OPPONENTS West Ham United London at the Taxpayer's Stadium
COMPETITION Premier League 
DATE Saturday 23rd November 2019
PREVIEW At the start of the international break, this looked like a fixture between two struggling London sides.  With the appointment of the new Spurs Head Coach, it looks like the media circus will be focusing on Jose Mourinho and the start of his new era with Tottenham Hotspur.  He says that this time it is not about him, but the football world will always create a fuss around him and it will momentarily detract form Tottenham's poor league placing.

However, the result is the important thing and for Spurs fans that will be the main thing.  We are only three points off fifth place, but that looks a log way away at the moment.  So, a London derby with the opposition playing their first game of the season may not be the ideal start for Jose.

But West Ham are a club with their own issues, both on and off the field.  There is near constant turmoil over their use of the Olympic Stadium focuses a lot of the club's energies and while the funding for it is not all their own, their financial status is always under-lined by the people in charge - The Dildo Brothers, to coin the Sporting Lisbon President's term for the co-owners of the club - accused of looking to sell the club on.  On the field in the distance, they are suffering a poor run of results under under-fire manager Manuel Pellegrini.

They will feel better on Saturday, with Mark Noble and Jack Wilshere both deemed to be fit enough to play, although I know West Ham fans who would rather they hadn't.  One plus for them is the fact that Mikael Antonio returns from injury and he can be effective down their wings.  It will be interesting to see Pablo Fornals, as a lot of noise has been made about him following his part in Spain Under-21s Euro Championship win in the summer.  An attacking midfielder, he is skilful in the build-up and in the finishing of moves, so will be taking the place of Lanzini, side-lined with a broken collarbone.  

Another area where there is trepidation is the goalkeeper, with Roberto Jiminez replacing the injured Fabianski.  The Pole is a solid keeper, who often keeps them in games, while Roberto has a habit of throwing them away with error-strewn performances.  How Tottenham could do with one of those from him on Saturday. 

In defence, Masuaku is an over-lapping left back and Aaron Cresswell can reflect that on the other flank, but their defensive abilities will be needed as the Irons try and turn around a run of six games without a win since they beat Manchester United back in September.  Diop is an athletic central defender with some pace, while Ogbonna adds height to the back line and attack at set-pieces.  Balbuena is a rugged centre-half, who likes to impose himself physically on opponents, with Winston Reid a similar type of player, who met his match last week in Troy Parrott and got upset when playing for New Zealand against the Republic of Ireland.  Ryan Fredericks is familiar with Spurs fans, having come through our Academy, but appears to need to prove himself when he plays us, putting in an extra effort to get stuck in and Pablo Zabaleta has been knocking around for years with Manchester City before joining West Ham and is now in the twilight of his career.. 

Declan Rice is the shining star in the West Ham squad and the owners will regard him as their prized possession, although he is often linked with other clubs higher up the Premier League.  Elevated to the England squad from the Republic of Ireland Under-21s with mixed results, he is a solid midfielder with an eye for a creative pass.  Snodgrass works hard and is good at set-pieces and Carlos Sanchez used to play for Aston Villa.  Feilpe Anderson is Marmite to the West Ham crowd, with some thinking he is fantastically skilful and others thinking he is not fit to wear the shirt.  It all depends on what sort of day he has

Signing Sebastian Haller has added a new dimension to the West Ham attack after Andy Carroll was let go.   At 6' 3", he is literally head and shoulders above his team-mates and will pose problems for Tottenham at corners and free-kicks.  He is also not too bad with the ball at his feet and scored lots of goals for FC Utrecht and Eintracht Frankfurt to make a name for himself.  With Hernandez moving on, they are only left with new signing Albian Arjeti, a Swiss international forward and Andriy Yarmolenko, who is strong on the ball and has a decent finish, but often has a poor choice of option.

For Spurs, it will be interesting to see what team Jose selects for his first match and what, if any, impact he has had on their lack of confidence and creativity this season.  Harry Kane has been knocking them if or England, but has looked out of sorts with little to feed off for Tottenham.  If Mourinho has had enough time with the squad to organise them into a functioning unit, it may produce a performance akin to those he churned out with his previous clubs.  Three days is not long and the games are piling up ahead of the side, so how much opportunity he has on the training pitch to drill his philosophy into the players over the next couple of months may be limited.

A new manager boost might help Spurs, if they are buying into his way of thinking, while some players might find themselves out of the picture if they can't.  With both teams not performing to their best, it won't be a classic, but Tottenham might edge it if they can put the West Ham goalkeeper under pressure.


PREDICTION West Ham United London    1        Tottenham Hotspur    2

Jose Mourinho starts his career as Tottenham Head Coach without Erik Lamela (hamstring) and Hugo Lloris (elbow), with Jan Vertonghen and Tanguy Ndombele facing late tests on their fitness.

The Irons are without first choice goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski (thigh) and Manuel Lanzini (fractured collarbone), but are elated to have Jack Wilshere and Mark Noble fit.  Mikael Antonio is also ready to play after injury.


BT Sport 1 - (live coverage)
Match of the Day BBC 1  (Highlights) Saturday 22.20; Sunday 07.25
Match of the Day 2  (Highlights)  Sunday 22.30
Sky Sports - Goals on Sunday  (Highlights)  Sunday 10.30

For coverage in all parts of the world, check here and here.

Radio :  
BBC LONDON 94.9FM (London area only), Digital Radio (London area only) &  Sky Channel 0152  (live coverage)
Commentary may be found on
>   BBC Radio Five Live (live coverage)  606/939 MW
TalkSport (DAB or 2nd89 MW)
Absolute Radio  (1215 AM/MW)

Internet :
The THFC Official website   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London -  Live commentaries listed down the page.
TalkSport (DAB or 1089 MW)

Premier League Kick off 12:30
West Ham United London  2 (0)  
Tottenham Hotspur  3 (2)

Antonio  73m 52s
Ogbonna  90+5m 48s


Son  35m 27s
Moura  42m 10s
Kane  48m 49s

Crowd :   59,930 Weather :  Chilly and overcast
Referee : Michael Oliver (Northumberland) Assistant Referees :  Mr. Stuart Burt; Mr. Simon Bennett
Fourth Official :  Robert Jones  
Video Assistant Referee :  Andre Marriner Video Assistant Referee Assistant :  Andy Halliday
Spurs kicked off and played towards the North stand end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 10 minutes.
Diop (foul on Kane)  11 
Fredericks  (foul on Son)  39
Snodgrass  (retaliation on Kane)  87


Davies  (foul on Antonio)  69
Kane  (foul on Snodgrass)  87


West Ham United London : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit
13  ROBERTO Jiminez

24  Ryan FREDERICKS     
21  Angelo OGBONNA 
  Isaa DIOP       (15  Carlos SANCHEZ  64)
  3  Aaron CRESSWELL

  7  Andriy YARMOLENKO  (18  Pablo FORNALS  56)
16  Mark NOBLE (c)
  Declan RICE
  8  Felipe ANDERSON  (30  Mikail ANTONIO  45  )

11  Robert SNODGRASS     

22  Sebastien HALLER

Unused subs: 
  David MARTIN
  Albian AJETI

  22  Paulo GAZZANIGA

24  Serge AURIER
  6  Davinson SANCHEZ
33  Ben DAVIES       (  3  Danny ROSE  75)

15  Eric DIER
  8  Harry WINKS

  7  Heung-Min SON 
20  DELE Alli  (23  Christian ERIKSEN  79)
27  Lucas MOURA    (17  Moussa SISSOKO  82)

10  Harry KANE      

Unused subs: 
  Brandon AUSTIN
1  Juan FOYTH
16  Kyle WALKER
18  Giovani LO CELSO

Manager :  Manuel Pellegrini Manager :  Jose Mourinho
Sponsor :   Betway Shirt sponsor :  AIA
Kit Supplier :  Umbro Kit Supplier :   Nike
Match report

Spurs went to the Taxpayers Stadium on the back of a week up upheaval at the club, with the sudden departure of Mauricio Pochettino and the even more sudden appointment of Jose Mourinho.  But the bare facts are that the new man in charge presided over the first away win Tottenham had recorded since their victory at Craven Cottage over Fulham back in January and while the final score was 3-2, the gap between us and West Ham was massive.

Mourinho put out a 4-2-3-1 with pace in the attacking midfield as Son and Lucas were wide of Dele Alli and Davinson Sanchez came in alongside Alderweireld at the back, with full backs Davies and Aurier. Dier was drafted into the defensive midfield two alongside England team-mate Harry Winks. The frantic nature of the start to the match saw both sides turn over possession, but when Dele picked up the ball 25 yards out, he slipped a pass into the box that Harry Kane finished with a rising left foot shot but he was offside and a goal within three minutes was ruled out. An action replay of that move put Kane in again, but once more, he had strayed beyond the last West Ham defender.

The first effort on goal came in the eighth minute, when Fredericks crossed from the right for Haller  to get a head to the ball, but Serge Aurier did just enough to put him off and the ball came off Sanchez before it went straight to Gazzaniga. With a free kick  given to Spur son the left in the eleventh minute, Winks swung it in and Spurs were again offside, but Roberto came for the ball. Didnít get it and it bounced off Sanchez at the other end of the pitch this time and just went wide. The pressure the keeper had been in coming into the match may well have been starting to tell in his first involvement.

Spurs seemed to be playing the ball forward and they were not playing it out from the back from goal-kicks. There was possession football at the back, but halfway up the half, with the press further up the field being a little deeper than under Pochettino. Spurs worked the ball around the 25 yard line and ended up with Son coming infield to strike with his right foot, but the keeper pushed it wide. When the ball came back in another Son shot spun wildly up into the air towards the left side of the box and Lucas got onto it, but he headed the spinning ball well wide.

Son and Kane were dropping deep to get the ball with West Ham getting numbers back behind the ball. They did break forward with Anderson on the left, but his ball into Haller couldnít be brought under control and the move broke down. The West Ham  crowd only really got going when their goalkeeper received a back pass, giving him sarcastic cheers and when their players were fouled.  This may have been a result of having to give so many tickets away and that affected the atmosphere.  Three quick corners  put pressure on the home defence, with the final one seeing Dier under the keeper to force a weak punch that Alderweireld shot at goal, but it was blocked. When Dele took the ball off Diop, he found Son, who looked for Kane on the left from a central position, but his effort was saved.

Toby won the ball just inside his own half once it had been played forward, with Winksy picking it up and playing a ball through the middle to Dele.  Coming short, he turned and his pass left to Son saw the striker step-over the ball and fire a shot at goal that went straight through the keeper to give Jose Mourinho the first goal of his reign at Spurs in the 36th minute.  it was a good goal, but showed West Ham's weaknesses at the back and in goal.

When Son got away on the left again, Fredericks flew into a challenge that took the full weight of it on his ankle with the West Ham manís studs showing. A booking was all the referee gave, when it was using excessive force and could have been a red card. From the free-kick, Roberto came for the ball and was nowhere near it, taking Ogbonna out in the process. But it fell to Dele, whose shot saw the goalie turn it away this time.

Davies won the ball in the air and played it to Son, who dragged the ball behind him for Dier.  Ericís ball to Dele was a little behind him and as the midfielder fell to the floor on the touchline, he had the presence of mind to back-heel it lying on the ground for Son to go down the left. He had a free run to the box and bent a low ball across the face of goal for Lucas Moura to come in at the back  post and beat Cresswell to the ball, poking it home from a few yards out. Right on 45 minutes, Snodgrass had a shot from the left that went wide right of the Spurs goal. In added time, a Spurs corner was cleared but headed back in by Lucas and Sanchez won the ball, looping it at goal for Roberto to actually make a save by tipping it over the bar. 

Antonio came on for West ham at half-time, but it was Spurs who nearly went further ahead. Lucas took a ball out of the Spurs defence and ran it to halfway, where he played it to Son, who returned the pass to give him a run at goal. Moura reached the box and was only faced by Roberto, but rather than getting a shot on goal, he pulled it across goal perhaps caught between scoring and crossing for Dele coming in at the far post.

It didnít matter too much, as Spurs worked the ball from left to right and Aurier flighted a cross into the far post, where Harry Kane came in to beat a weak attempt by Diop to head down past Roberto. It was another derby goal and another against West Ham for the Spurs captain and gave Spurs a 3-0 lead at the home of the 2012 Olympics. Lots of home ďfansĒ failed to come back after half-time and more started to file out as the boos rang around this magnificent athletics stadium.

Antonio came inside from the right to shoot at goal, but Paulo took the ball head-high and it was an easy save. From it, the keeper cleared upfield and Kane got the better of Diop and looked to be on for a second goal, but the defender got back to smother his shot and avert the danger. The white seats around the home sections stood out as clearly as the booing for the manager who brought on a defensive midfielder for a centre-half, when 0-3 behind. It necessitated Rice dropping into the back four and that left the Ironsí midfield lacking. With 65 minutes gone, it was almost like the home team had given up.

Davies picked up a caution when Antonio decided to go on a run with the ball, letting Cresswell have a chance from the free-kick, but it hit Harry Kane full on the forehead and go down after taking that impact.

West Ham got a goal back in the 74th minute, when a number of scrambles in the box saw the ball go to the left. When it was played back to Noble, he played it on to Antonio, who dummied the ball past Toby on the edge of the box and shot past Gazzaniga from 12 yards out. Not only was it a goal, but Ben Davies left the field injured, after the challenge on the goal-scorer when he got booked, so Danny Rose came on, just as Mourinho was talking to Eriksen about what he wanted him to do as he was about to put him on. As it was, the change was only a little delayed, as Eriksen replaced Dele. 

With Spurs on the break, Kaneís pass for Son was intercepted, but ran to Lucas, who was pulled back by Carlos Sanchez. Kane struck it from 30 yards out straight at Roberto, who got cheered for stopping it.  When substitute Sissoko was fouled, West Ham would not put the ball out and Kane fouled Snodgrass to stop the game. The Scottish midfielder got up and grabbed Kane and threw him to the floor. Players gathered around and it looked as though it might kick off, but both players were handed yellow cards, while Sissoko limped off the pitch awaiting being called back on by the officials. 

A late corner came in from the West Ham right and Haller won the header down at goal, but Declan Rice put the ball into the net from close range and  somehow it took VAR to rule it out in the last minute of normal time. Haller won another header from a Snodgrass cross, but didnít get much power behind it and it his Antonio to take any pace there was off it as it went through to Gazzaniga.

The West Ham captain fouled Kane in the same way that Kane had fouled Snodgrass, but there was no booking, but then there is no point, as Noble is not worth the effort. As added time went on, light blue and purple seats became evident, with the Ironsí faithful not willing to stay until the end of their Cup Final.  They   nearly got something when Antonioís turn past Sissoko and low ball in, where it hit Alderweireld and Paulo reacted well to turn the ball aside. Many of the remaining home fans thought that it had gone in as it rippled the side-netting. It was only a corner, but when it came in, but Ogbonna lost Sanchez and squirted a low volley past Gazzaniga to make it 2-3. It was a soft goal to concede, but the final whistle went almost as soon as the match was restarted and it gave Tottenham their first away win since January and a flying start to Jose Mourinhoís era at the club.

A win is a win, but you have to remember that this was only West Ham United we were playing. 

There were some indications that this was not the same style of play that Poch instilled in the side.  Less playing the ball out of the back and a bit more of getting the ball upfield and pressing from there, which worked as West Ham were very obliging in handing over the ball on a large number of occasions.  It was obvious that Mourinho had told Kane not to be so nice and he was putting himself about and taking a fair bit of niggly fouling from the Irons defenders too. While a lot of Tottenhamís play centred around the new midfield selections, it was Dier and Alli who were the main pivots. Dierís passing wasnít always that great, but he moved the ball around and played some good forward passes.

It was disappointing to see Mr. Club not wearing a Spurs coat, just a plain raincoat (will we be the new man in the raincoat's Blue and White Army ?), but maybe that will come. Seeing him on the Spurs bench is still a little odd and Iím missing Jesus Perezís glare.  But I suppose I will get used to it in time. 

Winning his first game with new clubs has been Mourinho's thing after losing his first game in management, so three points are most welcome, but harder challenges are to come and the side need to tighten up at the back to prevent letting teams back into matches.  This would have been an ideal opportunity to improve our goal difference and at 3-0 we should have gone for the jugular.  To let them get a couple of goals, even with the second being with the last kick of the match, is not the stuff of champions.  So, if that is what Mourinho wants to make us, he has a lot of work to do.

It won't happen overnight, but I am sure that if he can achieve that, any past views Spurs fans might have of him will change.

Kirk Hammerton

Match facts

This was the first time that Tottenham have won three successive league away games against West Ham.

Harry Kane's goal took him to third in the all-time Spurs goal-scorers chart, one above Martin Chivers.

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How the players did
Paulo Gazzaniga Not much chance with either goal, but relatively untroubled otherwise.
Ben Davies Good defensive performance and tried to get forward to add to the attacks down the left.  Won header that lead to second goal.
Toby Alderweireld Very good performance against a much taller opponent.  Read the game well to make interceptions and made some good tackles.  Won the ball for the first goal, but got done for Antonio's goal.
Davinson Sanchez A late arrival from international duty, Davinson played very well and made some good clearances of balls into the box, but did lose Ogbonna for the last goal of the game.
Serge Aurier Solid performance, with no mad moments.  Produced an inviting cross for Kane to head the third goal.
Harry Winks Reinstated to the side, he played like he had for England in midweek - driving forward, tidying up and moving the ball on in midfield.
Eric Dier A player Mourinho likes and did a good job, with much of the play going through him.  Needs to sharpen up his passing, but perhaps not surprising when he has been out for so long.
Lucas Moura Looked on it today from the off.  Ran well with the ball and committed West Ham players.  Determined to get onto Son's cross to score the second goal.
Heung-Min Son Kept going for the whole game even though he took a couple of bad tackles.  Scored the opening goal of Mourinho's time at Tottenham and made the second.
Dele Alli A return to form for Dele, with the edge that his play has been missing.  Great skill to keep the ball in play for the second goal and a decent all-round performance.
Harry Kane Worked really hard at the front and in defence.  Well worth his goal, as he was getting more supply than he has done for a while.  Captain's performance.
Christian Eriksen Worked hard, but lacked the final killer pass that would have put the game out of reach for the Irons.
Moussa Sissoko Took a kick soon after coming on, but kept going to put some fresh legs in midfield.
Danny Rose Late sub, who did what he had to do.
Brandon Austin Unused.
Kyle Walker-Peters Unused.
Juan Foyth Unused.
Giovani Lo Celso Unused.



What you thought
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Other scores during this week :
Arsenal 2 Southampton 2 Saturday
Bournemouth 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 Saturday
Brighton & Hove Albion 0 Leicester City 2 Saturday
Crystal Palace 1 Liverpool 2 Saturday
Everton 0 Norwich City 2 Saturday
Watford 0 Burnley 3 Saturday
Manchester City 2 Chelsea 1 Saturday
Sheffield United 3 Manchester United 3 Sunday
Aston Villa 2 Newcastle United 0 Monday




League Table  2019-20
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Liverpool 13 12 1 0 30 11 37 +19
2 Leicester City 13 9 2 2 32 8 29 +24
3 Manchester City 13 9 1 3 37 14 28 +23
4 Frank Lampard's Chelsea 13 8 2 4 28 19 26 +9
5 Wolverhampton Wanderers 13 4 7 2 18 16 19 +2
6 Sheffield United 13 4 6 3 16 12 18 +4
7 Burnley 13 5 3 5 20 18 18 +2
8 Woolwich Wanderers 13 4 6 3 18 19 18 -1
9 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 13 4 5 4 21 19 17 +2
10 Manchester United 13 4 5 4 16 14 17 +2
11 Bournemouth 13 4 4 5 16 17 16 -1
12 Brighton & Hove Albion 13 4 3 6 15 19 15 -4
13 Crystal Palace 13 4 3 6 11 18 15 -7
14 Newcastle United 13 4 3 6 11 20 15 -9
15 Everton 13 4 2 7 13 20 14 -7
16 Aston Villa 13 4 2 7 19 20 14 -1
17 West Ham United London 13 3 4 6 19 24 13 -5
18 Norwich City 13 3 1 9 13 28 10 -15
19 Southampton 13 2 3 8 13 31 9 -18
20 Watford 13 1 5 7 8 26 8 -19

Position before match :  14th
Position after match :  6th
Position after the weekend :  9th

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