Can the FA Cup save Louis Van Gaal?

The domestic season finally ends on Saturday with its signature showpiece – The FA Cup final; but is a victory for Manchester United and Louis Van Gaal enough to save the Dutchman’s job?

It’s been a familiar narrative to United’s season with Van Gaal lurching from one crisis to another and the preparation for the FA Cup final has been no different. Rumours are rife about José Mourinho taking the helm come the summer with United even going as far as to guaranteeing the job for José should Van Gaal leave. With the failure of securing Champions League for next season, the pressure certainly is on for LVG to secure United’s first FA win since 2004.  Continue reading “Can the FA Cup save Louis Van Gaal?”

FA Cup 4th Round: Three Ties to Watch Out For

The 4th round of the FA Cup rolls into town this weekend and whilst teams like Tottenham prepare for their Colchester game with a trip to Barcelona, Carlisle were applying to the finishing touches to their recently flood stricken ground. This is still David vs. Goliath territory and here are three games where the shocks could be very real. Continue reading “FA Cup 4th Round: Three Ties to Watch Out For”

A Game of Change at White Hart Lane

Tottenham vs. Leicester City, FA Cup Third Round 10-1-16

Predicted XI’s

Tottenham: Vorm, Tripper, Alderweireld, Wimmer, Rose, Carroll, Bentaleb, Lamela, Onomah, Chadli, Son

Leicester City: Schmeichel, Moore, Wasilewski, Huth, de Laet, Dyer, Inler, King, Gray, Okazaki, Ulloa

One of the better ties in this year’s third round sees the unlikely sounding title contenders of Tottenham hosting Leicester at White Hart Lane. Whilst Tottenham’s consistency of racking up points (albeit a little heavy on the draws) is a clear sign of progression under Pochettino, the job Ranieri is doing at Leicester City is unfathomable. Continue reading “A Game of Change at White Hart Lane”

Could a cup run be Chelsea’s catalyst?

Chelsea Predicted XI

Begovic, Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry, Baba Rahman, Mikel, Matic, Pedro, Fabregas, Willian, Diego Costa

The FA Cup last year didn’t go so well for Chelsea. That 4-2 defeat at home to Bradford City was a bizarre and unfortunate afternoon for the Champions elect. Yet now the resonance of that afternoon rings loud and clear.

Over the period between Christmas and New Year Chelsea would be on the back end of two traumatic afternoons of the football; the 5-3 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur and the aforementioned game against Bradford City. With hindsight, however these two momentary blips of sub-par performance take on greater importance when you look at the Chelsea team today. Continue reading “Could a cup run be Chelsea’s catalyst?”

‘It’s back and with more magic than Harry Potter’ – The Return of the FA Cup

I generally don’t like trading in clichés but sometimes the very cliché itself strikes a nerve. The magic of the cup. Its FA cup third round weekend and it’s when the might of the Premier League gets unleashed on all that have got this far. Continue reading “‘It’s back and with more magic than Harry Potter’ – The Return of the FA Cup”