What has Geri Halliwell got to do with Tottenham's title challenge? Read on my friends...
Tottenham v Manchester United, Sunday 4.00pm, Sky Sports 1
Geri Halliwell’s rendition of ‘It’s Raining Men’ was the artist formally known as Ginger Spice’s fourth consecutive number one UK hit single, and went on to be her most successful solo effort. It was also on the Bridget Jones soundtrack and hit the top 10 in over two dozen countries worldwide.
Overall, 440k copies of the single were sold in the UK and it was the 13th best seller for the year 2001.
Why so much spiel about Geri Halliwell at the start of a Tottenham v Manchester United preview? Partly because we don’t need any excuse to talk about our second favourite Spice Girl (behind Emma B.) and partly because while ‘It’s Raining Men’ was number one Spurs beat United 3-1 at White Hart Lane.
But the home side haven’t picked up a win in that fixture since then.
Willem Korsten’s double and a goal from Les Ferdinand helped Tottenham to a 3-1 win in May 2001, but since then they’ve drawn six and lost eight of their 14 home league games against the Red Devils. Even during David Moyes’ disastrous reign, Man United claimed a point at WHL, coming from behind twice to draw 2-2 courtesy of a Wayne Rooney brace.
Manchester United’s biggest win during that spell was a 4-0 hammering in 2007, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Nemanja Vidic, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs all on the scoresheet, while there were a couple of 3-1 wins on the list, along with the infamous 5-3 game in September 2001.
After going 3-0 down before half-time, Sir Alex Ferguson gave United the hairdryer treatment, before five goals in the second 45 minutes completed a remarkable turnaround and a 5-3 victory.
More misery at home for Tottenham this year, and it could mean waving goodbye to the Premier League title.
The tiny silver lining on this cloud of misery lingering over Manuel Pochetinno’s men, is that of, the last eight league games against Manchester United they’ve drawn six. But it’s the draws that may cost Tottenham the league.
Only West Ham have drawn more times than Tottenham this season, and Spurs’ 11 draws include sharing the spoils away to West Brom and Swansea and at home to Stoke. If they had won just two of those games rather than drawing, there would be only three points behind Leicester and they have a far better goal difference. What could have been…
Another point on Sunday may be the final nail in the coffin of Tottenham’s title challenge – particularly if Leicester win away to Sunderland – but it looks like the most valuable way to punt if history is correct. Almost half of Spurs’ 11 draws have finished 1-1, yet none of these results have come at White Hart Lane.
Louis van Gaal’s men have picked up 1-1 draws away to Chelsea and Leicester already this season, and while the underdogs in a scrap for fourth – only West Ham have picked up more points against the top half this year.
It’s a shot that the two sides share the points on Sunday afternoon, and that the match ends in a score draw. The 1-1 final score looks the most tempting and is an shot as Tottenham attempt to hang on to Leicester City’s coat-tails, and Manchester United try to keep tabs on their local rivals in the race for fourth.
Just as long as we can use the Geri Halliwell video again next season, then we’ll be happy.