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Jaap Stam has challenged Erik ten Hag’s side to defend the “history and legacy” of Manchester United and sink Manchester City’s treble hopes in the FA Cup final. United’s neighbours are 90 minutes away from what looks like a winnable Champions League final and have a firm grip on their own destiny in the Premier League.
But with United potentially standing between Pep Guardiola’s side and a repeat of United’s unique treble achievement, Stam issued a rallying call to the current generation to end City’s shot at glory at Wembley on June 3.
“I am hoping the current players are thinking that we need to win this otherwise they might win the treble. I am hoping they are thinking about spoiling City’s chances,” said Stam.
“Of course they would go into the game thinking about how great it would be for the fans and the club to win the FA Cup but think also about us – the squad from 99! Hopefully they win it a little bit for us as well.”
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Stam was part of Alex Ferguson’s squad which landed the FA Cup, scraping through one of the greatest semi-finals in the competition’s history against Arsenal with Ryan Giggs’ famous extra-time winner before beating Newcastle 2-0 at Wembley.
And Stam was part of the side which famously landed the double-sucker punch on Bayern Munich in the Nou Camp four days later securing a place in history as treble winners. For 24 years that achievement has stayed untouched as a high watermark in English football for all that Liverpool caused United hearts to flutter last season coming up short in their chase of a quadruple.
And with City looking even better equipped than Jurgen Klopp’s men to relegate United’s achievement Stam admits to harbouring concerns. “After your career you think about it and what you have done and then you realise you made history and it’s very tough for a team to reach that and win but now City is close as well,” said Stam.
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“You want to be the only ones in history who are doing so yes, being part of that legacy is very important for us and for the club,” he said. “Liverpool were very close last year and they found it hard to eventually be successful and they didn’t make it.
“United have shown in the Carabao Cup and in the semi-final of the FA Cup against Brighton as well they can play these games. They have shown they approach these games in a way that makes them tough to beat.
“Not always dominant or creating a lot but tough to beat and able to take the opportunity with the quality or experience to win in that way.”
Jaap Stam was speaking with Full Circle from bet365
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