Manchester United's Chris Smalling: FA Cup win would represent successful season

Tottenham Hotspur continue to improve and impress under Argentine mentor Mauricio Pochettino

Tottenham Hotspur continue to improve and impress under Argentine mentor Mauricio Pochettino

"We gave no chance to the opponents, which is what Manchester City did". Tottenham are set to recall Dele Alli for the FA Cup semi-final with Manchester United. We had periods of winning matches and waiting for them to lose a couple of points.

Smalling has the chance to collect his second FA Cup winners' medal in three years to add to the League Cup and Europa League mementos he won last season.

He lifted it with United in 2016 but was sacked two days later and that is the mark of the club and shows what really matters for them. Meanwhile, the phantom of Mourinho's customary third-season implosion haunts the corridors of the Theatre of Dreams, moaning theatrically.

Mourinho has a reputation for getting the job done in the big games and has still never lost a final in 90 minutes, but for United to get there, they must overcome a Spurs side by whom they were soundly beaten at Wembley in January.

But I think the progress they have made under Pochettino is already obvious, and it is remarkable in that it has happened much quicker than anyone ever thought it would.

"If Mourinho can finish second in the Premier League and win the FA Cup, some people will say the season has been a failure for Manchester United - yet Pochettino could finish fourth, without a trophy, and everyone raves about him!" But I believe we can compete very well next season.

The club's last major title came back in 2008, Juande Ramos leading his men to the League Cup title, and the lack of trophies in the Lilywhite half of north London means that despite their impressive displays, Savage is not considering them among the top sides in Europe.

The cup will keep them going of course, and obviously I am not saying they don't want to win it. I want to play to win the Premier League.

Wednesday night's Premier League game away to Bournemouth was an opportunity for many fringe players to prove to Mourinho that they want to fight for the jersey and they deserve to play at Wembley. "I don't think it's about need or not need", he said.

The Portuguese has thanked Fulham and head coach Slavisa Jokanovic for allowing United to use their facilities as they prepare for Saturday's showdown. Now we are going to share with Manchester United.

"So in this season many clubs had positive seasons, like us, like Tottenham, like Liverpool".

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