Former captain Roy Keane summed this feeling up best when he recounted a pre-match team talk from Sir Alex Ferguson, which was designed to point out how brilliant the manager was at being able to read the mindset of his players.
“I thought I knew what the group might need, that we didn’t need a big team talk,” Keane said. “It was Tottenham at home. I thought please don’t go on about Tottenham, we all know what Tottenham is about, they are nice and tidy but we’ll fucking do them. He came in and said: ‘Lads, it’s Tottenham’, and that was it. Brilliant.”
And for a long time that was the image of Spurs. They were lightweights in a club like United’s eyes.
Gradually, though, Mauricio Pochettino has changed the perception and Keane himself admitted the days of ‘lads, it’s Tottenham’ are over, having watched them rise to Premier League title challengers.
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