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Preview Spurs v Man Utd, 29.09.01

Here is Brian Judson's preview of the game

Full Record of Spurs -v- Manchester United


Prem          Pl   W   D   L   For-Ag  Pts
Home           9   3   2   4   14 -12  11
Away           9   0   1   8    4 -18   1
=========================================
Total (Prem)  18   4   3  12   18 -30  12
=========================================
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)  18   4   3  12   18 -30  12
Total (Div 1) 102 29  28  45  144 -165 91
Total (Div 2)  8   3   3   2   13 - 6   9
=========================================
Grand Total   128 35  34  59  175 -201 112
=========================================

Spurs -v- Manchester United is always a game that is keenly looked forward to. Over the years there have been some great games between the two sides. Many famous players have appeared for both clubs over the years. I can mention Duncan Edwards, Bobby Charlton, Harry Gregg, Bill Foulkes, Roger Byrne, Tommy Taylor, and many other great players who have worn the shirts of Manchester United.

The greatest of stars was George Best. I don't care what anyone says about Ryan Giggs : he is simply unfit to be mentioned in the same breath as Best. For a few years in the mid-1960s, Best was the greatest player in the world. He had it all ...... and he threw it all away, blown away in an orgy of girls and booze. He has paid for his excesses in recent years as he is now living on borrowed time. Anyone who has seen him on TV in recent years and who can remember Best as a player will have been shocked and saddened by his appearance.

Probably the best games between the two clubs came in the 1960s during the brief era when Spurs and Manchester United were the best two clubs in the country. In 1966-67, Spurs very nearly completed a second League and Cup double, finishing third behind Manchester United and Nottingham Forest and winning the FA Cup. They were only four points behind the Champions and poor form in October and November 1966 cost Spurs the Championship.

But the well of sympathy that had built up in the wake of the Munich air crash of February 1958 was slowly lost and soon people were rejoicing in the fact that Manchester United were relegated to Division 2. They soon returned to the Championship but inexplicably lost to Southampton in the 1976 FA Cup Final. A year later, they prevented Liverpool from winning a unique treble but lost manager Tommy Docherty as a result of his infidelity and affair with a colleague's wife. Anyone remember the old tag we used to chant : "Who's up Mary Brown?"

The Busby era that ran from 1945 to 1969 was probably the best era for football as it should be played. Busby built three great teams but unfortunately the greatest did not reach its apotheosis due to the Munich Air Crash. The team that won the European Cup in 1968 was nowhere near as good as its predecessors but it did have George Best.

The Ferguson era which is due to end next summer has seen more titles won and a dominance over the domestic scene that no other club has ever matched. But the club does not have the same measure of popularity that it had during Busby's time. The dark side of Manchester United's psyche is personified by the ugliness of Roy Keane. Keane can be a genial Irishman but he can also be a thug and has paid for it by a number of early baths throughout his career. To his credit, he has recognised that he has a problem with his temper, unlike some other players I could mention.

There have been some great goals over the years - I have only space to recall Jimmy Greaves' goal against them in October 1965 when he streaked away to score in a 5-1 victory and a goal that Bobby Charlton scored against us when we looked set to snatch a draw in a Cup-tie in February 1968.

How will we fare this afternoon? I fear that with our very long injury list we will be up against it. Dean Richards is expected to make his debut for Tottenham, probably at the expense of Chris Perry. Richards will probably have a horrendous debut because Manchester United will undoubtedly put a great deal of pressure on him, banking on the fact he will not have built up an understanding with the players around him. I suspect most people will be satisfied with a point this afternoon and that a win will be a very welcome bonus should we achieve that success against all the odds.

Cheers, Brian

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