Manchester United's Quintuple: Dispelling the Myth

Barney CorkhillSenior Writer IMarch 24, 2009

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 11:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United celebrates with team mate Ryan Giggs at the end of the UEFA Champions League Round of Sixteen, Second Leg match between Manchester United and Inter Milan at Old Trafford on March 11, 2009 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

A lot has been made of Manchester United's pursuit of a "quintuple" this season. That talk may have been put on hold due to the recent defeats against both Liverpool and Fulham, but it is still a very real possibility.

Or is it?

In fact, Manchester United aren't going for five trophies this season. They're going for six!

People seem to have forgotten that they beat Portsmouth in this season's curtain raiser, the Community Shield. Now, this is widely regarded as an unimportant trophy, but it is counted in the club's history books, unlike wins in friendly competitions.

It should, therefore, count towards the team's trophy haul this season.

While we're on the subject of 'unimportant' trophies, since when was the FIFA Club World Cup so important? I seem to remember the majority of Manchester United fans dismissing it out of hand when Liverpool competed in it after their European Cup win in 2005, and this is despite their own team pulling out of the FA Cup to participate in it just six years earlier.

Personally, I feel these trophies should carry a lot more prestige, considering what one has to do to get there. For the Community Shield, you have to win the league or the FA Cup. For the FIFA Club World Cup, you have to win the Champions League. Which is easier, beating Cardiff or beating Barcelona?

The same applies to the European Super Cup.

Ah yes, the European Super Cup. Remember that? The media has been proclaiming that United have the chance of winning every trophy it's players have gone in for, but they don't. Earlier this season, they lost to Zenit St. Petersburg in the European Super Cup final.

If the FIFA Club World Cup counts, then so does the European Super Cup.

United, therefore, can't complete a perfect season, but it could still be better than was thought.

To do that, however, the team will have to hold off Liverpool and Chelsea in the league, Everton in the FA Cup, and Porto and either Arsenal or Villareal in the Champions League.

Can United do it? I'm not so sure.

If the players do, however, I will take off my Liverpool-red tinted glasses for one night only and applaud them, because they will have deserved it.