Tag Archives: West Ham United

No rub of the Green! West Ham 1 Tottenham 0

I had to admit I was fearful of today’s defeat because West Ham’s poor run couldn’t continue forever. No doubt there will be a huge fan backlash and gnashing of teeth over this loss but at least West Ham had to play really well to both beat us and keep us out in a second half when we threw caution to the wind somewhat in an effort to get back level.  

For the neutral this was a decent game of football to watch. The statistics show 26 shots on target, 13 off target and 21 corners. What more could you ask for? A Spurs goal would certainly have been something but clear cut opportunities were difficult to find today and when questions were asked Robert Green was up to the task making excellent saves from Van Der Vaart and particularly Modric in the first half.

This was a lively derby game. After five minutes West Ham led 5-1 on corners and had 5 shots on target such was their early endeavour. The sadness was that having taken 20 minutes to calm them down we then allowed them to score from a corner when we were coming back into the game. Such was their intensity in the first 15 minutes you could have asked were they Arsenal in disguise and I thought our centre back pairing of Corluka and Bassong had done well to keep the threat of Piquionne and Obinna under control.

I thought Alan Hutton played well all afternoon and was involved both in making important challenges and decent runs down the right hand side. On the other said Bale was quieter as a full back but on occasions got forward sometimes taking on too many men but none the less providing a threat. Modric and Van Dar Vaart looked really good when we started to get into it both having shots and going forward Jenas contributed well.

However, my team sheet showed JJ and Tommy playing deeper and in a defensive way and I thought they allowed too many opportunities to Parker and Noble to get forward and at us which resulted in their advantage going into the break.

Lennon worked quite well with Hutton and it was his excellent run that got him in behind the West Ham defence allowing Modric a fantastic volley from the edge of the box which Green turned onto the post. The half finished with us creating chances and JJ being flattened by a thunderbolt from Noble. The question was would Harry make changes to stop the threat and who might come on with both Palacios and Sandro on the bench?

Having decided no changes were necessary and we started probing and pressing the West Ham defence. Huddlestone had a shot from a Bale cross and then latched onto a Hutton through ball attempting to score when Crouch was square and unmarked. He may however have felt Crouch was returning from an offside position but the arrival of Van Der Vaart has pushed both he and Modric to make more goal attempts. He will accept that he should have scored.

West Ham were not out of it and fought back making Cudicini get involved with a brilliant save from Noble. In an effort to get back into the game we went Corluka and Bassong at the back with Tommy sitting in front of them – everyone else was pushed forward but clear chances would not come.

Robbie Keane replaced Lennon for his 300th appearance and worked a 1-2 with JJ for the latter to shoot and took a first time effort which Green saved from a Modric pass. Van Der Vaart who drifted out in the second half came off for Giovani and Crouch for Pav. Neither found themselves getting into the game and Pav had a speculative effort which was described as “optimistic” at best by the commentator. In away games players like Pav and Giovani look lightweight and I would question keeping the Mexican as this league is too quick and physical for him from what I have seen.

So the game ends in a disappointing defeat and Man City beat Chelsea to open a gap between us as we fall to 7th behind Fulham and West Bromwich Albion. Jermain Defoe tweeted at the final whistle that we maybe deserved a draw. I’m not sure about that myself, I felt if we had scored after half time we would probably gone on to win but today West Ham wanted it more than we did and we couldn’t ask them enough telling questions in dangerous areas to test their resolve. What I do know is that we need JD fit again.

But it wasn’t all bad. Cudicini made some good saves, Corluka and Bassong were good at the back – I think I predicted them for the Arsenal game – Hutton was probably our most consistent player and Modric, Van Der Vaart and Lennon all had decent moments. Sandro was also on the bench. He didn’t play but he is now not far away from the Premier League side.

Let’s Hammer it home. West Ham V Spurs preview

Every year supporters recognise the local derbies as being big games. As a consequence London teams have a potentially difficult run but can any side have more difficulties with derbies than Spurs? We have the Arsenal game as our local derby and we know no love is lost there as we saw in the outcry following defeat on Tuesday.

Then there is Chelsea who whilst having Fulham and QPR on their doorsteps have always considered Tottenham as being the old enemy due to those more local sides often being in different divisions. They hate us and through our poor recent record against them we don’t like them either. How inconsiderate of them to not be good enough to get into our division when we had the side to thrash them in the early 1980’s!

Then tomorrow’s opponents West Ham. They really dislike us even though Millwall and Orient are their local derby opponents. As a result we’ve an uphill battle at the start of each season as these games don’t really rely on table positions or the form book though Chelsea and Arsenal fans will be able to disagree with me on this following our last 15 years results against them.

I had a chance to go to the game this morning as a ticket came up in “enemy territory.” I turned it down not only because I’ve a commitment in the morning and was expecting to watch it on a dodgy feed anyway but also because last time I watched from this fantastic vantage point behind the dug out it was the lasagne match and lastly because West Ham’s recent results against us and form this season suggests a change must happen soon and this could be the one.

Having said that we should win the game. I reckon 10 of the 11 starters against Arsenal won’t start tomorrow so there should be no hangover for us to overcome. Even so it should be an electric at Upton Park and we could flounder if put onto the back foot. Having said that 1,500 tickets remain unsold and a lively debate was ongoing this lunchtime, I understand, about the Ashes squad rather than the upcoming visit of the boys from Tottingham.

Maybe the efforts of Green, Upson and co have disillusioned their supporters beyond repair so let us hope that they continue their kamikaze approach for one more game. So who do I expect to see on the field tomorrow? My team looks like this:

                                                Cudicini

         Hutton              Gallas                  Bassong            Bale

                       Jenas                        Huddlestone

Lennon                     Van Der Vaart                          Modric

                                               Crouch

Harry may go with Ekotto but he may be unfit. If he does I fancy that Lennon may drop out to accommodate Bale in midfield and Modric will go out right. I fancy Crouch will come in to assist in defensive duties and I want to see continuation from Jenas of his recent good form.

The FC Twente fixture will probably account for Ledley but in many ways it might be better to go with Ledley and see if he can do both games leaving Bassong to play at home against Aston Villa next week. Harry has also suggested leaving Modric until Wednesday to not risk another injury but he may need at least minutes to ready himself. If that were the case expect him and Lennon to alternate.

As for a result, for me Ledley and Gallas suggests a clean sheet but Bassong a goal against to account for the new partnership. But as I fancy we’ll score two I’ve got us down as winners. Rest assured my fingers will be heavily crossed for this but players like Modric and Van Der Vaart should draw performance from the electric attitude of the crowd.

Come on You Spurs!

The Tottenham Hotspur Game of the Decade

Tottenham Hotspur has been running a competition to decide the Spurs goal and game of the decade. What we’ve decided to do is to rank those goals and games and see whether you agree with our choices: 

10. Spurs 4 Aston Villa 4 in 2007

The 125th celebration match with the white and light blue shirts, flags for the whole crowd – including 3,000 claret and blue for Villa fans. Continue reading