Reality Check for Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson

Glory, glory United no longer, as Manchester’s bid for a “three-peat” was foiled on Tuesday. For the first time in nearly a decade the Carling Cup can no longer be dubbed “Manchester’s Tourney.” Two consecutive championships and thirteen semifinal appearances, Manchester has finally been knocked off it’s pedestal losing in the quarterfinals. Year after year the Red Devils are the sure favorites to win the tournament, putting forth dominating performances en route to the finals. Realizing his teams consistent dominance in the Carling Cup, Sir Alex Ferguson saw the tournament as a chance to evaluate United’s up and coming players. It’s refreshing and new to see different teams fighting for the prized silverware, it restores excitement and suspense into the tournament.

Throughout Manchester’s dominance of the Carling Cup, television rating’s have been in decline each year due to the tournament’s predictability. Arsenal is the only top-tier team to remain in the running for the championship, with West Ham, Ipswich Town, and Birmingham still in pursuit. This years tournament reinvigorates the excitement of a championship, with no clear winner and each team having a fair chance at the number one spot.

The 2010 Carling Cup is relatable to the fall of Tiger Woods play as an athlete. Each year PGA golfers enter the season as second fiddle to Woods. The former number one’s treacherous season and fall from grace brought the passion and fire back into opposing golfers game. As every player started noticing Woods’ diminishing play, they begun to train harder in an attempt to gain the acclamation of the world’s number one golfer. A similar outcome can be seen in this years tournament, with the defending champions bid for a third consecutive title over. The hunger and desire to win was reestablished within each team and player. The Red Devils lacked perseverance at this years tournament, and took their success for granted. Benjamin Franklin said it perfectly; “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail,” which is exactly what happened to Manchester United this year.

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