New Delhi: Manchester United's elimination from the Champions League Group Stage means they will get to have a shot at Europe's second tier competition. For Louis van Gaal this serves as a waking call after faltering so early in the Champions League.
United's dodgy defence allowed Wolfsburg to get back twice in quick succession after scoring which was a rare sight given the side's excellent defensive tally this season.
United needed nothing but a win in Germany to progress to the knock-out stages and in the end it was too late for the English giants. Wolfsburg won the match 3-2 as United finished third in Group B behind PSV Eindhoven and will now ply their trade in the Europa League.
It will be interesting to see with what approach Gaal will go into the Europa League. The competition demands a lot from teams and with the schedule in the Premier League, LVG's side will be tested.
United lie fourth in the Premier League and their priority will be to stay in the rat race for the title and have a shot. With Europe's premier competition gone out of sight, Gaal will get a chance of redemption via Europa League.
Chelsea are the only English team in the last 15 years to have won the Europa League. English teams have suffered in this competition and United too under Sir Alex Ferguson in 2011-12 faltered after having been eliminated from the UCL.
Gaal has plenty to ponder about as whether where his focus would lie. With probability of two trophies (League Cup, UCL) already gone, the Dutchman has EPL, FA Cup and now Europa in his hands to get his side a trophy.
With injuries taking toll in this crucial phase of the season, Gaal will hope he has fresh players once the knock-out stage resumes in February. United need to fight for every trophy and the squad needs to stick together to get something out of this average season for United so far.
With the January transfer window coming, United might be tempted to go in for a striker and a defender to add to their depth.
United's approach to the season from here on will be interesting to see on how they cope up with the demands of Europa and Premier League. Youngsters have been given chances by LVG and they have looked good under him so far.
Europa gives United's youth players a chance to give in their best and get more exposure for the team who are in transition.
United face AFC Bournemoth in the Premier League this weekend and have won just once in their last five games across all competitions.