With Manchester United 15 points out of first place in the Premier League and out of contention for the Capital One Cup and FA Cup, manager David Moyes has decided that he could make due with only winning the Champions League in his first season at Old Trafford.
"It's been a difficult season," Moyes told reporters who wanted him to freak out. "I hoped we would be in a better position at this point, still competing for more trophies, but I think I'll be fine with just winning the Champions League. It's a nicely designed trophy and you might as well start with the best one."
"This has been a season of unusual occurrences for Manchester United — first home loss to West Brom since 1978, first home loss to Newcastle since 1972, three defeats in a row for the first time since 2001. So why not our first European Cup since 2008? Chelsea finished sixth in the Premier League and won the Champions League at the same time a couple years back. We're in seventh and now we've got Juan Mata, who was on that Chelsea team, so I'd say we're right on pace to do the same."
Manchester United will face Greek side Olympiakos in the Champions League round of 16, but the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and last year's winners Bayern Munich, as well as Man City, Arsenal and Chelsea all remain in the hunt. Given Man United's results in all other competitions, Moyes' belief that his team will still become Champions of Europe might seem irrational, but he has no time for doubters.
"A lot has been written and said about our tactics and player selection and how Tom Cleverley is really the main problem instead of me and without him we would be in first place right now," Moyes said. "But by winning the Champions League we will put a stop to all that. Even if what they say about Cleverley is true. And if Liverpool finish fourth and lose the last Champions League spot to us as a result, that would be a bonus."
When several journalists laughed at his comments, Moyes said he wasn't joking and stared at everyone for an uncomfortable length of time before chugging an entire jug of water and walking out without another word.
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