Trophy droughts & advancement – the conclusion will be “amazing”

In the Carabao Cup final on Sunday at Wembley, Manchester United and Newcastle will try to win the first trophy available this year.

In the semi-finals, Erik ten Hag’s team defeated Nottingham Forest 5-0 on aggregate over two legs, and Eddie Howe’s team advanced to their first domestic final since 1999 by defeating Southampton 3-1 on aggregate.

The Red Devils have not won a trophy since 2016–17, when they won the EFL Cup and the Europa League under former manager Jose Mourinho. They are competing for success in the Premier League, FA Cup, and Europa League as well.

The last time Newcastle won a major prize was the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1969, when they lost to Manchester United. Newcastle was defeated by United in the 1999 FA Cup final.

Newcastle became a “real” club again thanks to Ten Hag’s Manchester United revolution, which was described as a “Fergie throwback,” and Newcastle became “annoying to play against,” according to Ten Hag. Ten Hag Silverware would highlight Manchester United’s advancement Manchester United travels to London having only lost once since November 6 and coming off a nine-game winning streak.

This run includes the thrilling victory over Barcelona on Thursday, which saw Ten Hag’s squad go into the round of 16 of the Europa League. However, with French forward Anthony Martial already ruled out, the health of leading scorer Marcus Rashford is a serious issue.

The England attacker was replaced against Barcelona in the 88th minute, and he afterwards shared a photo of himself looking uncomfortable while walking down the sidelines with a bandaged emoji on Instagram.

With 24 goals this season, a career-high total, Rashford has been in blistering form for United after overcoming injury concerns in prior campaigns. Since the World Cup break, he has scored more goals than any other player in the top five leagues in Europe.

Rashford stated that “football is definitely 95% of your psyche.” “You now have a starting point for your work. There are many players with talent, which is why they compete at the highest level. The mentality, though, is what distinguishes them.

“I’ve experienced it from both sides. I am aware of its worth and strength. In order to win games and awards, I’m focusing a lot more on maintaining that mental state.”

The fact that United are still in the FA Cup and have put themselves in a position to compete if league leaders Arsenal or second-placed Manchester City falter in the Premier League title chase is a stark contrast to the pessimism and discord that enveloped their disastrous 2021–22 campaign.

A first title for the team in nearly six years would undoubtedly boost the optimism that has been rekindled by the Netherlands manager’s strong start to his job and could give them even more motivation to pursue victories.

United left-back Luke Shaw said, “Given the position we have been in over the years and the feeling inside the dressing room, it means everything.

“We haven’t received a trophy in such a long time. However important it may be to others, to us it is the Carabao Cup. Getting that winning sense, that thrill of taking home trophies, is something we have been working toward for a very long time.”

Director Ten Hag stated: “It’s a fantastic chance to bring the silverware. In football, fame and honor are everything. We must do every effort to deliver the cup to Manchester because we merit playing in the championship game and have a fantastic chance to win it.

“I feel we are going through a period where everyone believes. We watch each game eagerly as we move from one to the next. In order to advance and excel, we must continue along that path.”

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