Win Man City today or get SACKED – Sir Jim Ratcliffe tells Eric Ten Hag few hrs to the FA cup finals against favorite Man City today 

Win Man City today or get SACKED – Sir Jim Ratcliffe tells Eric Ten Hag few hrs to the FA cup finals against favorite Man City today 

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Ten Hag’s future & City chasing history – FA Cup final talking points

 

Video caption,FA Cup Final highlights: Ilkay Gundogan scores twice to clinch final for Man City

Article information

Author,Neil Johnston

Role,BBC Sport at Wembley

24 May 2024

Manchester City and Manchester United meet in the FA Cup final on Saturday with one team looking to create more history and the other attempting to salvage something from a miserable season.

 

Pep Guardiola’s City want to follow up last Sunday’s title triumph by sealing a Premier League-FA Cup domestic double in front of a sell-out Wembley crowd.

 

United head to the national stadium with speculation about manager Erik ten Hag’s future following their worst Premier League finish, and with some of their fans “dreading” the showpiece final.

 

Ten Hag’s side finished eighth in the table, 31 points behind champions City, and must win otherwise they will miss out on playing in Europe next season.

 

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“I came here to win trophies,” said the United boss, who secured the Carabao Cup in his first season in charge.

 

“It’s all about winning trophies and we’ve got an opportunity to win two trophies in two seasons.”

 

“The FA Cup final is a big event and we are there. We have to go for it.”

 

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This is City’s 58th match of the season, including the Uefa Super Cup in Greece and two Fifa Club World Cup games in Saudi Arabia.

 

“All our fans going to London. It’s the last game of season, last effort,” said City boss Guardiola.

 

City did the Premier League double over United in 2023-24 and have won six of the past seven meetings with their neighbours.

 

But Guardiola added: “The players feel it, know it, that it’ll be a completely different game from the Premier League.”

 

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Video caption,FA Cup Final: Ten Hag says Manchester United are aiming for ‘two trophies in two years’

City chasing more history

Just days after becoming the first team to win the league in four consecutive seasons, City can achieve another club landmark at Wembley.

 

City could complete the league title and FA Cup double for the third time, something only previously achieved by Manchester United (1993-94, 1995-96 and 1998-99) and Arsenal (1970-71, 1997-98 and 2001-02).

 

Guardiola’s side did so in 2018-19 and 2022-23, and could become the first team to do so in consecutive campaigns.

 

This is the first time since 1885 that the FA Cup final will be contested by the same two clubs in consecutive years.

 

Last season City defeated United 2-1 on their way to a remarkable Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup Treble.

 

“We can do back-to-back doubles, we have a chance to do this,” said Guardiola.

 

“It is football, it’s never happened before in our history [repeat derby finals], two times in a row.

 

“We respect Manchester United. In the last decade we have been better but in terms of history you have to of course respect them massively.

 

“If history gives us a chance to do something not done before, try it. Maybe it will be extra motivation for players.

 

“No teams have done four in a row, none have done back-to-back doubles. That is because it is not easy.”

 

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Is Ten Hag’s future on the line?

This has been a hugely underwhelming campaign by United’s standards but the final at least offers them a chance to end it with a trophy.

 

As well as finishing eighth, their Carabao Cup defence ended at the fourth round and they finished bottom of a group featuring Bayern Munich, FC Copenhagen and Galatasaray in the Champions League.

 

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who has full control of football operations, has already sanctioned a boardroom overhaul and there are reports he is about to make a decision on Ten Hag’s future.

 

On Thursday, at his pre-match press conference, Ten Hag was asked what he would say to anyone who believes the FA Cup final could be his last match in charge of United.

 

“I have nothing to say,” said the Dutchman, who is coming to the end of his second season in charge.

 

“I am just focusing on the job I have to do and that is first win the game on Saturday and keep going in the project.”

 

An FA Cup final win was not enough to save Louis van Gaal who was sacked two days after United defeated Crystal Palace at Wembley in 2016.

 

United finished that season fifth in the table, went out of the Champions League at the group stage, suffered a last-16 exit from the Europa League and lost in the fourth round of the League Cup.

 

And reports are circulating that United have decided to sack Ten Hag regardless of the outcome on Saturday.

 

Ten Hag signed a three-year contract when he took charge at the end of the 2021-22 season from interim boss Ralf Rangnick.

 

Mauricio Pochettino, who left Chelsea on Monday, and Thomas Tuchel, who has departed Bayern Munich, are among those who have been linked with United along with Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna.

 

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Newcastle cheering Man City – for one day

Fans of Newcastle and Chelsea will have an eye on events at Wembley with the outcome determining Europa League and Europa Conference League spots.

 

Manchester United supporters have to go back to 2014-15 for the last time their side did not play in Europe.

 

If United win, they will join Tottenham in the Europa League but defeat will mean the Red Devils miss out on Europe next season.

 

A City victory means Chelsea, who finished sixth in a Conference League spot, will be elevated to the Europa League and Newcastle, who finished seventh, will play in the Europa Conference League.

 

“I’m not thinking about a negative scenario,” said Ten Hag, when asked about United’s failure to qualify for the Champions League.

 

“We have the opportunity to qualify for the Europa League, and it is in our own hands so we need to go for it.

 

“I’m thinking positive. I’m a positive man and it’s in our own hands, so we have to go for it.”

 

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Will Rashford prove Southgate wrong?

It’s been a tough season for Marcus Rashford but will the United forward end it on a high?

 

Rashford’s form has been patchy, managing just seven Premier League goals and two assists.

 

On Tuesday, the scorer of 17 goals in 60 England appearances was left out of Gareth Southgate’s provisional 33-man squad for Euro 2024 despite his wealth of experience.

 

The 26-year-old is likely to be handed the opportunity to react on a big stage at Wembley this weekend.

 

“He looks good and that is a career, ups and downs,” said Ten Hag when asked about Rashford’s England omission.

 

“So, a down can also be fuel, that is what I see in training. He will be highly motivated. Speak with your feet, he is highly talented.

 

“He has already a big career and I am sure he will get over this and he will make even more goals.”

 

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