By Thomas Rooney
Manchester United picked up a superb 1-1 draw in the first-leg of their last 16 Champions League tie at Real Madrid last week. This has left many giving their chances of going all the way a glowing assessment.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s men have certainly put themselves in a good position as they head to Old Trafford for the second-leg. They have an away goal and they have home advantage for the decisive last 16 meeting.
They are by no means certain to progress though. Madrid are extremely dangerous and you just know Jose Mourinho will have at least some encouraging moments in Manchester.
Even if United do make it through, they still have the quarter-final, semi-final and final to negotiate before they can be labelled European Champions once again.
Victory over Madrid would definitely inspire them though and in response to the question – “Can Ferguson finish off his legacy with a Champions League win?” the answer, quite simply, is yes.
This doesn’t mean he has to win it this year of course, but we will use that as our area of assessment for now and the signs are currently very good.
We have mentioned that they are in a good position against Madrid, but looking at their overall chances of glory, you cannot help but be impressed by Manchester United’s squad.
Ferguson has quality all over the pitch, on the bench and quite often – in the stands.
Look at Monday evening’s clash with Reading as an example. Several first-team players – including Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie – were left out of the starting eleven, but the likes of Javier Hernandez, Nani and Danny Welbeck helped them to victory.
There is definitely an overwhelming feeling that whoever comes in at the moment will do their job and do it well. There are of course stand out match winners, but on the whole, this is probably the strongest squad at Old Trafford for a few years.
Ferguson’s men are definitely in great shape to go all the way in Europe this year. They are in good form, they have strength in depth and the excellent team spirit is clear to see.
With the Premier League title looking likely to be theirs too, in the latter stages of the Champions League, it is Europe that can take the majority of their focus. This will definitely be beneficial for them.
There is plenty of quality for United to come up against though and there is a chance they will come unstuck between now and the Wembley final. Should this be the case, Ferguson is motivated enough for his young and talented squad to go again.
However, there does seem something quite remarkable about the prospect of a Champions League victory at Wembley. It might be so perfect that Ferguson will consider calling it a day afterwards.
It would certainly be the type of send off he deserves after everything he has achieved for Manchester United and English football in general.
About the Author: Written by Thomas Rooney from Footballtips.com.