***This post assumes that the Premier League, Europa League, and FA Cup will be played (perhaps behind closed doors) at some point this year to finish the season
All United fans agree, Champions League football is a MUST for the 20/21 season. Europa League just isn’t the same.
To accomplish this, United need to place in the Top 4 of the Premier League OR win the Europa League. So where does that leave the FA Cup?
In what seems like ages ago… United progressed to the Quarter Finals with a thumping of Derby County, and will face Norwich (eventually).
However, United also face the second leg of their round-of-16 draw with LASK… and another NINE games in the Premier League. How will another 3 rounds (potentially) of FA Cup matches fit in with a shortened schedule due to COVID19?
Before the shut down United seemed destined for end of season glory* with the additions of Bruno and Ighalo in the January window, Mata & Matic returning to form, as well as McSauce returning from injury.
Recent news of Pogba and Rashford being cleared for training also provides United with a much needed boost for the games to come.
In an ideal world, United win the FA Cup, Europa League, and finish Top 4 in the Premier League.
Unfortunately, sh*t happens. And the most popular scenario to finish the league crams the remaining games into a very tight schedule.
If Champions League is the focus, the FA Cup should not be. The FA Cup will not send us across Europe. The FA Cup can then be considered a “nice to have”, rather than a necessity. Especially in these unusual times.
The “Sancho” signings come a lot easier if Champions League football is on the schedule. No offence to Borat FC (FC Astana), but the best players want to play against Europe’s elite while the world watches, not travel to and from Kazakhstan.
United must get back to playing in the top flight European tournament, and United must focus on the League and/or the Europa League to get there.
Sorry FA Cup, I’m just not that into you. Maybe next year…
*The fact that a Top 4 spot would be considered “glory” for Manchester United is debatable, but I digress…