OPPONENTS West Ham United
COMPETITION Premier League
DATE Sunday 22nd February 2015
VENUE White Hart Lane






The old story about West Ham coming down with the Christmas decorations appears to have some foundation this season.  After an impressive start to the campaign (after we had beaten them on the opening day), they have won only one game since Christmas and this has led to their position in the top four crashing down to eighth, bringing news that the club's directors might be seeking a new way in the future, with Sam Allardyce's contract up in the summer and no move made to re-negotiate a deal.

"Big" Sam has done all that was asked of him.  Improve the style, win more games than last season and if failure to secure a top four place is the reason behind their thinking of getting rid of him they should remember two things.  Where they finished last season and to be careful what they wish for.  Already they are taking the surrender at West Brom in the FA Cup last week as a sign that he is not up to the job.  Debates about whether he wants the players who are brought in appear to be uppermost on the radio phone-ins and the style that changes when he brings Carroll and Nolan into the team all hint that the fans are not behind him.  As we know here, how long will it be before the fans turn against the next man in charge ?

West Ham have a decent side when they can play their favoured eleven, but injuries and suspensions too often rob them of those eleven, meaning the squad has to be called upon and the depth there has been tested and plumbed.  Alex Song was a good signing, as he brings experience to the midfield, alongside the workhorses Nolan and Noble, with the forwards initially paying back their fees with Valencia and Sakho looking a dangerous pairing, but much depends on Downing getting the ball into the box and Carroll's continued fitness (which hasn't happened) to knock down the long balls they don't play.

Adrian has performed well between the sticks this season, but they can't rely on him every match and while he did well against WBA, he couldn't stop everything and was exposed too often.  Claims that the players were tired and were suffering from the number of games they had (which you should expect that if you become anything like successful) have not gone down well.  With a week's rest since then, that will not be on the list of excuses this time around.  Looking at the players at big Sam's disposal at the moment, he might choose not to be as adventurous as earlier in the season and flood the midfield to try and stem Tottenham's flow. 

It's a week before  our Cup Final.  This is West Ham's.  Expect them to put more in than they would against anyone else.

PREDICTION Tottenham Hotspur    1         West Ham United    1
Click here for more info on opponents - stats v thfc , an alternative history, etc.
Spurs have a fully fit squad to choose from.
Andy Carroll is out for the rest of the season after having an operation on knee ligaments, while Morgan Amalfitano will be suspended after getting sent off last week at West Bromwich Albion in the FA Cup.  New free transfer signing Nene will not take part as he is not match fit, but West Ham have White Hart Lane bound Winston Reid, Matt Jarvis, Cheikhou Kouyate and James Collins fit again.

BT Sport - (live coverage)  (repeated 07.30 Monday - extended highlights)
Match of the Day 2  (BBC 1) - Sunday 22.30 (highlights)  Also available online.

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

Radio :  
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Commentary may be found on
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If available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard in these countries on these stations ...
Australia (Melbourne)
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Internet :   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London - click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.

Tottenham Hotspur  2 (0)                                                                    West Ham United  2 (1)
Premier League
Sunday 22nd February 2015                                                                                                            Kick off 12:00
White Hart Lane
Rose 80m 01s
Kane 90+5m 57s
Kayoute 21m 10s
Sakho 61m 30s



Noble (shirt pull on Townsend) 46
Cresswell (foul on Lamela)  52


Crowd :   35,837 Weather :  Chilly
Referee :  Jon Moss (Leeds) Assistant Referees :  Mr. J. Brooks; Mr. E. Smart
Fourth Official :  Mike Dean -
Spurs kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 7 minutes.
Tottenham Hotspur : kit West Ham United : kit
  1  Hugo LLORIS (c)

  2  Kyle WALKER
15  Eric DIER
  3  Danny ROSE 

38  Ryan MASON (22  Nacer CHADLI 80)
42  Nabil BENTALEB

17  Andros TOWNSEND (  9  Roberto SOLDADO 60)

19  Mousa DEMBELE  (23  Christian ERIKSEN  46)
11  Erik LAMELA

18  Harry KANE 

Unused subs: 
13  Michel VORM
21  Federico FAZIO
25  Benjamin STAMBOULI

  13  ADRIAN

  5  James TOMKINS
  2  Winston REID
  3  Aaron CRESSWELL      

11  Stewart DOWNING
16  Mark NOBLE (c)      (24  Carlton COLE 68  19   James COLLINS 87])
30  Alexandre SONG

  8  Cheikhou KOUYATE 
15  Diafra SAKHO 

31  Enner VALENCIA (  7 Matt JARVIS 75)

Unused subs: 

Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino Manager :  Sam Allardyce
Sponsor :   AIA Shirt sponsor :  Betway
Kit Supplier :  Under Armour Kit Supplier :   adidas
Match report

West Ham United (time) wasted an opportunity to beat Spurs at White Hart Lane when they threw away a 2-0 lead to end up with a draw when Harry Kane scored in the 97th minute npenalty saved.

It was some sort of restorative justice that the hero of the Irons fans – Adrian – who had been the chief culprit in eeking away minutes over every goal kick, who was punished by Harry Kane. A 97th minute penalty was given for a foul on the Spurs forward and although his shot was stopped by the Spanish keeper, retribution was gained as Kane stroked home the rebound to make it 2-2. If there hadn't been the time-wasting, there wouldn't have been the time for the penalty to be awarded.

It came back to bite West Ham and Adrian and so the away end roared at the save and then went very quiet when it wasn't “happening again” for them.

The opening game win by Spurs seemed to have been forgotten by the Irons, as they crowed over their lead, but in the end the last minute revival by Spurs did the trick once more.

With the Spurs side showing a number of changes from Thursday night's Europa League match against Fiorentina, Eriksen was on the bench with Chadli, while Kane, Dier, Dembele, Rose, Mason and Lamela were returned to the starting line-up. West Ham had a week's rest since they were thrashed in the FA Cup by West Bromwich Albion and were ready to give their all.

There were early chances for Tottenham, with some good movement of the ball.  In the fifth minute, Nabil Bentaleb made himself a yard and blasted a shot at goal with his left foot from 25 yards right of centre, which brought a flying save from Adrian to push the ball wide of his left hand post.  The ball came to him from the following corner, but this time the Algerian midfielder's effort from just outside the box was straight at the keeper.  Spurs came closer in the 11th minute, when Rose played a long ball forward that eluded the hapless Tomkins and Kane was on to it quickly.  Adrian came out to meet him, but Kane cutely kicked the ball with the outside of his foot while jumping into the air, leaving the West Ham defenders and keeper helpless, as the ball went wide of them, but they were relieved to see the ball bounce off the foot of the post and off for a goal kick.

While Spurs were on top in these early parts of the match, they failed to hold onto possession, being loose in their passing, pressured by West Ham closing them down quickly.  It threw Spurs out of their stride and this allowed West Ham to get into positions to threaten the Tottenham goal.   Downing had forced Danny Rose into a hurried block as he shot at goal and then Cresswell moved forward to strike a shot across goal and about 10 yards wide.  When Dier cleared the ball in the area, it struck Ryan Mason and fell for Sakho, but Lloris ran out to block his shot and then Dier was there to clear things up when Lloris had to rush back to his line.

In the 22nd minute, Mousa Dembele lost the ball in his own penalty area and Spurs were the architect's of their own downfall.  Trying to play the ball out, Dembele played a ball wide of Walker and Noble picked it up, sent Cresswell wide and his cross was powerfully headed in by Kayoute from five yards out, leaving Lloris no chance.   One mistake punished and Spurs were behind.  That was all it took.

Tottenham tried to get back into it straight away and Townsend raced won the right to win a corner and from it Bentaleb had a shot blocked and the ball came out to Vertonghen, who tried a volley from just inside the area, but he was leaning back and the ball ballooned over the top.  They got closer again when Kane's clever chipped pass forward saw Rose rise to beat Adrian and Reid to it and get a header on goal that nestled on top of the net.   Lloris had to block a shot from Valencia, who got on the end of a Cresswell cross and then from that Tottenham broke away and Mason had a shot from 20 yards out that went a yard wide.  .

Play stopped for treatment to Kayoute and Sakho and when it was restarted the referee told Noble to give Spurs the ball back, which he did by kicking it as wide and as far towards Tottenham's own corner as he could.  Later in the game when Dier put the ball out for a throw in as a similar situation arose, Noble was in his face giving him stick, when Sakho had been standing in front of the Spurs defender, meaning he couldn't do much else.  The West Ham captain was really leading by example and more tantrums were to come from him.  Before that he managed to do something with the football in volleying at goal from an acute angle, but Kyle Walker got in the way at the expense of a corner.  There was still time for him to pick up a yellow card in added time at the end of the first half for pulling back Townsend's shirt. 

Paul Allen's interview at half-time intimated that we was always more Spurs than West Ham and his time spent at Spurs saw him develop into a fine, aggressive midfielder.  As the player warmed up, Christian Eriksen disappeared down the tunnel and when he re-emerged, it was in place of Mousa Dembele.  Initially, it made little difference in Tottenham's attacking play, as Eriksen was failing to find his intended targets with his through passes.

Mason tried a volley from outside the box, but it was well off target and at the other end, Walker had to be alert to block a cross from a quickly taken free-kick.  Mason curled a 20 yard effort straight into Adrian's chest before Lloris was called into action at the opposite end, when he did well to rush Sakho, as he raced onto Noble's through ball, getting a touch to take the shot wide.  When Walker blazed a low shot across the face of goal, it only needed a touch but nobody in a white shirt was there to apply it and when West Ham went forward again, they doubled their lead.

It was a weak goal to conceded and when Noble's cross came in from the left, it missed Valencia and with Rose looking for offside, with his arm up, Sakho ran around behind him to shoot  into the ground and into the net from a tight angle at the far post.  Valencia had been interfering and looked offside on TV replays as the ball went beyond him for Sakho to score.  Noble then played a free-kick in which Reid headed down for Valencia, but Lloris was there to block his volley and then kick the ball away before he was able to follow up.  Noble then had his bust up with Vertonghen which saw Jan react angrily to the Irons' captain's rash challenge on Bentaleb.  He was soon substituted by Big Sam with Carlton Cole coming on, but he lasted only a quarter of an hour as his injury-prone reputation came home to roost again.

With twenty minutes left, Tottenham started to pick up their game.  Keeping the ball on the floor, Spurs were running West Ham around.  Bentaleb and Kane had shooting opportunities before a shot from Lamela went into his path off a West Ham defender and he buried it past Adrian, but the linesman's flag was already up.  With Christian Eriksen on the pitch a  free-kick within range always offers the chance of a goal and in the 77th minute, he dipped one over the wall and made Adrian go at full stretch to tip it past the keeper's left hand post.

When Spurs moved the ball wide on the right, Lamela looked for Roberto Soldado in the six yard box, but Cresswell sliced in front of his own goal, luckily over the bar for West Ham.  From the corner, Eriksen touched it short to Erik and his ball into the area was waist high with pace on it and Adrian did poorly in half-fisting it out, but only to the edge of the box, where Danny Rose dug it into the ground in an attempt to keep it low and it bounced up and beyond Adrian's funny little dance to reach it to get Spurs a goal back with ten minutes left..

This gave Spurs the momentum and there was little more attacking from the Irons, as they dropped deep and got as many men behind the ball as they could.  Kane was denied a shot as he broke into the box by Reid, then Lamela picked out Chadli on the left and his touch saw the ball drop for Soldado, who had a shot brought a save from the goalie.  Pressure was building as the game entered five added minutes and Kane and Eriksen had shots blocked and way over.  It looked like being one of those days, until the ball was played forward by Lloris and it dropped for Kane.  He played it to Eriksen in the D on the edge of the box, then it popped out right to Kane, who touched it into the area only for Song to fall all over the back of him to bring him down and for referee Moss to point to the spot.

The man of the moment got up to take the spot-kick and Adrian pointed the way he should put it, but Harry went the other way and so did the keeper, diving to his right to keep it out with a stretching hand.  He could only push it back into the middle of the goal though and Kane reacted quickest to knock the ball home from five yards out and to send the Spurs fans wild, while the claret and blue shirts hit the grass in despair.  It was a thrilling finish that earned Spurs a point when all had looked lost, but West Ham could not hold out and were encouraging Spurs on by playing so deep with no out ball.  Sam's tactics of fear cost them two points and may, in the long run, cost him his job there.

For Tottenham, it was a performance that cannot be repeated next week.  Playing for ten minutes is good enough to earn a point against the Irons, but 80 minutes of sloppy play might see Chelsea out of reach by then.  Spurs willingness not to give in earned them a point and while it wasn't the slickest play that got us the two goals, sometimes you have to get what you can out of games.  Unlucky for West Ham that they haven't learned that and for all Big Sam's whinges about the match, his team have to learn that ... whether in the time they have by regulation (90 minutes) or that which the referee adds on for stoppages (injury or added for time wasting).  That extra time might mean his at West Ham is running out.

Kirk Hammerton




West Ham were formed as a result of the 1902 local government reorganisation when Urban East Ham Rural merged with Plaistow NewTown and Canning Town Metalurigist to form the new club.


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What you thought
Benny The Ball Fat Sam's ranting about the match ought to have ended when Kane's penalty was saved is rich.  There were five added minutes, during which his goalkeeper wasted time.  The referee's interpretation we hear about waiting until the attack in progress is over before ending a half appears to now include loose balls from penalty saves and anyway, the goal was netted before the clock reached 96 minutes, which probably didn't full cover all the time wasting Adrian had mustered, nor included the number of times the ball was thrown/kicked away after free-kicks were given to Spurs ... including Cresswell booting the ball high into the stand after the penalty was given.

"Honest" Sam moaned that he thought Kane did brilliantly for the penalty, but when you are given a helping hand on the way, there is no "brilliant" about it.  Perhaps he should look at the nature of the foul rather than go on about Spurs "winning" it.

His side haven't had more than one penalty all season makes them too "honest" in his eyes.  Perhaps he should look at the antics of Noble (a misnomer if ever there was one) if he really wants to believe his side is honest.  His scything down of Bentaleb when he was already on a yellow card was worthy of another and his reaction to Vertonghen was worthy of yet another.  Why else would "Honest" Sam take him off when he is such an "honest" player ????

A manager seeking excuses for losing points from a winning position ??  Shurely not !!

So ... no silverware for West Ham in their Cup Final this season.  Long may that "happen again" !!

Isaac Gregory Nice that Sam seems to want to decide when time is up and not the referee.  Let's not play the amount of time the officials want to add on, but the amount he thinks is right.

Tough luck Fat Sam. 

Two games this season and two last minute goals for Spurs.  Get your players to keep going until the final whistle and not when you think it is.

If your players were fit, then you wouldn't have had to substitute your substitute.  That probably added one the thirty seconds Kane scored the winner in !!

Steve Martindale Mark Noble.  They nearly got his name right ... if only they had left off the last two letters.

He once said he cried after his first game at Spurs when Tottenham came back to win and I would like to think he was similarly lachrymose today, but I think he would have still been moaning too much to have time to cry over the win that was theirs for the taking until he got himself subbed for being a bit of a temperamental not so superstar.

Burton Bradstock Loved the way James Collins dived full length to head Kane's goal back into the net after the ball came back out !!  Skills !!
East Stan Funny old Irons !!  2-0 and you mucked it up !!
Pete Stachio Fat Sam must have been desperate to cover his own (sizeable) backside by claiming Danny Rose totally mis-hit his shot that scored the goal which got Tottenham back into the match.  Has he seen the one that Sakho scored ??  Ignoring the fact that Valencia might have been offside in the build-up to the ball reaching him too.
- -.



Other scores during this week :
Aston Villa 1 Stoke City 2 Saturday
Chelsea 1 Burnley 1 Saturday
Crystal Palace 1 Arsenal 2 Saturday
Hull City 2 QPR 1 Saturday
Manchester City 5 Newcastle United 0 Saturday
Sunderland 0 West Bromwich Albion 0 Saturday
Swansea City 2 Manchester United 1 Saturday
Everton 2 Leicester City 2 Sunday
Southampton 0 Liverpool 2 Sunday




League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Chelsea 26 18 6 2 56 22 60 +34
2 Manchester City 26 16 7 3 56 25 55 +31
3 Arsenal 26 14 6 6 49 29 48 +20
4 Southampton 26 14 4 8 38 19 46 +19
5 Manchester United 26 13 8 5 44 26 47 +18
6 Liverpool 26 13 6 7 38 29 45 +9
7 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 26 13 5 8 41 36 44 +5
8 West Ham United 26 10 9 7 37 30 39 +7
9 Swansea City 26 10 7 9 30 34 37 -4
10 Stoke City 26 10 6 10 31 35 36 -4
11 Newcastle United 26 8 8 10 30 41 32 -11
12 Everton 26 6 10 10 34 37 28 -4
13 Crystal Palace 26 6 9 11 28 37 27 -9
14 West Bromwich Albion 26 6 9 11 24 34 27 -10
15 Hull City 26 6 8 12 25 36 26 -11
16 Sunderland 26 4 13 9 22 36 25 -14
17 QPR 26 6 4 16 27 45 22 -18
18 Burnley 26 4 10 12 25 44 22 -19
19 Aston Villa 26 5 7 14 13 36 22 -23
20 Leicester City 26 4 6 16 24 42 18 -18


Position before match :  6th
Position after match :  6th
Position after the weekend : 7th


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


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