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TALKING UNITED

Posted on 27 April 2003  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Our director of football David Pleat gives the lowdown on our forthcoming opposition - next up, Manchester United.

MANCHESTER UNITED'S FOOTBALL has been flowing and their goalscoring record over the last five or six games has been excellent. They are capable of scoring in any game.

I think Ryan Giggs is very influential to them. He had a bit of a blip earlier in the season but he has come on well again and when he is running at players with the ball he is absolutely superb.

Solskjaer is a great finisher and we don't even have to talk about Van Nistelrooy - he has proved that he is the finest centre-forward in the British game today.

Interestingly enough, when Holland played England at White Hart Lane last year they trained here at our Chigwell training ground and after a particular practice they put on, one of the security men here, Dennis, came up to me and said 'if you've got any spare money, put it on Van Nistelrooy to be leading goalscorer because he is something else'. I have to say well done Dennis, you are a very good judge.

Although Sir Alex played him sparingly last season he has proved this season that he is the best goalscorer. However, he is playing in the team that gives him the best opportunities - Beckham's diagonal balls, Scholes' clever threaded passes, Keane's power and all-round game.

I think one of the finds of the season is John O'Shea. Two good feet, stature and pace, very much in the Ledley King bracket. I think Ledley has been fantastic this season. For such a young lad, he's shouldered a lot of responsibility. He had a hip injury early on but has been there since. Right foot, left foot, tackling, passing, clearing - for a boy his age he has done magnificently.

But we are talking about Manchester United here and we will all remember our 3-0 up being turned into 5-3 last season. I thought Veron was fantastic that day and it was like a tide we couldn't stop. That was an incredible game and after games like that, even though you are desperately deflated, you realise your love of football is because it is not only unpredictable but it can also produce fantastic games, fantastic moments and bouts of play where you realise how skilfully qualified the players are who are playing.

That is a tribute to Alex Ferguson who has managed to sustain success over a 15-year period. To gain success isn't too difficult from time to time but to sustain it is most difficult. United have the trick. They get the best young players and mould them with very clever buys. It's the perfect recipe.