Both Tottenham and Manchester united need to go into any final this season and to win a trophy. They do that for very different reasons. This FA Cup semi-final should present us with a classic football clash – the defensive minded football of Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United against the offensive minded Tottenham. I have a lot of respect both for Mourinho and for the Red Devils and honestly thing that they are the better team. However, Spurs are not afraid to attack. The Mauricio Pochettino’s side play an exiting football and are a team which entertains the football fans. This is a very good reason for many neutral fans to support Spurs.
Manchester United still on defence?
I think that winning a trophy is very important for Tottenham as this will prove that they progress under Pochettino. So, I believe that Spurs need the win more than United. Jose Mourinho’s team is on defence, not just on the pitch. Mourinho’s needs a trophy to prove that the club does not regret under his management, he fights for his own record. Another FA Cup in the Manchester United’s trophy cabinet is insignificant achievement for the world’s biggest football brand. United might come out as a winner from the the clash against Spurs and as an eventual winner of this years’s FA Cup, but will be not be an achievement for them. This would be a small achievement meant to be used for a Jose Mourinho’s personal use.
If we ask Manchester United if this FA trophy is really important for them compared to the perspective of the team going back to the top of the Premier League and playing in the final stages of the Champions League, I guess they would write the FA Cup off.
Spurs are on course to become a very big club?
Tottenham Hotspur are a glorious club in England. They have significant history and tradition in the FA Cup. Unlike the current Manchester United they are a team of player who are hungry to win a trophy. Their manager Mauricio Poichetino said that:
“It would be fantastic to win the FA Cup. But is it going to change our life? I don’t believe so. Every one of the semi‑finalists will fight to win but it’s not about who needs the trophy more.”
He speaks like a Manager of a team who has a much bigger goals than winning the FA Cup in a single season and that’s very smart. However, Spurs really need to win trophies and I believe that they should be the more motivated side.
We also need to consider the fact that Spurs are a team which has more consistent development than Manchester United within the last three or four years. Unlike Manchester United, Tottenham do not build a team based on smashing enormous about of money. They buy young talented players and Pochettino work with them. This is something that brings sympathy to his current Spurs side. The Tottenham manager not just things big, he has also implements a management philosophy that aims to bring Spurs among the best team in football.
“If we are capable to win the Premier League and the Champions League, it is a moment you say the team has improved and reached the next level. To win the FA Cup or the League Cup – it will be fantastic for the fans but it is not going to move the club to a different level.
“That is my opinion. Some people respect it; some people don’t. I want to play to win the Premier League and Champions League. If we can win the FA Cup, then fantastic. But if you are going to change the vision or put the club in a different level, you must compete for and then win the Premier League and Champions League.
This statement shows very clear why Spurs are progressing under Pochettino. He has the support of the fans and the club and under hims guidance Spurs have become a bigger football club.
If Spurs go pass Manchester United they will need to win against the most like winner of the other semi-final – Chelsea. It is not that I underestimate Southampton, but there is a huge difference in the class between the Saints and the Antonio Conte’s Chelsea. Chlease might failed to enter the top four, but they have a good team and it will be a significant challenge for Spurs (or Manchester United) to win the FA Cup against them. Still, Chelsea looks very much like Manchester United, a team on a landslide with a manager who’s future in the club looks a bit unclear. Antonio Conte is in the same position as Jose Mourinho. He needs to defend his footballing philosophy and his ability to drive Chelsea forward.
So, if Spurs go past Manchester United, something which will not be easy and qualify for the FA Cup final, they will be more optimistic team then their opponents.