Well that shut up the critics for a week at least, didn’t it?
Tottenham Hotspur’s first victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford since 1989 last Saturday was an historical result for the club and a huge one for manager Andre Villas-Boas, who made a mockery of the early rumours about his job being under threat by masterminding a win that had eluded all of his predecessors since Terry Venables.
It’s just a shame Harry Redknapp wasn’t on Match of the Day later on in the evening. I would have loved to have seen him explain away a display that was full of clinical verve in the first half and dogged solidity in the second – it would have been great to see ‘Arry describe the performance as t’riffic through gritted teeth.
The 3-2 win silenced AVB’s doubters for the time being and I have to say I am not one of the people – and there seems to be quite a few of them about, especially in the media – who appear desperate for Villas-Boas to fail. Quite the opposite, in fact: there’s lots about AVB I like – his football knowledge, his intelligence, his rugged good looks – and I think given some time he can prove that Chelsea was the wrong job for him at the wrong time.
Paul Lambert might want to concentrate on his team’s away day blues rather than suing his former club, as his side haven’t won on the road since beating Wolves on 21st January, a run of 11 games without victory.
A few more wins like last week and there will be an increasing number of people willing to give him the benefit of the doubt like me. You don’t win three trophies in one season like he did at Porto if you don’t have something about you, and I think the ‘project’ as Villas-Boas would call it (a horrible word that has joined the football lexicon to such an extent that Steve Bruce used the word when he went to Hull, for God’s sake) is an exciting one for Spurs fans.
After a sticky start – something of a Tottenham trait over recent years – three wins on the bounce has lifted the Lilywhites to fifth place on 11 points, two above north London rivals Arsenal and just one off the Champions League places, AVB’s stated aim for this year. They welcome Aston Villa to White Hart Lane on Sunday as they look to reach the top four before the international break, and I see nothing other than a home win here.
That is a 12/25 shot, with the draw at 333/100 and Villa at 5/1, and it is hard to see this relatively poor Villans outfit getting much from a ground where they have struggled over recent years.
Villa have won at White Hart Lane just once in their last 12 visits, losing seven times, and the Midlanders have travelled to London with far better sides than the one that will take to the field on Sunday. Paul Lambert might want to concentrate on his team’s away day blues rather than suing his former club, as his side haven’t won on the road since beating Wolves on 21st January, a run of 11 games without victory.
Just five goals have been scored in that period, and with just one league win in 16 matches, it is hard to see them getting much from a superior Spurs team. I like the 13/10 that Tottenham win a match with under 3.5 goals: on the back of a European fixture Spurs may be a bit leggy, but I don’t think Villa have the tools to take advantage. There have been fewer than four goals in six of Tottenham’s last seven home league games, and they look good for a low-scoring win.
Recommended bet: Tottenham to win and under 3.5 goals @ 13/10
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