As I have often said, previous games recently in the Premier League, or previous FA Cup encounters of years gone by, mean nothing to tomorrows game at Wembley. Perhaps a few Spurs players will believe they can beat Manchester United, because they have done recently in the league, but apart from that, it’s a level playing field.
As both managers have quite rightly pointed out, playing at Wembley does not mean that Spurs have the ‘home advantage’, United will have been drilled into playing this game, as though it were the final, together with the huge amount of their fans expected, I don’t think any United players will feel unduly like the ‘underdog ‘.
Some Spurs fans have misconstrued Mauricio Pochettino’s comments made, about he didn’t consider winning the FA Cup that important. He was saying that for two very different reasons, the first was to try and reduce any pressure his players might obviously be feeling before the tie, in regard to, that they MUST win a trophy etc.
The second reason he said that is, he was showing the fans what his real goals are for this club, it would be great for all Spurs fans if we get to the final, and win. He didn’t mean that winning the FA Cup was not important at all, it meant he wants, and believes, he can take this Spurs side, and win the Premier League, and possibly the Champions League in the not too distant future.
You don’t have to be an expert pundit to predict that this tie will hinge on two key elements, the players chosen, and the tactics they are given, and a moment of magic from one or more, of the very talented players on both sides.
I’m really hoping VAR will minimalise any refereeing errors, but that the game is allowed to flow as much as possible.
As far as player selection goes, I would prefer to see Lucas Moura start than Heung-Min Son, and Wanyama instead of Eric Dier.
As a Spurs fan for 51 years (since the 1967 season when we beat Chelsea 2-1 in the FA Cup Final), I’ve witnessed my share of disappointing FA Cup results since, and so my brain tells me to err on the side of caution/pessimism, and say I don’t think we will win this tie. On the other-hand my heart says, “COYS, you can do it !”, and I dare to dream once again, that Spurs can win an FA Cup semi-final !
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