a choice in March or April as to which game you would prefer to play in, then I would prefer the Champions League.”

For me, winning the Champions League has the shine taken off it if you have not won the league title. How can you claim to be the best side in Europe if you’re not even the best team in England (or the best team in Liverpool, in the dippers’ case back in 2005)? Still a remarkable achievement and of course you’d rather win it than not, but for me, the league always has to take priority. The league proves who the best team is. There are no mistakes on the day that trophy is handed out, in contrast to the Champions League, which proves nothing. Putting preference on the Champions League seems to be more an attitude associated with our European players, but it is not an attitude I can agree with.

Do you agree with Van der Sar? Would you prefer another European Cup to add to our honour roll over a league title?


About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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7 Comments

  1. Ella says:

    Usually I would say Premiership first. This year being the 5oth anniversary of Munich makes me feel different. it would be terrific for the legacy of those who tragically gave their lives if manchester United could again lift the trophy they might well have lifted then had it not been for the tragedy. For this year only i agree with van der Sar

  2. jsos says:

    that’s a tough call.. initially I would say the same as Scott that we need to win the league. But Ella, you make a good point about this year. In the end, though, I don’t think I could let go of the premiership title in favour of anything else. And despite all the talk of one or the other, I don’t see United making a choice. I think with SAF’s “best team ever” affirmation, I believe he will go for both whole-heartedly

  3. Geir Riis says:

    No ‘effin way! PL will ALWAYS be over CL. We need two more PL titles to get ahead of the scousers 18….

    UNITED!

  4. Kina says:

    of course, i do agree with VdS…UEFA cld change the name of the competition from “CHAMPIONS” League to something else…or let the cup be competed for by only the champions of the European leagues…and play fair by allowing every league in Europe, not just those well established…and mayby, just maybe, that will help break the cycle of all top stars concentrated in very few leagues, and even fewer teams…i mean players from Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Real, Barca, Man U, Milan and the like wldn’t mind playing for teams in the so called “LOWER” leagues if they know only the league winners get into the competion…as it is even 4th place teams in some leagues get to play in the “CHAMPIONS” league whilst champions in some European leagues have to make do with the UEFA Cup..how cld that be?…somebody explain it to me, please…

    Kina.

  5. Conor says:

    Kina do you think that would improve the quality of the champions league then? You do know teams like Dinamo Zagreb and the like do actually get a chance to get into the champions league, but they rarely do because they just aren’t of the same quality as teams like liverpool, the champions league has the best teams in Europe, if only champions were allowed then the competition would become so much worse.

  6. Patrick Byrne says:

    I should probably let you know that I made a counter-argument to this post at my website, redsunite.com. I didn’t disagree with the entirety of your post, just the part about the CL “proving nothing.”

  7. Taehr says:

    Definately a european cup.

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