cut the mustard

cut the mustard (do one's job properly; to succeed; to come up to expectations) — справляться со своими обязанностями

Often used in the negative, as in
can't cut the mustard and can't cut it (be not able to deal with problems or difficulties satisfactorily; not be up to snuff, not be able enough) — не дотягивать; не тянуть; не справляться

Example 1: We were playing against some young people who were strong and fast, and we couldn't quite cut it. (CIDI)

Example 2: He doesn't cut the mustard and has to be canned. — Он не справляется со своими обязанностями, его следует уволить.

do a good/better/etc job (of sth)

Example 1: You need only to look at the rising crime rate, the increased use of drugs, the large number of broken families, and the rapid increase in mental health disorders, to realize that previous generations of parents perhaps could have done a better job of parenting.

see also
[deliver the goods]
[pull one's weight]
[worth one's salt]

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The origin of this expression is disputed. Some believe it alludes to mustard in the sense of the best or main attraction (owing to its spicing up food), whereas others hold that it concerns the preparation of mustard, which involves adding vinegar to mustard seed to "cut" (reduce) its bitterness.

According to Mavens' Word of the Day , author O. Henry deserves credit for coining it. "So I looked around and found a proposition that exactly cut the mustard," he wrote in the early 20th century. Alas, nobody seems to know why Mr. Henry chose mustard over ketchup (or tangy mayo for that matter).