Louis van Gaal may not be the man to deliver Manchester United a Premier League title but his record suggests he is more than capable of securing a long-awaited FA Cup win.
It has been 12 years since the Red Devils last lifted the trophy and 17 years since they won the FA Cup on the hallowed Wembley turf.
However, despite a stop-start season in the Premier League and Champions League, Manchester United fans should feel confident going into Saturday’s showdown with Crystal Palace.
Because, in Van Gaal, the club has a manager with an incredible pedigree for success in domestic cup finals.
Over the course of his career to date, Van Gaal has lifted the KNVB Cup with Ajax, Copa del Rey with Barcelona and DFB Pokal with Bayern Munich.
Undefeated in domestic cup finals to date, Van Gaal’s teams scored 11 goals across those three cups final wins – a 4-0 win for Bayern and a 6-2 win with Ajax – conceding just three goals along the way.
In fact, if you factor in European Cup finals, the Dutchman’s record looks all the more impressive with Van Gaal losing just one of 10 major cup finals appearances in 90 minutes.
Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan are the only side to get the better of Van Gaal, in a 2-0 victory over Bavarians in the 2010 Champions League final.
Juventus also beat Van Gaal’s Ajax team on penalties in the 1995/96 edition of the tournament.
However, having enjoyed success in the finals of the UEFA Cup, Champions League and European Super Cup (twice) and Intercontinental Cup, Van Gaal can handle the pressure of the big occasion.
With Crystal Palace yet to secure an FA Cup in their history, Alan Pardew should be worried.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.