Manchester United’s recent league form suggests they may still secure a place in Europe next season – even if it will not be the competition of their choice.
With three of the four Champions League places all but secured, and Arsenal and Everton fighting for the last of those, one of those two sides is likely to be joined by either United or Tottenham Hotspur in the Europa League.
Speaking to Algemeen Dagblad, Zwolle defender Bram van Polen talked about the impending Dutch Cup final against Ajax and what progress to that stage means for next season.
In quotes later published by Inside Futbol, van Polen said, “The coach has officially congratulated us in training.
“Of course qualification (to the Europa League) will not come as a surprise, since Ajax won the second semi-final against AZ.
“Manchester United? Yes, we’ve been joking about them. An adventure at Old Trafford would be wonderful – but in the group stage. In qualifying I’d prefer that we get a ticket to advance.”
It will be interesting to know if more United fans would like a Europa League campaign – if only to play the club’s younger and fringe players – or if they would prefer not to qualify for Europe at all and focus on domestic matters next season?
Then again Moyes may take it very seriously indeed, and given the squad-depth he is likely to have next season, he could well do that. But for now they simply have to finish as high as possible and see what that ultimately means.
For Zwolle’s players, you sense they will be keeping their fingers crossed. But for United, if they can overcome Bayern Munich on Wednesday evening, they may just go and qualify for Europe's elite competition the hardest but most glorious way of all.