Writer: OyVeh Maria
Date:Thursday January 17 2013
Manure return to the Lane expecting all three points and with the added bonus of not conceding a goal.
Since the PL started Manure have recorded a total of 16 shut outs from their previous 28 clashes with Spurs. Of those 28 matches, 12 have been at White Hart Lane; exactly half of these have resulted in Spurs failing to score and half again ended in victory for Manure. However, Manure have only managed to prevent five teams from scoring in league action this season.
Spurs have failed to score in three of their last five against Manure prior to our jaw-droppingly unexpected victory at the Theatre of Dreams earlier this season. Before AVB took over, Spurs had lost seven of their previous meetings with Man United. Manure will be keen to exact revenge on us and will fancy their chances.
The facts are stark. Manure's record against teams in the top six this season are ominous. United's three away games against teams who fall into the top 6 bracket have seen three wins from three. Spurs haven't fared so well against opposition from the top 6. Our dramatic victory over United represents the only time we haven't been beaten when playing a member of last season's top-six this time around, losing at Newcastle, Manchester City and Arsenal, as well as Chelsea at home.
Most of us would feel that Manure will return to the Lane and we all go back to situation normal. But will it? When Manchester United conceded the title to their neighbours at the end of last season everyone expected a response from Alex Ferguson. Sir Alex doesn't like his dynasty being interrupted by the likes of Chelsea, Scum and now City. So United did spend this summer, and spend big; £27m on Robin Van Persie and £14m on the Bundesliga's player of the year Shinji Kagawa. All these purchases were geared to making United's offense, already featuring players such as Wayne Rooney and Antonio Valencia, one to be feared.
In Ferguson's own words; 'Last year we lost on goal difference and I don't expect us to lose on goal difference again. I think Robin may make that difference.' And yes RVP has! So if we look at what happened at OT are there any lessons we learnt that day or have Manure learnt more? The one thing Manure were not on that day was clinical. Their build up play was as surgical as usual but their finishing in front of goal let them down. I would like to say that we defended well but we all know that we were lucky.
So what have we got to do this weekend to get the same result? For me this is the defining moment of our season not just for our progress in the PL but for AVB and for Daniel Levy. The QPR game was not the result we would have hoped for coming into the United match. A defeat this weekend would ring alarms bells as we all want to avoid the now customary January slide and with just 1 point out 6 we would open the door again for Scum and Chelski to open up a bigger gap or close it. However, to get a win on Sunday will mark a turning point for the club because it will firstly mean that we have taken 6 points off Manure.
Secondly, it will show that we are getting closer to sitting at the top table. Thirdly, it will give us the belief we need to beat Citeh and Scum when they come to the Lane. But, and there is always a but, if we do win, what will that mean for us bringing in a marquee signing in the January transfer window? or our transfer ambitions?
If we get sunk by an RvP goal/s will that send any kind of a message out to Daniel Levy? The stakes therefore are higher than just losing or winning 3 points. It's about seeing how far we have progressed under AVB. A win will mean we already have the players and the squad to compete this season, despite notable absentees. A win will mean that we can build momentum and have a genuinely realistic chance of shutting the door on fourth, and, given the inconsistent mess that Chelski are in, a real crack at 3rd Place. So can we do it? Can AVB pull it off again?
Written by OyVeh Maria
Date:Thursday January 17 2013
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