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high press episode 32 – weekly football prediction

High Press Episode 32:


Episode 32 of the High Press podcast looks ahead to the 2024 FA Cup final. It’s a rematch of last season’s encounter, when Manchester City defeated rivals Manchester United on their way to a treble. Host Alison Bender is joined by Roshane Thomas, Paul McCarthy and Matt Dickinson to preview the match, look at where both teams stand, and deliver some predictions for Saturday’s showdown under the Wembley arch.

What’s gone wrong for Erik ten Hag

First up discussing what’s gone wrong for Erik ten Hag, Dickinson describes United’s season as ‘haphazard’.
Bender says players have let ten Hag down, and McCarthy replies, “Players only do that when they know a manager is weak, or in a weakened position. Players take advantage of it, they’re only human.”

McCarthy then rips in to United’s identity.
“They’re not a passing team, they’re not a pressing team. They’re not a counter-attacking team. They’re nothing!”

He continues, “When they’re good, they can be very good. But when they’re bad, they’re desperate.”
Dickinson describes United as heading for ‘one of the biggest reboots of a major club we’ve ever seen’.
McCarthy says, “Manchester United are a massive commercial entity with a football team on the side.”

Comparisons to the Alex Ferguson era are made by the panel, including recruitment, and how the club prioritised winning above everything else.
Bender even suggests Ferguson giving a team talk, while Dickinson says United should look to move away from the past, after citing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s curious comments about the manager’s parking space.

FA Cup semifinal was embarrassing

Reflecting on the semi-final with Coventry, Thomas describes United’s performance as ‘embarrassing’.
“Coventry score one goal and it all goes downhill from there. Albeit they won a penalty shootout, but that shouldn’t be happening for a side of Manchester United’s calibre.”

McCarthy says United ‘have to start recruiting winners’, and it’s not the first time the personality of the squad is called into question during this episode.
Thomas remembers a quote from Shaquille O’Neal when talking about Marcus Rashford’s desire – or lack thereof – to be great.
Bender and McCarthy are in agreement that Rashford has reached his peak at Manchester United, with the latter believing INEOS should move on from the England international this summer.

City v United: Predictions

Turning to Saturday’s final, Thomas gives United ‘no chance whatsoever’ of defeating City at Wembley. Dickinson holds out a bit of hope, while McCarthy is less optimistic.
Even a win in the final won’t be enough for ten Hag to keep his job according to Thomas. Dickinson wonders who would be brought in to replace ten Hag. After mentioning Thomas Tuchel, he isn’t sure who the obvious successor would be to ten Hag as United reboot. McCarthy doesn’t think the club can afford to stick with ten Hag.

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