Looking Forward

 

West Ham United  (Home)

Premier League

Sunday 20th November 2005

With the return to the top flight of the Irons, it puts another London derby on the programme.  With a surprise success on their promotion, West Ham are in ninth place at the moment, with manager Alan Pardew earning a new contract on the strength of the start they have made.

The return of the side we will see the return of former Spurs Teddy Sheringham, Matthew Etherington and Bobby Zamora.  Sheringham is being used sparingly and has shown his talent with a few goals so far, while Zamora has had to settle for cameo appearances and Etherington is a real hero down the Boleyn Ground, which might find a different player taking to the White Hart Lane turf to the one who slunk off it just before he left after having a row with the crowd.

With Roy Carroll having done his knee when getting his foot caught in the goal net and James Walker still out after doing damage to his knee, Stephen Bywater might have to play.  He was brought back from a loan spell at Coventry, but Shaka Hislop had also been resigned, so it might be one other two between the posts.

Tomas Repka had a reputation as a error-prone defender when he last graced the Premiership, but he has tightened up his game and has found a few plaudits by putting in some more solid performances, although I fancy our players against him.  Anton Ferdinand has won his way into the England Under-21 set-up, but has found the Premiership a little different to the Championship, as has Daniel Gabbidon, who arrived from Cardiff City with his team-mate James Collins.  The latter is out injured, but Gabbidon has had international experience with Wales, but has yet to firm up his partnership with Ferdniand.  Former Spurs loanee Paul Konchesky is on the left of the defence and found it hard to step up to the England team against Argentina, while Christian Dailly has pulled the defence together a bit more when he has been selected. 

In midfield, Yossi Benayoun is looking a good buy and not a little like Eyal Berkovic.  A creative player who has also scored a few goals, he has been behind some of the best things the Irons have created this season.  Without Nigel Reo-Coker the visitors will be missing a driving force in the middle of the pitch, but Hayden Mullins will have their hopes pinned in him, although he has not yet made the impact that the Hammers had hoped.  Wide man Shaun Newton is getting on in years now, but adds another dimension to the side, while Mark Noble is a young talent that they have high hopes for and he has belief in his ability to run at defences and set up opportunities for others.

With rumours of a return to Upton Park for John Hartson, the paucity up front is perhaps underlined.  Marlon Harewood is a figure of derision at West Ham, as he misses hat-fuls of chances, but he does score some of them, so Pardew brought in French strikers Jeremie Aliadiere and David Bellion on loan to beef up the front line.  Bellion had just come back from a broken leg and Aliadiere had an injury too, so their action has been limited.

They play an energetic game with the emphasis on passing the ball around to open up the width of the pitch.  This might push the Spurs full backs wide and keep them occupied to prevent them getting forward themselves.  With Lennon possibly fit again, he could provide the key to creating the chances for our forwards and there should be some incentive for Carrick and Defoe to prove that they made the right move from West Ham to Spurs.

I think that the break will have sharpened up the side's desire to put the Bolton result behind them and they will go on to win ...

PREDICTION : -  Tottenham Hotspur  3    West Ham United  1

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

PLAYERS UNAVAILABLE

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Mounir El Hamdaoui (shoulder); Wayne Routledge (broken foot); Anthony Gardner (thigh); Dean Marney (Achilles); Goran Bunjevcevic (broken toe);  - (-)

WEST HAM UNITED :  Nigel Reo-Coker (ankle); James Collins (calf); James Walker (knee); Roy Carroll (knee); - (-)

Coverage

TV :  
For coverage in all parts of the world, check here and here.
BBC 1 Match of the Day 2 - 22.30 - 23.20 p.m. (highlights)

Radio :  
BBC Radio Five Live (live coverage)  606/939 MW
BBC London 94.9 FM, BBC London digital radio, Sky Channel 902 and BBC Radio Essex 765
MW (live coverage) 

If available on BBC radio, it can be heard in these countries on these stations ...
Australia (Melbourne) SEN  -  116 AM  Live Transmissions: TWI, Saturday. 12.45 & 1500 matches
Australia (Syndey)  Radio 2  -  1611AM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 12.45 Match
Singapore Media Corp Radio  -  93.8 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
South Africa  SABC (Radio 2000)  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
Uganda  Radio 1 (English) 90.0 FM, Radio 2 (Lugandan) 87.9 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
North America (USA, Canada, Mexico, Carribean)  Sirius Satellite Radio  Live transmission: Saturday - 12.45, 15.00 (TWI) & 17.15 (BBC) Sunday - 14.00 & 16.05 (BBC) Mon, Tue, Wed - Various times (BBC)

Internet :
www.spurs.co.uk   Live webcast  - subscribers only
Planet football - http://play.www.planetfootball.servecast.net/downloads/sky/spurs-pl04-kean0.ram (free - only available when match is on)

 

                We

Tottenham Hotspur   1    West Ham United   1      (Half-time score : 1-0)
Premier League Venue : White Hart Lane  
Sunday 20th November 2005 Kick Off :  13.00 p.m.
Crowd :  36,154 Referee :  Alan Wiley (Burntwood)
Weather :  Bright, cold
Teams : - 
Tottenham Hotspur :

Robinson

Stalteri
Dawson
King (c)
Lee

Tainio (Lennon 71)
Jenas
Carrick
Davids

Keane (Defoe 80)
Mido

Unused subs: 
Cerny
Kelly
Rasiak

West Ham United :

Hislop

Repka (Newton 78)
Ferdinand
Gabbidon
Konchesky

Benayoun
Noble
Mullins
Etherington (Bellion 87)

Sheringham
Harewood (Zamora 78)

Unused subs: 
Bywater
Dailly

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

Tottenham Hotspur

Mido 17

West Ham United

Ferdinand 93

Cards : -  
Tottenham Hotspur  

       
Davids (foul) 22
Stalteri (foul) 
Mido (foul)

     

West Ham United

    
Sheringham (retaliation) 22

     

Match Report : -  

When something is so predictable, the assistance of a referee made it even more inevitable.  With a succession of free-kicks and bookings going against Spurs, it seemed like only a question of time before West Ham equalised at the end of the match. 

While Tottenham were not at their best, the visitors from East London struggled and a second goal would have condemned them to defeat, but Spurs could not find the goal they needed and this was partially because of the side dropping a bit deeper into their own half in the second period and allowing West Ham to push further onto the edge of the Tottenham box.

With a good start, Spurs engineered some good positions, but their crossing from Keane and Lee, tight to the goal-line, let them down.  Davids fired in a shot from well outside the area, but a deflection took it wide of Hislop's goal and Mullins had a similar effort go directly wide from about 25 yards.  This should have been a warning to Spurs, as some sloppy defending allowed Benayoun to get in a low shot that he dragged across the box and it went a yard or two wide.

A little against the run of play, Spurs scored the first goal of the match.  Carrick got baulked as he moved forward, spun around and laid the ball back to Michael Dawson.  The defender's chip forward found Mido finding a huge expanse of free space between Repka and Ferdinand to see Hislop coming off his line, allowing him to nod the ball up and over the Trinidad & Tobago keeper to drop onto the goal-line and in.  It was a neat finish and one which we would like to see more of from the big man.  For a team who have a height advantage with a number of tall players now, we win little in the opposition box when we have set pieces.

With Davids back in the side, the steel was restored and when Sheringham flew in on him, he squared up to the former Spurs striker and they both received yellow cards, with West Ham getting the free-kick.  This was one of a succession of surprising decisions from Mr. Wiley, who is normally one of the better refs in the Premier League.  His booking for Spurs players tended to be for their first fouls, while Noble was allowed to get away with taking Davids' legs three times from under him.  Konchesky was also reprieved after taking Tainio's ankles as the ball was running out and sent the Finn over the advertising hoardings, with Wiley right on the spot.  When he got a free-kick in the second half for a pull by Keane, the West Ham defender took the kick quickly and Jenas nipped in to try a shot, but Konchesky dived in and took him up in the air long after the ball had gone.  The inconsistency is there for all to see.

Spurs were fortunate that some of the chances for the Irons fell to Harewood, who volleyed well wide when well placed and it was catching as Jenas completely fluffed his shot when the ball was pulled back to him on the edge of the area.  Added to Lee's poor crossing, he had two shots in the match, which both went miles over the bar and Noble actually managed to get a shot on target ... and past Robinson after King had hesitated in the area and Teddy mis-cued his shot, but the youngster was way offside.

Going in at half-time we all knew that another goal would be needed to secure a win, but when Mido had a couple of chances early in the second half and made little of them, it was going to be a long half.  Keano, who had a poor game, looking sadly out of touch, tried an overhead kick that Hislop blocked, then the ball was pulled back by Carrick to Jenas, who stepped over the ball for Davids to lash a shot on goal.  This was blocked by a defender charging the ball down.

With 68 minutes on the clock, Paul Robinson made the obligatory outstanding save, this time from point blank save to stop Sheringham scoring from three yards out as Paul flung up a glove to expertly push the ball over the bar.  Shortly after Tainio left the action with Lennon coming on and the game changed.  Teemu had been winning everything in midfield and passing the ball well, but now the Irons got back into the game a bit more and played higher up the pitch.  Benayoun and Etherington tried their luck from distance without any luck and the expected substitution of Keane by Defoe brought some noise from the Hamsters section at last.

Mido got a caution for a foul on Etherington, leaving the winger so badly injured (laugh) that he had to be replaced by Bellion.  Newton had also appeared on the pitch, with his introduction being a godsend to Spurs, as he nearly set them up with the goal that would have separated the teams.  His ball across his own area was intercepted by Jenas, who might have struck the shot first time leaving Hislop little time to set himself, but he twisted and turned and sent a curling shot just wide.  This coupled with Defoe running offside after Aaron Lennon delayed his pass through gave West Ham the respite they needed.

The free-kick was lofted into the Spurs box and Dawson headed out for a corner and with Hislop coming forward to cause confusion, Spurs left the near post unprotected.  Robinson was drawn there, leaving him with a poor staring position for the ball when it came in and Ferdinand got free at the far post, resulting in a header that bounced past a defender on the line and an equaliser that was celebrated like the Irons had won the Cup.

With the loss at Bolton and the draw here, it has been a poor few games, but Spurs will now need to travel to Wigan and perform at their best, as they will need to and to take a good haul of points from the games between now and Christmas to regain their higher position in the table.

 

MEHSTG TOP MAN : - MICHAEL DAWSON

Purcell Cole

                WA

WAITING FOR THE HAMMER TO FALL 

 

ĎDear oh dearí.  Thatís a slightly watered down version of my reaction to the final whistle at The Lane yesterday. 

How frustrating ?  How infuriating ?  Iím sure Iím not the only Spurs fan still in pain this morning after Hammer heartbreak on Sunday afternoon. 

I had to listen to this game on the radio (never an easy thing to do) but I have to admit that I was confident of bouncing back at home against West Ham after the disappointment of losing to Bolton some two weeks ago.  The longer the game went on, however, the more uncomfortable I began to feel in my armchair and from sitting comfortably at half time I was beginning to slide closer and closer to the proverbial edge of the recliner.

Yet again Spurs made a bright start at home in a London derby ( Chelsea , Arsenal) and as in the Arse game took a deserved lead through a neatly placed header from Mido, his fourth of the season.

Surely this was the queue for a barrage on the Hammers goal and ensure we didnít let slip our advantage and be punished for not taking our chances as we were against Arsenal.

Kill them off this time I thought, but the second goal did not arrive.  That said, apart from a couple of long range shots, West Ham didnít really trouble our defence and I donít think Robbo had to make a meaningful save throughout the first 45.

Again Jol went with the four central midfield players across the park employing a kind of diamond formation and absolutely no width.  Perfect when you have a great header of the ball up front who thrives on crosses.  Surely Lennon and, hopefully Routledge must come back soon for some much needed wing play.   

I know we played a lot better against Arsenal than we did here but there was a nasty feeling of dťjŗ vu creeping in as the 2nd half progressed and the score remained 1-0.

For me, too many big names were going awol in the second period.  I hardly heard Keaneís name mentioned (strange considering he was given a rare starting role in place of the misfiring Defoe) and Carrick as well as Jenas appeared to have disappeared in terms of an attacking force.  Still, over an hour had gone before Robbo had to make his first save of the match from Teddy and what a save it was, England ís number one excelling himself with an astonishing tip over the bar from our former favourite.

As the game slipped into injury time and Jenas curled a beauty just inches wide I thought thatís it, a hard fought vital three points and bragging rights over the EastEnders for the next few months.  As soon as they got a corner though three minutes in to added time the dreaded phrase Ďhere we go againí slipped into my mind, surely not, not now at the death. 

We all know what happened next and to say I felt sick is an understatement.  When the dust had settled and Iíd regrouped my thoughts our failure to take games by the scruff of the neck and kill the opposition off when weíre in the ascendancy cost us the three points yesterday and credit must go to West Ham for persisting to the last.  In short, we need to start scoring more than one goal in a game if weíre to end this run of draws and defeats !  At the end of the day I think the West Ham website got it right with their headline, "The Hammers pinched a point".  A lot to think about for our jolly Dutchman as we prepare for Wigan ... dear oh dear.

 

SAUL McNEILAGE

What a joke !!  And not a funny one.  When it came towards 90 minutes and the referee had made so many claret and blue tinged decisions, when the announcement came from the tannoy I expected it to say "And the fourth official has announced that we will keep playing until West Ham score" !  Whcih is exactly what happened.

That Tottenham were not out of sight by then is their own fault.  With a large amount of possession, Spurs failed to turn it into shots on goal, let alone goals.  Their approach play was good with some good movement and passing as the skills taught by new Skills Coach Richard Ortiz seemed to be paying off against what was in my view the worst team I have seen at White Hart Lane this season.  Although they had a couple of shots across the face of goal in the early stages, that was because of Tottenham's defenders being hesitant in attacking the ball and there was little directly created by the Spammers.

When Matthew EverythingIhavedoneisrubbish put a corner in and Dawson headed it away, it must have been the first recorded instance of him finding a Spurs head with a cross.  It took all of two minutes for Every... to hit the turf and he spent more time on the floor than a carpet-layer's knee-pads.  He wasn't alone, as Marlon "built like a oak tree, falls like a leaf" Harewood joined Every... as the person least favourite in the Upton Park laundry room.

Teddy tried to prove he was world class by getting into a ruck with Davids, who just made him look like an old bloke trying to make a name for himself ... a bit like Noble, who ignored the fact that he is a good footballer to kick Davids at every opportunity that presented itself.  Shaka Hislop will not have a quieter afternoon, as Spurs failed to turn their dominance into goalmouth action.  He might have been called into action when the ball was laid back to Jermaine Jenas, but his air shot left him looking at a spot on "Taxi" on Soccer AM on Saturday morning.

Jenas had an anonymous first half, but improved after the break, with both our defenders also making more of a contribution in the second half, but their final ball and their defending left a few questions unanswered.  With Mido's early goal giving Tottenham a lead that they deserved at the time, the cleverly placed header left Hislop stranded and later his foul on Every... brought ignorant chants from the claret hoardes.  Such a shame that they let themselves down with a Championship mentality.

Spurs on the other hand taunted the West Spam fans with "West Ham's Our Feeder Club" in response to jeers for Carrick and Defoe.  As Martin Jol said, the reception that Tottenham fans gave Sheringham and Every... and Zamora was in stark contrast to that afforded the former West Ham players by the visiting supporters.

Teddy did make one major contribution, with his shot from inside the six yard box from a corner produced a fine reflex save from Robinson to push the ball up and over the bar.  Robbo failed to cover himself in as much glory when the West Ham equaliser came.  With Hislop coming forward for the corner, thus taking everyone's eye, it left the front post free and Robinson took up a position too near the near post, not about three quarters of the way back, where he should have started from.  He was thus under the ball when it came in and Ferdinand came in at the back stick to head home, with Robbo getting tangled up with King as the ball went in.

Again, we left the Lane disappointed with a draw, even though we did not play particularly well on this occasion.  Another London derby where we haven't been beaten.  Just one defeat in the last nine League games.  Still in sixth position.

Much to be happy about, but why do I feel so gutted then ??

Gav Traynor

 

Other scores this weekend :
Charlton Athletic 1 Manchester United 3 Saturday
Chelsea 3 Newcastle United 0 Saturday
Liverpool 3 Portsmouth 0 Saturday
Manchester City 0 Blackburn Rovers 0 Saturday
Sunderland 1 Aston Villa 3 Saturday
West Bromwich Albion 4 Everton 0 Saturday
Wigan Athletic 2 Arsenal 3 Saturday
Middlesbrough 3 Fulham 2 Sunday
Birmingham City P Bolton Wanderers P Monday

 

 

League Table
 
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Chelsea 13 11 1 1 31 7 34 +24
2 Wigan Athletic 13 8 1 3 15 8 25 +7
3 Manchester United 12 7 3 2 19 12 24 +7
4 Arsenal 12 7 2 3 19 10 23 +9
5 Bolton Wanderers 12 7 2 3 13 10 23 +3
6 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 13 5 6 2 14 9 21 +5
7 Manchester City 13 6 3 4 15 11 21 +4
8 West Ham United 12 5 3 3 16 11 19 +5
9 Charlton Athletic 12 6 1 5 17 17 19 0
10 Blackburn Rovers 12 5 3 4 15 14 18 +1
11 Middlesbrough 13 5 3 5 18 18 18 0
12 Newcastle United 13 5 3 5 12 13 18 -1
13 Liverpool 11 5 4 2 12 8 16 +4
14 Fulham 12 3 3 6 12 16 12 -4
15 Aston Villa 13 3 3 7 13 22 12 -9
16 West Bromwich Albion 13 3 2 8 13 22 11 -9
17 Portsmouth 13 2 4 7 11 18 10 -7
18 Everton 12 3 1 8 4 16 10 -12
19 Birmingham City 12 1 3 8 7 17 6 -10
20 Sunderland 13 1 2 10 12 27 5 -15

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