With Manchester United facing Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on Saturday, I posed several questions on the TottenhamHotspur.tv Forum. Forum members HeroesComesandGoes, Javi and BigDub were kind enough to provide answers.
Stretford End Arising: What are your thoughts on Saturday’s game? How are Spurs likely to line up? What formation do you think they will adopt and what team do you expect to be selected? Which players should United keep an eye on? Which United player do you think poses the greatest threat to Spurs?
HeroesComesandGoes: Man Utd should keep an eye out for Modric, Bale and Van Der Vaart
Javi: I am thinking Aryy will play a lone striker up front can’t really tell what formation he and who he will play so it’s kinda hard for me to decide. Bale is the one to watch out for the most IMO but some Spurs players can surprise so it’s best not to divert attention to just a few. All honestly I think Hernandez is a threat and I am not just saying that because I am a Mexican hell while he was at Chivas I didn’t really like him but he proved me wrong with his speed and developing acceleration he is a HUGE threat.
BigDub: I expect a lineup of: Gomes; Hutton, Kaboul, Gallas, Assou-Ekotto; Palacios Modric; Lennon, Bale; Van Der Vaart; Crouch.
The obvious red flags for United are Bale and Van der Vaart. To be comletely honest, though, the biggest challenge for United could be on set pieces. I see Spurs scoring at least one through such an avenue. If this proves to be the case watch out for Kaboul, Gallas, and Crouch. All three have the ability to make a play on a set piece. A
As far as Man United, I would say I am extremely concerned about the form of both Chicharito and Berbatov. Keeping the two of them in check will be an issue for a back line missing our normal pairing of Michael Dawson and Ledley King.
SEA: Thoughts on Wayne Rooney declaring his desire to leave United, but then signing a new contract?
HCaG: Wayne’s behaviour was unacceptable. Private discussions should never be made public.
Javi: Nothing but a media circus.
BigDub: Publicity stunt. If I were a United fan I would be pissed at the lack of loyalty shown to your club by Rooney. Otherwise, though, I couldn’t give two shits.
SEA: Are you enjoying Champions League football? In the past United have occasionally struggled the following weekend after a Champions League fixture. How are Spurs coping with this demand? Is the standard of football what you expected?
HCaG: CL is great, but we suffer like Man Utd by struggling the following weekend after Champions League. Our victory against Aston Villa (after FC Twente) was a god send
Javi: I am and others are enjoying CL football Spurs I say are doing ok after so long of not being in the tournament and with Spurs you really don’t know what to expect it’s an ongoing roller coaster but Bale really cheered us up with his hat trick against Inter.
BigDub: Champions League has been a true excitement for us this season. It makes midweek interesting and I love seeing Spurs play some of Europe’s top sides. Many pundits have argued that we have had trouble balancing the CL and PL schedules well. I don’t agree with this. We have been inconsistent this season due in large part to injury. It is not a matter of being tired when we have matches close to one another. The bigger issue is that we have just played inconsistently this entire season.
SEA: Bargain of the season – Van der Vaart or Javier Hernadez? What has Van der Vaart brought to the team?
HCaG: Van Der Vaart of course, Bayern offered 18 Million, we nabbed him for 8 million.
Javi: Van Der Vaart was a bargain financially but in the long run Hernandez is a good bargain buy since he is young and dangerous at the front and has a long promising career ahead of him.
BigDub: Van der Vaart. 8 million? That is a joke if you ask me. He has been a fan favourite and is well on his way to establishing himself as a top player at Spurs for years to come. He brings balance to the side and really helps with flow and continuity from the midfield and the forwards. Most importantly, though, he makes other players better when he is on the pitch.
SEA: Why the transformation in Gareth Bale?
HCaG: He’s older so he’s physically developed. Also he was played in a new untried position and excelled.
Javi: His dedication and hard work if you ask me.
BigDub: Because he is finally ready? Bit of a confusing question. Bale’s transformation is due to him finally growing up and Harry Redknapp being the Spurs manager. I maintain that Harry is the biggest reason for Bale’s transformation.
SEA: Which young Spurs players are worth keeping an eye on for the future?
HCaG: Stephen Caulker
Javi: I have to say Caulker and Rose maybe.
BigDub: Danny Rose and Bale. I have high hopes for Rose. I dream about his goal vs. Arsenal just about every night. He will be a dangerous one I think.
SEA: Favourite Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur match?
HCaG: When we drew 0-0 after Pedro Mendes’ goal was disallowed (Roy Carroll days).
Javi: Any one we don’t lose :P.
BigDub: Certainly none of the matches we have had to go to OT to play. We can never find a result there. This year might be different, though.
SEA: Favourite all time Spurs player?
HCaG: Chris Waddle
Javi: Don’t really have one I have been following the club for over 10 years still yet to learn about Spurs legends but I am just enjoying every new generation now :-).
BigDub: Ledley King. Absolute legend in every way. Perfect teammate, undeniable talent, accomplished international. What more could you ask? Ledley is as class a footballer as you will ever find. Great player, great leader, great man.
If you wish to discuss Saturday’s game with myself or other members of the Stretford End Arising community, you can do so in the Stretford End Arising Forum