November 28, 2023

Erik ten Hag’s summer transfer conclusion became even more manageable after FA final loss

Erik ten Hag's summer transfer conclusion became even more manageable after FA final loss

Erik ten Hag’s summer transfer conclusion became even more manageable after FA final loss

If Manchester United were to have any hope of winning the FA Cup, they would likely need a strong start. Instead, the number 13 proved to be inauspicious as Ilkay Gundogan wheeled away in jubilation within those numerous seconds.

Despite the extensive pre-match preparation and buildup, there was simply no excuse for conceding the quickest goal in the annals of the cup final.

This set the tone from the very beginning, and despite United’s subsequent improvement, the damage was largely done; their confidence was severely shaken.

City dominated the majority of the match, while United were largely kept at bay, unable to compete with the undisputedly greatest team in the world.
Fred’s goodbye

Fred’s midfield position was a foregone conclusion given Ten Hag’s propensity to use January’s home victory over City as a template for the Cup final, which necessitated his selection.

The Brazilian will be the first to acknowledge that he is not the most talented member of the United squad, but he can still contribute significantly when deployed in a supporting role.

Fred’s greatest issue is his lack of consistency; for every masterclass in a Manchester United shirt, there is a disasterclass to accompany it.

Sadly for United, the latter was the case. Fred spent the majority of the afternoon chasing large shadows, and whenever he did get near enough, he frequently committed a foul instead.

His misfortune was exemplified by the needless free-kick he conceded that led to City’s game-winning goal, the latest in a series of careless errors of judgment that have characterized his tenure at the club.

This is a timely reminder that he has overstayed his welcome and should be sold this summer, if there was any uncertainty about it.

Garnacho alters the rules

United lacked creativity and were down on their luck. Then, they introduced Alejandro Garnacho. He’s only 18, but he’s already arguably United’s most crucial game-changer. He’s already a tremendous asset to the team.

No United player had a better minutes-per-goal and minutes-per-assist ratio in the Premier League than the teenager last season, and it could be a similar case next season as his importance increases.

Garnacho’s fearless and direct style of play energized his team from the moment he entered the game, and he nearly scored when he cut inside and curled a shot agonizingly wide of the far post.

This attempt inspired his side to play their best period of the second half as they gained confidence and pressed harder for an equalizing goal.

The past few years have been difficult for United supporters, but Garnacho provides hope for a promising future.

The Triplets

Many United supporters chanted “Have you ever won the Treble, have you f**k?” as they made their way to Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

It is arguably the greatest achievement in the annals of modern football, separating United from every other team that has ever competed in the English game.

Having accepted that City will match their record of three consecutive Premier League championships, the hope is that City will never be able to match their record of three league titles in a single season.

United did their best, but were ultimately unable to compete with a team that is several tiers above them. It is now up to Inter Milan to thwart them.

A message of clarity to The Glazers

There is a myth among rival fans that United only protests against their club’s ownership when circumstances are difficult, but this is not true.

United supporters chanted loudly against the Glazers during the Carabao Cup final in February and used their most recent visit to Wembley to make their opinions known.

Given that both Avram and Bryan were present at the most recent protests, and regardless of where they were seated, it was impossible for many to conceal their true feelings towards them.

This season, United have established solid foundations under Ten Hag’s leadership; he now merits owners who share his aspirations.


Erik ten Hag’s summer transfer conclusion became even more manageable after FA final loss

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