HAM UNITED (Home)
Cup 3rd Round
29th October 2003
West ham's demise to the First Division came the sell off of a majority
of their big stars to reduce the wage bill. Spurs managed to pick
up Fredi Kanoute, while Chelsea cashed in on the availability of players
and others have moved onto pastures anew. This has left their
challenge on the title a little precarious with a less than bulging
squad and a few teams more equipped to know the rigours of the
David James, the England goalie (and I never thought I would be writing
that), is prone to the odd clanger and although his height and physique
would make him a favourite to win balls in the air, he is not brilliant
on that aspect of his game. Sometimes, appears to lose concentration, although put a Playstation in front of him and he will concentrate
through the night !!
The defence contains the
unreliable Thomas Repka, although his disciplinary problems have landed
him with a ban for this match. Wayne Quinn is on loan from
Newcastle and has added some industry to the back line, while alongside
him Christian Dailly just keeps going on. On the flanks in
defence, there are Robbie Stockdale, given special dispensation to play
by Boro and he is one that looks to get forward, but might be stymied by
Etherington being in front of him. Ian Pearce is still holding
back time in the back four, with his aerial ability providing a strength
to his game, while prodigy Anton Ferdinand (brother of Rio) has had a
few outings to bring him on slowly.
The midfield choices are
between Michael Carrick, a fleet footed passer of the ball; Matthew
Etherington, a fleet footed crosser of the ball (into Row Z); Don Hutchinson, a Scottish tackler, who needs to keep calm and might have
lost a little of his pace in the time he has been back at Upton Park;
Kevin Horlock, a dogged character, who fights for the ball endlessly;
Rob Lee, the veteran worker, who is a West Ham fan and finally ended up
with his boyhood club. There is a little lack of creation in this
area of the team, but Carrick is good at picking out a pass and
Etherington can beat a full back, but as we all know to our cost, his
final product does often leave something to desire.
That leaves the ones
picked up front to fight for whatever they can create
Jermain Defoe is a sprightly twisty forward in the Robbie Keane mode, so
will need to be watched tightly, while Youssef Soufaine might be used on
the bench, although I think it more likely that Richard Garcia will be a
sub and his power was demonstrated recently for the reserves against
Spurs. He has good movement and is a strong lad. So that
only leaves on loan Neil Mellor and with rumours about none of the three
main strikers at the club getting on with each other, there might be
some hope that Mellor will forge something out of nothing as he has done
in Liverpool reserves previously.
Without Fredi Kanoute, Spurs
look a less threatening force, but there are still players in the team
who can score. We might see some different faces, with one game
already played this week and a third to come on Saturday. Whatever
the team, they should not have too much trouble in disposing of the East
Londoners and my prediction is ...
- Tottenham 2 West Ham United
For more information on
the opponents and their history, including full result history of
matches between the two teams, click here.
FROM THE OTHER SIDE
are your club doing this season?
As well as can be expected I think. Obviously relegation is a disaster,
and many of our best players either left or were sold. At the start of
the season we were blooding youngsters in every game, and since then
it's been loan signings in and out, and never a settled side. Three
managers as well ! To be four points off the top of the division after
all that is some result!
Who do you think's your best/most on form player(s)?
Defoe seems to have upped his game from last season and looks every bit
a Man Utd-bound striker. Connolly is an unexpected treat on the cheap
from Wimbledon, a skillful, tricky little striker who knows exactly how
to get goals at this level it seems. James is probably in the form
of his life and essential at this level, and Repka has recovered from
the slatings he got in the Premiership to be easily our best defender.
Your worst players?
I think it's been hard for everyone in the circumstances, but of the
regular players Neil Mellor on loan from Liverpool has disappointed me
most - he's been thrown in at the deep end and it shows. Some other
players are still disappointingly average, even at this level - Dailly,
Hutchison, Lee etc.
Any hidden gems or promising younsters in the squad?
Anton Ferdinand seems to have the talent and attitude of his older
brother, though he's been slightly slower to settle in much more
difficult circumstances. But he's got everything in place to go all the
way as a player.
What sort of line-up can we expect?
Depends on injuries really, particularly Connolly's - I've got a feeling
we may put Defoe up front with Hutchison off him and making a five in
midfield. The others pick themselves really - Etherington, Carrick,
Mullins, Ferdinand and a back four of Quinn, Dailly, Repka and Stockdale
ahead of James.
How's ex-Spur Etherington doing for you?
I've been extremely happy with him - hard-working, good crosser, very
positive and direct player, and left-footed. He's actually been the only
forward-thinking midfielder in the team at times, so is worth his weight
in gold to us so far this season.
Are you missing Kanoute?
Losing both Kanoute and Sir Les in the Summer has left us very
lightweight up front. Kanoute I felt was criminally under-rated by our
fans, not least because he always had a better record away from Upton
Park. Unfortunately Roeder didn't feel he was a team player, we had to
sell, and you got an absolute bargain I think.
How do you think Spurs will do this season?
I haven't seen all that much of you to be honest, but it doesn't take a
genius to see that you'll be somewhere between relegation and the
Any Spurs player's that will worry you?
I don't think we like tricky forwards too much, so Robbie Keane would be
the one I'd expect to undo us.
You should win... we're a shadow of our former selves.
Do you think it'll be a good game?
I think Pardew is trying to get us to tighten up, so it may be dourer
than you might expect. But I'd back Defoe to cause any team problems.
: - Darren
Anderton (knee) and Mauricio Taricco (thigh) - late tests on injuries
HAM : - David Connolly
(thigh), Thomas Repka (suspended), Rufus Brevett and Steve Lomas (both out long
TV : -
Radio : BBC Five Live Sports Extra (On line at http://www.bbc.co.uk/fivelive/sportsextra/schedule.shtml)
- live commentary
Internet : www.spurs.co.uk
1 West Ham United
0 (Half-time score : 0-0)
[after extra time 0-0 at 90 mins.]
|Carling Cup 3rd Round
|Wednesday 29th October 2003
|Venue : - White Hart Lane
|Kick Off : - 19.45 p.m.
|Weather : - Cold, clear
|Referee : - G. Barber
(Welwyn Garden City)
|Crowd : - 36,053
|Teams : -
Tottenham : - Keller; Carr, Konchesky, Gardner, Doherty,
Ziege (Blondel 61); Ricketts (Postiga 77), King, Dalmat (Mabizela 58);
Unused Subs : - Burch, Bunjevcevic
West Ham United
: - James; Stockdale (Ferdinand 22), Quinn, Dailly, Kilgallon;
Lee (Garcia 68), Carrick, Horlock (Mellor 106), Hutchison; Etherington,
Unused Subs : - Sofiane, Bywater
|Colours : - (kits
courtesy of http://www.colours-of-football.com)
West Ham United
|Scorers : -
Tottenham - Zamora 92
West Ham United
|Cards : -
Tottenham - Mabizela (foul) 120
West Ham United
- Etherington (foul) 90
It was a long time coming, but it
happened in the end. No not Bobby Zamora's first goal for
Tottenham, but one in this match. Shame it couldn't have come
about two minutes earlier, as it would have saved us having to suffer
The bulk of the better chances during
normal time had fallen to West Ham even though Spurs had enjoyed the
better possession, but fell down when it came to getting the ball into
the box. For too long, Konchesky, playing left midfield, planted
crossing practice for James to catch and Robbie Keane tried to take on
the whole of the Irons defence on his own.
Zamora seemed determined to break his
duck, despite what he said on the Spurs website about not being affected
by not scoring yet. He had one shot after about a quarter of an
hour that he dragged wide without much power and then turning on the
edge of the box, he fired in shot that two players blocked, leaving
James an easy save as the ball popped up innocuously.
Dalmat started the game looking lively
and had a drive go over from 25 yards out, but he faded in the latter
part of the first half and was less effective in the remainder of the
match, until Pleat decided to bolster the midfield with Mabizela around
the hour mark. West Ham were putting in some decent passes,
amongst the ones that constantly went astray and the best opportunity
came on 25 minutes, when a midfielder was played into the area on the
left, but Gary Doherty produced a very well-timed tackle to deny Lee
without conceding a penalty.
Shortly after, we came closest to a goal
and it was Dalmat who nearly got it. Robbie Keane seemed to be
going nowhere on the left wing, but he got to the by-line and turned,
dragged the ball back to the Frenchman, who picked out a precise low
shot that hit an outstretched leg to take it away from goal, when it was
heading just inside the post. Robbie was tormenting the Hammers
defence and when he got away on the right, he hit a shot that went into
the side-netting, when Ricketts was open in acres of space on the other
side of the box. Spurs were shocked eight minutes before half-time
when Defoe lobbed the ball over a square Spurs defence to find Lee
bursting through and his low shot across Keller bounced back off the
goal-post and back into the Tottenham's goalkeeper's arms. While
the Irons weren't having as much possession, they were making more of it
in terms of dangerous efforts on goal. In the whole of the first
half, James didn't have a save to make ... a failing that was continuing
from the last game against Boro.
The half-time break failed to change the
pattern of play and Lee once more almost put Spurs to the sword when
Etherington, back on his old ground, slipped him in. Luckily for
Tottenham, the former Charlton midfielder's control let him down and the
ball bounced to Kasey. Keller was called to make a very good save
when Defoe got between two Spurs defenders on the edge of the area and
hit an early shot as the keeper came out and got a good hand to the ball
and diverted it away. It was a crucial save and the recriminations
in the Spurs defence took place with Doc telling Gardner he should have
tackled Defoe, while it looked like Doherty was the nearer of the two to
the England Under-21 striker.
For once, the Tottenham movement worked
for them and Jonathan Blondel, on as a substitute for the injured
Christian Ziege (who looked in great pain and could be out for a while
again), produced a neat pass into the box and Keane cut inside, but
found David James blocking his path to goal. This moment seemed to
spark Spurs into greater efforts in attack and Zamora took the ball away
from his marker and ran past two more before hitting a 25-yarder that
James had to push over the top. However, time was running out and
there was just time for Etherington to hack down Stephen Carr as the
Spurs captain ran away form him down the line and get a booking for his
foul. All to the chants of "Tottenham reject" from the
area of the ground where he made a gesture to his own supporters in our
last game of last season.
Bobby Zamora started the first half of
extra time like he meant it. He had already made James save in the
first minute, while 60 seconds later, he took a pass from Blondel on the
left edge of the area, turned past Anton Ferdinand (how many of them are
there ?) and hit a left foot shot inside James' post to give Tottenham
the lead. West ham were looking drained and the difference in
class began to tell.
Hutchinson forced Kasey to dive and save
a shot from inside the area, then Postiga, who was desperate to get in
on the scoring act, produced a low dive from James to stop his
effort. In almost a replay of the goal, Blondel played Zamora in
and James threw a block with his body to prevent the Tottenham player
adding to his newly started total and then Ferdinand did the same to
West Ham tried to hit back to force
penalties, with a corner headed down by Mellor and Keller tipped the
ball over the bar on it's way up. Spurs seemed to be willing
Helder to score to quash the rumours in the papers that Tottenham are
willing to sell him in January. His late shot caused James to dive
full length to stop the ball getting past him. There was just
enough time left for OJ to pick up a yellow card for going through Quinn
with an aerial challenge.
The game showed how far West Ham have
fallen, as Spurs were not as good as we have played this season, while
West ham constantly passed to space, the crowd or Tottenham
players. At times, Spurs were little better, but you could see
there is a big difference between the two sides, which wasn't there last
season. If the Irons do come up this season, they will need to do
a lot of wise spending to improve their squad and after their financial
problems in the summer just gone, the money might not be there for
that. For them, they can concentrate on the League until the FA
Cup starts and for Tottenham, a home tie against Manchester City beckons
in the next round, which will be a tougher test of our defensive
MEHSTG TOP MAN : - KASEY KELLER
|For someone who has supported a
team, how difficult must it be to play against them and then to score
the goal that knocks them out of a Cup competition ?? That was
what happened to Bobby Zamora tonight.
Having been raised in the East
End of London, he was a Hammers fan as a kid and he has said his dream
move would be to Upton Park, although for most of us that would be some
sort of Hammer Horror nightmare. However, he lined up with Ledley
King and Paul Konchesky, both former team-mates in the Senrab team from
Bow that has raised a few other notable top flight footballers.
Obviously feeling more at home, he looked like he was up for it, but his
desire to get off the mark for Tottenham might have been hampering his
efforts on the night. He dragged an early shot across the face of
goal and then two defenders dived in to stop his shot getting on target
and they took the pace off the ball for James to take comfortably.
During long periods, he got little change out of Dailly and Kilgallon,
but he came alive again just towards the end of the 90 minutes of the
match, with a fine rising shot that James helped over the bar. It
was great that he finally got his first Tottenham goal just into extra
time, with a neat turn on the edge of the penalty area and a firm shot
that beat James at his near post. The England keeper will be very
disappointed with that. He had not had a great deal to do,
although Spurs had hit shots high and wide on a regular basis, although
failed to hit the target often enough.
The passing of the ball by Spurs
far out-stripped that of the East Enders, who picked out almost
everything but their own players in a way most unlike their Academy
traditions demand. They did have two great attempts in normal
time, with Lee sneaking behind the Tottenham defence (and remaining
onside) to hit a post and Defoe ghosting past Doherty and Gardner
hitting the onrushing Keller. There seemed a little lack of
confidence in the side and whether that came form missing a few players
through injury and suspension, but they might have found playing against
Premiership opposition a little different from the Nationwide teams they
have come up against since August. It certainly told when the game
went into extra time, as the Irons players dropped to the ground when
Zamora's goal hit the net and Spurs ran the ball around in the added
Dalmat was fluent when running
with the ball, but he found that there were people in his way as the
game progressed and he ran straight into them, rather than floating past
them. It was not a surprise that Pleat decided that Mabizela
should be introduced to the Spurs crowd in competitive action. It
was about an hour and a half to late, as he should have come on against
Middlesbrough to stiffen the midfield on Sunday. He showed great
calmness and poise on the
ball and a willingness to get stuck in when Spurs were defending.
Keller had a fine game, with little directly coming at him, but what
did, he stopped with great ability. He even went in bravely to
clear a couple of corners with a punch as Irons flew in to try and hit
him hard. Just before half-time, he needed some treatment when
Horlock collided with him.
The defence had their moments
when they were prised open, but it was yet another clean sheet since
reverting to a traditional 4-4-2 formation and Gardner did OK alongside
Doherty, who produced a timely tackle to rob Lee of the ball as he burst
into the area and was ready to shoot. He also threw a great block
as Garcia looked to break into the box in the dying minutes of the
game. Carr produced a couple of runs and shots unlike his recent
performances have done, while Ziege looked solid until he was hit by a
cross on his bad leg and limped off soon afterwards. Konchesky
dropped back to cover his vacant position and did better there than he
had eon in midfield.
Blondel was a revelation when he
came on. Busy, bright and a good eye for a pass, he looked the
most willing to create. Ricketts before him did well in breaking
up West ham's moves and starting our own, but he made way for Postiga,
who looked lively too. Ledders had a very good game in midfield
and he would have been my man of the match, looking composed and he used
the ball well when picking it up in midfield.
Zamora never stops trying.
Even when things aren't going his way, he tracks back to hassle
defenders and he is confident in his own ability enough to keep having
The match was played in a good
atmosphere inside the ground. The West Ham fans were magnificent
with their rendition of "Bubbles" and another song that
implied our support was not very good, whereas theirs is and they
support the waste material they implied our fans resembled. It is
a pity that over the years their club has not given them the success
they crave. However, I am not sure that I would want to go through
the scenes outside the ground before the match. The Cockerel Bar
had it's windows put in at 3.00 p.m., there were blue flashing lights up
and down the High Road all evening and fights sporadically breaking out
near the ground. We had all this last season with Cardiff and
perhaps it is just as well that teams like this have an arena for their
petty feuds. Luckily for us, it's called the Nationwide.
this weekend :
Arsenal (after extra-time 1-1 :
won 9-8 on pens)
||Manchester United (after
extra time 1-1)
||West Bromwich Albion (after
extra time 1-1)
extra time 2-2)