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AT A GLANCE: How Manchester United have pretty much owned Spurs over the years

In theory it should be one of English football's biggest rivalry. In practice it really isn't

by Aidan Elder | November 29, 2013

It’s rightly the biggest game of the Premier League weekend, but Tottenham have a curiously crap league record against United, both at White Hart Lane and oop north. That’s illustrated by this graph which represents the entire 104 year history of league matches between the two clubs.


The terms ‘Comfortable Spurs win‘ and ‘Comfortable United win‘ are somewhat problematic because we’ve seen plenty of 2-0 victories that were far more hard-fought than a scrappy 1-0 or 2-1 win.

If ignore that obvious and substantial caveat, it’s there to make a distinction between a one goal winning margin and theoretically close game from a winning margin of two or more goals which is theoretically easier. A Spurs Win or United Win are the games they won by a single goal. A draw is a draw – that’s straightforward even in this convoluted system.

Whatever way you slice it, United are calling the shots like the better looking half of any relationship. Despite roughly being similar to United for large parts of their history, they’ve fallen behind by quite some distance on the overall record.

The 1990s and in particularly the 2000s were bleak terms in the relationship with United bossing things and Spurs claiming just four wins in total across the two decades. Spurs have enjoyed clusters of success across the years, which is pretty much a neat summary of the entire history of the club.

With the pressure Andre Villas-Boas is under, it would be a nice time to start turning that around. The humiliation by the blue half of Manchester sparked a plunge on AVB and his trendy coats to be shown the door and it’s clear all is not well in the camp. If the hosts taste defeat again, the Portuguese might just be forced to jacket all in.


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