Despite many believing that Manchester United will not feature their strongest side in UEFA Europa League matches, both Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck have their sights set on winning the competition.
Rooney expressed his desire to start in United’s Europa League clash versus Ajax Amsterdam on Thursday via the Red Devils official website.
“Ajax and Manchester United are two massive clubs,” said Rooney. “Who wouldn’t want to play in this game? There’s motivation and desire in every training session.”
The Three Lions striker also added that he is committed to winning the Europa League.
“There’s no point being in a competition if you’re not going to try and win it and I’m sure the manager will put a strong team out. It would be great to be the first United team to win the trophy and that’s our aim.”
Not only does Rooney have a point, but I think he’s hit the nail on the head.
United have already been knocked out of the Carling Cup, the FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League.
In other words, Sir Alex will surely not want to be knocked out of the Europa League as well.
That being said, Sir Alex Ferguson is unlikely to put his best side on the pitch versus Ajax, but he will surely put together a more than capable starting XI.
Fergie is renown for his ability to mix and match his lineup, successfully putting young upcoming talents alongside consistent veteran presences.
Danny Welbeck, who has formed a symbiotic partnership with Wayne Rooney this season that has yielded 21 goals in 15 matches in 2011-12, is eyeing to make amends for United’s premature exit from the UEFA Champions League in the Europa League.
“It was unexpected [being in the Europa League] because obviously we’re United and we’re required to qualify and get into the next round of the Champions League,” Welbeck admitted.
“Unfortunately we didn’t do that, we got knocked out and everyone was so down afterwards. We just want to atone by hopefully making amends in the Europa League.
“We’ve got an exciting tie against Ajax to come, we’re two clubs with great history and it should be a good tie home and away.”
I expect Javier “El Chicharito” Hernandez to get the start over Welbeck on Thursday night, but the 22-year-old England international may play the role of super-sub at the Amsterdam ArenA.
Nonetheless, the competitive spirit of both Rooney and Welbeck can not be questioned, with both eyeing Europa League success.