West Ham United (Away)
Premier League

Sunday 4th March 2007


With Spurs having turned their form around within the space of a week, they now face a London derby against West Ham United at Upton Park - a team who are having a terrible time at the wrong end of the table.  But derbies throw the form book out of the window and with our opponents battling for their Premiership lives, it could be altogether tighter than the last results of each club might indicate.

Spurs 4-1 win over Bolton with ten men for an hour, with the Irons falling to fellow strugglers Charlton 0-4, the match might seem like a cake walk for Tottenham.  Anything that is vaguely food related brings back a bad taste in the mouth and a desire too rush to the toilet after last season's last day loss, but this time things are different.

For one, our chances of reaching a Champions League placing went a long time ago.  Secondly, with the transfer window just closed, West Ham's signings have been crocked and they will be without Lucas Neill and Matthew Upson, although they might welcome the presence of January signing ex-Spurs defender Calum Davenport and the Argentine international striker Carlos Tevez, along with the battling qualities of Nigel Quashie in midfield and Boa Morte's antics on the wing.

It is the defence which seems to have been the weak link, with injuries to James Collins and Daniel Gabbidon, Anton Ferdinand has found his partners changing weekly, while the signing of Tyrone Mears has not worked out, leaving John Pantsil to stick in at full back, despite the lack of appreciation of his abilities by some of his team-mates.  Konchesky is still ploughing a furrow up the left, while Dailly, McCartney and Spector have all failed to impress new boss Curbishley.  It seems to make no difference if Green or Carroll are behind them, as both have had too much to cope with as teams find their way through the West Ham outfield.

The midfield have left the back four exposed a lot and they will be missing captain Reo-Coker, as well as having Etherington, who seemed like he might have been out of Upton in January, out of form, so there might be a recall to the team for Bowyer or Noble to play alongside Mullins.

Up front the team have been hit hard by the early season loss of the services of Dean Ashton.  Teddy still gets wheeled out and his brain is now a full ten minutes ahead of his body during match action.  Marlon Harewood has not made an impression on Curbishley, but Carlton Cole's hopes of achieving the first team guaranteed spot he hoped for on moving to West Ham is as far away as ever.  That leaves Tevez and Zamora up front, as another former Tottenham man will look to make us pay.

No doubt one of them will score, as we are unable to keep a clean sheet at the moment (and have been for some time), but going forward, we are a force to be reckoned with.  Jol finally got it and kept pushing forward against Bolton when reduced to ten and was rewarded not only with three points, but also a performance of great note from Dimitar Berbatov.  Putting the emphasis on attack might well be too much for the Irons, so I take Tottenham to continue their hot streak against the Hamsters ...

PREDICTION : -  West Ham United  1   Tottenham Hotspur   3

For more information on the opponents and their history, including full result history of matches between the two teams, click here.


WEST HAM UNITED :  - Dean Ashton (broken ankle); Nigel Reo-Coker (suspended); Lucas Neill (knee); Matthew Upson (calf); Daniel Gabbidon (groin); James Collins (groin)

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Ledley King (broken foot); Benoit Assou-Ekotto (knee); Dorian Dervite (knee); Lee Barnard (foot)


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 (live coverage)
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Internet :
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West Ham United   3   Tottenham Hotspur    4      (Half-time score : 2-0)

Premier League
Venue : -  Upton Park
Sunday 4th March 2007
Kick Off :  4.00 p.m.
Crowd :   34,966
Referee :  Mike Dean (The Wirral)
Weather :  -  Dry, but
Teams : - 
West Ham United :


Neill (c)
Upson (Davenport 11)

Quashie (Blanco 80)
Etherington (Zamora 83)


Unused subs

Tottenham Hotspur :

Robinson (c)

Chimbonda (Taarabt 87)
YP Lee

Jenas (Stalteri 57)
Ghaly (Huddlestone 46)


Unused subs

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of http://www.colours-of-football.com)
West Ham United

Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  
West Ham United

Noble 16
Tevez 41
Zamora 85

Tottenham Hotspur

Defoe (p) 51
Tainio 63
Berbatov 89
Stalteri 90

Cards : -  
West Ham United

Noble (foul) 6
Tevez (removing shirt) 42
Bowyer (persistent fouling) 50
Neill (foul)
Konchesky (foul)
Quashie (foul) 


Tottenham Hotspur 

Chimbonda (not retreating 10 yards at a free-kick)    



Match Report : -  
A dramatic London derby ended with a last minute win for Tottenham and a crushing defeat for West Ham United in their vain search for points that might keep them in the Premier League. 

With the fuss surrounding West Ham all week, it was expected to be a cakewalk for Spurs, but the Irons showed they would not lay down for anyone.  However, it was an end-to-end game with Tottenham having two clear chances before West Ham scored.

It was the home side who had the first threat with Noble bringing a diving save out of Robinson from shot from outside the area.  The Irons had lost Matthew Upson after just 11 minutes, with ex-Spur Calum Davenport coming on in his place and Spurs exploited the change with Berbatov making inroads into the West Ham area.  Dimitar was released into the box and Green had to be sharp out to him to block his shot and then, when Tainio put Berbatov in on goal, the keeper saved with his legs. 

Within a minute though, West Ham had gone ahead.  Ghaly lost the ball and Konchesky played a cross in that Tevez chested down for Noble to repeat his earlier effort, but this time he found the bottom corner through a player's legs leaving Robbo with no chance.

West Ham were closing Spurs down and getting close to them when the ball was played forward leaving them little time on the ball and getting little assistance from the referee, who let a lot of challenges from behind go.

Green made his best and most fortuitous stop when a clearance bounced off Jenas and Bowyer sliced it towards his own goal, with the goalie palming the ball out.  It only fell to Berba and he took his time as the ball came down and struck a fierce left foot shot that bounced off Green's forehead and away.  Half an hour in, Defoe was slipped through by Berbatov and was pulled back for offside, although later replays showed he was not and could have been in on goal if not for the official's whistle.

West Ham got a soft free-kick on the edge of the Spurs area, five minutes before the break and Carlos Tevez stepped up to lift it over the wall and in off the underside of the crossbar to make it 2-0.  Question marks must be raised about Robbo's positioning, as the ball was centrally placed and he was two yards off his line, but far enough to let the ball get over him.  It was just what Tottenham did not need with the break coming up. 

The interval saw Jol make an astute substitution, bringing on Huddlestone for Ghaly, who was giving possession away and also looked light-weight in what was becoming a heavyweight battle.  The change opened up the play and freed Lennon to make more of his pace on the left, showing early on that he could cut inside and although he made a mess of his shot, Jenas almost latched onto it to make something from nothing.  Aaron bought a foul out of Bowyer, never something that takes a lot of coercion, but the next time he was put away by Hud against the midfielder, Bowyer rashly dived into the tackle in the area and five minutes into the half, Tottenham had a penalty.

Cue boos galore, as Jermain Defoe picked up the ball and placed it on the spot.  Despite Green's time-wasting tactics designed to upset the little Spurs striker, Defoe stepped up and drilled it past him to get Spurs back into the game.  With Bowyer having been booked for the foul, Lucas Neill was next into the book as the West Ham players struggled to live with Lennon's pace.

Martin Jol's next substitution was an odd one.  Stalteri replacing Jenas.  It allowed Chimbonda to go into midfield and give some width on the right and Konchesky got a yellow card when he had to pull the French defender back as he got away from him.  Just after the hour, Spurs produced a flowing move that saw a fine goal at the end of it.

Berbatov got away on the right, looked up and sprayed a cross to the far post.  Lennon could only manufacture a back-heel in mid-air that dropped to Tainio around the penalty spot and he calmly stroked his volley past Green to level the scores.

As the half went on, it looked as though Spurs were the more likely side to score the next goal, but a slice of luck for West ham came when Quashie went for a shot that saw Tainio tackle him and the Hammer was injured in the process.  This brought Kepa on in his place and from the resulting corner, he won a header which flew a couple of yards wide.  It was a warning to Tottenham which they did not heed.  When another ex-Spurs player - Etherington - left the field, it was another who came on - Bobby Zamora.  With his first touch, he had put the home team back into the lead, rising above Tainio to score the third West Ham goal from Tevez's free-kick (given for a soft challenge by Gardener), with just six minutes left.

Jol's last throw of the dice was to put on young French talent Adel Taarabt for Chimbonda, who had been suffering with a chest infection.  His direct running with the ball caused problems for a West ham defence, most of whom were already on a yellow card.  Making a charge on goal, he was felled in the D and Spurs had a free-kick.  With Jenas having failed to make much of those previously awarded, his absence left the way clear for Berbatov to deftly place the ball over Konchesky's head on the goal-line and below the bar to bring the score back to 3-3 with a minute to go.

So, it looked like Tottenham had salvaged a draw.  But West ham attacked and with the ball pinging around the Spurs area, it dropped for Tevez, who fired a volley a foot wide of the upright.  But there was four minutes more to play.

Konchesky had a free-kick blocked wide for a corner and when it came in it flew to the far post.  Harewood tried to manufacture a shooting opportunity, but lee nicked the ball off him and Stalteri brought it out, with four team-mates in support.  With most of the West Ham players upfield, the Canadian released Defoe on the right and he got a low shot on goal.  Green was at full stretch to save it, but the ball ran away from his hands and Stalteri had carried on his run to put the bal into an empty net to give Tottenham a late, late winner.

Undeserved the win might have been, but the way Tottenham played in the second half justified the goals and taking your chances is what the game is all about.  West Ham might have taken their chances with the two Argentinians, but playing safe with six minutes to go might have earned them more points than they ended up with.






Reaction : -




This was a hugely satisfying and significant win. Regardless of the fact that we gained revenge for out last day defeat last season and pushed the Hammers closer to the drop, the three points puts us right back in the hunt for European places. We have a big week ahead of us, with games at Braga and Chelsea crucial to our hopes for silverware, but should we slip up in the cups we are at least well-placed for the Premiership run-in. 

Three straight league wins have lifted us to 8th, five points behind fifth placed Bolton. The middle of the table is so bunched that a good run was always going to see us gain places, and forthcoming home games against Reading and Watford should leave us in good shape for the league trip to Stamford Bridge in early April.  Fifth place is now a realistic target. 

It was therefore heartening to see the team and manager go for broke against West Ham, sensing that good recent displays would have been wasted with a defeat to our London rivals. We were of course aided by the Irons committing too many men forward at the death, but it was also apparent that we wanted to win the game as much as the opposition. 

An explosive start to the second half saw us back on level terms quickly, but we seemed to sit back, when we should have made or momentum count and kill off an opposition short on confidence. It was no surprise when we conceded a third, but as Martin and the players said, we always looked likely to score again. 

The introduction of Adel Taraabt undoubtedly increased the team’s potency and his cameo appearance suggests he is serious talent.  An ability to run with the ball and commit defenders is a useful skill and it was evident why he has made such swift strides into the first team squad. 

In fact Martin has got his team selection and substitutions right recently. Huddlestone looked ready for his recent rest but was introduced at half time on Sunday to great effect. Tainio and Jenas are real Jol favourites – if not with all fans – and their committed performances vindicated their joint selection. Even the choice to play Mido at Fulham paid off and the manager must be happy with the options he has going into two big games in four days this week.

One man he would dearly like to have back is Ledley King.  The skipper has unsurprisingly been missed, as we continue to leak goals – only four teams have conceded more than our 43 goals and we are without a clean sheet since October. However, the defence has actually improved recently and has generally been undone by set pieces in recent games. Dawson has developed into a defensive leader in his experienced partner’s absence, and the pair should be back to their formidable best next season, as long as Ledley is clear of injury.   

Berbatov should also be a better player next season. He has improved steadily this term and is now getting the goals that his work for the team deserves. He now looks better equipped to deal with life in the Premiership and his display against Bolton deserved all its plaudits - a prolific Spurs future lies ahead.


Four goals in three of the last four games.

Goals in the last minute of three of the last four games.

Deprived of some of our players through suspension and injury.

West Ham United bottom of the table ... Priceless !!




Other scores this weekend :
Arsenal 2 Reading 1 Saturday
Fulham 1 Aston Villa 1 Saturday
Liverpool 0 Manchester United 1 Saturday
Manchester City 0 Wigan Athletic 1 Saturday
Newcastle United 0 Middlesbrough 0 Saturday
Portsmouth 0 Chelsea 2 Saturday
Sheffield United 1 Everton 1 Saturday
Watford 2 Charlton Athletic 2 Saturday
Bolton Wanderers 1 Blackburn Rovers 2 Sunday



League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Manchester United 29 23 3 3 66 19 72 +47
2 Chelsea 28 19 6 3 50 19 63 +31
3 Liverpool 28 16 5 8 44 20 53 +24
4 Arsenal 27 15 7 5 50 23 52 +27
5 Bolton Wanderers 29 14 5 10 34 34 47 0
6 Reading 29 13 4 12 43 38 43 +5
7 Everton 29 11 10 8 37 26 43 +11
8 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 29 12 6 11 40 43 42 -3
9 Portsmouth 28 11 8 10 37 31 41 +6
10 Blackburn Rovers 29 12 4 13 35 39 40 -4
11 Newcastle United 28 10 7 11 34 36 37 -2
12 Middlesbrough 29 9 9 11 32 34 36 -2
13 Aston Villa 28 7 12 9 29 34 33 -5
14 Fulham 29 7 12 10 31 44 33 -13
15 Wigan Athletic 29 9 5 15 30 44 32 -14
16 Sheffield United 28 8 7 13 25 41 31 -16
17 Manchester City 27 8 6 13 20 33 30 -13
18 Charlton Athletic 29 6 6 17 26 49 24 -23
19 Watford 29 3 11 17 18 41 20 -25
20 West Ham United 29 5 5 19 21 49 20 -28


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