West Ham United
|DATE||Sunday 22nd February 2015|
|VENUE||White Hart Lane|
The old story about West Ham coming down with the Christmas
decorations appears to have some foundation this season. After
an impressive start to the campaign (after we had beaten them on the
opening day), they have won only one game since Christmas and this
has led to their position in the top four crashing down to eighth,
bringing news that the club's directors might be seeking a new way
in the future, with Sam Allardyce's contract up in the summer and no
move made to re-negotiate a deal.
"Big" Sam has done all that was asked of him. Improve the style, win more games than last season and if failure to secure a top four place is the reason behind their thinking of getting rid of him they should remember two things. Where they finished last season and to be careful what they wish for. Already they are taking the surrender at West Brom in the FA Cup last week as a sign that he is not up to the job. Debates about whether he wants the players who are brought in appear to be uppermost on the radio phone-ins and the style that changes when he brings Carroll and Nolan into the team all hint that the fans are not behind him. As we know here, how long will it be before the fans turn against the next man in charge ?
West Ham have a decent side when they can play their favoured eleven, but injuries and suspensions too often rob them of those eleven, meaning the squad has to be called upon and the depth there has been tested and plumbed. Alex Song was a good signing, as he brings experience to the midfield, alongside the workhorses Nolan and Noble, with the forwards initially paying back their fees with Valencia and Sakho looking a dangerous pairing, but much depends on Downing getting the ball into the box and Carroll's continued fitness (which hasn't happened) to knock down the long balls they don't play.
Adrian has performed well between the sticks this season, but they can't rely on him every match and while he did well against WBA, he couldn't stop everything and was exposed too often. Claims that the players were tired and were suffering from the number of games they had (which you should expect that if you become anything like successful) have not gone down well. With a week's rest since then, that will not be on the list of excuses this time around. Looking at the players at big Sam's disposal at the moment, he might choose not to be as adventurous as earlier in the season and flood the midfield to try and stem Tottenham's flow.
It's a week before our
Cup Final. This is West Ham's. Expect them to put more
in than they would against anyone else.
|PREDICTION||Tottenham Hotspur 1 West Ham United 1|
|Click here for more info on opponents - stats v thfc , an alternative history, etc.|
HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :
Spurs have a fully fit squad to choose from.
WEST HAM UNITED TEAM NEWS :
Andy Carroll is out for the rest of the season after having an operation on knee ligaments, while Morgan Amalfitano will be suspended after getting sent off last week at West Bromwich Albion in the FA Cup. New free transfer signing Nene will not take part as he is not match fit, but West Ham have White Hart Lane bound Winston Reid, Matt Jarvis, Cheikhou Kouyate and James Collins fit again.
available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard
in these countries on these stations ...
West Ham United 2 (1)
Sunday 22nd February 2015 Kick off 12:00
White Hart Lane
Rose 80m 01s
Kane 90+5m 57s
Kayoute 21m 10s
Sakho 61m 30s
Noble (shirt pull on Townsend) 46
Cresswell (foul on Lamela) 52
|Crowd : 35,837||Weather : Chilly|
|Referee : Jon Moss (Leeds)||Assistant Referees : Mr. J. Brooks; Mr. E. Smart|
|Fourth Official : Mike Dean||-|
|Spurs kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end in the first half.|
|Game time : - 90 + 7 minutes.|
|Tottenham Hotspur :||kit||West Ham United :||kit|
Nacer CHADLI 80)
Andros TOWNSEND (
Roberto SOLDADO 60)
18 Harry KANE
|Manager : Mauricio Pochettino||Manager : Sam Allardyce|
|Sponsor : AIA||Shirt sponsor : Betway|
|Kit Supplier : Under Armour||Kit Supplier : adidas|
West Ham United (time) wasted
an opportunity to beat Spurs at White Hart Lane when they threw away
a 2-0 lead to end up with a draw when Harry Kane scored in the 97th
minute npenalty saved.
Paul Allen's interview at half-time intimated that we was always more Spurs than West Ham and his time spent at Spurs saw him develop into a fine, aggressive midfielder. As the player warmed up, Christian Eriksen disappeared down the tunnel and when he re-emerged, it was in place of Mousa Dembele. Initially, it made little difference in Tottenham's attacking play, as Eriksen was failing to find his intended targets with his through passes.
Mason tried a volley from outside the box, but it was well off target and at the other end, Walker had to be alert to block a cross from a quickly taken free-kick. Mason curled a 20 yard effort straight into Adrian's chest before Lloris was called into action at the opposite end, when he did well to rush Sakho, as he raced onto Noble's through ball, getting a touch to take the shot wide. When Walker blazed a low shot across the face of goal, it only needed a touch but nobody in a white shirt was there to apply it and when West Ham went forward again, they doubled their lead.
It was a weak goal to conceded and when Noble's cross came in from the left, it missed Valencia and with Rose looking for offside, with his arm up, Sakho ran around behind him to shoot into the ground and into the net from a tight angle at the far post. Valencia had been interfering and looked offside on TV replays as the ball went beyond him for Sakho to score. Noble then played a free-kick in which Reid headed down for Valencia, but Lloris was there to block his volley and then kick the ball away before he was able to follow up. Noble then had his bust up with Vertonghen which saw Jan react angrily to the Irons' captain's rash challenge on Bentaleb. He was soon substituted by Big Sam with Carlton Cole coming on, but he lasted only a quarter of an hour as his injury-prone reputation came home to roost again.
With twenty minutes left, Tottenham started to pick up their game. Keeping the ball on the floor, Spurs were running West Ham around. Bentaleb and Kane had shooting opportunities before a shot from Lamela went into his path off a West Ham defender and he buried it past Adrian, but the linesman's flag was already up. With Christian Eriksen on the pitch a free-kick within range always offers the chance of a goal and in the 77th minute, he dipped one over the wall and made Adrian go at full stretch to tip it past the keeper's left hand post.
When Spurs moved the ball wide on the right, Lamela looked for Roberto Soldado in the six yard box, but Cresswell sliced in front of his own goal, luckily over the bar for West Ham. From the corner, Eriksen touched it short to Erik and his ball into the area was waist high with pace on it and Adrian did poorly in half-fisting it out, but only to the edge of the box, where Danny Rose dug it into the ground in an attempt to keep it low and it bounced up and beyond Adrian's funny little dance to reach it to get Spurs a goal back with ten minutes left..
This gave Spurs the momentum and there was little more attacking from the Irons, as they dropped deep and got as many men behind the ball as they could. Kane was denied a shot as he broke into the box by Reid, then Lamela picked out Chadli on the left and his touch saw the ball drop for Soldado, who had a shot brought a save from the goalie. Pressure was building as the game entered five added minutes and Kane and Eriksen had shots blocked and way over. It looked like being one of those days, until the ball was played forward by Lloris and it dropped for Kane. He played it to Eriksen in the D on the edge of the box, then it popped out right to Kane, who touched it into the area only for Song to fall all over the back of him to bring him down and for referee Moss to point to the spot.
The man of the moment got up to take the spot-kick and Adrian pointed the way he should put it, but Harry went the other way and so did the keeper, diving to his right to keep it out with a stretching hand. He could only push it back into the middle of the goal though and Kane reacted quickest to knock the ball home from five yards out and to send the Spurs fans wild, while the claret and blue shirts hit the grass in despair. It was a thrilling finish that earned Spurs a point when all had looked lost, but West Ham could not hold out and were encouraging Spurs on by playing so deep with no out ball. Sam's tactics of fear cost them two points and may, in the long run, cost him his job there.
For Tottenham, it was a performance that cannot be repeated next week. Playing for ten minutes is good enough to earn a point against the Irons, but 80 minutes of sloppy play might see Chelsea out of reach by then. Spurs willingness not to give in earned them a point and while it wasn't the slickest play that got us the two goals, sometimes you have to get what you can out of games. Unlucky for West Ham that they haven't learned that and for all Big Sam's whinges about the match, his team have to learn that ... whether in the time they have by regulation (90 minutes) or that which the referee adds on for stoppages (injury or added for time wasting). That extra time might mean his at West Ham is running out.
West Ham were formed as a
result of the 1902 local government reorganisation when Urban East
Ham Rural merged with Plaistow NewTown and Canning Town Metalurigist
to form the new club.
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|What you thought|
|Benny The Ball||
Fat Sam's ranting about the match ought to have ended when Kane's
penalty was saved is rich. There were five added minutes,
during which his goalkeeper wasted time. The referee's
interpretation we hear about waiting until the attack in progress is
over before ending a half appears to now include loose balls from
penalty saves and anyway, the goal was netted before the clock
reached 96 minutes, which probably didn't full cover all the time
wasting Adrian had mustered, nor included the number of times the
ball was thrown/kicked away after free-kicks were given to Spurs ...
including Cresswell booting the ball high into the stand after the
penalty was given.
"Honest" Sam moaned that he thought Kane did brilliantly for the penalty, but when you are given a helping hand on the way, there is no "brilliant" about it. Perhaps he should look at the nature of the foul rather than go on about Spurs "winning" it.
His side haven't had more than one penalty all season makes them too "honest" in his eyes. Perhaps he should look at the antics of Noble (a misnomer if ever there was one) if he really wants to believe his side is honest. His scything down of Bentaleb when he was already on a yellow card was worthy of another and his reaction to Vertonghen was worthy of yet another. Why else would "Honest" Sam take him off when he is such an "honest" player ????
A manager seeking excuses for losing points from a winning position ?? Shurely not !!
So ... no silverware for
West Ham in their Cup Final this season. Long may that "happen
Nice that Sam seems to want to decide when time is up and not the
referee. Let's not play the amount of time the officials want
to add on, but the amount he thinks is right.
Tough luck Fat Sam.
Two games this season and
two last minute goals for Spurs. Get your players to keep
going until the final whistle and not when you think it is.
Mark Noble. They nearly got his name right ... if only they
had left off the last two letters.
He once said he cried after his
first game at Spurs when Tottenham came back to win and I would like
to think he was similarly lachrymose today, but I think he would
have still been moaning too much to have time to cry over the win
that was theirs for the taking until he got himself subbed for being
a bit of a temperamental not so superstar.
Loved the way James Collins dived full length to head Kane's goal
back into the net after the ball came back out !! Skills !!
Funny old Irons !! 2-0 and you mucked it up !!
Fat Sam must have been desperate to cover his own (sizeable)
backside by claiming Danny Rose totally mis-hit his shot that scored
the goal which got Tottenham back into the match. Has he seen
the one that Sakho scored ?? Ignoring the fact that Valencia
might have been offside in the build-up to the ball reaching him
|Other scores during this week :|
|Aston Villa||1||Stoke City||2||Saturday|
|Manchester City||5||Newcastle United||0||Saturday|
|Sunderland||0||West Bromwich Albion||0||Saturday|
|Swansea City||2||Manchester United||1||Saturday|
|8||West Ham United||26||10||9||7||37||30||39||+7|
|14||West Bromwich Albion||26||6||9||11||24||34||27||-10|
Position before match :
Position after match : 6th
Position after the weekend : 7th
* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone will think so.
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