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Spurs manager Ange Postecoglou makes Man City point to send top four message to Man United

Ange Postecoglou believes if United can catch Spurs, so can Spurs catch City
Ange Postecoglou believes if Manchester United can catch Tottenham Hotspur, they can catch Manchester City

Ange Postecoglou believes if Manchester United can catch Tottenham Hotspur, they can catch Manchester City

Ange Postecoglou had a message for both the Manchester clubs in a recent interview he gave ahead of his side’s midweek fixture against West Ham, as quoted by The Mirror.

When asked about the chances of Man United catching up to them in the race for a top-four finish in the Premier League, the Spurs manager said:

“Can you see us challenging Manchester City? No? Well they’re only eight points ahead of us. If there’s eight points [gap], you either think we can catch Man City who are eight points ahead of us or you think Man United can catch us.”

Spurs currently lie fifth in the Premier League table with 56 points, exactly eight points behind third-placed Man City and eight points ahead of six-placed Man United, all teams having played 29 games. They’re coming off a come-from-behind victory over Luton, having beaten them 2-1 over the weekend.

Son Heung-min scored an 86th-minute winner to complete the comeback for Spurs. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images) (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Son Heung-min scored an 86th-minute winner to complete the comeback for Spurs. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images) (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

While the Aussie’s remarks make sense on paper, it is to be kept in mind that his fixture list coming into the business end of the season looks harder than those of United and City.

Spurs are yet to face City, Arsenal, and Liverpool—this season’s three title contenders. United, meanwhile, have Liverpool and Arsenal to face in the league and still have the FA Cup to look forward to. Pep Guardiola’s men, on the other hand, have both FA Cup and UEFA Champions League duties to look forward to apart from their remaining league fixtures, in which only Champions League hopefuls Spurs and Aston Villa stand out as the tricky opponents, making theirs the easiest run of fixtures in the league when compared to the schedules of both Spurs and United.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag

While Spurs may yet have a say in the matter of how near Man City they finish in the league, for their manager, the league position is not the biggest point of concern—for now.

“What’s important for me is that we want to finish the season strong and keep building on the foundation of being a team that hopefully in 12 months’ time people are looking at us differently and talking about us differently.”

Postecoglou clarified when asked about his priorities on Monday.

The odds are not in Ten Hag’s favour

While both Spurs and Villa, United’s realistic top-four rivals, have the three title contenders left to play against, the Red Devils have the odds stacked against them for a Champions League finish by virtue of their own performances this season.

Erik ten Hag‘s men have shown a tendency to take a few steps backward immediately after taking a few forward this season. Even putting aside their games against Liverpool and Arsenal, one cannot consider their other league fixtures a done deal. If the next few games don’t go to plan, United may very well run out of steam altogether and fail to keep up pace with the rest of the pack.

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So, while they are indeed as far from Spurs in the league as Spurs are from City, one can safely assume that Spurs are likelier to finish closer to City come May than to United.

Written by Anshuman Joshi

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