Match Review, Tottenham vs West Ham.

Match: Saturday 22nd February 2015.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

Result: Tottenham 2-2 West Ham.

Tottenham goalscorers: Danny Rose 81’, Harry Kane 96’.

West Ham goalscorers: Cheikhou Kouyaté 22′, Diafra Sakho 62’.

Well, Tottenham don’t half like to play with your heartstrings, do they? We have to be honest and admit that we played a poor game, our passing was sloppy, we didn’t create enough clear cut chances and the energy that is so often a major part of our game simply wasn’t there, we lacked that intensity and drive from West Ham’s first goal until our first goal. West Ham were comfortable and it looked for all the world like they would cruise to a 2-0 victory having got their game plan spot on, suffocating our midfield and starving Harry Kane of service. Their tactical game was brilliant and on any other occasion it probably would have seen them through to victory, but despite lacking in quality throughout the game, our spirit was still there, and we didn’t give up, which credits the mentality instilled by Mauricio Pochettino once again. We did look drained, and out of sorts, and could possibly lay blame to the Europa League game in midweek, but when you see the side come to life late on in a game when 2-0 down, it makes me think that it simply was a bad day at the office that we were lucky to drag ourselves out of. Improvement is needed from that performance, on Thursday and then the Cup Final on Sunday, where we need to be at our best. I’m not happy with the point, we should have done better and performed better, but when you’ve played a bad game, and gone 2-0 down, you have to be satisfied that we got it back to 2-2, we’ll take the point, say thank you very much and then move on to what is a humungous week in the world of Tottenham Hotspur.

We did start the first half quite well, we had some shots that went close from Nabil Bentaleb and Ryan Mason, as well as a brilliant straight ball from Danny Rose that Harry Kane latched onto, and scissored towards goal, past Adrian, but finding the bottom of the post, unluckily for us. But it was West Ham who got the breakthrough, sloppy play from Mousa Dembele on the edge of our box, which then fell to Aaron Cresswell who curled a beautiful cross into the box, inbetween our two centre backs for midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate to power his header past Hugo Lloris on 22’ minutes for the Hammers to lead. We didn’t react to the goal very well, we were still sloppy in possession, West Ham smothered any space that we came across, and we didn’t have many ideas in the final third for Harry Kane to receive service to affect the game; unfortunately the West Ham game plan made it extremely difficult for us to bring our star man into the game. West Ham deserved their lead at half time, but it could have been a different story should we have taken the small amount of chances that we did get.

The second half was our chance to turn it around, insert some energy into our game and find our groove once again, but unfortunately we didn’t come out of the gates flying, instead we looked the same as in the first half; pedestrian and out of ideas, which gave West Ham the opportunity to find spaces for themselves, but not allowing the space to be given to us, hence was their organisation as a team. It was frustrating, infuriating not to have enough clear cut chances to make an impact on the game, West Ham’s tactics were spot on, and on the counter attack they were effective, and caused problems for our defenders with Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho using their pace and strength to affect the game. In midfield, they had the extra man, and it made it impossible for us to get a foothold in the match and strut our stuff, and then, West Ham doubled their lead through Diafra Sakho, who took advantage of Danny Rose appealing for offside to sneak in behind and find the net for 2-0, and it looked like game over at 62 minutes in. The game looked to be fizzling out, West Ham had control, and were passing the ball well, but a big incident was Mark Noble, who was already on a yellow card, lunging in on Nabil Bentaleb for what was a stonewall second yellow and red card, but John Moss bottled the decision and at that moment I though for all the World it wasn’t our day, but the never say die attitude of the side thought otherwise. We introduced Nacer Chadli into the game and 1 minute later, from a short corner, Erik Lamela whipped a cross into the box, which was half blocked and then cleared, but only as far as Danny Rose who scuffed a shot into the ground, but the bounce seemed to deceive Adrian in the West Ham goal and settled into the back of the net on 81 minutes to give the Tottenham faithful hope. Our brightest spell of the game is often in the last 10 minutes, and that was no different in this game, and after getting the goal back, we continued to press, with Kyle Walker, Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela creating chances, as well as Roberto Soldado who had a powerful effort well saved by Adrian. Then, with the added 5 minutes of time coming to a close, the ball found its way to Harry Kane’s feet, who took a touch, and felt contact from Alex Song and went to ground as John Moss pointed to the spot. It wasn’t that straightforward though, as Harry Kane’s penalty was saved, but it fell to Kane on the rebound toscore for 2-2 with the last kick of the game. Relief.

Well, we got a point!! A very nervy and frustrating game that ended in pure relief. Now, we have to travel to Florence to face Fiorentina in the second leg of the Europa League round of 32, then it’s the biggest game of the season on Sunday 1st March with the Capital One Cup Final against Chelsea, it’s set to be a massive week for Tottenham Hotspur, and hopefully it is a joyous week for us all. Follow me on twitter for it all, here: @AddictedToSpurs, and let me know your thoughts on the game! Up the Spurs! COYS!!
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My player ratings for the side that faced West Ham at WHL:
Lloris – 8
Walker – 7
Dier – 7
Vertonghen 7
Rose – 8.5 – Man of the match.
Bentaleb – 8
Mason – 7 (Chadli 80’ – 5)
Lamela – 6.5
Dembele – 4 (Eriksen 45’ – 6.5)
Townsend – 6 (Soldado – 61’ – 6)
Kane – 7.5.

Mauricio Pochettino reacts to the draw with West Ham:

Harry Kane post match reaction:

Match highlights of our 2-2 draw with West Ham:

Match Preview, Tottenham vs West Ham.

Match date & time: Sunday 22nd February 2015. 12pm GMT Kick off.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

TV: Live on BT Sport 1. Worldwide TV listings can be found HERE.

It’s big game after big game at the moment, cup final after cup final. After losing to Liverpool in frustrating fashion, then a difficult draw to Fiorentina in the Europa League, we now need to get back on track with a good win in an important London derby with West Ham. The Cup final should be put to the back of our mind, and our only focus must be on the next game, and making this season a success with the attitude that our only challenge is to win the next match, not to finish ahead of Arsenal, not to finish in the top four, only to win our next match. Our defeat to Liverpool was difficult to take, we weren’t amazing, but probably deserved a point, which would have been considered a good result, but now we have to respond with a win in a massive game in terms of the League standing, and for the fans who after a 3-0 and 2-1 defeat to West Ham last season at the Lane, need to take revenge, for sure. We sit 6th in the Premier League table, and need to keep winning games to put pressure on the teams ahead of us, and this is a good opportunity at home to get another three points on the board. At home, we’re confident, and hopefully we can return to winning ways in great fashion in a big London derby.

West Ham have had a good season so far, and sit in a respectable 8th position in the Premier League, just behind Liverpool and Tottenham, and hold the title of ‘best of the rest’ that aren’t battling it out for European places, although I am sure West Ham would like to think they have a chance of gaining a European spot, as it isn’t fully beyond them yet. Their recent form has not been fantastic, with only 3 wins in 12 games, and in their last fixture, in the FA Cup away to West Brom they fell to a 4-0 thumping, so they will be looking to make amends, but on the flip side we will be looking to take advantage of what could be seen as a slump in form. Their last three games, against Liverpool, Manchester United and Southampton saw the Hammers amass only 2 points, with draws to the Saints and the Red Devils, which could be seen as a good two points, but after only beating Bristol 1-0 in the FA Cup, along with dispatching struggling Hull and winning on penalties to Everton, it is only 2 wins in 10 Premier League matches, with 5 draws and 3 losses. Their form is dropping and they’ll need to improve rapidly to have a chance of keeping up with the teams ahead of them who are all hitting a good run of form.

Andy Carroll (knee) is the only definite absentee for the Hammers, while Chiekhou Kouyate (arm) and Diafra Sakho (back) are slight doubts, but along with Matt Jarvis, Winston Reid and James Collins are expected to be in the squad that travels to White Hart Lane, and as key players for West Ham, would be likely to be involved from the start. New signing Nene is also set to be absent due to a lack of match fitness. West Ham have quite a few good players, and up top Diafra Sakho is the Hammers’ top scorer, with 10 goals in all competitions, and his strength and finishing prowess have been very impressive in his first season in English football. He will be the main threat for the Irons, and they will be looking to get the service that he needs to be effective. The player that will be looking to provide that service will be Stewart Downing, who has 5 goals in the Premier League, but also has a notable 7 assists, cementing himself as a very effective player to West Ham this season, which has earned him an England call up this season, so we will be looking to contain his threat from either the wings or from his more central position. In midfield, the man that has made the Irons tick has been former Arsenal player and now on loan from Barcelona, Alex Song, who has proven himself a valuable and experienced man in the midfield for West Ham, earning a lot of plaudits from fans and journalists. Along with Song, Sakho and Downing, Enner Valencia has the pace and energy to cause problems, he has 4 goals this season, and will no doubt be looking to add to his tally.Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 15.34.26
The team news for Tottenham is that we have a clean bill of health, with no suspensions either, and it’s so pleasing that this has been the case for quite a while. Only DeAndre Yedlin is the definite absentee having been with the USMNT. There will definitely be rotation from the side that drew with Fiorentina at the Lane, Harry Kane replacing goalscorer Roberto Soldado, with Mousa Dembele and Ryan Mason expected to return as well, hopefully fresh and ready to make a big impact on the game with West Ham. Obviously you would expect Eric Dier and Danny Rose also to come back in to replace Ben Davies and Federico Fazio.

There is no doubt that Harry Kane will once again have the eyes of the public on him, to see if he can continue his remarkable form, with 23 goals in 36 games, in another really big game against another London rival. He has come into this big patch of games in stunning form and we need him to continue that coming into the last part of the season, including our humungous Capital One Cup final at Wembley on March 1st; hopefully the January player of the month can continue his February performances. Harry Kane has been joined in his good form by Mousa Dembele, who as well as hitting the net away at Liverpool in our 3-2 loss, was arguably our best player with Harry Kane; on the ball Mousa is phenomenal and he has improved drastically recently in the position just behind the striker, it enables the big Belgian to be more involved in the match and increase his effectiveness in the game, which can only be positive for Tottenham because of his ability to hold onto the ball and bring his team mates into the action. Mousa’s Belgian team mate Jan Vertonghen has been fantastic so far this season, and is showing his class at the back alongside either Fazio or Dier, showing his leadership qualities but also his ability in defence to keep opponents quiet. His tackling talent is second to none in our side, but also his composure to pick a pass and start attacks from the back. I have been extremely impressed with his performances this season after being poor last term, he has rediscovered his best form, and credit goes to Jan for working hard, but also Mauricio Pochettino for re-motivating the Belgian defender after looking disillusioned at Spurs last season. In midfield, we rely on Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb to provide the energy and tenacity in midfield, and they have delivered magnificently recently. Hopefully though, both players can tighten up their passing after a sloppy display against Liverpool, but to be fair that applies to the whole team who were slightly sloppy. Christian Eriksen has been fantastic this season, but in recent games he has been slightly ineffective and had a poor game against Fiorentina, so we need him to pick up his performance levels, because he is so important to Tottenham playing well; hopefully he can find his passing range again and maybe find the net again, as he has a little bit of a dip in form, but there’s no doubting he’ll come back into form very soon.

Match stats provided by Opta:

– Harry Kane has scored 11 goals in his last 10 Premier League matches for Tottenham.

– There have been three red cards in the last two Premier League meetings between West Ham and Spurs.

– Prior to West Ham’s win at White Hart Lane last season, Tottenham had won seven and lost none of the previous 11 home games against the Hammers.

– Tottenham have conceded 497 goals in Premier League history at White Hart Lane.

– Eight of Spurs’ last 10 Premier League victories have been by a 2-1 scoreline.

– Tottenham Hotspur have conceded more penalties than any other Premier League side this season (7).

– Spurs have recovered the joint-most points from losing positions of any team in the Premier League (15 along with Palace).

– West Ham have scored more headed goals (14) than any other Premier League team this season, also accounting for a divisional high 39% of total scored.

– The Hammers have won just one of their last eight Premier League matches (W1 D4 L3).

– Injured striker Andy Carroll has scored in two of his three Barclays Premier League games for West Ham against Tottenham.

Another big game, bringing us back into Premier League action with a bang in another London derby against a definite rival where revenge is definitely on the cards after our previous losses to the Hammers. The game is live on BT Sport, but I will be sure to provide updates for goals, photos and videos from my twitter account, follow me there: @AddictedToSpurs. Let’s get back to winning ways in another big game! COYS!!

My predicted/preferred side to face West Ham at the Lane:
4-2-3-1
Lloris
Walker – Dier – Vertonghen – Rose
Mason – Bentaleb
Lamela – Dembele – Eriksen
Kane.

Mauricio Pochettino previews the West Ham match:

Match Review, West Ham vs Tottenham.

Match: Saturday 16th August 2014.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: Upton Park.

Result: West Ham 0-1 Tottenham.

Tottenham GoalScorer: Eric Dier 93′.

Sending off West Ham: James Collins 63′.

Sending off Tottenham: Kyle Naughton 29′.

We’ve got our first win on the board and did it in typical Tottenham fashion. Keeping you on the edge of your seat 24/7 and giving you absolutely no inkling into what is going to happen. In Mauricio Pochettino’s first game in charge, to get the win is the main thing, how we played is not what we need to focus on. With this win so much pressure has been lifted off Pochettino’s shoulders, off our shoulders and the player’s shoulders. 1 game, 1 win. That’s all that is important.

In the first half, we started well, put some good passes together and looked slightly threatening, but quite jittery at the back. West Ham were doing well to cull our attacks, and offensively themselves, they did well to put us under pressure. They then bombarded us for 10 odd minutes, corners, free kicks and everything inbetween and got their reward with a penalty, Kyle Naughton handling the ball in the area and then receiving a red card, which was very harsh. A penalty? Yes. A red card? Not a chance. Mark Noble stepped up, famous for his clinical nature from penalties, but dragged it wide to all of Tottenham’s relief. We dragged ourselves through to half time. They had chances, went close, but it was 0-0 at the break and we were grateful for that.

In the second half, we were better. On the ball, much more sharp and organised after a talking to from Mauricio Pochettino. The introduction of Andros Townsend and Lewis Holtby gave us much more impetus and attacking threat, in particularly Andros Townsend who was providing crosses and shots that were testing the West Ham defence. We worked the ball much more in the final third but were still restricted to longer range shots. Frustrating. The momentum turned in our favour and with that, on the 63rd minute, James Collins of West Ham got his second booming of the day and was sent down the tunnel. 10 vs 10. 30 minutes to go. It was in our hands to win. We continued to push. In particular with Townsend and now Harry Kane. We continued to push, but West Ham were still getting chances. In the 88th minute they had a big chance, Hugo Lloris spectacularly stopping Stewart Downing’s effort. As good as a goal from Hugo. Then, after our endeavour, we finally broke the deadlock. In the 93rd minute Harry Kane released Eric Dier, who broke the offside trap, rounded the goalkeeper and finished with ease to give Tottenham victory. Fantastic. IMG_1110.JPG
Eric Dier, on his Premier League debut, in a London derby, played a very, very good game. Defensively he was solid, on the ball he was composed and then at the end he scored the winning goal. He worked so hard for the team, filled in at right back when we needed it, at centre back and then up front! Man of the match without doubt. Hugo Lloris was also fantastic; he’s World Class and he showed again why he wins us at least 10-15 points a season, maybe even more. As a collective the performance wasn’t amazing, we can admit that. West Ham probably deserved more from the game but football is a cruel game and after a red card that shouldn’t have been, maybe Karma was on our side. A brilliant three points to kick-start our season.

What a three points! A last minute winner against West Ham is always really nice, especially on the first day of the season and Mauricio Pochettino’s first game in charge. It’s important we push on after this win and now try to improve ourselves in the way we play, defensively and offensively. Next up, Europa League play-off action as we travel to Cyprus to face AEL Limassol at the Antonis Stadium on Thursday 21st August. We return to Premier League action against QPR, our first Home game of the season on Sunday 24th August. Follow @AddictedToSpurs for it all… COYS!!

Player ratings for the team that faced West Ham at Upton Park:
Lloris: 8.5.
Naughton – 3.
Dier – 9 – Man of the Match.
Kaboul – 4.
Rose – 6.
Capoue – 5.
Bentaleb – 7.
Lennon – 5.
Eriksen – 6.5
Lamela – 5.
Adebayor – 5.

Subs:
Townsend – 8.
Holtby – 6.
Kane – 7.

Mauricio Pochettino post match press conference:

Mauricio Pochettino post match reaction:

Eric Dier post match reaction:

Match Preview, West Ham vs Tottenham.

Match date & time: Saturday 16th August 2014. Kick off at 3pm GMT.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: Upton Park.

TV: Not televised in the UK.

The Premier League season is upon us. A new manager for a new season and it feels as if a new era is coming to White Hart Lane, hopefully, full of success. The summer has been very exciting. A brilliant World Cup, loads of transfer rumours and deals being completed. It’s made the wait for the Premier League to return much quicker. That’s for sure. Last season, we were left disappointed and frustrated by a 6th place finish with a lot of change; managerially and with the players. Now it’s a bit more settled, we’ve made a few additions and had a few players go out, but we’ve a balanced and healthy squad. Now, we have to push on and be much more successful not just with League position and trophies, but with the way we play. We need to show flair, excitement and play the old fashioned ‘Tottenham way’. Mauricio Pochettino can bring us what we have been yearning for since Harry Redknapp left us, as well as success in the League. This all starts at Upton Park.

Our recent history against West Ham is not something I like to recall too often; normally it’s just shoved down my throat and I’m forced with the realisation that we actually lost three times to them. Farcical. A 3-0 loss under Andre Villas-Boas, and then a 2-1 and 2-0 loss under Tim Sherwood. Now, we hope for a different fate under Mauricio Pochettino. A difficult first game for him but one we can win. It’s important we ‘shake the curse’ of West Ham before it actually becomes a curse. West Ham have bought some good players this summer, and I think are stronger than last season with squad depth, but we are going to have to wait and see how their new signings adapt to the Premier League, and they’ll be thrown in the deep end with a massive London derby that means a hell of a lot to both club’s fans. Kouyate, Zarate and Enner Valencia are good players that add a bit of core strength to the squad.

The team news for West Ham coming into the game is that Andy Carroll (ankle), Carl Jenkinson (hamstring) and Ravel Morrison (match fitness) won’t feature for West Ham, with late decisions on how ready new arrival Enner Valencia and after coming back from injury, Guy Demel. Another new signing Aaron Cresswell is a slight doubt after being replaced through injury in a pre-season game against Sampdoria, but is expected to be fine. I think the problem West Ham have is upfront, with Andy Carroll injured long term, and Enner Valencia a doubt to start the game at least, they’d be left with Carlton Cole and Mauro Zarate, and that’s not exactly frightening if we’re defensively solid. Although now I’ve said that, expect them to score three hat-tricks each. One player who I think could be really important for West Ham is Kouyate, strong in the middle of the park and fairly comfortable on the ball, he’s a good player who will add solidity to their team and squad. Offensively, I believe if Valencia is passed fit to play, he’s a real threat in front of goal, as we saw in the World Cup, so we’d need to be ready for that.

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The team news for Tottenham is that our World Cup players are in contention to play at Upton Park. Hugo Lloris and Nabil Bentaleb are available to the squad, while Jan Vertonghen, Paulinho, Mousa Dembele and Nacer Chadli are doubts but could still make the squad. Other doubts include Vlad Chiriches (back), Michael Dawson (ankle) and Kyle Walker (pelvis). Michel Vorm (match fitness) won’t feature after Pochettino revealed he’s on a ‘special plan’ after arriving late to the squad. Quite a few concerns there, but if we can get 3 of 4 of the doubts fit then we will go to Upton Park with a really strong squad.

Erik Lamela. An injury blighted first season. A fantastic pre-season. Now it’s time for him to push on and show his worth. He has undoubted talent, his ability on the ball, to find the final pass and to score the crucial goal. He’s got that in him and I’m predicting him to show it against West Ham, it’s very important that he does. Another player who will be very important against West Ham is Christian Eriksen; he had an incredible first season but now he can push on even further, with a, fingers crossed, injury free season with the experience of having a Premier League season under his belt. Eriksen is phenomenal, there’s no two ways about it. A big decision for Pochettino is who to start up-front; with three good options, Emmanuel Adebayor, Harry Kane and Roberto Soldado, there are arguments for all three to start, but only one can, and I’d make it Emmanuel Adebayor. The most experienced of the three and our top scorer last season, for me it’s his position to lose and if he does fall off he’ll have Kane and Soldado scrapping for his place, which is good competition. In defence, assuming Jan Vertonghen doesn’t make the game, I’d stick with Younes Kaboul and give a debut to Eric Dier, who was so impressive in the game against Schalke, both centre backs played well together and if they can build that understanding more in training and in a game scenario, it can be very good for the team.

Match stats and facts provided by Opta:

– West Ham United won both clashes with Tottenham Hotspur last season in the Barclays Premier League.

– Spurs have won just four of their last 16 opening weekend fixtures in the Premier League (D4 L8).

– In fact, the Hammers beat Spurs three times in all competitions last seasons, winning the Capital One Cup Quarter Final.

– These two sides faced each other on the opening day of the 1999/2000 season. Harry Redknapp’s West Ham won 1-0 at Upton Park.

– This game will be Sam Allardyce’s 400th as a Premier League manager.

– West Ham posted the worst shooting accuracy in the 2013-14 Premier League, hitting the target with just 37% of their attempts on goal.

– West Ham signing Enner Valencia scored three goals from five shots on target at the 2014 World Cup.

– Tottenham won 10 Premier League away games in 2013-14, only one team (Arsenal, 11) had recorded more (four other teams won 10).

– West Ham’s last three Premier League goals have come against London sides.

– Tottenham scored only nine goals in 10 Premier League London derbies in 2013-14.

It’s a massive game. A difficult one and a testing one for Mauricio Pochettino. We have to play a positive game, find holes in the West Ham team and just all-in-all play our football. I’m really looking forward to it all kicking off. The game isn’t televised, but I’ll be sure to provide a stream, as well as goal updates, videos and photos all on my twitter account @AddictedToSpurs, so follow me there! I’ll be doing all the previews and reviews this season. Let’s have a fantastic one. Starting at Upton Park. COYS!!

My predicted team to face West Ham at Upton Park:
4-2-3-1
Lloris
Naughton – Kaboul – Dier – Rose
Capoue – Holtby
Lennon – Lamela – Eriksen (free roles)
Adebayor.

Mauricio Pochettino’s pre West Ham press conference:

Match Preview, West Ham United vs Tottenham.

Match date & time: Saturday 3rd May 2014. Kick off at 12:45pm.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: Upton Park.

TV: Live on BT Sport in the UK.

A fierce London derby, a massive encounter between two teams extremely full of hate for each other, lots of passion, adrenaline and ferocity running through the veins of the fans, players and everybody connected with each club. It’s a match that means so much, not so much in terms of League position, but in terms of pride. And for Tottenham, on Saturday at Upton Park, it’s a chance to restore the pride taken off us in the last two encounters. A must win game for Spurs, losing is simply not an option.

Our recent form has been at a high level, we have found some consistency in our results and in our performances. Ever since the 4-0 drubbing at Anfield, our form has picked up and we are playing some great football, with players starting to stand up and be counted. In April, we did not lose a game, and only dropped points in one game against West Brom at the Hawthorns, drawing 3-3. That’s 3 wins out of 4 games, and I’d say I’m very happy with that. Now we need to continue in the same fashion as we did in April, with 2 games left against West Ham and Aston Villa. Winnable games, as were the games in April, so hopefully we show the same resolve and desire we did last month and finish the season on a high! Our recent form against West Ham is non-existent. I try to block the last two results out of my mind, mostly because of how ashamed I am of them. Last time in the League, we lost 3-0 at White Hart Lane, arguably the worst result of the season, and that’s from quite a long list of bad results. We were dreadful, but we have the chance to make things slightly better with a win at Upton Park. We blew the opportunity for some pride in Sherwood’s first game as Head Coach at the Lane in the Capital One Cup, losing 2-1, even after going 1-0 up.

West Ham have had more ups and downs than a roller coaster this season, struggling to put together a good run of results, apart from a brilliant run in February, which has looked to be the month that has kept them up, I think they’ve been rather dreadful. It looks as though West Ham are now safe from relegation, they sit 14th with 37 points, they need another win or a draw to be completely sure of survival, though, and we’re here to try to drag them back into trouble and cause their 5th successive loss in the Premier League.

The team news for West Ham is that striker Marco Borriello has been ruled out through a hamstring injury, but other than that the Hammers have a full squad to pick from. The players that West Ham rely on most are, first of all, Andy Carroll, the big money record signing. Carroll is a target man, who feeds off crosses and long balls in which to get his fellow team mates into the game; he’s incredibly important to West Ham, and when he’s on form he’s a definite handful. Another important player for West Ham is Mo Diame, the big midfielder gets West Ham moving, he’s quick, powerful and can kick start attacks, he can float onto the wing or play as the deep lying powerhouse. Finally, Stewart Downing and Matt Jarvis on the wings are relied upon to provide the ammunition to Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan, and so stopping them on the wing is the key to stopping West Ham get chances.

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Now to the team news for Tottenham Hotspur, the injuries are still there, as they have been all season. This time out, it’s Erik Lamela (back), Kyle Walker (groin), Andros Townsend (ankle) and Mousa Dembele (ankle) who have been ruled out of the trip to Upton Park, with Jan Vertonghen and Etienne Capoue both doubts through match fitness, with the game possibly coming a ‘bit too soon’ for them, even after training for a full week, according to Sherwood.

Michael Dawson was arguably man of the match against Stoke City, he dealt with Peter Crouch’s height and hold up play expertly, and now he’s going to face a very similar proposition in Andy Carroll. Carroll is the sort of striker that Michael Dawson loves to face, competing in the air and not very quick to get in behind him like the Aguero and Suarez type of player. A game against West Ham suits Dawson down to the ground, a game with passion and rivalry, mixed with the ‘route 1’ approach that Michael relishes facing. The partnership with Younes Kaboul against Stoke was exceptional, it seems as though both players have an understanding with each other, and I think Kaboul looks much more comfortable with the experience of Dawson alongside him. Aim of the game on Saturday is to get the ball to Christian Eriksen, get him involved in the game where it matters and try to effect the game in the final third. Aaron Lennon and Christian Eriksen are so important to the team in terms of creating chances and pushing the team forward, so we need them to be on form and getting in the right areas, for Aaron it’s the position to get the ball into Adebayor and Harry Kane, and for Eriksen it’s the position to feed Lennon, Kane and Adebayor with whipped in crosses and intricate passes. In the centre of midfield, I really do hope we see Sandro come into the team to play alongside Paulinho, Sandro has the bite to play in these kind of high intensity derby games, whereas Nacer Chadli, who has started the last few games, is much more technical. The partnership between Paulinho and Sandro could be one that really flourishes.

Match stats and facts provided by Opta:

– 10 of West Ham’s last 16 home games have had at least 3 goals.

– 8 of West Ham’s last 12 home matches against top-half teams have had at least 4 goals.

– Spurs have won 12 of their last 19 trips to bottom-half teams.

– Spurs have drawn the first half in 10 of their last 17 away matches against bottom-half teams.

– Andy Carroll has scored in both previous meetings with Tottenham as a West Ham player, but has ended up on the losing side both times.

– Tottenham have won nine and lost just two of their last 13 Barclays Premier League meetings with the Hammers (D2).

– West Ham have had over 2.5 goals in their last eight home matches against top-six teams.

Big game for so many reasons. A London derby, and one that we can’t afford to drop any points in. You can get in depth updates on the game from my twitter account @AddictedToSpurs, including goal updates, videos, pictures, vines and much more! Get following! COYS!!

My predicted team to face West Ham at Upton Park:
4-4-2
Lloris
Naughton – Dawson – Kaboul – Rose
Lennon – Paulinho – Sandro – Eriksen
Adebayor – Kane.

Tim Sherwood speaks to the press prior to our game against West Ham:

Match Preview, Tottenham vs West Ham.

Match: Sunday, 6th October 2013. Kick off, 4:00pm.

Premier League

Another London derby awaits us this weekend, our East London rivals West Ham visit the Lane. Every game in the Premier League is challenging and difficult, but this is a game we are more than expected to win, with the form we are in and the lack of form West Ham are in. We had to travel to Russia in the week, and got a relatively comfortable 2-0 win over Anzhi. A European hang over has been suggested, but with the squad depth we have, and the fitness levels of the players in the modern era being so high, I don’t see that as a possibility, hopefully we can get back to winning ways after our draw in another London derby against Chelsea. Getting a big win has to be the agenda, we haven’t scored three goals + in a Premier League game so far this season, hopefully we can get it against West Ham, would be extra sweet in a London derby.

West Ham do have good players, but scoring goals has been their downfall. With Andy Carroll a long time absentee, they don’t have that big threat in the air, and a goal scorer. Madibo Maiga has started up front for the Hammers, and he hasn’t impressed, having failed to score a goal this Premier League season so far, with our defensive record it appears this could be another game where he fails to hit the net. Mo Diame is a great player, a similar player to Mousa Dembele in midfield with his strength and ability on the ball, he could cause problems going forward, but the midfield battle can only be won by one team, surely that team is Spurs. Kevin Nolan is West Ham’s biggest goal threat, the attacking midfielder has shown that in his goalscoring record throughout his career, hopefully we can nullify his threat.

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Roberto Soldado has taken time to settle, he’s been in my opinion brilliant in his link up play, but he has lacked chances to show his finishing ability, against West Ham at White Hart Lane is a game in which I expect him to get chances, and I expect him to put them away. Pressure from Defoe has been big, so Roberto needs to step up and prove to the people who doubt him and prove me right that he is the man to lead the line for Spurs, and will score goals. I would start Soldado, and I think AVB would agree with me. Christian Eriksen has been great since coming in from Ajax, and this is a game I expect him to shine in again, hopefully he can create a profitable partnership with Soldado sooner rather than later. Gylfi Sigurdsson has been in great scoring form, his play from the left has been more than impressive, hopefully he can continue this form and help us to get the win at the Lane. I’d start Erik Lamela against West Ham, but Andros Townsend doesn’t deserve to be dropped after his impressive performance against Chelsea, I’m happy for Andros to be playing, but the time will come when Erik takes his place. Danny Rose, Etienne Capoue, Aaron Lennon, Younes Kaboul and Emmanuel Adebayor are not available, they should return to action after the international break (October 16th).

Match stats provided by Opta from tottenhamhotspur.com

– Spurs have won 15 and lost just two of their last 25 London derbies at home in the Barclays Premier League (D8).

– West Ham have fired in just 14 shots on target in the league this season. Spurs surpassed this tally in their third game of 2013-14.

– Tottenham have attempted more shots from open play than any other side in the Barclays Premier League this term (69).

– Only Roma’s Morgan De Sanctis (91%) has a better saves-to-shots ratio than Hugo Lloris (89%) of all regular goalkeepers in the top five European Leagues so far in 2013-14.

– Spurs’ players have touched the ball 159 times in the opposition box this season; more often than any other side.

– Tottenham have lost only one of their last 16 Premier League games at White Hart Lane (W11 D4).

– West Ham have won just 10 points in their last 10 Premier League London derbies (W3 D1 L6), losing the last four in a row.

My preferred/predicted team to face West Ham at White Hart Lane:
4-2-3-1
Lloris
Walker – Dawson – Chiriches – Vertonghen
Paulinho – Dembele
Townsend – Eriksen – Sigurdsson
Soldado

Match Review, Anzhi Makhachkala vs Tottenham.

Thursday 3rd October 2013

Europa League

Anzhi Makhachkala 0-2 Tottenham. Defoe 34′, Chadli 39′.

Professional performance from the lads in a game that we were more than expected to get a result. We were dominant, and we deserved the three points to keep us at the top of our group in the Europa League. We weren’t amazing, but we got the job done fairly easily and didn’t leave room for any upsets. In the first half we passed the ball around really well and controlled the game, Lewis Holtby and Mousa Dembele at the heart of our control. We couldn’t find the decisive pass to open up the Anzhi defensive unit that was being relatively sturdy. Finally, Lewis Holtby picked a delightful pass through to Jermain Defoe who slotted home clinically, as usual, to make it 7 goals for the season and 5 in the Europa League. Quickly after another delicious ball from Holtby set Walker away down the right to set up Nacer Chadli who finished well in the box for his second Spurs goal. The second half was very, well, boring. Anzhi pushed into the game a bit more, but we held on and completed a good win.

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No real stand out performances for this game. I don’t think anyone was bad, as it was difficult conditions on a cold night in Russia, the bobbles on the pitch didn’t help us to play our game, and made it difficult for both attack and defence. Vlad Chiriches impressed me with his composure and ability to run with the ball, a little shaky at points but this is down to nerves, and I think he’s trying overly hard to impress after just coming into the team, maybe physically he needs to continue to work and get stronger as Lacina Traoré of Anzhi was a real test, although he is 6ft 8. Lewis Holtby was another top player, his creativity in the end won us the game, very important he impresses, and at this rate he deserves a place, although it is very tough competition! Jermain Defoe is one goal off Martin Chivers’ European record, maybe getting the record at White Hart Lane is destiny, got his customary goal today, and maybe should have got a couple more! Younes Kaboul looked brilliant today, so unfortunate with his injuries, I hope to God he gets fully fit and stays fit because when he is, he is my first choice centre back alongside Jan Vertonghen. One last thing, can I urge EVERYONE to give the new signings time. Erik Lamela received some extremely naive criticism, as a 21 year old who doesn’t speak any English he needs time to settle in. He will be amazing for us, in time.

A good win, another clean sheet. We now face West Ham on Sunday, 6th October in the Premier League. Our next Europa League fixture is on the 24th October away at Sherrif. COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Anzhi at the Saturn Stadium:
Lloris – 8
Walker – 7
Chiriches – 8
Kaboul – 8
Fryers – 7
Sandro – 6
Dembele – 8 Man of the Match
Lamela – 6
Holtby – 8
Chadli – 7
Defoe – 6

Subs:
Dawson – 6
Sigurdsson – N/A
Eriksen – N/A

Match Review, West Ham vs Tottenham

West Ham 2-3 Tottenham

What a fantastic game, one of the games of the season, for sure. We started the game well, got the early goal and we looked set for a convincing win, but then a rash challenge from a rusty Scott Parker in the box set us back as Andy Carroll slotted the ball away to make it 1-1. We had a shaky 20 minutes and then Joe Cole put West Ham ahead, 2-1. We then started to attack and pressurise West Ham, until, finally, we got the equaliser from Gylfi Sigurdsson, his first in a Spurs shirt. What happened next was magic, Gareth Bale, an unbelievable strike on 90 minutes put us in the lead, and gave us the win. Absolutely brilliant.

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Gareth Bale, I think I’ve run out of superlatives to describe this boy, simply world class. His two goals were brilliant, he has saved us on many occasions and I wouldn’t swap him for anyone in the world, he is the best player in the Premier League, no doubt. Michael Dawson put in a captains performance, he cleared danger, and commanded in the air, he did everything we needed him to do, so happy that he’s established himself with AVB. Hugo Lloris was phenomenal, some of his saves were of the highest quality, he is so calm under pressure and for the first time, I’m confident in a Spurs goalkeeper! So happy for Gylfi Sigurdsson, he has been so close on many occasions with some brilliant strikes, and to get his first goal for us is amazing, hopefully he continues to improve and score goals, if he does he can be brilliant for us. I don’t even want to talk about Adebayor, he is not fit to wear a Spurs shirt, hope Defoe is back for our next game against Arsenal. Our next game is against Arsenal in the North London Derby, it’s going to be a cracker! The game is televised, it’s on Sky Sports with coverage starting at 3:00pm. COYS!!

My player ratings for the game against West Ham at Upton Park:
Lloris – 10
Walker – 8
Dawson – 9
Caulker – 8
Vertonghen – 8
Lennon – 7
Parker – 5
Dembele – 7
Bale – 10 Man of the Match
Holtby – 7
Adebayor – 3

Subs:
Sigurdsson – 8
Carroll – 8
Livermore – 7

Match Preview, West Ham vs Tottenham

Every game is a must win from now on, we have to be ruthless until the season is done. We have to perform like we want Champions League football more than anyone. We have a hard run of games, but everyone we play, we can beat, we just have to perform to our maximum. West Ham are a difficult team to break down, they are defensively disciplined and very solid, they won’t give much away. They will try to frustrate us, but we have to rise above it and play our game the way we want to play it. They will put ten men behind the ball and go for the draw, this is because if they try to match us on attacking quality, they would probably get ‘hammered’. We have to score early, to try and force a battle of attacks, otherwise we could be in for a very difficult nigh at Upton Park.

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Gareth Bale will try to continue his form, and we need him to be on form if we want to break West Ham down, he can change a game with one flick of his left boot, it’s that simple. West Ham will try and crowd him out of the game, but the way he drifts around the ground he is almost impossible to man mark. They will try to stop him, whether they succeed is another matter. Lewis Holtby could start his first Premier League game, what a game to play in, passion will be running through him and he will be up for it, I hope he starts, if he does, we have a greater chance of scoring early because of his creative spark. Adebayor’s performance has been poor, but he had a decent night in France against Lyon, and he is starting to improve, so hopefully he improves even more, and bags himself a goal or two! The game is televised, coverage starts at 7:00pm on Sky Sports. COYS!!

My preferred team to face West Ham at Upton Park:
Lloris
Walker – Dawson – Vertonghen – Assou-Ekotto
Lennon – Parker – Dembele – Bale
Holtby
Adebayor

Match Review, Tottenham vs West Ham

That was our first convincing home win of the season, and it came at exactly the right time. Having lost three in a row the pressure was on, but we battled well and won the war. West Ham played some horrendous football, with hardly any short passing, their long balls bombarded our defence but we were strong and held their attacks off well. We were knocking at the door for the whole of the first half and late on we got the first goal with a stunning strike from Jermain Defoe. This was very important for the rest of the game as they had to push more men forward, and then that led to them being too open, which meant we were definitely going to score more goals.

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Andre Villas-Boas made a very good call to start Dawson, Gallas wouldn’t have dealt with the arial threat as well as Dawson, and I think Dawson has to retain his place after a stunning display. Defoe was brilliant, his first goal was unreal and his second was typical of Jermain, we really needed him to step up after Adebayor’s suspension. Gareth Bale showed that he is up with the best players in the world with his performance, did everything right and deserved his goal. A surprise performer was Clint Dempsey, he was fantastic, we all knew he had the quality and he definitely proved us right, if he keeps these kind of performances up he will be a very important player for us this season. A fantastic result, and a much needed three points, very well deserved. Our next game is against Liverpool at the Lane on Wednesday. COYS!!

My player ratings vs West Ham
Lloris – 9
Walker – 8
Dawson – 9
Caulker – 8
Vertonghen – 7
Lennon – 9
Sandro – 8
Huddlestone – 8
Bale – 9 man of the match
Dempsey – 9
Defoe – 9