The Manchester United trophy drought, which had gone back to 2017 when Jose Mourinho led the side to the Europa League title, is now over. United won the Carabao Cup final today, 2-0 over Newcastle, behind goals from Casemiro and Marcus Rashford.
This marks the first piece of silverware for manager Erik Ten Hag since he arrived at Old Trafford this past summer.
Manchester United lifting the Carabao Cup — first trophy under Erik ten Hag ?? #MUFC@FootballDaily ? pic.twitter.com/Zq8BJaxdbV
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) February 26, 2023
Ten Hag is enjoying the glory, but he is anything but complacent. The Dutchman is not resting on his laurels , as he’s already looking ahead to winning the next tournament (which is actually coming thick and fast).
“I’m already on to the next cup, this one is in,” he said jokingly during the trophy presentation ceremony.
“Every cup is big and I have seen the last couple of weeks and months the meaning in England and in Manchester United in our club, our staff, players, how they experience battles in our club.
“So it is a big win so we are really happy tonight. It has to be an inspiration, and it will help because it will bring even more confidence.
A few of these together now @Casemiro hermano !! ?? pic.twitter.com/g84HETSvKd
— Raphaël Varane (@raphaelvarane) February 26, 2023
“As long as we don’t go over the top with the confidence, keep doing the right things, the right stuff, have that togetherness, keep going and working then we can win even more.”
The Ten Hag rebuild is really showing a lot of progress now.
While it is a bit comical right now, to already be thinking about the next cup competition, honestly- it’s not too early at all. Wednesday brings the fifth round of the FA Cup, when United will host West Ham United at Old Trafford.
Then comes the big derby against Liverpool next weekend.
Then a week from Thursday brings the Europa League round of 16, with the first of the two ties against Real Betis. Sound like fixture congestion on steroids? Well, that’s because it is, and it’s what happens when you put a World Cup in the middle of a season.
That plus United stayed alive in all four competitions longer than any other English team this season.
Ten Hag has indeed done a masterful job thus far in his debut season.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.
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