When West Brom put a major dent in Tottenham’s title hopes on Monday night, there was one man in their lineup who knows more than most about what it takes to win the league.
The Baggies’ captain Darren Fletcher won four Premier League titles during his years at Manchester United and after the 1-1 draw, he was asked where things had gone wrong for Spurs.
“You’ve got to rise to the pressure and thrive under it. You’ve got to see it as a challenge and win games ugly. You’ve got to throw people in the box and see games out when you’re winning 1-0.
“Passing the ball out from the back is nice and it’s pretty on the eye but when you’re winning 1-0 against West Brom, you shut up shop, see the game out and hit on the counter-attack.
“Who knows? It’s not for me to say because Tottenham have had a fantastic season. They’ve been a credit to the league and playing against them is really difficult.
“To be honest at Manchester United we always had experience – we had Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, Roy Keane.
“They’d been there and done it, they were calm, and the manager had been there and done it. We were very fortunate to be around such people.
“It isn’t easy. You do have to take one game at a time and you do have to realise sometimes the last three of four games are the most important in the whole season.”
Fletcher’s point about the experienced players that Manchester United had in their ranks is an interesting one. While Spurs have players within their ranks who have won leagues before – Toby Alderweireld, Mousa Dembele, Christian Eriksen and Jan Vertonghen – there is no one who has won a Premier League title and overall the side is still very young.
With that in mind, this campaign could prove to be valuable in terms of this youthful squad building the necessary experience needed to win the league one day, even if Tottenham ultimately fail to win the title this year.