The kids are alright, the Croatian will be missed and Spurs hate Old Trafford. That's what Manchester United’s steamrolling of Tottenham Hotspur taught us.
Spurs Will Miss Modric
Last week I said if Modric wants to leave, Tottenham should conclude the deal as soon as possible. I still believe that’s the case, but boy are Spurs going to miss him. Until Danny Welbeck opened the scoring, Spurs were still in this game and had it been for better decision-making and/or a better final ball, things could have been different.
I’m not saying with Modric Spurs would have won, but it’s reasonable to assume a Tottenham midfield including Luka is better than one without him. Spurs have no-one in his class and the Croatian’s ability to open a defence and bring the best out of his team mates is exactly why Chelsea are willing to break the bank to get him.
The fact he didn’t play last night ‘because his head wasn’t right’ is a dereliction of duty. The more often that happens the more of a liability he is and the more stick he’ll get from the Spurs faithful, who’ll hope he goes the way of Berbatov – the last player to go on strike at Spurs – sitting forlornly on the bench three years after his dream move away from White Hart Lane.
Fergie Knows How To Build A Side
This is hardly breaking news but that doesn’t make it any the less impressive. The average age of Manchester United’s starting XI was 23 and you can see Alan Hansen having his ‘you'll never win anything with kids’ quote of 1995 being shoved down his neck again come May. Smalling, Jones, Welbeck and Cleverly were excellent at times last night. The ‘keeper will only get better, Ashley Young has made a fantastic start to his United career and Nani, Evans, Rooney and Hernandez are hardly old men. Arsenal’s young gunners are up next. Arsene might point out Fergie paid more for his fledglings than Wenger did for his wee ones, but United’s haul in the last five years of 4 Premier Leagues, 2 League Cups and a Champions League winners medal from three visits to the final, compared to Arsenal’s barren trophy cabinet show it was money well spent.
The only 'sh*t Aaron Lennon' on the pitch was Aaron Lennon himself.
Being The Away Team At Old Trafford Is No Fun
With Spurs Old Trafford winless streak going into its 23rd year, you could forgive Tottenham for thinking they were cursed. But superstitious Spurs fans shouldn’t think that time they ran over a black cat or stole Derren Brown’s parking space is the reason for this ‘bad luck’. In 19 Premier League seasons, only six teams have registered more than one win at Old Trafford,Chelsea (5); Liverpool (4); Arsenal (3); Middlesbrough (3); Bolton (2) and Derby (2). Everton, Villa and Man City have one each. Even more impressively, Man United’s recent home record reads- played 20, won 19, drawn one. The single blot on their copybook coming in a freak collapse to West Brom after United held a two-goal lead.
Competing with United for 70 minutes, losing a goal then being footballed to death was frustrating for Spurs but they can rest assured unlike the 18 teams above them in the table, they don’t have to play at United at home again this season.
United’s Wingers > Spurs Wingers
Going into the game, there was a feeling Tottenham’s wingers could be the key to unlocking the United defence. Bale against Smalling looked like a battle the Welshman could win and Aaron Lennon has run Evra ragged in this fixture before, most notably the 2009 Carling Cup final. In the end Nani and Ashley Young outshone the Tottenham wide men. Nani was all industry and tracking back and even though he wasn’t involved with the goals, was a thorn in Spurs' side. Young was excellent throughout. He was full of running, had a final ball and most impressively his decision making was spot. Basically the opposite of Lennon’s contribution. The Spurs fans assertion that the oppositions winger is just ‘a sh*t Aaron Lennon’ may resonate when directed at Theo Walcott or Shaun Wright Phillips but last night the only 'sh*t Aaron Lennon' on the pitch was Aaron Lennon himself. Until Welbeck’s back heel, Ashley Young was the man of the match.
The Manchester Clubs Are The Teams To Beat
So far City and United are the best teams in the division (sorry Wolves). Finish above them and you’ll win the Premier League.
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