Ahead of Sunday’s Carabao Cup Final, Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag threw some shade at his opponents, Newcastle United. The first year manager labeled the Magpies as “an annoying team to play against.”,
Ten Hag, in criticizing Newcastle for playing a slow down style, also threw in a subtle, side shot at referee David Coote.
Man United vs Newcastle League Cup Final FYIs
Kickoff: Sun Feb. 26, 4:30 pm, Wembley Stadium, London, UK
Transatlantic Passage: How the Premier League Redefined Soccer in America: LINK
Starting XI Predictions: go here
Team News for Both Sides: go here
Fun Fact: This is Newcastle’s first League Cup final since 1976, with that 47 year drought the longest stretch between finals in League Cup history
Stat Pack: United are competing in their 10th League Cup final; only Liverpool (13) have played in more.
“They’re an annoying team to play against, so we have to find a way to win,” Ten Hag said.
“They try to annoy you. We have to make sure that we play our game and we focus on our game. You see the referee wants to play an effective time.
“They have the lowest in the league and they are quite successful with it. So it’s up to us that we get speed in the game and we are also then dependent on the refereeing as well.”
Ten Hag obviously wants his players to be aware of what the Magpies will try to do, as they attempt to impose their will on the game. The Dutchman and his Red Devils will seek to speed up the flow and tempo in this clash.
One key storyline in this one- Newcastle will be stuck with their third choice in between the sticks. No. 1 Nick Pope is suspended while second choice Martin Dubravka went out on loan to United in the first half of the season before returning.
As he featured for United earlier in this competition, he is now cup-tied to the Red Devils and is ineligible to feature in the final.
That means the choice will have to be Loris Karius, who now has a chance for redemption in a cup final after his disaster class showing in the 2018 UEFA Champions League final against Real Madrid.
He was with Liverpool at the time.
“It’s an issue for them, what they have to sort, and of course we know it,” said Ten Hag of his opponents’ depth chart issue.
“That definitely is not an advantage but we don’t influence it, they can influence it, the one who is holding [playing] can influence it and of course we have to test it, that is quite obvious.”
Guess we’ll just have to see now this all plays out in the end, but if Marcus Rashford is passed fit to play, then United should have a huge advantage.
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.