BBC journalist: Loss against Man Utd good news for Spurs

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Tottenham lost 1-0 to Manchester United at Wembley last night in what was a disappointing result for the North Londoners.

Going into the game Tottenham needed three points to keep their title hopes alive but the loss now sees Tottenham fall nine points behind league leaders Liverpool, thus effectively ending Spurs’ title challenge.

Interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer set up his team to absorb pressure and counter attack and the Norwegian’s tactics worked perfectly in the first half of the game, as United took the lead through Marcus Rashford.

The second half was a completely different story as Spurs pushed United back and created several chances. However, Spurs could not get the breakthrough they needed, owing to a combination of bad finishing and some incredible shot stopping from David De Gea.

Senior BBC Journalist Phil McNulty reckons that the loss might actually be good for Spurs in the long run.

In his column for the BBC, McNulty wrote that this win for Man Utd might be crucial in convincing the Man Utd hierarchy to hand Solskjaer a long term contract.

The former Red Devils striker has been appointed on an interim basis until the end of the season. Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is rumoured to be United’s preferred choice to take over at Old Trafford from next season.

McNulty, however, suggested that if the Norwegian continues winning games, it will be hard for the Red Devils to not give him the job on a permanent basis. He wrote, “There must still be serious reservations at this early stage about whether Solskjaer will be handed the reins long-term but wins like this, built on a positive tactical platform from a resurgent team before a truly exceptional display of goalkeeping from David de Gea, will strengthen his case.”

McNulty further suggested that getting Pochettino to swap Spurs for Man Utd was always going to be hard considering the progress Tottenham have made under the Argentine.

He added, “It was always an arrogant assumption that Pochettino, who has forged a good working relationship with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy and enjoys control of football matters, would simply drop everything at a beckoning finger from Old Trafford.”

“Spurs will (eventually) move into a magnificent new stadium and Pochettino has developed incredibly close bonds with his players over the course of his time at the club.”

“If United did make their move and are willing to pay the reported £40m it would take to buy out the remainder of the five-year contract the Argentine signed in May 2018, who is to say Levy would just wave them through or Pochettino would automatically accept?”

“It would undoubtedly, however, come as a great relief to Spurs if Solskjaer did so well that United looked closer to home and did the sort of deal with Molde that would be little more than a formality”

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