OPPONENTS West Ham United London at the Taxpayer's Stadium
COMPETITION League  Cup Round 4
DATE Wednesday 31st October 2018
PREVIEW Just eleven days after their Cup Final, West Ham United London face another, as Spurs come to visit their (or the fans') stadium.  Having played a match two days prior to this on a NFL pitch, Spurs now find themselves in an athletics stadium and will be glad to get back to a proper football stadium on Saturday at Wolverhampton.

Mark Noble will be crying in his shandy after getting sent off on Saturday, so missing his favourite game of the season, although after the recent league meeting, he might be happy to miss out.  The Irons have a number of injury issues, mostly in midfield, but you won't be surprised to hear that Andy Carroll and Jack Wilshere are both out  ... #shocker.

Spurs will need to be careful, as in the previous round, West Ham hit eight against Macclesfield Town, who hadn't won a league match in 37 attempts.  The youngsters who came in impressed against the Macc lads, but whether Pellegrini will put them out now, with the chance of going through against a less than full Spurs team, we will see.  He still has a number of player son the squad who could do a job, although Felipe Anderson came in for some hammer after the league game, so perhaps he might be happy to sit this one out too.  Hernandez could lead the line, with Obiang on the way back, he will strengthen the midfield and if Diop is matched with Ogbonna, it might make it difficult for Llorente if he is picked to give Kane a rest.  However, Spurs need to get into a passing groove and start chipping in goals from elsewhere.

Pochettino has said that there will be new faces in the team and perhaps the most likely to feature would be 18 year old Oliver Skipp.  He has had a run out in pre-season and looks likely to be on the bench at the very least.  The nucleus of the side will be first team players, with those not starting on Monday perhaps included here too.

We should have enough to see off the home team, but the Irons always raise their game for two or three matches a season, so I expect that they will come out on top in this game, with Spurs aware that the three points they took at the Taxpayers will have the more importance come the end of the season.  With the Wolves game just three days away, that will also be in the back of their minds, so, a full on performance is les than likely.

PREDICTION West Ham United London    2        Tottenham Hotspur    1
League Cup Round 4 Kick off 19:45
West Ham United London  1 (0)  
Tottenham Hotspur  3 (1)

Perez  71m


Son  16m
Son  54m
Llorente  75m

Crowd :   50,270 Weather :  Mild, dry
Referee :  Stuart Attwell (Nuneaton, Warwickshire) Assistant Referees :  Mr. Constantine Hatzidakis; Mr. Simon Beck
Fourth Official :  Mike Dean  
Spurs kicked off and played towards the Bobby Moore Stand in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 9 minutes.




West Ham United London : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit

26  Arthur MASUAKU
  Issa DIOP
  Angelo OGBONNA

30  Michail ANTONIO
14  Pedro OBIANG  (27  Lucas PEREZ    58)
41  Declan RICE
  8  Felipe ANDERSON  (11  Robert SNODGRASS  46)

45  Grady DIANGANA
  Javier HERNANDEZ  (  7  Marco ARNAUTOVIC  58)

Unused subs: 
  1  Lukasz FABIANSKI
4  Fabien BALBUENA
50  Joe POWELL


  22  Paulo GAZZANIGA

21  Juan FOYTH
  6  Davinson SANCHEZ
24  Serge AURIER

  8  Harry WINKS
12  Victor WANYAMA

  7  Heung-Min SON   
20  DELE Alli  (14  Georges-Kevin NKOUDOU  64)
23  Christian ERIKSEN  (52  Oliver SKIPP  84)

18  Fernando LLORENTE    (17  Moussa SISSOKO  76)

Unused subs: 
18  Michel VORM

18  George MARSH
27  Lucas MOURA

Manager :  Manuel Pellegrini Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino
Sponsor :   Betway Shirt sponsor :  AIA
Kit Supplier :  Umbro Kit Supplier :   Nike
Match report

There was a whiff of Fairy Liquid in the air as Spurs came out into a mist of bubbles that was more 4 year olds birthday party than Halloween, although it turned out to be a bit of a nightmare for the Irons.  The defeat leaves them with more grief to suffer and their fans started out hating Tottenham, but ended up turning on their own players as they surrendered to a 3-1 win for Spurs handing them an easy passage to the quarter final.

It had all started off so convivially.  There appeared to be a big degree of familiarity between the two sets of fans who were not too far apart.  A spurs fan said he knew the mother of one of the West Ham fans very well and the Happy Hammers waved back cheerily with one hand.  What really set the cat among the pigeons was an early goal by Heung-Min Son.  With an expectation among the home fans to avenge the recent 0-1 defeat at our hands, they attacked our goal, with Antonio getting some joy against Kyle Walker-Peters, but he made little of it and Spurs had the ball in the net after nine minutes, when Dele prodded in Eriksen's low ball across goal, but the offside flag had been raised to signal Christian had advanced too soon.  West Ham had a great chance with 14 minutes gone, with Diangana chipping across to Hernandez, but he couldn't get a good contact on his volley and it went across goal towards Antonio, but Juan Foyth stretched out to knock the ball away. 

Fernando Llorente, getting a rare start, headed away a West Ham corner, before playing the ball out to the left where Aurier knocked it inside to Eriksen.  The Danish midfielder drove a ball into Dele.  Ogbonna was close to him, but not close enough to stop his inventive touch around the defender for Son to run onto it and sweep it high into the roof of the net to Adrian's right and put Spurs 1-0 up.  It was a well well created goal, but there was a big hole in the middle of the home defence that Sonny too advantage of to knock in his first goal of the season from twlelve yards out.

Tottenham were moving forward with ease and Eriksen had a shot at goal from 25 yards out, but a Irons body got in the way and then just before the half hour, Antonio cut inside from the left wing, as he got away from KWP and tried to curl a shot past Gazzaniga, but he overdid it and the ball was cleared away by Son.  Spurs were looking comfortable on the ball, with Foyth bringing the ball out from the back and Winks was probing forward from further forward, while West Ham's passing was off target a lot of the time and Felipe Anderson's delivery from the corner kicks rarely beat the first man or got a foot off the floor.  The home fans were getting angry with their own players, with Hernandez receiving stick for not chasing down a long ball that ran out for a Spurs free-kick.

The tactic to stop Spurs seemed to be to take them out after the ball had been played and referee Attwell was letting it go, but they got into the box on our left when Antonio beat Walker-Peters and looked to beat Gazzaniga at his near post from a  tight angle, but Foyth made a fine challenge that took the ball off Antonio and the Spurs keeper made sure the ball went round the post for a corner.  The corner cleared the goalmouth and Diangana played it back in, but Antonio couldn't keep his header down.  Another set-piece, this time a free-kick produced a half-chance for Hernandez, but the ball to him from the left oat the far post was snuffed out, when Gazzaniga came out to quickly grab the ball before the Mexican had a chance to get a shot away.

Dele had a mad couple of minutes, where he was racing around looking to dive into a tackle as he had been clattered late and the ref hadn't given a free-kick, but his chasing back was important in putting pressure on West Ham's players with the ball.  A little too much pressure by Walker-Peters saw him drag back Antonio and a free-kick again almost get the home team back into the match, as Antonio got onto a flick on from Diop's cross, but Gazzaniga was behind it to save and that was it for the first half, except Winks had to have some treatment before the whistle went for the break.

Some big flags being waved on the pitch and some taunting between the fans passed the interval, with West Ham coming out a bit more feisty, much like their stewards, who had decided to eject Spurs fans - probably to even out the early departures from the West Ham areas, as more of the the white seats became visible as the game went on.   Howeverr, it was Spurs with the first effort as dele drove into Adrian's hands from inside the box.  west Ham had a good opening when Antonio got inside Walker-Peters, but Foyth came across to cover and was nudged over by the West Ham winger, but he couldn't gather the ball and Paulo Gazzaniga came out to claim it.  It needed KWP to clear for a corner to make the ball safe and from it, the irons couldn't make anything from the dead ball situation. It was five minutes later when Spurs won the ball and Eriksen found Dele in the centre circle.  He drove a ball in the direction of Sonny, but Masuaku was there.  He couldn't sort his legs out and could only let it bounce off his thigh as it went past him, allowing Son to run through on goal, take it to Adrian's right and then slip it into the net from eight yards out.  Cue celebrations in the Spurs end and bottles thrown from the West Ham fans in the adjacent main stand, who had spent most of the game watching us rather than the game (and I can understand why when you are watching West Ham).  So, Spurs were 2-0 ahead with 54 minutes gone and looking comfortable, but then we thought the same at half time in this competition last season.

Pellegrini responded by bringing on Arnautovic and Lucas Perez, having taken off the hugely disappointing delicate Anderson at half-time for the more agricultural Snodgrass.  They took a couple of minutes to have an effect, during which Son caused problems in the box before being dispossessed, but Arnautovic put a cross in that Foyth had to deal with at the expense of a corner and Dele got that one out.  The ball was now around our penalty box more often and tackles by Sanchez and Foyth, who both played very well, had to put in good tackles to prevent any further progress by the Irons.  Then there was a corner that lead to a game of pinball in the box, with Arnautovic having a shot blocked and then Gazzaniga did well to get down to his right to save from Ogbonna, but an offside flag would have wiped it out anyway. 

Spurs had brought on GK Nkoudou, making a rare subs appearance on for Dele and he caused problems on our left, with his pace and ability to bring the ball away as an out ball.  Diop tackled him as he ran in on goal and it fell for Son, but Adrian was behind his effort with a low save, but West Ham pushed forward and Son needed to stop Snodgrass as he got into the area and then Arnautovic was played through by Fredericks and looked like he was lining up a shot, but Foyth produced a perfectly times crunching tackle that stopped him getting the shot off and gave them a  corner.  From it, the ball went to the far post, which perhaps Spurs had been lulled into a false sense of security by thinking they weren't able to do that, leaving sub Perez alone to head down past Paulo to close the score to 2-1.  The worry that getting a goal back might give the home team the impetus to go on and score more was always a worry, as we had not been putting our opportunities away.  With 19 minutes left it was a possibility, as they had looked more lively since their double substitution.

With VAR in operation, the goal had to be checked out, so the delay saw the teams line up for the kick off before the decision came through and this is one of the main problems with the review system.

Nearly the whole gamut of football experiences was rolled out for this game, with only a penalty, an own goal and a sending off missing … usually key ingredients of a match against the Spammers.  A pitch invader came in from opposite the main stand and it took five stewards to get him off the turf before Spurs could take a corner that had been won by Nkoudou, who worked the ball down the line with Eriksen. Whether it distracted the WHULFC defence or whether they are not very good, but their foothold back in the game slipped from under them, when Tottenham scored from the corner and it was Fernando Llorente, who had been doing OK up front, who was left unmarked in the area, just outside the six yard box to volley in with Ogbonna getting to him too late to prevent the goal. Four minutes had elapsed since the home team’s goal and the boost they got from that was wiped away by the front man’s finish.

Antonio, who had been involved, but was rubbish curled a shot from Arnautovic’s cross well wide of Gazzaniga’s goal and was being treated to the hairdryer treatment by his own supporters. The third goal seemed to knock West Ham and they were chasing the ball, with Tottenham passing it around comfortably. With six minutes of the regulation 90 remaining, Spurs took off Christian Eriksen, captain for the night and brought on 18-year-old Oliver Skipp for his Spurs debut. It was a big moment for the youngster and he didn’t look out of place as he showed good energy and awareness on the ball. Victor Wanyama took over with the armband.

There was one moment of anxiousness when Arnautovic burst into the Spurs box, but Sanchez held him off and Gazzaniga took the ball. A late Snodgrass free-kick somehow went across the face of goal and was played back in by Diangana, but Spurs smuggled the ball away. The closest to another goal came in the final minute of added time when Sissoko was into the area on the right and looked as though he was going to shoot, but produced a disguised pass square for Nkoudou, but the winger had just strayed offside.

A 3-1 win was the least Spurs deserved for this controlled performance that saw them dominate and despite the odd breach of our defence, West Ham rarely looked like threatening. Two wins over the Irons in eleven days was brushed aside by a massive West Ham fan on the train after the match, who said “So what ?” when ribbed about it by a Spurs supporting friend of her daughter’s. Well, it was three points and you are knocked out of the Carabou Cup. “Yeah, but Tottenham are crap.” On that
reasoning, what does that make West Ham ? Then, just to reinforce any stereotype you had of West Ham fans, the boyfriend of her daughter’s passed his mobile phone to her to look at something and the daughter said, “The password’s 1966.” I think that speaks volumes. Others on the way back to the station said, “It was only the Mickey Mouse Cup” and “Glad we lost ‘cos Arsenal will thrash Spurs.” I suppose their lack of success means the only joy they get is from the travails of others.

On the marathon march back to Stratford station there were the normal skirmishes and few Police around. At one stage there was a line of about six stewards holding hands between the two sets of fans ! Having seen the lack of attention in the stadium by stewards, who failed to deal with persistent standing, bottles being thrown and some foul language that seemed to be worthy of being thrown out if you were a visitor, but if you were a season ticket holder, then it is acceptable.  Confusing, but then there is not a lot that isn’t about the stadium and the club that inhabit it.

Job done by the fairly strong Spurs side that allowed some fringe players to get some playing time and most of them impressed in the win that takes Spurs through to another London derby at  Arsenal. They have been playing weakened sides against the lower level opposition they have faced, but there will be more of a familiar look about the side that turns out against us at Highbury.

Charlie Mason

Match facts

Heung-Min Son made his 150th appearance for Tottenham.


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What you thought
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Other scores this round :
Bournemouth 2 Norwich City 1 Tuesday
Burton Albion 3 Nottingham Forest 2 Tuesday
Leicester City P Southampton P -
Arsenal 2 Blackpool 1 Wednesday
Chelsea 3 Derby County 2 Wednesday
Middlesbrough 1 Crystal Palace 0 Wednesday
Manchester City 2 Fulham 0 Thursday


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