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By George Lacey
Monday, April 28, 2014
Tottenham blogger George Lacey looks back on Saturday’s 1-0 triumph at Stoke City, and discusses how the issues at Manchester United could affect Spurs’ own fortunes.
Spurs’ last Premier League game of the season outside of London ended in a 1-0 victory away at Stoke on Saturday.
A rare Danny Rose goal was enough to see off 10-man Stoke at the Britannia Stadium, but the left-back failed to keep his head during a heated contest and was substituted following a lack of professionalism after pushing Stoke’s Geoff Cameron in the chest.
I felt the decision to substitute Rose was a brave piece of man management from Tim Sherwood, who sent his player down the tunnel to avoid any further issues with the home support.
The Tottenham boss has been under fire since his surprise appointment back in December but, as he was keen to point out at the end of last week, he still boasts the best winning percentage of any Spurs manager in the Premier League – and I felt an astute piece of management saved us from slipping up and losing our lead.
With just two games left, we travel to east London on Saturday to try to inflict revenge on West Ham, who have beaten us twice at the Lane in the league and Capital One Cup quarter-final, before we finish the season at home against Aston Villa on May 11.
It has been a frustrating season to say the least, although we can still take pride in finishing above Manchester United for the first time since the introduction of the Premier League in 1993, if we win our remaining games.
In any other year, if Spurs had finished above United, they’d probably be champions. However, this season, the handling of issues off the field at Tottenham have made more headlines than the performances on the pitch, and we have yet again fallen short of Champions League qualification.
Manchester United, the dominant force of English football over the past two decades, have fallen even shorter in relation to their objectives and eventual finishing league position - and I believe the problems at Old Trafford have helped to divert attention away from White Hart Lane, and will continue to do so in the off-season.
On the other hand, Spurs’ quest for a new manager now looks to have been thwarted by United’s presence in the manager’s market.
Holland coach Louis Van Gaal has been strongly lined to the Spurs job recently and had been hotly tipped to take over this summer, after his stint as Holland manager finishes after the World Cup.
However, even a struggling Man United seem to have stolen the lead in the pursuit of the coveted Dutchman, and Van Gaal is now favourite to succeed David Moyes in the United hot-seat.
Spurs may just finish above United this season, which I suppose is an achievement in itself, but I feel they’ll have the last laugh if they manage to appoint the world-renowned Dutchman, who I’d love to see take the reins at White Hart Lane.
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