Double Agents: Five players who featured for Tottenham and Man United
Tomorrow marks the 184th meeting of two of English football’s most storied clubs.
With the two sides having regularly challenged for honours, and with 19 FA Cups and 8 League Cups between them, moves between the Manchester giants and the North London heavyweights have been rare.
However, a number of notable names have plied their trade at both Old Trafford and White Hart Lane. We look back at five men who have done so.
Dimitar Berbatov – (Tottenham 2006-08 / Man United 2008-12)
While Berbatov’s detractors accused him of laziness, the Bulgarian hitman could also possess an unhurried brilliance. At Spurs, ‘Berba’ scored over 20 goals in each of two full seasons, helping the club to a League Cup triumph in 2008 – the Lilywhites’ first major trophy in nine seasons.
At Manchester United, the forward endured two relatively lean campaigns before an explosive 2010-11 campaign as United wrestled the Premier League title back from Chelsea. Berbatov netted hat-tricks against Birmingham City and Liverpool, as well as an incredible five goals in a 7-1 victory over Blackburn.
Tottenham Rating: 8/10 – United Rating: 7/10
Teddy Sheringham – (Tottenham 1993-97, 2001-03 / Man United 1997-2001)
While Sheringham’s time at Spurs failed to yield a trophy, his goalscoring prowess lit up White Hart Lane. His 14 goals in the 1993-94 Premier League campaign helped the club avoid relegation to the old Division One, with Teddy going on to score around a goal every two games in his first Spurs stint.
However, Sheringham’s most memorable moments came with the Old Trafford club, who snapped Teddy up for £3.5m in June 1997. He netted the equalising goal in the 1999 Champions League Final and scored in an FA Cup Final triumph, as United won an unprecedented treble. A ‘super sub’ for the Red Devils, he’s still considered a legend at both of these clubs.
Tottenham Rating: 9/10 – United Rating: 9/10
Louis Saha – (Man United 2004-08 / Tottenham 2012)
In a stint hampered by injuries, Louis Saha still managed to impress at Old Trafford, as the classy, composed foil to a fiery young Wayne Rooney.
A scorer of important goals and an unselfish provider, the France international struck eight times to help United regain the Premier League crown in 2006-07, and was a regular feature the following year as the Reds maintained their domestic supremacy and won the Champions League.
Following an Old Trafford exit and four years at Everton, Spurs came calling in 2012. Saha netted a handful of times in a decent but brief stint with Harry Redknapp’s men, but failed to make a lasting impact and was not kept on beyond the end of the 2012-13 campaign.
Tottenham Rating: 6/10 – United Rating: 8/10
Michael Carrick – (Tottenham 2004-06 / Man United 2006-Present)
Carrick moved across London from West Ham and established himself as a reliable, classy midfielder alongside the likes of Teemu Tainio and Danny Murphy, as Spurs recorded a top-five finish in the 2005-06 season. However, Manchester United benefited from the finest form of Carrick’s career.
Over a span of almost a decade with United, the ex-Hammers man has proven himself to possess a fantastic eye for a pass and superb game-reading ability. Although now in his twilight years, the affable Geordie has continued to be vital to the Red Devils. He’s even chipped in with a few goals against rivals City over the years, further boosting his popularity in the red half of Manchester.
Tottenham Rating: 7/10 – United Rating: 9/10
Alan Brazil – (Tottenham 1983-84 / Man United 1984-86)
Scotland international Brazil is a name more recognisable for punditry than footballing prowess, these days. However, were it not for cruel luck with injuries, the Glasgow-born attacker may be as revered as ‘80s greats Norman Whiteside and Glenn Hoddle.
After a prolific seven seasons in the Ipswich Town attack, Brazil headed to the Lilywhites with high expectations, but continued to struggle for fitness, and his goal ratio dipped.
United took a punt on Brazil, hoping to see the 25-year-old addition rediscover his best form at Old Trafford, but it was not to be. Eight goals in 31 league games was not an awful return, but his career after leaving Portman Road is sadly a case of ‘what might have been’.
Tottenham Rating: 5/10 – United Rating: 5/10
Final Score: Tottenham 1-2 Man United (with two draws)
The Red Devils won this clash, and they go into tomorrow’s clash looking for a third successive victory against Spurs, with the visitors a 3/1 shot to win.
Tottenham, though, have only lost twice at the Lane in this league campaign and are 10/11 to notch up a 10th home win of this Premier League season.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.