Ice skates and skis – Tottenham Hotspur V Manchester United January 20th 2013

If you told me immediately after the match against Tottenham last September that come the final whistle on the return game, United would be five points clear at the top of the table, I wouldn’t have believed you. United now have Liverpool, Newcastle and Tottenham completely out of the way and have played Chelsea and City away from home. Only a fool would ever take anything for granted, especially after the way last season concluded (just in case we didn’t already know) but looking at the respective fixtures both United and City have, give me United’s any day. Out of the teams in the top seven, United only have to play away at Arsenal.

Saviour: Clint Dempsey struck deep into injury-time to rescue a point for Spurs

Clint Dempsey equalises in the 2nd minute of injury time

David De Gea made some great saves today but yet again, his preference for punching the ball has, I believe, cost United. Halfway through the second half, he punched the ball out of a crowded penalty area under no pressure or challenge which created chaos. He punched a cross two minutes into injury time which allowed Aaron Lennon to roll the ball to Clint Dempsey, giving Tottenham a deserved draw. It’s always disappointing to concede a last minute goal, especially against such formidable opposition, but I would’ve taken a draw prior to kick off. With the possession and attacking threat of Tottenham in today’s match, especially in the second half, a draw is a fair result.

and some nifty footwork was needed by fans outside the ground.

The pavement outside White Hart Lane today, fans in ice skates and ski’s not in the picture (photo courtesy of Barney at www.rednews.co.uk )

Just prior to Christmas 2010, I was in London for the weekend that United were due to play Chelsea. The weather on Saturday, the day before the game, was atrocious so Chelsea, who were in disarray at the time, somehow managed to get the game postponed a full twenty four hours before the match was due to be played. I mention this due to the fact that the weather in London today was, if anything, worse than that day two years ago. The main difference between the two occasions were the club United were playing. Tottenham Hotspur are historically a football club who will turn out come what may and play a match without any snide or sharp practice. Chelsea, as we all well know, are not. There has been a lot of rubbish this week on SKY TV about ‘payback’ regarding today’s match but I’m not really sure why. Tottenham came to Old Trafford last September and beat United fairly. The second half of that particular match was one of United’s best performances of the season but it was too little, too late. I have no feeling of United being robbed or hard done by so I’m not quite sure why SKY Sports felt the need to bill the game as ‘payback’. Add to that, of all the football clubs in London, Tottenham are the one I have the most respect for.

Football: Spurs v Manchester United

Pitch inspection with the match officials and representatives from both Tottenham and United

United started the game with plenty of possession and aggression. On 24 minutes, Danny Welbeck found Tom Cleverley and whipped in a perfect cross for Robin Van Persie, who lost Kyle Walker and nodded a free header past Tottenham’s French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, on his near post. From there, United, whilst not rampant, looked in good control of the game. United’s defence of Rafael, Evra, Ferdinand and Vidic had the best game I’ve seen them have in a good while. In the midfield, Phil Jones had a good game and Michael Carrick had a blinder. Half time was inconvenient for United; any momentum that had been built up was lost by the time the two teams came back out for the second half.

Headmaster: Robin van Persie pounced to nod Manchester United ahead at Tottenham

Robin Van Persie heads United into the lead on 24 minutes

United fans were back on form today after the subdued performance at the Boleyn Ground a couple of weeks ago. It also helps that White Hart Lane is a ground conducive to a good atmosphere. Swansea fans do a rendition of Land of Our Fathers which is magnificent but, for me, the slowed down version the Tottenham fans do of When the Spurs go Marchin’ in has the hairs on the back of my neck standing. I do hope the one hundred mile an hour merchants that populate the Stretford End have seen that the same way I have. I won’t knock anybody for creating an atmosphere at Old Trafford (especially after the other night) but does everything have to be so fast?

9 thoughts on “Ice skates and skis – Tottenham Hotspur V Manchester United January 20th 2013”

  1. Great read as always mate but I don’t agree with the fast/slow singing point, not entirely anyway. Yes, the Spurs fans do a great job of their song, and Swansea with theirs’ and even the Scousers have been known to properly belt out a couple of their slower numbers. As for United we don’t have any slow songs apart from ‘We’ll Never Die’ which is sung a bit too often and too casually for my liking anyway. What would you like us to sing slowly? ‘When the Reds go marching in?’ Every team in red sings that and I like to think United chants are some of the least generic. Lastly, I’ve heard the lads at FC United and a section of their support has taken slow singing far too far, it’s dull and boring and gets right on my tits.

    As for the match, gutting to concede in injury time but yeah, happy with a point away at Spurs. A good club with a very decent side at the moment.

  2. Matt – I’ll let Murph respond for himself but I think what he’s getting at is not the songs themselves but the way our support now sings them in a turbo charged “Hey look at me I know the words and to prove it can sing it as fast as this” way. The Calypso is the worst. You basically have to lose words to keep up with it. Think if we lost some of the speed (quite literally…and other similar substances) from some members of our support, then we might sing the chants/songs not only better but louder as others are just not joining in any more simply because it comes across as incoherent rubbish with only the tune recognisable. And yeah I know its not X factor but there is a point in there somewhere :o)

    1. fair enough with the calypso, i do know what you mean! “Cheslea’s success is fucking hollow” is well hard to pronounce too haha, a few of us were all saying that at Swansea! Just don’t want it to turn into what you hear at FC, people droaning slowly on and on for like 20minutes.

      1. I’m not saying that we slow down to the level of Tottenham fans singing their song (as good as it is to my ears) but I sometimes think that United fans have a techno click track in their ears when belting out the songs, particularly at home. Maybe the ‘Red Flag’ is overdone but for poignancy and grace, ‘forever and ever, we’ll follow the boys of Man United, the Busby babes’ takes some beating.

        As for FC, I was there on the Saturday before United played Liverpool and I didn’t notice any slow chanting to be honest, never mind for twenty minutes but next time I’m there, I’ll listen out for ut.

  3. Good work as usual Murph, most enjoyable.

    As for the speed of singing discussion, each to their own, but wouldn’t it be better to concentrate on simply getting more people singing at any speed whatsoever, as opposed to about 40% of any given United away end singing fast/slow and the rest standing there arms folded, mouths clamped shut?

    I thought our section was okay yesterday, but no way was it fantastic or outstanding, and the non-atmosphere which was the Spurs fans was just pathetic.

    An ecclesiastical hush, but to be fair only the same as OT for the dippers game 7 days previously.

    Still, that notwithstanding, 5 points clear at this stage with RVP banging them in like a man possessed.

    No complaints!

    Are you sorted for Fulham Murph? Oh, and what are you doing for Madrid?

    1. I’ve got nowt for Fulham, can you sort it ? Same as with Madrid but that’s different. I can’t apply because (whisper it quietly) my season ticket is not in my name and with United demanding that you flash your passport to collect tickets on the day of the game to pick them up and with the obvious problem of my season ticket and passport not corresponding, to not put too fine a point on it, nauses me.

  4. I’m with Lionel on this singing lark. Any noise would have welcome to my frozen lug ‘oles against west h. Garble or other. Some of the chants are over used. But maybe our support is in transitional phase. We’ve some good old songs. So the Cantona one could be rested. On the pitch, Spurs have always been the club from London for me. Good play, and to anyone of my age, I’ll just say early sixties. Football to match anything you’ll get from the fraudsters out west. Seems at bit harsh to criticise De Gea. He kept us in the match on several occasions. But I concur that the catch, punch needs sorting. Futures

  5. Tottenham are the club in London you have most respect for are they? Have you already forgot about the sneaky way they got Zeki Fryers?

    1. No, I’m perfectly well aware of the Zeki Fryers manoeuvre but I wouldn’t get too self righteous about it bearing in mind that United signed Teddy Sheringham and Dimitar Berbatov in circumstances which, to say the least, left a strong taste in Tottenhams mouth. To me, it’s a case of taking what comes and getting on with it without getting too upset. Compared with the way Chelsea signed John Obi Mikel (one day, the truth will come out about that), Tottenham have conducted this signing with perfect legality allowing for the fact that it was a little devious. Big deal !!

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