Poll: can United win another treble this season?

January 20, 2013 Tags: , , Polls 25 comments

With Manchester United top of the Premier League, through to the knock-out stage in Europe and into the FA Cup Fourth Round, Sir Alex Ferguson believes his side could seal trio of trophies this season. Mirroring the 1999 ‘treble’, says Ferguson, is possible due to the depth of resources now available at Old Trafford.

“We want to be involved in everything. We’ve got all three trophies to go for – and we’ve got the squad to do it,” said Sir Alex Ferguson on Saturday.

“It’s absolutely ­brilliant for everyone connected with Manchester United. We have got the excitement of going to Real Madrid in the Champions League and them coming here. We’ve got Fulham in the FA Cup as well after winning our ­replay against West Ham. And if you go back to the year we won the Treble, we had a Cup replay against Chelsea and ­another one against Arsenal.

“The squad is looking very strong at the moment with players coming back in. It’s a period of the season that could be crucial to us if we can keep our momentum going. These are big opportunities for us – and we don’t want to miss them.”

Certainly, Ferguson’s team is ahead of many pundits’ expectations after failing to secure any silverware last season. Ignominiously defeated in Europe, usurped domestically by Manchester City and knocked out of the FA Cup by Liverpool, 2011/12 is a season many supporters would like to forget.

But could this season match United’s greatest ever with three trophies heading back to Old Trafford in May?

Can United win another 'treble' this season?

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Alan Holden - January 20, 2013 Reply

League – Probably
FA Cup – Possibly
Champions League – Gonna be a tough call, but the way we are shipping goals right now I’d say unlikely unless the transfer season is kind to us.

Anantax - January 20, 2013 Reply

Stranger things have happened (like Chelsea winning the CL)…but no dont think so. Still lacking 1-2 world class players in my mind…

I’ll be happy with the title and esctatic if we can get 2

Bill - January 20, 2013 Reply

Our central midfield will prevent it.

Alfonso Bedoya - January 20, 2013 Reply

We might do the domestic double, but we won’t win the Champs cup… I’ll be amazed if we get past Real.

Bill - January 20, 2013 Reply

I’d go along with that. If we finally address the central midfield in the summer by buying Fellaini plus one more and get a decent draw we could have a chance in the Champions League…and then exit Fergie…he will feel unless he wins another Champions League its unfinished business, despite already being the most successful manager in British football history.

19 and counting - January 20, 2013 Reply

The treble? Christ, we should concentrate on the league and not blow our big lead like we did last season to our shitty neighbors.

Mongoletsi - January 20, 2013 Reply

Whilst I – like most – think there’s a lack of quality in midfield, it’s still pretty decent. Carrick has surely silenced his critics now. Cleverly is definitely coming on, and I remain convinced that if Ando can stay fit and have a run of games then he is bloody good. A fit and in form Fletcher would help though.

Wide? Nani, Young, Valencia. All who have earned praise, yet currently none look decent. Rafael and Evra seem to be providing the width half the time!

I CAN see us doing the Treble. But more likely a Prem/FA double. There’s no way our midfield can win the minimum 4 of 6 CL games needed to win the CL. Not against top european opposition. But we do have the quality up front and (hopefully) at the back to mean we can win the league, and can win the FA cup.

Let’s face it. Real are probably going to demolish us at their place.

han - January 20, 2013 Reply

Commenter said:
The treble? Christ, we should concentrate on the league and not blow our big lead like we did last season to our shitty neighbors.

focus on one and don’t fall for the hype like we did last season
winning the title is everything and anything else is just icing on the cake

brianofnazareth - January 20, 2013 Reply

han said:
focus on one and don’t fall for the hype like we did last season
winning the title is everything and anything else is just icing on the cake


RobDiablo - January 20, 2013 Reply

If United get past Spurs today, I will start to believe that the side might hold on to win the league. That is, I don’t believe the gap will be extended beyond seven points. I do, however, expect the gap to narrow considerably (by at least 5 or 6 points) before the end, and I’m worried that if that narrowing begins today, United will finish in second place.
The right draws coupled with the right team selection could result in a place in the FA Cup final, so United could realistically finish with anything from zero to two trophies this season. Although, the way that the United players can’t seem to string three passes together when being pressed hard—even by sides in the relegation zone—does not fill me with confidence.

Spudiator - January 20, 2013 Reply

I think a domestic double is doable. Technically we CAN win the treble, but that’s not to say that we WILL, I think Europe might be a stretch too far this time round.

Scott - January 20, 2013 Reply

I don’t think it will happen. It’s unbeliveably difficult to do the treble, the feat in ’99 was incredible and I don’t think it’s appreciated how hard it was sometimes. Especially for an English club who share out domestic TV rights so don’t have as high an income as they could, even more so given the leagues popularity. English teams also have no winter break, which has been suggested as a cause for the higher number of injuries in the English game given that the number of injuries is similar in the run up to Christmas but far exceeds foreign leagues after that period, when they have their break. The English league is also far more competitive so you can’t put out a reserve team and win and you’re not 20+ points clear of your rivals by the business end of the Champions League. And there’s no match fixing which really helps the Italians. I also think the FA does nothing to help the English teams, still seems like they have the attitude of 50 year ago where they don’t want clubs competing. Barcelona hadn’t played for 2 weeks before the ’11 CL final. United played days before.
I also don’t think Fergie will bother with the FA cup if the Premiership gets tight and when if it clashes with Champions league. Could’ve been in the final a few years back but they put out a weak team against Everton due to Champions league games.

I think the Madrid match will be tighter than a lot of people expect. They could’ve lost to City at home and away. Ok City have got some good players but they haven’t produced it in the Premiership this year. Mourinho doesn’t seem to have the players behind him like he did at Chelsea or Inter, the situation with Casillas can’t be good for the team and he’s fallen out with Ramos at least a couple of times. They also play Barceloma 3 days before the return leg. If you look in terms of goals scored vs conceded United are edging it in the scoring but the defence is far worse. Only Ronaldo is really scoring for them, apart from him only Higuain has more than 5 league goals. United have had 19 different scorers this year. If everyone’s fit and some of the players can get back to form and put in performances their capable of (Valencia, Nani) then it’s definitely possible to beat Madrid. Need Carrick to play like he did in the first half against Liverpool. There’s definitely goals in that one.

I think the league should be won unless there’s another capitulation like last year, the FA cup will have to be luck with results from the reserve team or going out of the Champions league, it’s become like the league cup. And beyond Madrid can’t see United progressing without good draws, can’t see them beating Dortmund or Barcelona but there’s a better chance against Barca over 2 legs, that’s how they’ve lost in the tournament recently and how we beat them in ’08.

han - January 20, 2013 Reply

brianofnazareth said:

u feeling ok? agreeing with something i said and not calling for me to be ejected from rant? oh possibly because knobfeatures isn’t around yet….

marlon - January 20, 2013 Reply

We’ve been just good enough in all our big games and we’re yet to see our best yet. We have a deep squad, a good lead in the league and there’s always a lot of luck in cups. Do-able, but i’d be happy with just the league. (it was 125/1 at the start of the season. not sure now)

captainhormone - January 20, 2013 Reply

Another treble??…ffs

Dinkinflicker - January 20, 2013 Reply

In a strange, kind of fucked up way, winning another treble might devalue the last one. It stands out as a unique, magical achievement that will always have a place in football history as something that can only ever happen once. Winning it again makes it that bit less remarkable and potentially opens it up as a genuine target for other clubs.

Andrew - January 20, 2013 Reply

Everyone focuses on midfield but we wont win in Europe with our defence the way its playing. We’re a risk in any cup comp for that matter

uncleknobheadffs - January 21, 2013 Reply

if city were 5 points ahead youd think its race over

we’re five points up yet you feel its all up for grabs

Alfonso Bedoya - January 21, 2013 Reply

uncleknobheadffs said:
if city were 5 points ahead youd think its race over

I wouldn’t.

bman - January 21, 2013 Reply

There’s no way the treble is going to happen unless some key players step up and contribute — most notably Rooney and Nani. We actually look very wobbly on the wings now, but yesterday’s performance suggests that central midfield and defense is coming together better. Although there’s obviously a lot that still needs to happen, I agree with Red Nev’s analysis that yesterday was the first indication we’ve seen from United in a long time that we can put together the kind of team and performance that will make us competitive in CL away games.

The pillars of our team at the moment are RVP, Carrick, and Rafael, with Evra also doing quite well for us at the moment. We need one or two other players to really step up and share the offensive burden with RVP. Central midfield is looking ok at the moment, with Carrick performing very well, and Jones, Cleverley, and Anderson all doing quite well too. They’re doing well enough that I think one really quality central midfield signing in the summer would actually sort us out there.

bman - January 21, 2013 Reply

Imagine if we’d actually signed Hazard in the summer. We’d be fucking magic.

Merchant - January 22, 2013 Reply


So conceding 25 shots and 7 on target against a team that is not even in the champions league is a good sign that we can be competitive in CL away games. But for 2 incredible saves from De Gea (which most keepers in the league would not have made) Tottenham should have easily had another 2 goals. They were missing their main striker, Adebayor and midfield stalwart, Sandro as well. We had a full squad to choose from and could only have 2 shots on target and 5 shots overall in the whole game. How is this a sign of competitiveness? Every team left in the champions league has more quality than Tottenham so I have to disagree with Gaz Nev.
It was a terrible performance and if we show such a blatant disregard for possession in the Champs league we will get slaughtered. Instead of dempsey, defoe, lennon charging at us, we are going to have Ozil, Benzema, Ronaldo, Higuain, Modric coming at us. Play with the same tactics like we did against tottenham and we done for. There is no way Jones has the technique of footballing brain to play as a box to box centre mid, he is a fuckin centre back and a very good promising one at that. When under the slightest pressure with his back to goal he panics with the ball, not the signs of a good midfielder.
Carrick has become so prominent only because of the dire lack of quality in the central midfield department and he never gets injured. I mean anyone who played 15 average to shit games in a row would eventually find some form and can only get better. If only Fergie gave as much game time and showed the same patience to others as he does with the extremely average Carrick.
They say he is silencing his critics, certainly not me. Dictating one game every 15 is not good enough. He isn’t a goal threat, he isn’t an aerial threat, he barely creates chances, he hardly tackles, he is like a cone when defending and anyone can just waltz past him (hence the absurd amount of shots on our goal we have been conceding for the last 2 years), he simply cannot play when put under pressure (2nd half liverpool, tottenham, city, arsenal, chelsea), he doesn’t and cant carry the ball out the back, he can’t beat a man when under even the slightest pressure he just opts to pass it backwards. For as long as Carrick is one of the first names on the team sheet we will not be winning any trebles or even doubles, we will be lucky to to just scrape the league.
This guy has been found wanting time and time again against mobile, agile intelligent midfielders. He has been shielding fuckall in front of the defence the last 2 seasons evident by us having one of the highest amount of chances and shots conceded per game. If he is not shielding then what is he doing? scoring goals? helping out the attack? assisting goals? creating chances? I dont see him doing nay of these on a regular basis.
Watch their goal again, Dempsey is carricks man, Carrick is just ball watching standing still and he fails to track him or even get close him.
Carrick is not a bad player but he is just not good enough for Manchester United. It pains having to watch this crab week in week out after growing up watching Ince, Robson, Hughes, Keano, scholesy, and even nicky butt was quality.

ForeverRed - January 24, 2013 Reply

One of three possible, 2 unlikely, 3 of 3 near impossible.

Why? A number of reasons imo, but here are four:

1. We have become so dependent on RvP’s goals it is frightening, especially with Hernandez looking like the only other player who can contribute goals somewhat consistently. If RvP gets injured we have serious problems up front with so many out of form/favour. His phenomenal goal scoring is masking numerous issues.

2. We don’t have the right midfield balance/quality to absorb constant pressure and be able to rapidly and incisively counter (never mind actually dominate/retain possession for long periods against the better teams!). Prior Utd teams over the last 20 years have had the ability to go from defending to goal scoring in 4-5 touches (with pace and killer passing which this team frequently lacks).

3. Collective defensive frailty. Even though we appeared to be more solid defensively against Spurs (& on paper it is our best back 4) they could easily have scored 3 or more goals. I don’t have confidence that we can keep a clean sheet against even average PL teams these days. Sunday’s line-up also came at the expense of playing a more defensive midfield with Jones in to nullify Bale (read Ronaldo, Messi etc against other top teams) which in part, to the point above, cost us our counter-attacking fluency/options.

4. Lack of an on-field leader driving the team on. With the possible exception of Vidic (when available) who’s taking the team by the scruff of the neck when we start regressing into one of our frequent lulls in concentration/tempo?

I would surmise that if Spurs and Liverpool (second half) can nullify our own attacking threat (even when RvP is playing) and at the same time produce more attempts on target than us, then top European sides won’t have too many problems doing the same, and be more clinical with it. I believe we’re short of 2 quality players at peak age to compete on all fronts, with too many of our players at one end of the age range or other (ie. under 24 or >30). Further, we have several players simply not performing near their peak, or frankly, not being good enough in the first place to compete at the top level of European football.

Of course on any given day this team is capable of getting a result against a top European side, but this likely won’t be through dominating the game and without this ability to control the tempo and/ or remain defensively impervious, our luck will run out sooner rather than later.

I’d love to be wrong, but I don’t feel we have the personnel within the squad to change this and be successful in Europe in the near term.


Merchant - January 24, 2013 Reply

I agree with everything you say. But you have also left out one other decisive factor, the coaching and tactics.
Ok I cant comment on the coaching too much because we don’t see it but we do see the same errors being made time and time again for the last 2 years. We see players constantly being played out of position having a negative impact on the overall and the individual’s performance level.
The Manchester United team of the 3 years is the most wasteful in possession I have ever seen. Basic errors are being made every week and there are long periods in every game, no matter who we are playing, where we cannot keep the ball and are just happy to play territory and hoof it upfield.
Danny Welbeck hasn’t improved his first touch and decision making in 4 years.
Wayne Rooney’s all round game has regressed. His first touch is shocking, he cant shoot from outside the box anymore, his passing is abysmal, he can’t dribble and beat a man anymore, he has been loosing a lot of possession in key attacking areas for us, and add to that he has lost all his aggressiveness and tenacity that made him such a huge asset.
Valencia cant beat a man or cross anymore.
Young the same.
Nani the same.

Just what exactly is the coaching staff doing? They are not improving players games, in fact they are doing the exact opposite. There can’t be so many players, who we know are very good, all playing some of the worst football of their careers during the same period of time. Has to have something to do with what goes on in training. The way we play on match days is a reflection of what the team does in training.

19 and Counting - January 24, 2013 Reply

To win the league and have any chance of the CL…
1. If RVP gets injured its game over on all fronts, so we need him fit and we need better service from our wingers to find him in the box.
2. Rooney needs to come back to his best and get his form back and get his head right.
3. Valencia and Nani see #2.
4. DDG needs to cut out the errors and have better communication with his defenders. We also need a consistent CB pairing for the rest of the season.
5. We need a major slice of luck and hope City drop points along the way. They will be fresh and we have 2 tough matches with Real to deal with. We better hope CR and company have an off day or two.

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