FA Cup battles: Erik ten Hag versus Pep Guardiola – Man United News And Transfer News

One of the most important days in the English football calendar has finally arrived.

Millions of Manchester United fans will wake up this morning, or have already woken up, having dreamed of Wembley success.

Not many media outlets have given Erik ten Hag’s team much of a chance in this match, so it’s up to the Red Devils to prove themselves on the biggest stage.

Two of the most important people in the entire stadium this afternoon couldn’t have had a more different preparation for the main event if they had tried.

Ten Hag has just come off a horrendous season in which his team finished eighth and with a negative goal difference for the first time in Premier League history. After a relatively successful first season in charge, he made the peculiar decision to tear up the playbook and try to transform United into the best transition team in the world.

An early exit from the Champions League before Christmas and an eighth place finish show how well it turned out.

That is why there has been a lot of speculation about the Dutchman’s future and yesterday afternoon and evening came an avalanche of news about the future of the beleaguered manager.

It is reported that the club has already made the decision to fire the coach regardless of the result of the final and that the coach knew about it a week before the game against Arsenal, that is, almost three weeks ago.

Ten Hag defiantly revealed in his pre-match press conference that he needs no “guarantees” over his work and the BBC reported that the club insists no decision has been made, but this really does look like a case where there is smoke. , there’s fire.

On the contrary, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola could not be more secure in his position.

The Catalan won the treble last year and has just won the Premier League for the fourth consecutive year, something that not even Sir Alex Ferguson could achieve.

Guardiola is widely considered the greatest manager in football and some even suggest he is the greatest of all time, although not many United fans would attest to this given the time a certain Scot spent in Manchester.

However, one of the biggest mismatches at Wembley could be between the two coaches. However, there is a ray of hope.

Erik ten Hag has already had success against Manchester City. In January 2023, in a 2-1 win at Old Trafford, United were very dangerous in the first half and, despite conceding the first goal, fought back to win the match.

Ten Hag outfoxed his former boss at Bayern Munich when he was able to curb the influence of Kevin de Bruyne and largely take Erling Haaland out of the game.

City only managed one shot on target in the entire match on that crisp January day and Ten Hag will surely look to this match for inspiration.

If Ten Hag opts to try and go toe-to-toe with City or turn the game into chaos, it is unlikely to end well for anyone in red. However, the last three league games have indicated that he might consider a more compact and measured approach, which could work if the players are fully committed to their task.

Additionally, Guardiola has a history of making strange decisions and overthinking cup ties. With the favorite tag weighing so heavily on them, he may feel the need to modify his team, which has had disastrous consequences in the Champions League.

The clearest and most obvious example was the example of leaving Rodri out of the Champions League final against Chelsea in 2021, which they would lose 1-0 after terribly unbalancing the team.

Furthermore, due to the two’s history together when Ten Hag was the coach of Bayern Munich II at the same time Guardiola was the senior coach, the Dutchman knows Pep’s mentality inside out.

Even in last year’s 2-1 loss in the final to the same team, although neither team played very well, it was a close game and United could have taken the game to extra time only for the last chance of Scott McTominay will bounce off the stadium roof. network.

In other words, Ten Hag winning against Pep Guardiola is unlikely, but not impossible.

If there is any day, any time to simply believe, it is the last day of the cup.

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