Coach Jose Mourinho has taken a bet with his home at stake for victory over Dutch side Ajax in the final of the Europa Cup.
The Portugese tactician will be hoping his players make the difference for him on Wednesday’s night of the Europa League final against Ajax in Stockholm.
Having finished outside the top four on the Premiership table, Manchester United has been ruled out of Champions League next season, but they could return to European competition if they beat Ajax.
Mourinho has made his intention clear to make an impact at the Championship by resting key players in spite of injury worries, which limits the options available to him.
“It was not a gamble. It was a simple decision.
“When we lost players in a period of 17 matches in seven weeks, it was the impossible job. It was not a gamble, just a consequence of our situation.” Mourinho said.
Mourinho’s had won the UEFA Cup (now Europa League) in 2003 with Porto and hopes to earn another victory for the two-time Champions League winner who have openly downplayed any interest in the competition in recent years.
Mourinho was recalled to have said: “I don’t want to win the Europa League. It would be a big disappointment for me”, when he returned to Chelsea in 2013.
United too were not so sure if they really wanted the title in view of how they attempted the season’s matches.
They were beaten away from home by Feyenoord and Fenerbahce, struggled to beat the Dutch side, Anderlecht, in the quarter-finals and Celta Vigo in the semi-finals.
Mourinho believes he could get his hands on the trophy but not without a different opinion about the tournament.
With a victory at Stockholm, he is sure United would be better than other top four mates, like Manchester City and Liverpool, who have nothing to cheer about.
But Phil Jones has this to say: “People will say we’ve not had a good season, but would you rather finish second and win nothing or win two cups and be in the Champions League?”
Manchester United also stand the chance of ranking among teams like Juve, Ajax, Bayern Munich and Chelsea, who have each won the Champions League, the Europa League and also the forgone European Cup Winners’ Cup.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a Swedish, would, however, not have a wonderful experience at home with his knee ligament injury he got during the semi -final second leg match against Anderlecht, since he would only watch from the spectators stand with fellow injury mates, like Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and Ashley Young.