Easier to play than watch - Van der Sar
Published 23/04/2010 | 15:45
Edwin van der Sar prefers being in the thick of the action rather than watching on from afar.
After helping Manchester United record their last-gasp victory over neighbours City at Eastlands last weekend, Van der Sar headed out for a late lunch with his family and missed Chelsea's surprise defeat at Tottenham.
It is likely to be the same scenario for the veteran Dutchman this weekend.
First Van der Sar and his team-mates will try to dispose of Tottenham at Old Trafford before attention turns to Chelsea, who tackle Stoke at Stamford Bridge 24 hours later.
But with friends over from Holland, the 39-year-old will rely on what he hears on his travels rather than watching directly.
"It is easier to play yourself than watching or listening," he said.
"Listening to the radio is horrible."
Unless United beat Tottenham, Van der Sar will have no need to hear what Chelsea have done.
Now there is no margin for error and, given Spurs are the team responsible for throwing the Red Devils a lifeline by beating Arsenal and Chelsea in the space of four days at White Hart Lane, no-one at Old Trafford needs any reminding just how difficult this particular outing will be.
"This is the best Tottenham team in my time," said Ferguson.
"I don't think anyone below us or Chelsea have reached the kind of form they have managed in the last two games.
"Beating two of the best teams in the league so convincingly is championship form."
Ferguson is anticipating the return of Wilson Palacios from suspension to strengthen the Spurs midfield, with in-form Gareth Bale and possibly Luka Modric threatening damage from the flanks.
The United boss accepts trying to second guess old mate Harry Redknapp is fraught with difficulty.
What he is more certain of is the knowledge that if United fall two goals behind, as they did in the corresponding fixture at roughly the same time last season, they might find it far more difficult to roar back and win.
"Our games against Tottenham have always been lively, entertaining affairs," he said.
"The two clubs believe in the same things. It will be a good game, I am sure of that.
"The good thing is all the players have seen Tottenham's last two games and know what they are up against.
"They are not going into the unknown."