Looking Forward



Premier League

Saturday 13th April 2002

With two attacking teams meeting in this match ... and two of the most unpredictable defences in the Premiership, anything could happen.  When both sides have heavy casualty lists too, there is a draw written all over the game, but there will probably be goals.

In recent years, there have been pretty tight games between the two teams, but historically goals have been a regular feature of Spurs-West Ham matches.

Here, West Ham will be missing Don Hutchison, Craig Forrest, Gary Charles, Grant McCann, Titi Camara and perhaps more crucially Paolo Di Canio.  Joe Cole has a finger injury that might make him doubtful ??  Where has he stuck it ??

With David James trying to impress Sven into picking him for Japan/Korea, he is doing OK in goal for the Irons.  Tall, but dodgy on crosses, he is big enough to present an awesome figure when forwards bear down on him.  However, without Les, Spurs will lack an aerial threat and the crosses could be picked off easily.  Behind James are another NINE keepers at the club !!  Maybe they would like to play them all at once on some occasions ??

In front of him the defence has been subject to change quite regularly.  Nigel Winterburn has been told his future will be elsewhere from the end of this season ands despite playing 30 odd games, he will be replaced by Vladimir Labant, who could feature at WHL on Saturday.  The Slovakian has been brought in by Roeder to fill the left back slot and has been a common face in the side since arriving in January.

Christian Dailly has been functioning at centre half and he has had Hadyn Foxe as a partner sometimes, with Czech Tomas Repka more often there.  Dailly is more mobile than Repka, who has a more rugged approach, which has seen him pick up a number of red and yellow cards since he came from Fiorentina.  Sebastian Schemmel plays in the right back berth and can get forward to add an attacking option, although he often links best with Di Canio.  Ian Pearce is now back from prolonged injury and has been a recent sub, while Scott Minto can play on the left and Steve Potts is STILL there and can lay across the back four.

Midfield has some of the best talents in the English game.  Michael Carrick is much coveted by Arsenal, Joe Cole is one of Alex Ferguson's favourite players and Trevor Sinclair has been picked often by Eriksson for England.  They are all skilled players on the ball and the real test is what they do with it at the end of their twists and turns.  Cole and Sinclair have been questioned over their effectiveness, while Carrick is more of a box-to-box type, who does a lot of work off the ball.  To balance things up a bit, Steve Lomas has returned to add the engine to the engine room.  His tough tackling style has caused him to lose a lot of time out injured, but his return has coincided with three consecutive wins and five wins out of seven matches.  Injuries have limited the choices for Roeder, but Soma, who looks on his way out, and John Moncur, who might be going the same way, are available for selection.  If Moncur comes on, expect his usual bad tackle, followed by a melee and a card or two.  Good with chips, but mainly has one on his shoulder.

Frederic Kanoute has been a bit of a revelation with 12 goals this season, despite injury, but Jermaine Defoe has scored as many coming off the bench for most of the matches he has featured in.  Kanoute can be strong in the air and has skill on the floor, while Defoe is lightning quick with an eye for slotting the ball away from any angle.  Paul Kitson is the only real alternative, with a number of forwards injured, but he has scored goals this season, although fewer than the Hammers might have wanted over the years.

The lack of choice for Roeder might limit the amount of flexibility he has in his style of play.  Di Canio causes other teams to worry, just because he is there, but his absence means that a more rigid 4-4-2 will be the layout of the team.  Having said that, there is attacking threat from the midfield and the younger legs might give Spurs' Old Boys a torrid time.  They will be high on confidence having won three on the trot to go above Tottenham, but in a game where going forward will be the name of the game, I predict that Spurs will just come out on top in a decent game ...

PREDICTION : -  Tottenham  3   West Ham United  2

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



Tottenham  1   West Ham United  1            (Half time score: 0-0)
Saturday 13th April 2002
Venue :  White Hart Lane
Kick Off : 3.00 p.m.
Weather : -  Warm, sunny
Crowd : -   36,083
Referee : -   Mr. N. Barry (Scunthorpe)

Scorers : -   Tottenham  -   Sheringham 53
                  West Ham United  -  Pearce 89


Tottenham :  None

West Ham United : None  


Tottenham :  Keller; Perry, Gardner, Thatcher, Ziege (Doherty 84); Sherwood, Anderton, Poyet, Davies; Sheringham, Rebrov (Iversen 46)
Unused Subs : -  Sullivan, Etherington, Clemence

West Ham United : James; Labant (Winterburn 60), Dailly, Pearce; Sinclair, Repka, Lomas, Carrick, Schemmel; Defoe, Kanoute 
Unused Subs : -  Hislop, Moncur, Garcia, Potts


Tottenham  :  White shirts, navy blue shorts, navy blue socks

West Ham United :  Claret and light blue shirts, white shorts, white socks

A derby match without a booking is a bit like the opera with no fat lady singing.  Both sides probed away but lacked a finishing touch to leave the draw the obvious result.

Two second half goals shared the spoils, but with the West Ham equaliser coming two minutes before the end, it was a slack period that let the game slip away.  IN truth, it was the right result between two sides who were there for the taking, but neither could manage to take what was on offer.  The end of season nature for both sides, who have little to play for except West Ham who feel that finishing above Tottenham is their main ambition, meant that the feeling was a little muted between the London rivals.  No passion in the match itself and the fans found it hard to get going too, as they took turns at having the vocal supremacy in the stands.

The first efforts to disturb the keepers came from the Irons.  Defoe hit a shot straight at Keller and Kanoute seized on a poor clearance that went up in the air and tried to arc his header over the American, but Kasey plucked it under the bar.  When Spurs did retaliate it was down the right wing, where Simon Davies showed a clean pair of heels to the tallest left back in the world ever (except when Anthony Gardner plays there) - Vladimir Labant.  Davies had the beating of the left back more often than not and if he is to be West Ham's first choice in that position, then who am I to question Glenn Roeder.  I would welcome his inclusion in the side on a weekly basis !!  He's more Trabant than Labant !!  Anyway, Davies' crosses had not found a Spurs head to cause any problems, but he did land one on Christian Ziege's noggin and he should really have got it on target, but floated it just over the bar with James stranded.

The England keeper was playing in the way he always does ... a mix of slippery handling and good shot stopping, but if Sven sees this match, he will be more worried than secure in the Hammers' keeper's performance.  He dropped one cross in the first half, but there was no Spurs man on hand to tap it in, but his biggest howlers were to come.  Not that any other of the England candidates did their chances any good with displays of lack of touch and inaccurate passing.   Sheringham is way off his best form and Anderton went through the match in a stuttering fashion, obviously not 100% fit.  Carrick ran with the ball well and hardly wasted a ball, but his passes were not incisive and he was hard working, but little else.  Sinclair was trying so hard to please, that like a small lap dog, he became tiresome with his penchant for a dribble too far or a fancy trick that never found it's target.  All rounded off with a poor cross at the end of it.  Sven might have been better off elsewhere.

Sheringham did manage a shot that he seemed to take ages getting off and then it seemed to take an age to reach James, it was hit with such little power, but at least it was on target.  Gus wanted to show Spurs fans that he could still score spectacular goals and tried a little home-made volley that crept wide without troubling the keeper, but then had a better volley that went over and in the second half was getting closer with one that zipped closely over the bar.  Anderton's wide shot after Tottenham worked a good position ended a half that came closest to a goal when Kanoute ran in across the face of his marker and glanced his shot just wide.

The first half had been disappointing to say the least.  Rebrov had shown he is far too lightweight for the hurly-burly of the Premier League and he made way for the more robust (?) Iversen.  His athleticism and willingness to run off the ball made Tottenham look a different proposition.  However, Kanoute struck first in the second half, warming Keller's hands with a fierce drive from 20 yards out.  Later in the half, the Spurs keeper was thought to have touched a long range shot from Sinclair that dipped viciously over the bar by inches, but it looked as though he was just covering the effort.

Much to everyone's surprise Tottenham took the lead.  When Steffen Iversen was played through by Simon Davies' exquisite pass with the outside of his boot, his shot was fumbled by James and Sheringham was on hand to put the ball home from around the penalty spot with no-one in front of him.  It was about the best thing that Teddy did all game. 

Davies almost created another chance when his run past three Irons ended with his cross just too long for Iversen to reach.  Minutes later, a Davies shot along the ground was spilled by James again and this time Sheringham ran in, but the keeper blocked the Tottenham captain's follow-up with his body.  The best chance to put Spurs 2-0 up and perhaps beyond the reach of the visitors was when a lovely ball was played into the box by Iversen for Sherwood to chest down.  Finding himself unmarked he probably thought he had to get a shot in quickly, but he had more time than that.  His shot hit the target, but James managed to splay his legs to get them in the way and the ball bounced out to safety.

West Ham started to push forward and Spurs retreated away from them, to let them come onto their goal.  Luckily for Tottenham, the Irons' last ball was lacking and there was a definite absence of invention as they tried to play in Kanoute, while Defoe was missed out (luckily for us).  His only real chance came from a left wing cross where he had a free header, but he put that wide.  Even then, Spurs did have a shout for a penalty when Repka forearm smashed Simon Davis across the jaw, but the ref, standing nearby, saw nothing out of order in it !!

A move which saw Spurs sit off the West Ham players ended with the ball played into the box, where Davies cleared to the edge of the area, but found Pearce, who hit one of those shots that either end up in the back of the stands or in the net.  It ended in the net !!  Keller had no chance as the 20 yard shot ripped into the goal and Spurs were looking deflated, but it had been coming as Tottenham cleared every attack only for the ball to return as quickly as it left.  Rarely did West Ham threaten, but the pressure paid off.

So, for the second week a late goal costs us points.  Conceding possession at every turn also failed to assist in our efforts to win this match, so the lesson must be to hang on to the ball longer, rather than to give it straight to the other side and for the last ten minutes concentrate hard to stop letting the goals in.  Oh, and don't back off players as they run towards our goal.  They might just have a shot.


Pete Stachio




A draw with West Ham would normally be a disappointment, but in the circumstances, with neither team seemingly that desperate to get forward with any menace, it was the right outcome of this 90 minutes of end of season

Yes, this was the fourteenth for Spurs and that is far too many.  However, there is still  London Pride to play for and while they were probably trying, it looked like they played poorly and that is an even greater worry.  If anything, this tells Glenn that he cannot play the old boys so frequently next season or the season will fade with them.

The first half contained no real threat from either side.  Long shots wide or straight at the keeper were the order of the day.  As for the rest of the play, it was mainly lots of inter-passing without much progress up the field.  Something both teams are well known for.

The break brought a change when Spurs substituted the ineffective Rebrov and Iversen came on.  Sergei had been left to play a lone striker role against one of the biggest defensive lines I have ever seen.  He was dwarfed by them and subsequently, when high balls were played up to him, he inevitably lost out.  As he was also getting the ball on the ground, you might have expected him to do better, but he was out-muscled by the Irons defenders and made little impact save for a few nice touches to Sheringham.  

Kanoute hit a shot that Keller saved on the dive, but it was Spurs who broke the deadlock, when Davies slipped the ball through the Irons defence and Iversen hit a first time shot low along the floor.  James got down to it, but misjudged the shot and could only push the ball out into middle of the penalty area, where Teddy ran on to it and joyfully hit the ball into the open net.  It was a well worked goal, totally out of sync with the rest of the game.  

Davies was crating hell down the right wing for Tottenham and his cross just evaded Iversen's head before he then had a shot that caused James more problems.  As it ran loose, Sheringham followed-up, but this time only hit the keeper's chest.

Sherwood had the best chance to win it, when he was played in by Iversen, took the ball on his chest and volleyed it towards goal.  James managed to get something in the way this time and as the ball flew in the air, Davies challenged for it, but was smacked in the mouth by Repka.  Neither ref nor his assistant saw the incident as a penalty, so play was waved on.

After this little spell of pressure, the game swung the other way with West Ham piling forward and Spurs clearing the ball out of defence, but they could not get it out of their half for a while.  There were few direct efforts on goal, as Defoe put a header wide and Sinclair hit a 25 yard shot that just cleared the bar, but a goal was coming.  Two minutes from the end, Lomas put the ball in from the right and Davies, back in his own area, cleared the ball.  Unluckily., it fell to Pearce, whose first time shot flew past Keller and into the goal.  It was a strike out of the (claret and) blue and left Spurs ruing the chances they had missed.  How many times have we said that this season ?

Even then, Spurs went down the left wing and as the ball was played into the box, it found Poyet on the penalty spot and his shot flew over the bar as Pearce dived in to put him off.

West Ham were nothing special.  They pass the ball well, but they did not hurt Tottenham in the final third.  Kanoute was all turns and twists, but his shots were invariably off target, while Defoe was starved of service and although he is a natural goalscorer, he can't do it without the ball.  Carrick ran around a lot, but often he made the wrong choice of pass, even though it was to his own man. Sinclair ran around, bumped into people and fed the ball to the crowd on a regular basis, rather than his forwards.

For Spurs, the ball was not a thing that was cherished in the midfield.  Davies was the best there and Thatcher shone as a shining star in our defence, alongside former Wimbledon defender Chris Perry, who stuck to his task well and read the game well.  Gardner was cool and calm, but had few options (as did everyone else) when trying to play the ball out from the back.  Doherty had a run out for the last six minutes and it was good to see him back.

A disappointing derby match, but another point in the bag I suppose.  But it should have been three.  One was fair, but again, the lack of quality in both squads was shown up when injuries hit and the fact that neither side was good enough to go on and take the spoils from this match.  It looked like the end of the season couldn't come quick enough.

Sid E. Netting

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