Teddy: Spurs need to prove they can play with the big boys
Published 22:26 03/03/12 By Steve Stammers
Teddy Sheringham has challenged Tottenham to prove they are worth a place among the elite.
Under Harry Redknapp, Tottenham have shown a staggering improvement and last season reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
They currently lie third in the Premier League and are on course for a place in the top competition in European club football again next season.
But they go into this afternoon’s clash with Manchester United at White Hart Lane on the back of a 5-2 defeat against Arsenal at the Emirates last Sunday – a match in which they were 2-0 ahead.
Suddenly, question marks are raised against their credentials to be genuine title contenders, and Sheringham believes they have a perfect chance to silence the doubters against United.
“It is a match that means an awful lot to both teams,” he said.
“United will not give up the title without a fierce fight. They showed that earlier in the season when they recovered from losing badly at home to Manchester City to go on a long unbeaten run. They have the experience, they know how to grind out results.
“People like Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes – they know what it takes.
“The defeat at Arsenal will have hurt the Tottenham players but they now have the chance to show real character. They have the chance to show they can compete with the big boys and finish the season strongly and not with a whimper.
“They have really progressed under Harry Redknapp and they have registered some terrific results. But now, against United, they can prove what they are made of on the big occasion.
“It is the chance for players like Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon to show their best on a big, big stage.”
One absentee is new England captain Scott Parker because of suspension.
Teddy, who played for Spurs and United, said: “He will be a big miss. Scott deserved that honour with England and has done such a terrific job for Tottenham.
“His challenges against Holland were amazing. He is going to be hard to replace, but Spurs must do that if they are going to win.
“Personally, I think United will win – just!”