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Tottenham vs Manchester United: Preview

BerbatovTottenham away has never been a stroll in the park. Saying that, our last eight Premier League visits to  White Hart Lane have yielded six wins and two draws. Easy pickings then, or so one may be led to believe. Well if you’re that naive then I’d advise you to stop reading here as Saturday’s trip to the capital will certainly be a massive test for a United side that have hardly stormed out of the blocks so far this season.

Last week I was quick to announce that the meeting with Arsenal would prove our first real test of the season. Well if that was the first, a trip to Spurs is certainly the second and arguably the more difficult at that.

I’m sure you won’t need me to tell you this but Tottenham are flying at the moment and have recorded their best start to a league season since 1960 with four wins on the trot. Jermain Defoe is in a rich vein of goalscoring form and Aaron Lennon is steadily staking his claim as the most feared winger in England at present. Although enough about the opposition, let’s talk United shall we?

From a team news perspective, Rio Ferdinand could be in line for a return to the side having been sidelined with a thigh injury since August. Fantastic news as that would not only reunite the formidable Ferdinand – Vidic partnership but it would also allow Jonny Evans a much-needed rest.

Edwin van der Sar looks no closer to a return so Ben Foster will undoubtedly continue to deputise following a sturdy, if not spectacular run in the first team to date. With John O’Shea a doubt, depending on Ferdinand’s fitness, Wes Brown may be handed a start at right-back although Fabio and Gary Neville are plausible alternative options. Patrice Evra will need to have his wits about him at left-back as he faces up to an in-form and frighteningly quick Aaron Lennon but pace isn’t exactly something that the Frenchman is lacking himself.

It’s become an almost unenviable task to predict a Sir Alex midfield but I’m expecting Park to get the nod with one of Antonio Valencia or Nani, probably the latter, on the opposite flank. Darren Fletcher should certainly vacate one of the central midfield berths with my bet being Anderson to come in alongside him following a decent showing for the reserves. Wayne Rooney will continue to provide our most potent attacking threat up-top and I would be extremely suprised if Dimitar Berbatov didn’t return against his former employers.

Our opposition will be without influential Croatian playmaker Luka Modric while central defenders Jonathan Woodgate and Matt Dawson are also missing and Sebastien Bassong remains a doubt. Skipper Ledley King does look as though he will be fit enough to play and Niko Kranjcar should be handed his debut in place of his international compatriot Modric.

As well as confirming that both Ferdinand and Neville are in contention, Sir Alex admitted in his pre-match press conference that Tottenham are going to prove a tricky proposition and that they have every chance of breaking into the top four this term.

“I watched a couple of videos yesterday and they’ll be a handful for us,” said Ferguson.

“But that’s the nature of the Premier League. Hopefully I can pick the right team and get a good result.

“I think Tottenham can break into the top four. Harry’s [Redknapp] brought in a few of his own types of players, players he’s familiar with like Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe.”

Following our victory over the Gunners, dressing room confidence should be high on Saturday and our record against Spurs does bode well too. Saying that, I’m sure Tottenham will be keen to show that they are serious about an invasion on the top four this season and I expect we’ll have to be at our very best to ensure we get a result.

After a somewhat unconvincing start to the current campaign, I predict the lads will step it up a gear from now on, starting at White Hart Lane where I see us snatching all three points in a tough and testing encounter.

Prediction: 2-0 United



  1. Grognard

    13 September 2009 at 17:24

    @Craig Mc: And what’s worse is his manager comes out after the game with nothing but praise for him. The problem here is managers. The pressure to win is so great that no manager dare risk insulting his player even if he warrants a good tongue lashing for what he did. Even Fergie lets a lot of things go these days but then again, he might in public but he usually says something behind closed doors. If he doesn’t get at least a three game ban for injuring VP then Fergie should get in their face for the number of times we have had players banned for nothing and for accusations with no evidence like what happened to Evra. Neville gets seriously frakked over for kissing a badge and Adebayor walks scot free? No way would I tolerate that if I was Gill or Fergie.

  2. Grognard

    13 September 2009 at 17:26

    @Cyclops-Red: I think he will be playing. A week is a long time and I think he will be forced into action. I hope he is because he deserves the kind of reception that is saved and put away for ass clown rejects like that who turn on our team, fans and manager. And he turned on all of us when he turned on Fergie with the rage of a scorned woman.

  3. Grognard

    13 September 2009 at 17:29

    @Red Ranter: I totally agree RR. Absolutely. It shows the players care about their new club and show their feelings about their old club. It is energy and it is emotional passion and as long as there is no violence, I can’t see how that is bad for the game. And like you say, fans sometimes deserve it back and lets face it, Arse fans deserve a Hell of a lot more. A dozen kicking Cantona’s for starters.

  4. Grognard

    13 September 2009 at 17:32

    @Traverse: Oh no, he ran to the corner flag slid on th grass got up and then kissed the badge and taunted the fans. No worse than what Neville did that got him suspended. I love the way United fans suffer from convenient forgetfulness or selective blindness. 😆

  5. gator

    13 September 2009 at 18:01

    @NicoQB: that is insane hope he gets a good long sit on the sidelines for that. 😯 if the fa dont do anything then i think we should let nemanja loos on his ass.

  6. gator

    13 September 2009 at 18:04

    @NicoQB: Gobblesutdcocksbayor

  7. [OPTI]Madschester United

    13 September 2009 at 19:24

    @I_Bleed_Red: not yet. I am a grad student at michigan.

    @Grognard: I do hate RM too but I cannot take Liverpool seriously as Rafa is pathetic in the transfer market and buys average players (exception: Torres). But I think city will add a new dimension to the EPL — and I look forward to finally having a competitive rivalry which will affect the title race.

    @Lars: Welcome to RedRants, Lars! 🙂

  8. Footy4Eddy

    13 September 2009 at 21:14

    ANDERSON SCORED!!! 😯 😯 😯

    I still cant fucking believe it!!! He scored, and life goes on. The world didnt end, nobody died, grass is still green and Manchester United are still located in Manchester. Its just so fucking epic!!! 😯 😆

  9. Red Ranter

    13 September 2009 at 21:41

    @Traverse: Because he’s Berbatov and he’s a different human being. He reacts to situations in a different way. But if he were to react the way Adebayor did I wouldn’t have a problem either. Fans come up with a lot of ways to hurl abuse, and if they can’t take it back then tough shit. Just because players are millionaires does not mean they should be sitting quiet after being subject to boos. If players ignore the boos, then credit to them for not letting the taunts get to them. If not, then fair enough let them have at it.

    What I do have a problem with are thugs and what Adebayor did to van Persie is unacceptable.

  10. Traverse

    13 September 2009 at 22:21

    @Red Ranter: Adebayour ran the length of the pitch to celebrate cause he is classless. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s the same reason he stamped on Van Persie. No Class.

    I look forward to seeing his reception when Citeh are away to Arsenal 🙂

  11. Traverse

    13 September 2009 at 22:23

    @Grognard: He celebrated there because that’s where the goal was, yes it was winding the fans up, but it wasn’t a calculated 90 yard dash that Usain Bolt couldn’t have managed quicker. I didn’t forget anything, they are just different.

  12. Footy4Eddy

    13 September 2009 at 22:53

    My free-kick list for United this season. First, the top 5 from short range(25 yards and in)-

    1. Owen Hargreaves
    2. Wayne Rooney
    3. Ryan Giggs
    4. Luis Nani
    5. Anderson

    From long range(25 yards and out)

    1. Wayne Rooney
    2. Luis Nani
    3. Anderson
    4. Darren Gibson
    5. Gary Neville 😆

  13. Grognard

    13 September 2009 at 23:00

    @Red Ranter: As far as Adebayor’s actions regarding the fans are concerned, I personally feel he is more than justified because I remember that he received a lot of racist slurs and remarks that rained down upon him last year. That’s crossing the line for fans and they know it too. What gets me are the fans in the seats of darker skin who sit there and allow those morons to get away with it. Don’t they understand that a slur towards a black man is a slur towards all black men or people of color? Disgusting.

  14. Grognard

    13 September 2009 at 23:02

    @Traverse: Yes he has no class but the Arsenal fans deserved what he gave them for all the racial slurs they dropped on him all last season. What goes around comes around I guess. As for what he did to van Persie, he should be banned for ten games in my opinion. five if it were any other player and nothing but a reward if it were John Terry or the Drogba.

  15. Footy4Eddy

    13 September 2009 at 23:02

    In our 4th game of the season, we ended Arsenal winning streak.

    In our 5th game of the season, we ended Spurs` winning streak.

    In our 6th game of the season, will we end Shitty`s winning streak?

    To be honest, a month ago I would have been happy with just 6 points. But now… We beat Arsenal despite playing poorly. Stuff of Champions. Then we have our ebst performance so far this season away to Spurs, the game I actually was quite confident would be our biggest test of the three games. But now, I demand a win against City. Not only is it a local derby, but they are getting more annoying and classless with each day. I cant fucking believe it anymore! They need to be brought down to earth, even hell in my opinion! Those fuckers are going down!! 👿 😈 Team I would play against them:

    Brown Rio Vidic Evra
    Valencia Fletcher Anderson Nani
    Rooney Berbatov

    Oshea is good, but when facing the likes of Bellamy and Adebawhore his lack of speed could easily be our achilles. Brown isnt the fasest, but he shouldnt have much problem keeping up with YabbaDabbaYorABitch. Rio, Vidic and Evra are already written, and if I see Park or Giggs on the wings instead of either Nani or Valencia I will scream! 🙁 Fletcher is in the form of his life, and dare I say Ando is as well? Confident, and his goal will only do him wonders. It would be a crime to not play him. Rooney is certanly in the form of his life, so he is a must. Then I will choose Berba instead of Owen just because I know Fergie wont start Owen. You just know it! 🙄

  16. Craig Mc

    13 September 2009 at 23:35

    @Footy4Eddy: Whoever plays on our left side against Man Pity had better be on the ball that day, because Micah Richards will thunder up that wing, and he wont be easy to restrain. So if it is Evra and Nani they will have to sweat blood and guts, and work there bollocks off 🙂 . Arsenal failed to stop Richards raids forward and payed the price as he made 2 of their goals. For some reason he has hit form, so will Lil man be able to deal with the galloping trojan – we will see if he plays! Wes Brown I believe would take care of Bellamy down the right, with Valencia also working his butt off – but not sure if SAF will play two out and out wide men.

    Yeash Anderson scored, and may he keep on scoring goals aplenty! If he keeps his shots on target, they have a good chance of flying in the net, because he rockets them – he has quite a hard, fast shot on him! Go Andie! 😆

  17. Traverse

    13 September 2009 at 23:52

    @Grognard: I didn’t know they we’re going at him for being black, I thought they were going at him for not signing a new contract, actively trying to organise a move to AC Milan and saying he’ll start playing like Henry when Arsenal start paying him like Henry….

    Either way, tomorrow morning the FA are going to hold a fast tracked meeting about his stamp and look to be handing out a 3 match ban. That means Citeh will be without Robinho, Tevez, Adebayour and Santa Cruz. That leaves them with what? Bellamy. MASSIVE. CLUB.

    The FA will have another meeting later on about his celebration and hand out another 2 games ban, or force him to spend the night with Van Persie :mrgreen:

  18. Craig Mc

    14 September 2009 at 00:20

    @Traverse: Trav, the Arsenal fans WEREN’T the ones racially abusing Adebeyor – that I understand was the Spurs fans, and supposedly according to Mark (Know all) Hughes, the Man United fans using the same song on the Internet ??? So he can’t use the old chestnut RACE CARD! Also, Adebayor, according to a proffesional who was at the City game, so Adebayor was dishing it out to Van Persie AFTER Van Persie scored the equaliser – and the guy telling the story said that he couldn’t repeat on air the things Mad Ade was saying – so no smoke without fire. Doesn’t matter anyway, he kicked Van Persie’s head almost so close to his eye, that he could have lost the eye 👿 . I saw with my own eyes the swelling, blood stained LUMP on VP’s left upper cheek. Not satisfied with booting VP’s head, he then DELIBERATELY stamped on his hamd, and how he didn’t break his fingers, Lord Knows! I hope this vicious out of control lump of garbage Mad Ade gets banned for the number of games fully deserved. Though, if I was VP, I would DO Adebayor through the civil courts too and shame the fecker to the full extent he deserves! Absolutely no place for what he did in soccer!

  19. Grognard

    14 September 2009 at 00:52

    @Traverse: It was about wanting to go to Milan but of course Arse fans had to make their point so they got racist about it, forgetting that 75% of the whole team is black. Their fans are such idiots.

  20. Traverse

    14 September 2009 at 00:55

    @Grognard: In that case I’m awarding Arsenal fans the 2009 Ron Atkinson award.

  21. Craig Mc

    14 September 2009 at 01:18

    Where people get the RACIAL remarks from I have no ides. They talked with alomost everybody on talk sport today, and they said that Adebayor took a lot of stick from the Arsenal fans – BUT THERE WAS NEVER ANY MENTION OF RACIAL ABUSE, and to be honest we are fucking sick of people making accusations of racism every time a black or asian player is involed in a fracas. It is bollocks – total and utter bollocks. If Arsenal fans were racially abusing Adebayor ALL FUCKING HELL would have been let loose about it by now, but there has been no mention of it on the sports and tv channels I have been listening too since the event.

  22. Craig Mc

    14 September 2009 at 01:23

    @Traverse: You’d be awarding it to the wrong fucking people then? 🙄 .

  23. Traverse

    14 September 2009 at 01:42

    @Craig Mc: I’m only going on what I’ve been told. The award doesn’t come with a cash prize, so I wouldn’t get too worried about it 🙄

  24. Craig Mc

    14 September 2009 at 01:51

    @Traverse: 😆 😆 , Okay mate, I am not going to be around for a while, our baby is due next few days – so I’m off, and no doubt am due in the very near future for Daddy duties 😀 . See you Trav – Viva Man United, and Viva Nani and Anderson – 😆 .

  25. Redrich

    14 September 2009 at 02:01

    @Craig Mc: Great time for you and your better half, Craig.
    I congratulate you both in advance, and wish the best for all three of you for the future! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  26. Redrich

    14 September 2009 at 02:23

    @Grognard: Well Grog, on second looks I have to support my original impression of Scholes. He was exemplary in his MF duties and didn’t give the ball away hardly at all (important, considering Carricks “kick it any where” attitude).
    He doesn’t offer that same sharpness around the goal anymore, and his ability not to get himself in trouble with the ref, seems to be in free fall. But in no way would I call his performance less than 7 out of 10. 🙂

  27. Redrich

    14 September 2009 at 02:34

    @Grognard: Oh and by the way the MOM was Rooney hands down. His contribution was so influential on the game that I could never consider another player!! :mrgreen:

  28. Redrich

    14 September 2009 at 02:49

    @Red Ranter: Of course the difference between Harry and ,…shall we say, the rest of the pack, is that Harry’s number one concern is Harry!! 🙂
    I like him as a PL manager because he becomes fearless and ignores the the mundane efforts that most do when trying to avoid the drop.
    He’s most effective when he has the ownership bent sharply over the barrel. 😮

  29. Lars

    14 September 2009 at 03:31

    @[OPTI]Madschester United:
    Thanks Opti (?)!

    Now if only Wozniacki wins tonight and it will be a perfect weekend!

  30. Grognard

    14 September 2009 at 05:09

    @Traverse: 😆 😆 Poor Big Ron. 😀

  31. Grognard

    14 September 2009 at 05:11

    @Craig Mc: I for one remember hearing it on SkyTv after he appeared last year when the Milan deal fell through. I then read about in various sites including the BBC, so I don’t know what to tell you mate. I’m not lying, I know what I read and heard. If all those sources are wrong, well, it’s beyond me to sort it out.

  32. Grognard

    14 September 2009 at 05:13

    @Craig Mc: All the best to you and the GF mate. Have a celebration ale on me and a cigar. Best of luck. 🙂

  33. Grognard

    14 September 2009 at 05:16

    @Redrich: Rooney was good, Evra was outstanding. That’s saying a lot from me, a known Skinned Sausage hater.
    And Scholes was a step behind everybody all game and gave up the ball at a key time. Sorry mate, I do not share your views. 5/10 from me.

  34. Roge9

    14 September 2009 at 05:31

    @Grognard: Well Tevez has started all but one game when fit, so I’m sure he has some assurances.

  35. Roge9

    14 September 2009 at 05:41

    @NicoQB: Scholes is well past it, and I thought he was poor in the game. The only good to come from him so far is that a red card means he’s out for at least a game

  36. spizzy

    14 September 2009 at 07:24

    @Grognard: I agree with you about adebayor’s celebration. It’s moments like those that players remember, I was watchin a collection of henry’s goals and he once ran the entire length of whitehart lane to celebrate his goal. We all know of the deep history of united and liverpool, and we friggin hate pool, and we are mere fans, how about the players who have to play the game, I think they feel it more, plus it’s quite understandable considering all the bashing adebayor has been taking from le arse fans for moving to the shitty,when the club itself sold him.
    Fottball is an intense,emotional,passionate and irascible game, and that’s why we love it. I admit that curbing the violence that sometimes occurs between rival fans is necessary but players should be allowed to incense fans who continually abuse them. Like berba who was booed the entire game, if he had scored then he had the right to celebrate and infuriate the spurs fans. In my opinion if fans dish it out they should be ready for some sort of reciprocation from the player. All that political correct shit will drain the game of all it’s flavor. There is too much damn control of how players should behave it’s quickly becoming a girls game.

  37. Karl

    14 September 2009 at 07:54

    I wanted to comment after Saturday’s game, but got too drunk after the Anderson goal. What a goal!
    More importantly, the major reason I did not comment is becuase there was no urgent need to vent. To give credit, we actually played very well, very entertaining (until Scholes decided to prove once again what a liability he is in midfield). This type of performance was what I was on about all the time. What I also find amazing is that the team actually played attacking with a defensive line-up. Well done players, well done Fergie.

    I also were very impressed with Fletcher’s performance. Although I am not yet on the ‘Messiah’ bandwagon, he did impress me a lot.

    Lastly, Andersooooooooooooon. Wow! I actually got to drink my whiskey 😛 Only problem is, by the time I got home and drank it, I was half drunk already. Tasted like any other whiskey, but the TOAST!
    Well, I am confident it is the first of many. Hopefully now he will get more license to roam forward.

    I just have one negative comment that I feel I must raise.
    Where are all the kids we are supposed to groom this season? I aint seen no-one yet?

  38. Karl

    14 September 2009 at 08:06

    @Roge9: I also feel that way. Scholes’ biggest contribution on Saturday was to take one for the team. 😆

  39. spizzy

    14 September 2009 at 08:16

    @Red Ranter: I agree about player reaction,If the fans are ready and willing to dish it out, they should man up and not react like idiots when players reciprocate the taunts. Terry,lampard did it against westham last year and they didn’t get banned, neither should adebayor. I’m suprised that some of the people here want us to face a weakened city, I for one want city to be at their best so hopefully traitevez and robinho can play. Somehow I want united to play against strong opponents so I can truly know our credentials this season.

  40. spizzy

    14 September 2009 at 08:47

    The game on saturday was nothing other than spectacular, when we went down, we actually looked composed and played really well.
    Rooney has truly stormed off the blocks this season, 5 in 5, fuckin incredible.I’m not going to bash scholes today because we did win in the end. I’m just glad that now some of our proper midfielders will get play time, unless fergie decides to stick giggs and fletcher in midfield and anderson gets benched again. I don’t really give a rats ass about carrick anymore, he is the only player who seems to be content with his performance and hasn’t done anything to improve. I would like to see a bit of gibbo but i think he will start featuring after the city game when our opposition isn’t too strong.
    We have a champions league match tomorrow, hopefully owen gets a start and gives rooney much needed rest so he can be fit for the weekend.

  41. donibrasco

    14 September 2009 at 08:50

    Great performance from the team and i can see no negatives since fergie surprised me and went on all out attack.That alone would have been enough for me even if we had lost,we are supposed to attack and play football the united way which we did.
    The hot topic of the day was aarsenal and Adebayor.Arsenal fans would have got another scapegoat even if adebayor hadnt played.They are the biggest and worst losers i have known in sport and we are also feeling for them.Do you realise they always have something to moan about after every loss?They dont want to concentrate on their team,against united it was fletcher,now ade, who next?
    Adebayor was class the whole game,and has always been a class striker,top three in the EPL if you ask me,its always his pertonality that always comes into question for no reason.Is he greedy?Every professional is thats why they negotiate contracts for huge sums.Did he try to hurt RVP?no,RVP came sliding studs showing and had he got Ade,we would be talking about a different subject.No one mentioned the time he dribbled the whole arsenal backline and jumped bad tackles.
    If we are going to criticise some plyers,lets remember Rooney hurting a defender and getting a penalty on an off the ball incident.No one talked about a ban then.

  42. Footy4Eddy

    14 September 2009 at 09:02

    @Craig Mc: My little boy is growing up… 😥

    😆 😆 😆

    No, in all honesty congratulations mate! I know you will make a great father. 🙂

  43. spizzy

    14 September 2009 at 09:24

    @Craig Mc: Congrats mate,I remember when my daughter was born three months ago, incredible feeling. Even the CL win doesn’t compare. 😀 😀

  44. Onkar

    14 September 2009 at 11:20

    @Craig Mc: Congo bro…. I wish great future for all three of you.. See you on this blog soon…. 🙂

  45. Traverse

    14 September 2009 at 12:07

    @Craig Mc: Take it easy man, and get every wink of sleep you can grab!

  46. Traverse

    14 September 2009 at 12:07


    Park signs a 3 year contract extension 😕

  47. Grognard

    14 September 2009 at 18:56

    @Roge9: I couldn’t agree with you more.

  48. Grognard

    14 September 2009 at 19:01

    @Roge9: Also, Too bad it wasn’t a straight red or he would have been out of our hair for three games instead. That first tackle I’ve seen similar ones given red. The second was harsh. He just slid into him because of his momentum and never touched him with his feet. But, you have a reputation that precedes you, you don’t get the benefit of the doubt. Truthfully, Fergie should have replaced him immediately after the first card with Carrick. Hary was smart enough to take off that psycho Palacios because of his over aggressiveness and being on one yellow.

  49. Grognard

    14 September 2009 at 19:11

    @Karl: Well done mate. Hope you didn’t have too much of a hangover. Glad you celebrated in style though. I agree also about the kids. Where are they? I want to see more of Gibson and Rafael and even Macheda although I honestly see most of them being the core of our League Cup crusade. Fergie has a lot of pressure on him from the media and many many fans as skeptical as I am and i think this is forcing him to rely on his veterans more and more. And frankly when players like Giggs and Fletcher all perform like they did Saturday, well then I se his point. But Scholes, jeez, when is Fergie and others going to realize he is finished and stop inflicting him on us as well as games. No way in Hell that man should be starting instead of Carrick.

    Also, I find it hard to understand how I see less and less of the players we spent money on this season in big games. Valencia and Owen are nowhere to be seen and Obertan is already a big mistake because we bought a player with back issues. If Valencia was so damned good, then why is he not playing as much? And I do not want to hear excuses by Fergie about international fatigue because that never stopped him from starting Rooney and Berba while Owen who was rested never even started.

  50. Grognard

    14 September 2009 at 19:18

    @spizzy: I’ll say this, if Anderson continues to play like he did on Saturday, it will create big problems for two players. Carrick and Valencia will see much less playing time. It’s clear that Fletcher is now first team and first choice for Fergie and rightfully so. Coming back soon will be Owen Hargreaves too who if healthy I would never sit down. With Hargo and Anderson playing well where do you insert Carrick? With Fletcher needed on the field, where do you find room for Valencia? It’s clear that Fergie still favors Giggs and until Giggsy proves to me as well that he is finished like Scholes I have no problem with him playing. This tends to push Fletcher over to the right and cuts the playing time for Valencia. This depth is a nice thing to have but certain players need games to show their value, especially wingers like Valencia and Nani.

    Personally speaking, I am looking forward to the midfield of Nani and Valencia wide and Fletcher and Hargreaves in the middle in what I would call a 4-2-2-2.

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