White Hart Lane ready for fitting farewell

Leave a comment

After 118 years, the stage is set for the final 90 minutes of action at White Hart Lane this Sunday.

[ MORE: Tour around Spurs’ new stadium ]

Tottenham Hotspur host Manchester United (Watch live, 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) in their final game at the Lane with Mauricio Pochettino‘s men able to go the entire home season unbeaten if they avoid defeat.

[ PHOTOS: What are oldest stadiums in PL? ]

The Lane is truly one of the great soccer cathedrals in England. Cramped with fans close to the pitch at every angle, you can almost feel the history seeping through your flesh as you walk around and sniff in the dusty air and freshly cut grass. Like Anfield, Old Trafford and Goodison Park in the Premier League, or Fenway Park or Wrigley Field in the U.S., the design of the stadium gives us a glimpse of previous generations. White Hart Lane has been a constant for Spurs fans of every generation.

During a game you seem to hover over the pitch from any seat in the stadium and when goals go you feel the old place reverberate and shudder with ecstasy. Spurs’ current team will look to give their fans a few final moments to enjoy in their final game at the Lane.

Yet the game is just one part of the farewell to Tottenham’s historic ground.

[ MORE: Spurs’ plan to continue American connection

After the game a huge farewell ceremony is planned (which you can watch live online via NBCSports.com) where former players, the current squad and coaching staff and academy teams will all be present, plus a show featuring music and a video montage will take center stage. Plus, fans will be given special gifts on arrival and there will be a fitting mosaic to see off the Lane in style.

Spurs leaving their historic home has kind of snuck up on everyone for a few reasons. Firstly, they only announced it was happening on Apr. 28 when their move to Wembley Stadium was confirmed. And secondly, they’ll be returning in just after 12 months when their new 61,000 capacity stadium is expected ready on the site right next to the current home.

Yes, Spurs will be leaving behind their entire history as a club when the current White Hart Lane stadium is leveled but they’ll also be preparing the club, and the surrounding area, for a bright new future.

It will be a slightly somber occasion at the Lane given the fact that many fans adore the many quirks (perhaps they won’t miss the huge stanchions placed in front of seats that much…) and superb atmosphere generated at the Lane. Plus, the fact that Spurs look almost certain to come up short in the Premier League title race to Chelsea will make many think of “what could have been” during the final outing in one of English soccer’s oldest stadiums.

However, there is so much to be thankful to White Hart Lane for over the years.

From a League and FA Cup double under Bill Nicholson to magical players like Glenn Hoddle, Osvaldo Ardiles and now Harry Kane and Dele Alli strutting their stuff, this stadium has had a good run. A very good run.

Now, it will get one final sendoff before Tottenham make a huge leap into a bright future with their new home at White Hart Lane set to generate plenty of extra cash in ticket revenue, NFL games arriving on a purpose-built field and many more amenities that will benefit the local community for many generations to come. This is a game changer.

Obviously things will never be the same again, but the fact that Spurs will be remaining in their spiritual home will certainly help ease this massive transition for everyone at Tottenham.

ProSoccerTalk will be on site at White Hart Lane on Sunday to provide videos, photos, analysis and more from the final game.

Wagner on shock upset: “Small Huddersfield have beaten Man Utd”

Nigel French/PA via AP
Leave a comment

While Jose Mourinho was lamenting his team’s poor performance at the John Smith’s Stadium, his counterpart was thrilled with the latest step in its amazing journey.

Huddersfield Town boss David Wagner, the ex-USMNT player, watched his team top Manchester United 2-1 on Saturday for its first win over the Red Devils in 65 years.

[ MORE: Recap | Mourinho reacts ]

As proud as he’s ever been, the Town manager spoke after the win. From the BBC:

“If this is our moment, we have to grab it, which is what the players did. Small Huddersfield have beaten Man Utd and it one of the proudest moments in my managerial career.

“It’s another chapter in the fairytale we started nearly two years ago. It has shown everything is possible in football.”

The win probably felt extra nice for goal scorer Aaron Mooy, who rose to prominence on loan from Man City.

Liverpool’s Brewster sends U.S. out of U-17 World Cup

Leave a comment

The attempts were nearly even. The finishing was anything but.

The United States fell 4-1 to England on Saturday at the U-17 World Cup quarterfinals in India.

[ MORE: Mourinho reacts to 1st loss ]

Captain Josh Sargent scored the lone United States goal at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, pulling the Baby Yanks within two goals before Liverpool man Rhian Brewster completed his hat trick with a stoppage time penalty.

Here’s Sargent’s goal:

Morgan Gibbs-White of Wolverhampton scored England’s other goal.

Ajax defender Sergio Dest took a red card in that added time, ensuing the U.S. would finish its World Cup with 10 men.

The U.S. took 20 of the matches 39 shot attempts, but England put 12 on target compared to the Americans’ four.

Mourinho: “We deserved the punishment of defeat”

Leave a comment

We haven’t heard a lot of scornful Jose Mourinho this season, and that changed Saturday.

Manchester United could not recover from a lackluster first half at the John Smith’s Stadium, only getting a Marcus Rashford goal in a failed comeback bid and 2-1 loss to Huddersfield Town.

[ RECAP: Town 2-1 Man Utd ]

It was the first time United has lost this season, and it’s first loss to Town since 1952. To say Mourinho was displeased would be an understatement, as United dipped five points behind leaders Man City.

“I was surprised by our performance, I was not expecting that. The team that started with emotion, aggression, intensity and desire, the team that played the game of their lives was the team that won,” Mourinho said. “Maybe in the second half we wanted it a little more and maybe we could get a draw, but I honestly think we deserved the punishment of the defeat.”

After first saying he wanted to evaluate the players, and shy away from criticizing them in the media, Mourinho had a nugget to share which really bothered him. From the BBC:

“I heard Ander Herrera in the flash interviews said the attitude and desire was poor, oh my God. When a player thinks that then I think all players should go to the press conference and explain why because I can’t explain.”

The man was seething, and United was honestly second best on the day. That must drive Mourinho nuts, as Aaron Mooy and Co. drove hard all day and United looked like a team expecting an easy win.

Newcastle United 1-0 Crystal Palace: Magpies leave it late

Leave a comment
  • No shots on target for Palace
  • Out attempts NUFC
  • Merino nabs winner off corner

Mikel Merino scored his first goal since 2015, leading Newcastle United to another win.

The Magpies have lost just once since dropping their first two matches of the season, and now sit sixth after a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

Stoke and West Ham losses keep Palace five points shy of safety, their three points coming last week versus Chelsea.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

There was pace but sloppiness to the opening 20 minutes, with a card handed out to Florian Lejeune for a step on the heel of ex-Newcastle star Andros Townsend.

Rob Elliot rescued a ball through the six as Wilfried Zaha and Jeffrey Schlupp combined in the 24th minute.

Matt Ritchie earned the Magpies a corner kick with a shot partially blocked by Mamadou Sakho.

Ex-Magpie midfielder Yohan Cabaye looked to have given his former team a man advantage with a scissor tackle on DeAndre Yedlin, but there was only a yellow to be found.

Christian Atsu dizzied Joel Ward to tempt the net, but fired his shot off the outside of the goal.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

A very haphazard second half for Newcastle allowed Palace to adventure a bit, and Andros Townsend very nearly scored with a left-footed shot in the 65th minute.

Mohamed Diame subbed into the game and made room to zip a shot that Julian Speroni dove to catch. It was the first shot on target of the match.

Then Shelvey forced Speroni into a parried save in the 74th minute.

Newcastle kept piling on the pressure, but it was Patrick Van Aanholt who couldn’t get on the end of sub Ruben Loftus-Cheek‘s invitation to the back post.

That’s when the 21-year-old Merino, recently made permanent from Borussia Dortmund, out-leapt James MacArthur to nod Matt Ritchie’s corner kick beyond Speroni. 1-0, 86′.