This is the end
Europa League finalists Manchester United come to town on Sunday afternoon for the last home game of the season and, as won’t have escaped the attention of many, the last game at this version of White Hart Lane. If rumours are correct, the bulldozers will be ready to move in almost at the moment referee Jonathan Moss blows the final whistle though hopefully they’ll stand back to let the parade of former players and whatever other shenanigans Spurs have got planned post match to take place before they move in and begin to knock our house down.
With third place secured we need a point to pretty much guarantee second and you would hope, for posterity’s sake at least, that we get it from this match. Manchester United’s ‘disappointing’ season may see them end up with two trophies and qualifying for the Champions League, not bad going by Mourinho on the face of it especially as this campaign has included a 25 (?) game unbeaten run. All is not as pretty as its painted however. League expectations at the start of the season, given the new manager and the money spent, would’ve been much higher than eventually achieved, the performances have been mostly frustrating rather than exhilarating whilst the egotistic & guiltless bullying behaviour of the manager will surely have alienated as many of the club’s own fans as the silverware has seduced. Maybe.
This is the end, My only friend
Mourinho’s ‘big game management’ skills have come to the fore regularly during the season but whether he’ll consider deploying these in Sunday’s match is open to doubt. He will be focused on Stockholm and Ajax and won’t want his preparations for that encounter compromised by anything, injuries or tiredness for instance, where the profit is only the difference between finishing fifth or sixth.
Injuries mean that they will field a weakened side anyway, planning for Sweden may mean that it’s a relatively junior one as well. Fellaini is suspended.
The end, of our elaborate plans
Pochettino will have been puzzled, frustrated and angered by events at the London Stadium last Friday. One view is that Bilic ‘did one’ on him and out thought our beloved leader, and to be fair this is the third game in a row that we’ve struggled to breakdown a normally porous Hammers defence. Another, probably less palatable version, is that we’ve hit our 34 game ‘wall’ and every game now will be a heavy legged struggle through treacle. My feeling is that the players got a bit cocky post the Gooner bashing and thus weren’t quite at the races. We won’t know which is the case until Sunday afternoon, I’m sure Poch will have made his feelings on the matter clear during the week though given that it was, maybe excluding Anfield, our worst performance of the season.
The end of everything that stands
Much, unfair in my view, opprobrium has been directed to Walker after his performance at West Ham; after a slow start he was one of our better players. There were poor displays all across the back four, quite what Alderweireld was up to in his own area towards the end I’ve no idea. I suspect Poch will be tempted to go to the three at the back system on Sunday, thus playing all of Dembèlè, Wanyama and Dier and sacrificing Son to the bench. Who will play at right wing back will be interesting though; we will learn more about the Walker/Trippier/Pochettino love triangle from the team selection.
There’s been no news of Danny Rose this week, there must be a reasonable chance of him making the bench though?
No safety or surprise, the end
Our form at home has been imperious and all conquering. The occasion is a big one; assuming we don’t get distracted by it, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t mark the end of WHL with a fitting victory.
I’ll never look into your eyes… again
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