for a new job.
When Pochettino faced Spurs as the Southampton manager with the rumours that the club wanted him he lost to Dim Tim’s side, he fluffed his lines against Man United this time around.
The narrative was going to be Pochettino is going to United win or lose. If Spurs win then this victory shows he’s the right man for the job, if Spurs lose, then it shows he taken them as far as he can, it’s time for him to move on to “bigger and better things”.
So it’s the latter after Solskjaer’s side won one nothing.
Poch was upbeat after the defeat,certainly more upbeat than he was after the reverse fixture, when he wasn’t happy with the performance in the 3-0 victory. But these two games show what happens in football. In the August fixture Spurs had five attempts on goal, from nine shots and score three. Whereas here they had 21 shots, of which 11 were on target and couldn’t get one past the keeper.
I tweeted during the game that De Gea was having a Tim Krul game but in reality he wasn’t. Expertly highlighted by a bit of commentary by Lee Dixon, who said after another shot was hit straight De Gea that he moves his feet so quick, as the replay showed the foot was planted and didn’t move. Krul’s day in the sun involved many outstanding saves, this performance really didn’t. Just a foot here, a foot there. And the usual Sky wankathon.
Chance after chance hit at De Gea and squandered. Another day and it’s a right stuffing, their goal is just a blip.
A blip from Trippier passing the ball straight to an opposing player… again. He put in some decent crosses and balls but there’s times that Trippier looks like he let the World Cup go to his head this season. From that it looked like Poch had made the wrong choice in defence. With Davies and the returning Jan a bit slow up against Rashford. Hugo could have done better as well. He does seem to let a few past him in that way.
Just take two of those opportunities and that can be forgotten though. Yes they had other chances but Hugo either saved them or the defence snuffed them out.
Or they could have relied on the officials doing their job correctly. Everyone jokes about Jones and another faceplant of his, completely missing the fact that he ended up doing that because he’s fouling someone in the area. There was at least two times that Man U defenders dragged down a Spurs player that should have seen a penalty given. De gea could have received about four yellows for time wasting. While the yellow Pogba got must have been for kicking the ball away because no ref who had a clear view – which Dean did – of his above the knee challenge on Dele could have thought it was just a caution and not a straight red.
Poch said the second half was the best 45 minutes he’d seen from his team during his four and a half years. Hyperbole? Yes, there’s been better. And that’s not just because of the outcome.
The problem is now what are we going to see from his team. Harry was fouled and went over his ankle. Another season, another Harry Kane ankle injury. Last year when it happened Sonny stood up but he’s off now to play for his country. Who can fill the gap if it is a serious injury?
Added to that what is there in the middle of the park. Who knew just a few months ago when Sissoko was still the worst buy in the history of the club that his pulling up injured could be a turning point of the season?
Carabao Cup it is then lads… just have to hope history doesn’t repeat itself and Man United don’t want a manager who can’t beat Man United at home…