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How did you come up with the title "The Road to the Promised Land"?

It was based on an expression that was originally used by Clive Tyldesley when Manchester United won the UEFA Champions League in 1999 on 2 late goals to turn the result around. However when looking back, the Promised Land probably meant more than just the Champions League. It also came after United won both the Premier League (named Premiership back then) and the FA Cup to complete the historic treble. For English teams, winning the treble (the 3 big trophies) is regarded as the impossible dream for an English club because of particular demands of the English schedule - matches played on Boxing Day and New Year's Day, high-intensity single elimination matches (with replays set ~10 days later if a match is tied) in the FA Cup, matches in the league that are re-scheduled because of the FA Cup, etc. It's about playing very intense winner-takes-all matches on 3 different fronts, mainly in the second half of the season.

I could have dubbed the story as "The Impossible Dream", but that would be more appropriate in a context of a World Cup scenario where Kakeru and Japan are involved. Not saying that I will write something on it though.


Given how many different stadiums you've included, is TRttPL going to be some kind of "tour" around Europe?

As indicated in the epilogue of Dream or Premonition, United won the Premier League and thus are qualified for the Champions League. UEFA is the administrative body that covers soccer in all of Europe, so it's possible for clubs from Russia or Israel (East) can square off against a team from England or Portugal (West) depending of the draw at the most.

In normal time, a top English team would play in at least 4 separate and different competitions: the Premier League (or English championship), the UEFA Champions League, the FA Cup and the less prestigious League Cup (of which I will write a quick surprise elimination of United).

Premier LeagueThe Premier League is a corporation in which the 20 member clubs act as shareholders. Seasons run from August to May, with teams playing 38 matches each, totalling 380 matches in the season. Most games are played in the afternoons of Saturdays and Sundays, the other games during weekday evenings.

UEFA Champions LeagueIn its present format, the UEFA Champions League begins in mid-July with three knockout qualifying rounds and a play-off round. The 10 surviving teams enter the group stage, joining 22 other teams qualified in advance. The 32 teams are drawn into eight groups of four teams and play each other in a double round-robin system (home and away, between September and December). The eight group winners and eight runners-up proceed to the knockout phase that culminates with the final match in May. While Champions League matches are usually played on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the final is now played on a Saturday.

FA CupThe competition is a knockout tournament with pairings for each round drawn at random. There are no seeds and the draw for each round is not made until after the scheduled dates for the previous round. The draw also determines which teams will play at home. Teams from the Premier League and Football League Championship enter at the Third Round Proper, at which point there are 64 teams remaining in the competition (Early January). The semi-finals (Seventh Round Proper) and the final are now played in Wembley.

I made the count: for an English team to aspire winning the treble (Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League), they must play at least 57 games - a number that favors teams with the best levels of squad depth. The 2006-07 season is my inspiration in terms of what the schedule looks like for United. I will only write the matches that are important for various reasons - quality of the opposition, elimination matches, commemorating events, etc.