Records and impossibilities are there to be broken; without challenges and targets that seem impossible, there would be no point in going on.
Yesterday, Sir Alex Ferguson wrote off Chelsea’s hopes of challenging them for the League, saying the sacking of Luiz Felipe Scolari had played into United’s hands, and Rooney repeated the same bullish message after the 3-0 demolition of Fulham at Old Trafford.
United are about to move into a fixture pile-up of eight games in 25 days—including a Champions League tie next Tuesday against Inter Milan, the Carling Cup Final against Spurs, and the Premier League visit to Old Trafford of Liverpool—and prioritizing their trophy targets might have been expected.
But Rooney, who returned to action after five weeks out with a hamstring injury to score United’s third goal against outclassed Fulham, said:
“We’re delighted we’re still in all these competitions. Our aim at the start of the season was to go as far as we can in all competitions, and to still be in them all in mid-February is great for the team. For me, I want to win all trophies. Everybody speaks about the Champions League and Premier League. But I’ve had some of my biggest heartaches in football in the FA Cup, and the Carling Cup is the first major trophy I ever won. For us to still be in all four competitions means there is a chance we can win them all."
United’s 10th successive victory, and their 14th successive League clean sheet, leaves them five points above Liverpool at the top of the table. Their goal difference is also nine better than their closest title rivals.
Bookmaker Paddy Power is so convinced of United’s supremacy that it has already decided to pay out to customers who backed a United treble of League, FA Cup, and Carling Cup.
Chelsea are now 10 points adrift having played the same number of games, but new manager Guus Hiddink will be determined to prove Ferguson wrong by reviving the Blues' challenge in his first game in charge against Aston Villa this weekend. So, is it really all over for everyone but United this season? We will see.