Manchester United’s annual visit to Tottenham Hotspur is always a great day out for the visiting supporters, even if the walk from Seven Sisters tube akin to hiking the Inca Trail and the clientèle in the local boozers somewhat ‘edgy’. This weekend’s much anticipated trip sees Harry Redknapp’s Spurs team sitting top of the Premier League after wining four games in a row. It will be a cracker, and Rant caught up with fellow blogger Robin Graham from Tottenham Blog and Vlog to discuss the upcoming game. You can read Rant’s end of the interview here.
Spurs’ great start to the season has got the fans dreaming of a top four finish. Is it really possible?
So many variables! I don’t think Villa and Everton will challenge the top 4 this year so it’s between Spurs and Man City if anyone is going to break it. Man City have outstanding players but will they gel? If they do, I think they’ll finish above Spurs but I’m not convinced that Hughes has what it takes to fuse the team together that quickly. One of Liverpool and Arsenal usually have a dodgy season where they just scrape the 70+ points required to finish fourth. Spurs’ squad is certainly capable of getting those 70+ points. But much will depend on the fitness of Wilson Palacios who is probably our most important player. He’s also the only player that we don’t have cover for in the squad.
Aaron Lennon has been in great form for club and country. I know many United fans who would love to see him at Old Trafford. I suppose the big question is, if he maintains this form can you keep him?
There’s a cycle at Spurs and it goes like this: Great player emerges – Lots of excitement and expectation comes that Spurs might actually do something. Spurs just miss out on ‘doing something’. Player leaves. Spurs finish mid table. New player emerges and the cycle continues.
If we can break the cycle by getting into the Champions League this season or next, the current crop of exciting players (Modric, Lennon, Palacios) will probably stay. If not, they won’t.
What’s up with the Spurs board. They never seem to settle on a manager. So is Harry there to stay or out if Spurs don’t make the top four this season?
I think Harry will get at least another couple of years after this, unless we get embroiled in a relegation battle next season. Very, very few Spurs fans were unhappy with the sacking of Jol or the appointment of Ramos. Ramos had to go. On the balance of things, I’m happy with our board.
With Ronaldo and Tevez departed and no spectacular signings most opposition fans are writing United off this season. Are you with them?
Tevez wasn’t worth £25 million and simply didn’t play well enough to warrant a regular place in the side so I don’t think he’s very significant. Owen will probably get more goals than Tevez and will play the role of third choice striker better. Ronaldo leaving opens the way for others to step to the plate and that’s just the kind of situation that Fergie thrives on. Rooney and Berbatov will need to respond. And Nani and Valencia will need to have good seasons.
But writing off Fergie and United would be ridiculous. They’ll be there come the end of the season in the league. I think they might need another season before they challenge in the Champions League as strongly as in recent seasons though.
Sir Alex was once interested in Gareth Bale, prior to him joining Spurs. Whatever happened to him?
A casualty of the Ramos debacle – the poor bloke still hasn’t been on a winning side for Spurs! He did very well when he first came in with one performance at Old Trafford especially eye catching. But his confidence dwindled in the second half of that season and nose dived at the start of last season. We were suddenly in a relegation battle and couldn’t afford to have him in the side. He’s injured now but I think we’ll start to see the best of him when he comes back. Benoit Assou Eketto is playing out of his skin at left back for us though so there’ll be an interesting battle there.
So come on, what are your honest thoughts on Spurs’ old boys Berbatov and Carrick?
Carrick will always be highly thought of at White Hart Lane, Berbatov won’t. Berbatov refused to play to get his move, he sulked, he moaned and in his last season with us, he only tried around transfer window time and in the League Cup final. He made it 100% clear that he considered himself far superior to the club and his team-mates and that’s hardly endearing. It’s interesting to see him now, far less swagger, he looks almost sheepish. Basically we all hope he fails at United, sorry!
Carrick on the other hand was a modicum of decency throughout his Spurs career and left with class and decency. Top player, top bloke.