There are some football sides for whom winning is an institution. Each and every time they take to the field they do so knowing that they have to win, because come the end of the season, all those W's will turn themselves into trophies.
Without question, Manchester United are one such club. The dynasty that Sir Alex Ferguson has built at Old Trafford over the past 27 years has put United at the very forefront of English football. The job Ferguson has done, has been magnificent.
This season has been another of success for the Red Devils. The Premier League title has been reclaimed, with somewhat consummate ease. Manchester City's title challenge has stumbled due to inconsistency and no other side has looked likely of even getting close.
Meanwhile, the Old Trafford Juggernaut has kept churning out the necessary wins, thus taking the crown with four matches to spare. 27 wins from their 34 league games has seen to that, with 78 goals in the process. To be perfectly honest, we all knew where the title was going back in February, such has been their command this season.
Therein lies the difficulty in assessing United's season. For whilst they've claimed a 20th English league crown, the season feels rather as though it's lacking something. Even celebrations at Old Trafford on Monday evening were somewhat muted, with a fairly large number of supporters leaving the ground before the post-game celebrations began.
Thus, is United's season of singular success enough for the club?
In a week where the Champions League semi-finals are kicking off, that United aren't involved must certainly see fans looking on grudgingly. We can argue with regards Nani's red card until we're blue in the face but there are still no guarantees United would have gone through.
Additionally, it can't be reasonably argued that anything but Europe's four best sides have made their way through to the semi-finals. United have somewhat found themselves, like the rest of the league they have thoroughly dominated, just not quite good enough at the continent's very top level.
But it's not merely the Champions League defeat.
What of the FA Cup?
For whilst the defeat to Real Madrid will undoubtedly annoy those related to United, the quarter-final loss to Chelsea must surely rankle that little bit more.
Having completely dominated the first 45 minutes and to have a commanding 2-0 lead, to allow Rafa Benitez' side to escape with a replay which they subsequently lost, was—from the outside looking in—needlessly awful.
There is no doubt that a 20th league title marks success for Manchester United this season. Like a good piece of cake, for some, it's certainly enough. But that that pretty substantial cake hasn't come with the cherry of a cup success, is something of a disappointment, when your club is one as used to winning as Manchester United.
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