Manchester United’s League Cup victory may pale in comparison to the consistent glory of the Club in years gone by, but nobody who has watched their transformation under Erik ten Hag could argue it doesn’t represent a precursor of bigger things.

Rival fans may sneer at the celebration of what’s seen as a secondary trophy to some, but it’s worth considering less than twelve months ago United were plumbing the depths of Ralf Rangnick’s interim tenure.

Over the past fortnight they’ve emerged as a genuine-if-outside League contender, beaten Barcelona in Europe, and progressed in the FA Cup. The Guardian’s Jamie Jackson was glowing in his praise for ten Hag, and feels a second trophy is in the offing before the season is out.

‘He’s a very good manager in all facets. He’s good with us lot in the media, he’s good with ‘managing up’ at the club where he’s got the Glaziers coming off the back of the Woodward years at executive level, and that’s before you get to the training ground and man management’, Jackson told Box2Box.

‘Ronaldo was stinking the place out, when he left that was a massive headache for ten Hag gone. They are in this title fight – to be able to say that and have it not sound ridiculous only seven or eight months after walking into a bit of a mess, I think is a massive feather in his cap.’

Ten Hag allowed himself a brief moment of indulgence after their 2-0 win over Newcastle in dancing on the Wembley turf with Lisandro Martinez and Antony, two players he’d brought across from former Club Ajax, the former in particular playing a big hand in the side’s revival.

Jackson said any feeling of satisfaction will quickly abate in the manager; six trophies in under five years at Ajax an indication of an internal hunger that perhaps doesn’t burn as demonstrably as with other managers.

‘He’s a bit like Ferguson, he’s a bit like Guardiola. You win, and you understand that’s possibly when you’re at your weakest because you can get a bit fat on the win. He was saying that yesterday in the press conference after the game: ‘this is great, I want it to be addictive for our players, but it does start again.’

‘What you’re seeing with these top operators is a pursuit of excellence. Ten Hag has walked into that Club and basically torn the place apart in a positive way, it’s already his. United do not play City or Arsenal again but those two do play each other – the League is a little bit of a long shot but it’s not out of the question.

‘I don’t think United will win it, but I’d be surprised if they don’t win the Europa League or FA Cup. If they only end up with one trophy, it might be viewed at the end of the season as a bit of a disappointment in the moment, which says everything about what he’s doing.

‘But if you stand back from it he’s way ahead of schedule. I think they’ll qualify for the Champions League. It’s always interesting what happens with Manchester United but this summer coming up is particularly fascinating. It’s all looking very bright so far.’