Erik Ten Hag is not the only Manchester United manager counting on FA Cup success

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Erik Ten Hag is not the only Manchester United manager counting on FA Cup success


Despite a rather mediocre season at Manchester United, the club is still in contention for two trophies.

Two FA Cups, to be precise.

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Amad Diallo scored the winner in the 122nd minute against LiverpoolCredit: Getty

The men’s team secured their place in the FA Cup semi-finals with a dramatic 4-3 victory over rivals Liverpool.

They will face Coventry City on Sunday April 21 at 3 p.m., live on talkSPORT, for a place in the final against Manchester City or Chelsea.

Meanwhile, it was much smoother sailing for the women’s team in the quarter-finals as they prevailed 4-0 against Brighton.

They host Chelsea in a replay of last year’s Women’s FA Cup Final on Sunday, April 14 from 2:35 p.m., live on talkSPORT 2.

With the men’s team sixth in the Premier League table and the women’s team fourth in the WSL, neither side will be thrilled with their league performances this season.

It’s particularly disappointing for the women’s team given they sit a record second place in the WSL last season, just two points behind winners Chelsea.

And neither manager escapes blame for what can best be described as an indifferent season.

For Erik ten Hag and Marc Skinner, the chance to win the FA Cup represents a chance to snatch a piece of victory from the jaws of defeat.

Skinner has faced strong opposition from fans this season

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Skinner has faced strong opposition from fans this seasonCredit: Getty
Ten Hag failed to impress United during chaotic season

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Ten Hag failed to impress United during chaotic seasonCredit: Getty

Men’s team manager Ten Hag remains under pressure after a season which saw them lose 17 games in all competitions, their most defeats since the 1989-90 season.

As for Skinner, BBC Sport reported that the women’s team manager is involved in contract negotiations at Man United and wants to stay in his role beyond the end of the season.

Gabby Agbonlahor calls Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag ‘delusional’ following his post-match comments after draw with Liverpool

A first ever trophy for Man United Women would certainly help Skinner’s case.

Two steps forward, one step back: the struggles of the Man United women

There is more behind Man United’s struggles this season than the absence of Lionesses striker Alessia Russo.

It’s undoubtedly a huge loss, but the skills of forward Nikita Parris should in theory have been enough to fill that gap.

Indeed, Parris has scored 16 goals in his 24 appearances for the club this season – a record which once again raises the question of why Sarina Wiegman decided not to call the striker up to the England squad .

Aside from the loss of Russo, the departure of right-back Ona Batlle to Barcelona was perhaps even more detrimental given the number of goals Man United have conceded this season in the WSL (23).

And perhaps Batlle’s defeat wouldn’t have felt as strongly this season if they hadn’t also lost one of their crucial summer signings, Gabby George, to an ACL injury .

After signing the Everton defender on deadline day in a very shrewd deal, George then suffered an injury in just his fourth game of the season, a 1-1 draw against Leicester City in WSL.

It is worth noting that Man United did not lose any of their matches while George was fit and playing for them.

Russo was a big source of goals for United last season

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Russo was a big source of goals for United last seasonCredit: Getty
But World Cup winner Batlle arguably represents an even greater loss.

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But World Cup winner Batlle arguably represents an even greater loss.Credit: Getty
George looked like a promising successor to Batlle...

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George looked like a promising successor to Batlle…Credit: Getty
...but his anterior cruciate ligament injury has kept him out since October, to United's detriment

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…but his anterior cruciate ligament injury has kept him out since October, to United’s detrimentCredit: PA

As soon as George was injured, they lost their very next match against PSG in the Champions League qualifiers.

George’s absence is naturally not the only reason for Man United’s struggles, but the team looked stronger with him.

Man United’s problems this season are likely a combination of personnel changes, coupled with the fact that their standards are rather high after a season in which they undoubtedly overperformed.

Judging them on this season is perhaps premature – the real test will come next season after a summer which could see them lose Parris, captain Katie Zelem and England hero Mary Earps.

It will also be a good litmus test for understanding Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s commitment to women.

Manchester United vs Chelsea in the Women’s FA Cup on Sunday April 14 is live on talkSPORT 2 from 2 p.m..

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