|OPPONENTS||West Ham United|
|DATE||Monday 25th February 2013|
Tottenham's travels take them from Lyon in France to the Boleyn Ground and a London derby with West Ham United awaits. The Premier League is never easy for London clubs, having so many derbies to contend with, but to win a place in the Champions League or even a title, you have to battle away and pick up points from every game.
Spurs have been good away from home and West Ham started well, but have faded a little in recent months (coming down with the Christmas decorations) and sit 11th in the table. Since Christmas they have lost to Aston Villa, Arsenal, Fulham and Sunderland, beating Norwich City and Swansea City. While relatively solid at home with a 6-4-3 record, their away form is dreadful and needs must when they require home points, so with Sam Allardyce in charge, don't expect it to be pretty.
The Irons have found it hard to score goals and with their loan striker signing Andy Carroll having missed games with injury, they have lacked a consistent target man, with Carlton Cole not always being trusted with leading the line. Mali striker Modibo Maiga has looked like he might be a the man they needed, scoring against Wigan Athletic, Chelsea and Southampton, but he is usually a sub and come son in place of one of the strikers when playing at home. It would not surprise me if Allardyce played Cole and Carroll to try and unsettle the Spurs defence, with a tactic of lumping the ball into the box to try and put Hugo Lloris under pressure in the style of his old Bolton side.
In midfield, West Ham have home grown talent in Mark Noble, who should really have developed into an outstanding player, but really works hard without setting the world alight, while the likes of Matthew Taylor, Kevin Nolan, Jack Collison and Gary O'Neil all similar players, who chip in with a couple of goals here and there. The more skilful players such as Matthew Jarvis and Joe Cole are slotted in, but rarely have the space or time to play their game. Jarvis is a tricky winger, who can provide good crosses, while Joe Cole passes the ball well and is looking happier now that he is playing at his first club, rather than warming the stands at Anfield. The West Ham player of the season so far must be Mohamed Diame, who is a strong presence in their midfield, as well as forging forward when he breaks up moves.
The defence has been a little leaky at times and when they do leak, the floodgates open. Jussi Jaaskelainen has started to look his age on occasion and the amount of shots Spurs normally get away on goal could test his aging reflexes to the limit. In front of him the two full backs could be in for a busy afternoon and while Allardyce might have done his homework and consider a Lyon type performance, Spurs will have learned from that experience and made them aware of the importance of hitting the wide men quickly, allowing them the space to run at their markers. So, if George McCartney makes it, he will need to be sure his knee has improved enough to be turned by Lennon and on the other flank Joey O'Brien might return and have his thighs tested by Bale's runs. In the middle Winston Reid, who has been a solid performer for the Irons, and James Tomkins pair up, so it might be time for Emmanuel Adebayor to start performing against this central defensive duo.
West Ham do better at home with the whole bubbles thing, but Tottenham need to ensure that they get the three points in what might be a physical, as well as a nerve test. The Irons will be up for it and their crowd will be, but this does not appear to affect Spurs as much as it might have done in the past. With a few days now passed since the trip to Lyon, they will be rested and still buzzing from the last minute goal that saw them through. Hopefully, this time they won't leave it to the last minute for a much needed win.
|PREDICTION||West Ham United 1 Tottenham Hotspur 2|
|Click here for more info on opponents - stats v thfc , an alternative history, etc.|
WEST HAM UNITED TEAM
Dan Potts will still be missing after suffering concussion in the game at Arsenal just after New Year, but George McCartney (knee), Joey O'Brien (thigh) and James Collins (hamstring) will be hopeful of passing late fitness tests to be involved. .
HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :
Younes Kaboul, Sandro and Tom Huddlestone (all knee injuries) are all missing, but Spurs hope to have Jermain Defoe back to play against his old club, although another week is more likely before he returns to action.
available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard
in these countries on these stations ...
West Ham United 2 (1)
Monday 25th February 2013
Venue : Upton Park
Tottenham Hotspur 3 (1)
Kick off 20:00
Carroll (p) 25
J. Cole 58
J.Cole (goal celebration) 60
Diame (foul on Bale) 62
O'Neil (foul on Bale) 71
Collins (foul on Bale) 82
Dembele (foul on Nolan) 7
|Crowd : 35,005||Weather : Chilly, light drizzle|
|Referee : Howard Webb (South Yorkshire)||Assistant Referees : Mr. M. Mullarkey; S. Bennett|
|Fourth Official : Martin Atkinson||-|
|West Ham United kicked off and played towards the Trevor Brooking Stand end in the first half.|
|West Ham United :||kit||Tottenham Hotspur :||kit|
22 Jussi JAASKELAINEN
Scott PARKER (29
Jake LIVERMORE 89)
10 Emmanuel ADEBAYOR
|Manager : Sam Allaradyce||Manager : Andre Villas-Boas|
|Sponsor : SBOBet||Shirt sponsor : Aurasma|
|Kit Supplier : Macron||Kit Supplier : Under Armour|
In a game that started with Bobby Moore's grand-children bringing the match ball out and a minute's applause for one of the game's all-time greats, it ended with the crowd (well one part of it anyway) rising to anoint the new star of the world stage, who won this game for Spurs with a swing of his left boot and condemn West Ham's negative approach to a pointless exercise and one that sees them slip one place nearer the drop-zone, while Spurs leap-frog over Chelsea into Third place with this 3-2 victory.
Spurs had brought in Lewis
Holtby to join Lennon and Bale in the attacking three, while Jan
Vertonghen moved out to left back, with Caulker returning in the
middle of defence. West Ham, as expected, fielded Andy Carroll
up front and brought back James Collins at the back. And West
Ham tried a furious start to put Tottenham off their game. Some
heavy tackling and energetic closing down produced a low shot from
the left of the box by Matt Jarvis that Lloris did well to hold at
his near post, while a weak shot from Mohamed Diame failed to give
the French keeper too much bother.
At the end, Bale had left Gary O'Neil treading water, as he let the ball run across him to turn away from the West Ham midfielder. After the end, Sam Allardyce was left treading sour grapes, as he whinged on about how Mousa Demeble should have been sent off and then they might have stood a chance of getting a point. Well "Big" Sam, perhaps you should just play the big man sometimes and admit you have been battered and beaten by the better team. Credit to West Ham for showing spirit in scoring twice to take a surprise lead, as they were playing to their strengths and then Spurs did the same. Running at the West Ham defence that sat deeper and deeper that played into Tottenham's hands ended up as the deciding factor in the game. That and the fact that Spurs had Gareth bale, but it was not all about him tonight. Lloris did well from the very back, the defence were good apart from a couple of moments of lost concentration. The midfield not only worked hard going forward, but tracked back well and the presence of Adebayor helped in two of the Spurs goals, although he should have had a couple for himself.
An eighth away win in a season is now a new Premier League record for the club and there are still a number of games to play. The win sets up next week's match nicely and I am sure that the opposition will be as fired up as West Ham were. Unfortunately for the Irons, they ended up getting roasted.
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|What you thought|
|Other scores during this week :|
|Queens Park Rangers||0||Manchester United||2||Saturday|
|West Bromwich Albion||2||Sunderland||1||Saturday|
|League Cup Final :|
|Bradford City||0||Swansea City||5||Sunday|
|7||West Bromwich Albion||27||12||4||11||38||36||40||+2|
|14||West Ham United||27||8||6||13||31||41||30||-10|
|20||Queens Park Rangers||27||2||11||14||19||46||17||-24|
Position before match :
Position after match : 3rd
Position after the weekend : 3rd
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