Liverpool 2 Man Utd 0. The Red Devils' lack of quality is jarring
When I read that, I wanted to fly over to London and slap him on the head. Such a mentality has been the downfall of Spurs the past few seasons. All the constant talk from players about being title contenders when Spurs were chasing Leicester and Chelsea, and this Winks declaration, revealed a mindset that the team rarely reflected upon their shortfall.
Well, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United already beat Spurs this season and certainly, when the Reds visit the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this weekend, they will have very little to fear from a Spurs side that is struggling to dominate even the smallest of opponents, Jose Mourinho or not.
The fact that Hugo Lloris, Harry Kane, Moussa Sissoko and Tanguy Ndombele, easily four of Spurs’ best players, are all out injured for this fixture, makes this a mission so impossible that even Tom Cruise would choose not to accept it, especially now that he’s running for President.
Add on the fact that Liverpool rested most of their first-team players in the FA Cup fixture last weekend against Everton (and won!), whereas Spurs played their strongest 11 against Boro but drew, it’s not rocket science that the only way the home team can get anything from this match is through divine intervention. Or, as we like to call it these days, VAR.
Kneel before the almighty VAR!
And even then, given that I’ve already said back in September that Liverpool’s best signing of the season is Lady Luck, it is highly unlikely that the powers that be would favour Spurs in this tie.
But us Spurs fans are the most resilient of masochists, and many of us will go into the match with a bizarre hope that maybe Mourinho has been saving something in his back pocket for this fixture, as a way to show that even though he may not win any trophies this season, he was the man who engineered Liverpool’s first league defeat of the season.
This hope has been buoyed by media reports that this match could prove a tricky test for the Champions elect, with former Reds striker John Aldridge claiming that Mourinho will park the bus and make it difficult for Liverpool.
I hope Mourinho doesn’t fall for that, because to park the bus against a rampant Liverpool side is committing seppuku. Not because bus parking is inherently itself a bad tactic, albeit one that no fan wants to watch, but because Spurs simply do not have the players with valid bus licences.
Parking the bus takes an enormous amount of discipline, something which right-back Serge Aurier never understood as he merrily wanders up the field to join the attack with no consideration of being in a position to fall back and break up counter-attacks.
It also takes a huge amount of concentration, and Eric Dier would lose that the moment the game starts passing him by because it’s simply too fast for him. It needs the team to also win the physical challenges, but I struggle to think of a striker Davinson Sanchez actually won an aerial battle against.
Throw in a Jan Vertonghen who recently filed a police report for losing his form, and you simply have a Spurs defensive unit that has no chance at stopping Firmino, Mane and Salah.
Spurs are best when given the freedom to attack, as seen in the second half against Ajax, last season’s second leg against Man City and the first half hour against Bayern in London this season. It is when they sit back to defend where all the problems come in.
Truth be told, it probably wouldn’t matter as this match-up isn’t even David vs Goliath, it’s Barney the Dinosaur vs an Infinity Gauntlet wielding Thanos.
Here are all the reasons why Spurs will lose to Liverpool.
And here are the only reasons why Spurs might not lose.
In the face of the overwhelming odds against Spurs, I’m going to say Liverpool to win it 3-1.
Nevertheless, I will be bringing all my lucky charms with me to watch the match at Cafe Football tomorrow. Masochistic Spurs fans are more than welcome to come drown our sorrows together in ice-cold beer.