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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Spurs v Man Utd, 14.05.17

Last season's game - Spurs 3 Man Utd 0, 10.04.16
This season's away game - Man Utd 1 Spurs 0, 11.12.16
This week - last year
What happened in the Premier League in Match 37 2015-16

See the current injury list for all Premier League Teams
All the Spurs Stats you could hope for here! THFC6061 Sports Stats

Full League Record of Man Utd v Spurs


Prem          Pl   W   D   L   For-Ag  Pts
Home          24   4   8  12   28 -38  20
Away          25   2   3  20   13 -50   9
=========================================
Total (Prem)  49   6  11  32   41 -88  29
=========================================
Football Lge
Home (Div 1)  51  20  19  12   89 -64  63
Away (Div 1)  51   9   9  33   55 -101 28
=========================================
Total(Div 1) 102  29  28  45  144 -165 91
=========================================
Football Lge
Home (Div 2)   4   2   1   1   10 - 3   5
Away (Div 2)   4   1   2   1    3 - 3   4
=========================================
Total(Div 2)   8   3   3   2   13 - 6   9
=========================================
Total (Prem)  49   6  11  32   41 -88  29
Total (Div 1) 102 29  28  45  144 -165 91
Total (Div 2)  8   3   3   2   13 - 6   9
=========================================
Grand Total   159 38  42  79  198 -259 126
=========================================

Last Six Premier League results:-

Spurs      -    WWWWWL

Swansea    1-3   Spurs
Spurs      4-0   Watford
Spurs      4-0   B'mouth
C. Palace  0-1   Spurs
Spurs      2-0   Arsenal
West Ham   1-0   Spurs

Man Utd    -    WWWDDL

S'derland  0-3   Man Utd
Man Utd    2-0   Chelsea
Burnley    0-2   Man Utd
Man City   0-0   Man Utd
Man Utd    1-1   Swansea
Arsenal    2-0   Man Utd

Pos           P  W  D  L   F-A   GD  Pts
2. Spurs     35 23  8  4  71-23  48   77
6. Man Utd   35 17 14  4  51-27  24   65 

The end of an era

The season is almost over. The Premier League title was won last night, when Chelsea beat West Brom 1-0. Spurs have, for the second successive year, been the last challengers in the title race. Despite the Chelsea win and title, we have already had our best ever Premier League season in terms of points. Results last week-end (including United's first league defeat since October against Arsenal) ensured that we would finish no lower than third, guaranteeing us entry to the Group stage of next season's Champions' league - also for the second successive season. It will be our third season in the current version of Europe's elite tournament.

Spurs haven't "bottled" the title chase. Their run of 9 consecutive wins closed down Chelsea's 10 point lead and ultra-hot favouritism to a gap of four points which gave us hope, but which still left Conte's team as clear favourites. At the start of this season, I wrote the following - "This season will be...more difficult for Spurs to repeat or improve upon their position because of the new high profile managerial appointments at both Manchester clubs and at Chelsea. All three have been splashing the cash, and they will all be chasing the title, not to mention Arsenal, and Liverpool. Then there is the Koeman project at Goodison Park, not forgetting defending champions Leicester. It all makes for a very exciting season ahead for fans and viewers!"

Spurs have exceeded my expectations by a) finishing in the top four, b) being true title contenders again and c) finishing above Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United. We should all be proud of what our manager and his squad have achieved.

Two things remain for Spurs this season. One is to make sure we secure the one point required to secure the runners-up slot for the first time in over 50 years. Man City beat Leicester 2-1 today, so we do need that one point from our last three games. The other, and most precious objective is to say a wondrous and emotional farewell to this White Hart Lane Stadium, which has been the club's home for 118 years. It would be fantastic to achieve both these objectives tomorrow with what would be only our fifth home win in Premier League games against Manchester United. It would also be a great achievement to complete a full season of being unbeaten in Premier League games at White Hart Lane, and to win a 14th consecutive home league game.

Everybody will have their personal favourite memories of White Hart Lane. As someone lucky enough to have been visiting this hallowed ground since the mid-sixties, mine are too numerous to list, but include (in no particular order):-

Queuing up outside the East Stand turnstiles as a young lad as early as 10.30 am in the quest to secure a spot at the front of the famous "Shelf" for a game against United. I first viewed a Spurs game from The Shelf in 1965.
Seeing my all-time sporting hero Jimmy Greaves play, and seeing him score landmark goals. His goal on 5th October 1968 against Leicester, which started at the half-way line will always be my favourite ever goal. It was like Ricky Villa v Man City times 10!
Managing to squeeze into the ground for a historic game against Arsenal in May 1971. (I'll say no more about that here)
On days when the ground was not packed, being able to walk beneath the West Stand to watch Spurs attack the goal in each half.
Standing in the enclosure immediately beneath the West Stand season ticket holders, and occasionally in close proximity to famous fans such as Peter Cook or Warren Mitchell
Those historic relegation-avoiding wins against Chelsea and Leeds in 1975
The ticker-tape welcome for Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa in 1978

Here's where I have to confess to missing most of the glorious eighties, when I was bringing up a young family, and either working shifts or 16 hour days, vastly restricting and reducing my social life. My polystyrene ceiling tiles took a battering when I leapt to celebrate some of those magic moments, such as THAT Villa goal (at Wembley of course), and that unforgettable UEFA Cup winning night at The Lane, which will surely be a favourite memory of many Spurs fans. Indeed the club this week "re-played" that momentous night "as live".

The nineties came, as did Jurgen Klinsmann, and David Ginola. Bad times came but relegation was avoided in May 1998. I've been lucky enough to have a season ticket for 23 years now, and witnessed the old stadium rocking on the high days when we beat Arsenal, Chelsea (particularly those League Cup semi-final wins) and the Gareth Bale inspired 3-1 win over the then Champions of Europe - Inter Milan. This night was compared favourably with a 1962 European Cup semi-final against Benfica.

Other fans are lucky enough and old enough to have memories of the glorious Double season and even Arthur Rowe's "Push and Run" 1951 Champions. I've been lucky enough to meet Bill Nicholson and most of his Double side. I've even met and shook hands with Bobby Buckle's grandson, who sat on the knee of the first Tottenham Hotspur club captain. We are all lucky to be in love with this team; this club, and this club's wonderful history.

The story will continue, of course. Firstly at Wembley next season, then the following year in our most splendid new stadium. We are also lucky to have a title-chasing team, and a manager committed to continuing the "project" and bringing trophies to cement our status as one of the most successful clubs in the Premier League, with a massive fanbase around the world.

First though, we face Jose Mourinho's Manchester United, who on Thursday night qualified for the Europa League Final, being played on May 24th. As we all know, winning that match gives entry to the Champions League, and Mourinho has clearly stated he sees that as his best chance of reaching the Blue Riband European tournament. United have three Premier League fixtures to fulfil in the week to come with Southampton away and Palace at home to follow our game. Last week against Arsenal, Mourinho played what looked like a back six at times. I expect a similar strategy against us.

Mourinho has some absences which are enforced, such as the season-ending (and perhaps career-ending) injury to top goalscorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and the knee injury to Marcos Rojo. Then there is the three match suspension of Marouane Fellaini. Our game will complete his ban. United have other injured players such as Luke Shaw, Ashley Young and 19 year old defender Timothy Fosu-Mensah, but with this game following so closely after a tough Europa League semi-final, Mourinho may mix up his selection even further with a view to perhaps protecting players for the Final.

Some of those memories of this famous stadium include a 5-1 win over United in October 1965, with five different goalscorers - Alan Gilzean, Neil Johnson, Jimmy Greaves, Eddie Clayton, and Jimmy Robertson scored against a United side which included the likes of Crerand, Foulkes, Stiles, Best, Chalrton and Law, managed of course by Matt Busby. the Greaves goal in that game is often seen on TV, and can be found on YouTube. United returned the compliment in full at Old Trafford that December, when Cliff Jones scored our goal.

Last year's 3-0 win was one of our best home performances against United in the Premier League, and came thanks to a blitz of three goals in six second half minutes by Dele Alli, Toby Alderweireld and Erik Lamela.

Our team news is very similar to that of recent weeks. Danny Rose is in full training but not match fit. We will surely see him in one of our two games next week. Maybe we will see a game where both teams feel able to play relaxed, free-flowing football. The occasion deserves a "traditional" Spurs v Manchester United performance. I am going for a 2-0 Spurs win and runners-up place won in style.

Famous ghosts of White Hart Lane will be with us in spirit. There are too many to name but they include the beloved Arthur Rowe, and "Mr Tottenham" Bill Nicholson, Bill Brown, Peter Baker, Ron Henry, Danny Blanchflower, Dave Mackay, John White and Bobby Smith. Cliff Jones - also a member of the famous Double side will, of course be in the stadium. Wouldn't it be lovely to see the other surviving members of that squad? Jimmy Greaves visited recently, and of course cannot attend due to his health. Jurgen Klinsmann was also here two weeks ago when Arsenal came to town and were roundly beaten. Plenty of other living legends of the last fifty plus years will be present, incuding Jennings, Beal, Gilzean, Chivers, Roberts, Mabbutt, Ardiles, Villa, and I hope Perryman (not available due to Exeter duties), Hoddle, England, Allen (perhaps Les, Paul and Clive!), Sheringham, and Ginola.

I hope your favourite player is there. I hope we see a great game of football. I know we will all have a good and somewhat tearful time, giving this famous home of our beloved Spurs the send-off it deserves. See you there!

Match referee Jon Moss has joined Michael Oliver as equally our most regular "man in the middle" this season. This will be his sixth game in charge of a Spurs game, having seen us beat Swansea at home and away; Stoke at home, and most recently Crystal Palace away.

Reviewing Spurs' last Champions League Season - 2010-11. 6 years ago this weekend we beat Liverpool away 2-0. It was only our second Premier League win at Anfield.

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