OPPONENTS West Ham United London 
COMPETITION Premier League 
DATE Thursday 4th January 2018
VENUE Wembley
4.  Jose FONTE
5.  Pablo ZABALETA
8.  Chiekhou KOUYATE
9.  Andy CARROLL
10.  Manuel LANZINI
14.  Pedro OBIANG
15.  Diafra SAKHO
16.  Mark NOBLE
17.  Javier HERNANDEZ
19.  James COLLINS
20.  Andre AYEW
21.  Angelo OGBONNA
22.  Sam BYRAM
25.  Joe HART
26.  Arthur MASUAKA
30.  Michail ANTONIO
31.  Edmilson FERNANDES
34.  Nathan TROTT
36.  Domingos QUINA
37.  Natahn HOLLAND
41.  Declan RICE
46.  Moses MAKASI
PREVIEW Both sides come into this match "fresh" from their matches two days before and both arrive on the back of wins.

West Ham grabbed a late, late winner against West Brom, while Spurs made heavy weather, in heavy weather, of beating Swansea, so the recovery of players might be the key to which team performs better.  Spurs had rested some players, but had a long journey back from Wales after playing in trying conditions, while West Ham are hit by injuries. 

Adrian has displaced Joe Hart in goal and is a solid keeper, but not without his failings and his handling is not great and neither his ability on the ball.  The back four are hit by injuries, which have seen Declan Rice given his chance, with the central defender getting more first team experience, with Masuaka and Zabaleta outside Ogbonna and his partner Winston Reid.  There are some ageing legs in the back four, so moving the ball quickly could see Spurs get away from them.

Mark Noble will exist in the West Ham midfield, but not many people are sure why, with event he West Ham fans giving "one of their own" stick earlier this season.  Lanzini can turn games, as he is an accomplished dribbler and has the ability to create chances, as well as finish some.  Obiang and Kouyate do the leg work and they are dangerous from set-pieces, as we have found out in the past, while Arnautovic can be effective, but often is on the fringes of the game without influencing it. 

Andre Ayew may be missing, which only leaves Javier Hernandez as a striking option for the Irons, but his move has not seen him be as prolific as the West Ham hierarchy hoped for when they spent big on him in the summer.

The two goals by Andy Carroll were his first two of the season, but he is a difficult opponent when provided with good service.  His physical presence in the air could cause Spurs problems without Toby Alderweireld there to battle with him, but you can watch out for attempts to get Spurs players involved with that approach and there will be attempts to wind up our players in an effort to reduce our numbers.  Especially as the media appear to be only too willing to highlight any firm tackle as a red card.

The fixture has been scattered with red cards over the years and most of them have been for West Ham and more recently, there have been lots of goals in the meetings between the two sides.  This time might be different, with David Moyes probably adopting a more cautious approach.  Spurs dismantled West Ham in the first half of the League Cup tie at Wembley earlier this season, but the Irons came back in the second half to win, as we got caught thinking it was all too easy.  Learning from that experience might help us ensure that games are never over until they are over and finishing off opponents needs to be done as soon as possible.  We nearly made the same mistake at Swansea, where a one goal lead looked fragile for a while.

The problem we have at the moment, is that keeping clean sheets is rare and therefore, we need to be putting our chances away at the other end to ensure we don't lose points.  It has worked at home of late with five goals against Stoke and Southampton, while clean sheets against Brighton and Swansea have allowed 2-0 wins.

If we can keep it tight at the back, we have the attacking prowess to go on and win, but if we concede, it will need the side to keep the shape and keep playing our game to take it to West Ham.  The comeback when we were down to ten men and in the League Cup will be in the players' minds, but they need to turn that into a positive by ensuring that there is no comeback this time.

PREDICTION Tottenham Hotspur    2         West Ham United London    1
LAST SEASON'S MEETING For a look back at the match report, click here.
RESULTS HISTORY Click here for results, match reports and facts on meetings with West Ham United London
Spurs are still without Toby Alderweireld (hamstring), but he has been joined on the sidelines by Mousa Dembele and Danny Rose.
Diafra Sakho (knee), James Collins (muscle), Michail Antonio (groin), E Fernandes (ankle), Sam Byram (thigh) and Jose Fonte (ankle) are all ruled out for the Irons.  Aaron Cresswell faces a late fitness test and Andre Ayew may be missing with a hamstring injury.

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TalkSport (DAB or 2nd89 MW)

Tottenham Hotspur  1 (0)                                                                       
Premier League
Thursday 4th January 2018
West Ham United London  1 (0)

Kick off 20:00
Son  83m 05s Obiang  69m 55s


Carroll  (kicking the ball away)  87
Noble (foul on Llorente 90+1)  


Crowd :   50,034 Weather :  Rainy, chilly
Referee :  Mike Dean (Wirrall) Assistant Referees :  Mr. S. Long; Mr. D. Cook
Fourth Official :  Roger East  
Spurs kicked off and played towards the - end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 6 minutes.
Tottenham Hotspur : kit West Ham United London : kit
  1  Hugo LLORIS (c)

24  Serge AURIER
  6  Davinson SANCHEZ
33  Ben DAVIES  (18  Fernando LLORENTE  82)

15  Eric DIER  (12  Victor WANYAMA  74)
7  Moussa SISSOKO  (11  Erik LAMELA  74)

  7  Heung-Min SON 
20  DELE Alli
Christian ERIKSEN

10  Harry KANE

Unused subs: 
13  Michel VORM
  2  Kieran TRIPPIER

19  Mousa DEMBELE
29  Harry WINKS

  13  ADRIAN

  5  Pablo ZABALETA
  Winston REID
21  Angelo OGBONNA
41  Declan RICE

14  Pedro OBIANG 
16  Mark NOBLE (c)     
  8  Chiekhou KAYOUTE
  Arthur MAUSAKU

10  Manuel LANZINI  (  9  Andy CARROLL  85     )

16  Javier HERNANDEZ  (
20  Andre AYEW  64)

Unused subs: 
25  Joe HART
36  Domingos QUINA
46  Moses MAKASI


Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino Manager :  David Moyes
Sponsor :   AIA Shirt sponsor :  Betway
Kit Supplier :  Nike Kit Supplier :   Umbro
Match report

In a one sided match, it was the one shot that West Ham United London had that almost handed them three unwarranted points, but a stunner from Son denied them and saw Spurs salvage a point from a game that they had totally dominated while the visitors were happy to try and keep a clean sheet.

I wouldn't think that it is tactic that would work for The Irons every week, with some of the 31 Tottenham shots kept out more by luck than judgement.  But Moyes set out his team to get a point and that was what they achieved with both teams taking to the field only 48 hours after they had previously kicked off their last matches. 

The game had started looking like Tottenham would take the lead inside the first five minutes.  Sonnt slipped as he went o put in a left wing cross and while it didn't sail into the net a la Aurier v Brighton, it found Kane at the near post, with his hooked effort catching Adrian off guard and the ball was hacked out for a corner.  From it, the ball sailed to the far post off someone's head, where Adrian should have taken it easily, but he dropped it on the head of Kayoute and the ball was again scrambled away.  The play was all one way, with the only tactic to relieve the pressure was Hernandez fouling or pretending he had been fouled.  Davies and Son were working the left wing well and a string of balls in from that wing tested the West Ham defence.

What became a feature of the game was the blocking by the visitors.  Ogbonna denied Kane and Eriksen, then Reid deflected Harry Kane's shot from Eriksen's cross past his own keeper, but Harry had strayed beyond the last defender to be given offside.  Spurs were playing some nice passing football, but with ten men behind the ball, the irons were playing relegation threatened football and for most of the first half we had 75% possession.  Lanzini is reportedly their most creative player, but his two opportunities to do something ended with the ball beyond everyone in a purple and blue shirt, as Lloris enjoyed a half with nothing to do.

Kane and Son linked up to allow Harry to curl a shot from the left corner of the box, aiming inside the keeper's far post only to see Adrian push the ball wide.  Son then shot through a crowded box and the keeper got down to save to his left, Eriksen fizzed a daisy-cutter a foot wide and the best chance was created by Vertonghen's long diagonal ball to Aurier on the right, who nodded the ball across the penalty area although it was just too far in front of Kane to get a decent touch on it.  Mike Dean was desperately trying to prove he's not Tottenham's greatest fan by giving Spurs nothing, including Hernandez back-heeling Jan in the guts and winning a free kick for it.  Just before the interval, Eriksen played the ball to Dele, got it back and instantly hit a shot from 22 yards out.  It hit a diving Reid and could have gone anywhere, but bounced up and just over his own bar.  At least we weren't 3-0 up at half-time !

Clive Allen came out at half-time, but, even though he played for both sides, I don't think he enamoured himself to the away section by talking about goals he had scored against West Ham.  And Clive would probably have approved of the two in the second half that brought about the result. 

Spurs started the second half with West Ham's fat purple and blue line making it difficult to find a way through.  Kane shot  over the top form 20 yards out after good work by Davies, Son was denied by Reid's block and then, Sanchez had a square pass picked off by Hernandez, but he was too slow running forward, letting Jan catch him up and put in a stern challenge to get some payback for the Mexican's niggly play.  Attack after attack headed towards the West Ham goal and Eriksen's blocked shot went out to Ben Davies, whose cross was nodded wide by Dele.  Christian's 25 yard drive was straight at the keeper, who got well behind it low down, before playing a low ball into Harry Kane's feet in the box.  he turned to make space for a shot and found Rice in the way, before the ball looped up and Dele won the header at the far post before getting cleared out by Adrian.  

Then, out of the purple and blue, West Ham went ahead, when Obiang stepped in off the left touchline and smashed a shot so hard into the top right hand corner of Lloris' goal that Hugo couldn't get close to it.  So, for all Tottenham's huffing and puffing, it was the first effort of the game on target by West Ham that put them 1-0 up.

Spurs had 20 minutes left to pummel the Irons goal and try to get the ball into the net.  Kane was surrounded by purple and blue shirts in the box, but managed to get a shot away, but Adrian stopped it with his feet.  Then Harry drove a shot in from the left side of the goal, which the goalie had to dive to push away, before Pochettino brought on Lamela and Wanyama for Sissoko and Dier.  Spurs continued opt press forward and Son laid the ball into Eriksen's path to drill a low shot at goal, but the keeper was behind it to save.

Llorente was introduced and Kane had a shot blocked for a corner, which dropped for Vertonghen, but his shot was blocked.  When this corner was cleared, Spurs built up the play again, with West Ham dropping ever deeper trying to hold onto what they had.  But like a sweaty handed dog walker, they just weren't able to hold onto their lead.  The ball was played around and with the crowd getting restless that the game was slipping away, Son realised that nobody was closing him down 30 yards form goal, so when he got a couple of strides forward, he let go a ripper of a shot that tore into the top left corner past a despairing Adrian.  It was a brilliant strike and more than equalled the goal we had conceded.  The winger is really turning into a key player for the club.

West Ham brought Andy Carroll on to aim at, but the only impact he made on the game was to kick the ball away  and get booked for time-wasting.  Another sub, Andre Ayew, almost made more of a change to the game, as he wriggles past three challenges on the left side of our box and as he approached goal from a narrow angle, Hugo got a half block on his shot that took the ball slowly ballooning towards goal.  It looked in from where we were sitting, but there was a release of held breaths when it dropped over the bar for a corner.  Mark Noble got a booking, as usual against us, to earn him some grace with the Irons' fans for another season.

Into added time at the end of the game, which didn't quite cover the time wasted by West Ham or the fact that Dena blew up before 45 minutes at the end of the first half, Tottenham nearly snatched a late win.  An old fashioned goalmouth scramble saw Wanyama, Dele, Eriksen and Son all have shots blocked in the six yard box in the same move.

It wasn't a bad performance by Spurs, just another one that a defensive display that was put into practice by the visiting team was enough to take something from the game.  Exciting in that there was a lot of goalmouth action, the game wasn't the prettiest and we are getting used to teams coming and sticking the bulk of their side behind the ball, but we have to learn how to overcome that.  Of all the players and very few performed badly, Jan Vertonghen stood out as a giant at the back.  His reading of the game and his determination not to let them pass stood out.  All we can do is keep plugging away and let the other sides up around the top of the table do what they can do.

Not winning was a disappointment for Spurs, but compared to one win and one defeat last season, we have taken four points from them and for all their fans celebrating, if the go down by two points, that will be where they lost it.  As for Spurs, we go again and after Wimbledon in the FA Cup, it is Everton at home under former Irons manager Sam Allardyce.  I think I know what we might expect.

Steve Kirkwood




West Ham played at the Memorial Ground for some of their life and it became a dead end move, with the Cemetery end being behind one of the goals !!


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What you thought
Stan Chun Blimey.  If they were calling for Madley to be demoted after the Swansea game, I reckon Dean would never ref again. 
- -.


Other scores during this week :
Arsenal 2 Chelsea 2 Wednesday


League Table  2017-18
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Manchester City 22 20 2 0 64 13 63 +51
2 Chelsea 22 14 4 4 41 16 48 +29
3 Manchester United 22 14 5 3 45 16 47 +29
4 Liverpool 22 12 8 2 50 25 44 +25
5 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 22 12 5 5 42 20 41 +21
6 Arsenal 22 11 6 5 40 28 39 +12
7 Burnley 22 9 7 6 19 19 34 0
8 Leicester City 22 8 6 8 34 32 30 +2
9 Everton 22 7 6 9 25 34 27 -9
10 Watford 22 7 4 11 31 40 25 -9
11 Huddersfield Town 22 6 6 10 18 35 24 -17
12 Brighton & Hove Albion 22 5 8 9 17 27 23 -10
13 Newcastle United 22 6 4 12 20 30 22 -10
14 Crystal Palace 22 5 7 10 20 33 22 -13
15 West Ham United London 22 5 7 10 25 40 22 -15
16 AFC Bournemouth 22 5 6 11 22 34 21 -12
17 Southampton 22 4 8 10 21 32 20 -11
18 Stoke City 22 5 5 12 23 47 20 -24
19 West Bromwich Albion 22 2 10 10 16 30 16 -14
20 Swansea City 22 4 4 14 13 33 19 -21


Position before match :  5th
Position after match :  5th

* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone might think so.


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