The two managers preparing their teams for Saturday’s FA Cup final could scarcely be doing so under more polarised circumstances.

With Manchester City enjoying a period of success unprecedented in English football, United are weathering a storm so fierce it may not subside even if they upset the odds and beat their rivals at Wembley.

Here, the PA news agency looks at the contrasting situations of the managers.

Erik ten Hag

Erik ten Hag
Erik ten Hag is under pressure after a poor season in the Premier League (Steven Paston/PA)

Following one of the club’s worst league seasons in a generation it could be that the writing is already on the wall for Ten Hag after two years in the job, as new minority owners Ineos consider how best to take the club forward.

Four victories in the final 13 games of the Premier League season, a run that included a calamitous 4-0 humbling by Crystal Palace early in May, was an indicator that progress under their Dutch coach has stalled, whilst even the manner in which they reached Saturday’s final – throwing away a 3-0 semi-final lead against Championship side Coventry and requiring penalties to edge through – drew harsh criticism.

Ten Hag called the hostile media reception to the semi-final win “embarrassing”, but the assessment of United’s performance against the Sky Blues was a snapshot of a campaign in which they have consistently been accused of failing to exercise control over games.

There would be no shortage of candidates should Sir Jim Ratcliffe decide upon a change, with Mauricio Pochettino – who was considered for the job in 2022 before the appointment of Ten Hag – the latest name to become available following his departure from Chelsea. Former Blues bosses Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter as well as England manager Gareth Southgate have also been linked, as has Kieran McKenna of Ipswich.

Ultimately the decision could come down to how much of United’s demise is deemed to be on Ten Hag’s shoulders and how much is the product of more structural problems outside of the manager’s control.

Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola has hinted he is nearing the end of his time at Manchester City (Martin Rickett/PA)

The City boss admitted he will be “closer to leaving than staying” at the Etihad Stadium after next season, following his team’s record-breaking fourth consecutive Premier League title.

Speaking after the 3-1 win over West Ham that sealed the title by a two-point margin from Arsenal, Guardiola said: “My feeling is that I want to stay now. I will stay next season and during the season we will talk. But eight or nine years – we will see.”

The 53-year-old also acknowledged he had considered leaving after last season’s Treble success, indicating he felt there was little else left to achieve in the aftermath of the 1-0 win over Inter Milan that won them the Champions League.

That feeling may yet return should City become the first English club to achieve back-to-back league and cup doubles on Saturday, particularly if it turns out to be a precursor to an unprecedented fifth title in a row next term.