‘Captain Marvel’ Bryan Robson has claimed the three-times European champions shouldn’t regard potential Europa League action next season as a kick in the teeth.
The Manchester United legend has backed Moyes’ men to tackle the second-tier European competition full on next season should they qualify.
The Red Devils are set to finish seventh in the Premier League giving them passage into the much-maligned tournament.
“In my opinion, people are completely wrong to dismiss the Europa League,” said Robson, in his club ambassador’s column for United Review.
“When you have been used to playing in Europe every year for such a long time, you get into that habit and always want to be competing in it, in any format.
“The club has been used to European football in most seasons, ever since the Sir Matt Busby days, and, certainly over the last 26 years of Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign, the fans have been accustomed to having European nights.”
United fans have taunted Liverpool fans with chants of ‘Thursday night, Channel Five’ in the past but now the tables have well and truly turned.
But Robson, who captained United to the 1991 Cup Winners’ Cup with a 2-1 win over Barcelona as English clubs returned to European competition after the Heysel ban, believes any continental competition is worth winning.
“The way the Europa League is set up, it is more or less a merger of the European Cup Winners’ Cup and UEFA Cup. I fondly remember beating Barcelona in the 1991 Cup Winners’ Cup final – it was a fantastic night and the memory will never leave me.
“Maybe the Europa League is not as prestigious as the Champions League but it still has some of the best teams in Europe who have just missed out in their domestic leagues.
“As a former player, I think it would be a great achievement to win the Europa League.”
The Europa League is set for new rules next season to combat general apathy towards the tournament.
From next season, UEFA will offer a spot in the Champions League for the tournament winner, while third-placed sides in the Champions League group stage will no longer have a passage into the tournament.
On the international front, UEFA are planning a new ‘League of Nations’ tournament to add some spice to England’s calendar.
The biennial tournament is expected to take the format of four 14-team divisions with World Cup and European Championship qualifying places up for grabs.
Main image courtesy of Sky Sports via YouTube, with thanks.