Follow Bricki on Twitter – @Bricki
Manchester United welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Old Trafford for today’s New Year clash. The reverse fixture at White Hart Lane produced an exciting 2-2 draw and usually clashes between the two are full of incident. Spurs achieved their first win at Old Trafford last season since 1989 with a 3-2 but had to survive a United onslaught in the second half. An Evans OG and goals from Dempsey and Bale were enough to see Spurs home.
Since the 2-2 draw on the 1st December both sides have experienced differing fortunes. United have started to find a consistency in recent weeks whilst Spurs have had to recover from heavy defeats to Manchester City and Liverpool that resulted in the dismissal of Andre Villas-Boas. Tim Sherwood has stepped in and appeared to steady the ship for Spurs whose most recent result was a comfortable 3-0 defeat of Stoke City.
United have continued injury concerns with Van Persie, Jones and Rafael serious doubts whilst Wayne Rooney faces a late call on his fitness. Spurs have added Paulinho to an extensive injury list after Charlie Adam’s assault/tackle at Stoke City.
We sat down with Tottenham fan, Bashir Falconer to run the rule over the North London side heading into today’s teatime clash.
1) So what went wrong with AVB? Was he to blame or should Levy be held more responsible?
Within football there are always things going on behind the scenes that us ‘normies’ just aren’t aware of. Sometimes we find out down the line and sometimes we don’t. I think there was definitely an aspect of impatience in the Levy/Lewis decision to get rid of AVB so early on. Some of his tactical decisions weren’t working and we just weren’t scoring the amount of goals needed to get up into the places we feel we should be. At the same time we have the best away record in the league which is no mean feat and our points tally last year was our highest ever. AVB also has the best win percentage of any Spurs manager in the premier league era. In conclusion it is my opinion that he should have at least been given until the end of the year but ultimately if a manager doesn’t have support from on high the players feel this and then they lose respect for him and it’s a losing battle from then on. The same happened with Martin Jol.
2) What have you made of the summer signings? Would you have kept Bale or will they eventually come good?
Summer signings – mixed feelings so far. Paulinho has looked good in spells as has Chadli (to a lesser degree). Haven’t seen enough of eriksen. Lamela – meh. Soldado either hasn’t been given the right type of service or can’t handle the prem. not sure yet.
Bale – can’t keep a player who doesn’t want to be there. Simple. Coming good? We could gel and come very good quite easily to be honest, there’s clearly talent there.
3) Are you happy with Tim Sherwood’s appointment and can you finish top four?
Sherwood will absolute not see out his 18 contract and might not even see the end of the season if the right candidate presents themselves. Top four is still a possibility, we are only 8 points (and a terrible goal diff.) off the leaders and we’re yet to string a run of any decent games together.
4) Like last season, you’re on course to win four points off United. Confident of victory on New Year’s Day?
Again I’m sitting on the fence, anything could happen. We had an ok game against a depleted stoke side but United have finally started to get a bit of spirit back recently so they might just nab it
5) Andros Townsend has been one of the rising stars this season. How good can he become?
As good as he wants. Bale became the player he was through total dedication. Townsend has look amazing at times despite a terrible goal/assist record and he could really build on that
6) How will you lineup on Wednesday and have you a prediction?
I’d love to see the good old 4-4-2 again, having Ade as a foil for a depressed Soldado has promise.
7) Why do you think Levy didn’t opt for Hoddle and who can you see eventually taking charge?
Hoddle still has a stigma around him since his ridiculous comments when he managed England and he hasn’t worked much since then apart from a pundit. There are many likely and capable candidates but it looks likely that a national coach who will be working in Brazil this summer will be coming in. I’d be happy to see Van Gaal though
8) With the transfer window imminent, are there are areas you feel you need to strengthen in? Have you been linked to any new players?
We’ve been linked with too many players to count – ideally I’d like a ‘proven goal scorer’ and a real leader at the back. But when Kaboul is fully fit and with either Soldado or Ade really stepping up to the mark we’d have that.
9) Who is the best player you’ve ever seen at at Tottenham?
In my memory Bale really is incomparable – in terms of pure ability to win games alone and do things on a regular basis that many top top top (lol) footballers would love just to do once be stands alone. Ginola wasn’t bad either
10) Give us a little known fact about Spurs.
We’ve got the best away record in the prem this year. Also Jimmy Greaves was bought for 99,999 to avoid the pressure of being the first 6 figure player
Many thanks to Bashir for his time and hopefully we will see a game to savour, they usually are when United and Spurs meet…