HAM UNITED (Away)
|With Rio gone for
big bucks, that has left Harry Redknapp to practice his best second hand
car dealer patter to recruit new staff to Upton Park. And he has
bought on the cheap once again bringing in Christian Dailly (not a
religious newspaper, but a defender from Blackburn Rovers), defender
Rigobert Song from Liverpool, Todorov - a Bulgarian striker, Ragnvald
Soma - another defender, with Tihinen from Finland and Sebastian
Schemmel from Metz both on loan . Rumours are that there are
Japanese and Australian defenders on the way too to shore up the Irons
defences. I must say, £18 million rates as a very good deal for
the massively over-rated Ferdinand, so no wonder Hang-Dog Harry snapped
off David O'Deary's hand in taking the money.
All this has left the side with an
unusual look to it, especially as Javier Margas has had to retire with
knee trouble (will anyone really know he was there in the first place)
and the same affliction has hit Trevor Sinclair. Di Canio is also
in a state of flux with Lazio wanting him and Hang-Dog saying he has a
cold, so make of that what you will. Song hasn't really
acclimatised yet and there is further concern in defence with Hislop
being injured, meaning Forrest has had to step in between the
sticks. In fact, with Gary Charles, the two Pearces, Potts and
Winterburn there, it will look like pension day at the Post Office.
They may have Stimac, Ian Pearce,
Michael Carrick and Scott Minto back in contention for places, but they
will have had little match practice. More likely we will see one
from Soma, Song, Dailly and Tihenen in there, with Pearce and the
ex-Gooner as the experienced old stagers.
In midfield, Sinclair might be fit
and often has a good game against us, while the youngsters Cole and
Carrick have been taking the plaudits for the Irons. They have
settled very well and play with great effect. The fourth member of
the midfield will probably be Steve Lomas, who has an uncanny knack of
getting sent off against us. Long may it continue. He does
provide the drive in their midfield and will be all over the pitch, harassing
the Spurs players. Frank Lampard Junior will also be in the side
to add his considerable presence to the midfield and to link with the
Upfront, the usual pairing has
been Kanoute and Di Canio, who both exhibit great flair and both have an
eye for goal. It will be a good test for the young Spurs defence
to keep them in check. Also available to choose from are Todorov,
Diawara (on a season's loan) and Titi Camara, the Spurs trialist who
looked like Bambi on ice. Expect him to have a blinder if he
features in the match then !!
After a poor start, the Irons
picked up to head for the top half of the table, but have stuttered
again recently losing to Leicester City and Sunderland. It could
be a good time to play them, but a lot will depend on how many regulars
have made it back into the side. Defensively West Ham must be
considered suspect, but our attack is hardly the most potent around at
the moment, so it will be hard to see where a Spurs goal might come
from. A bitter London derby battle is on the cards and I reckon it
could end ...
PREDICTION : - West Ham
United 1 Tottenham 1
For more information on
the opponents and their history, including full result history of
matches between the two teams, click here.
|West Ham United
0 Tottenham 0 Wednesday 31st January 2001
Weather : - Cold, dry
Crowd : - 33,295
Referee : - Neale Barry (Scunthorpe)
Scorers : - None
West Ham: Hislop, Stuart Pearce, Dailly,
Tihinen, Winterburn, Schemmel, Carrick, Cole, Lampard, Di Canio, Kanoute.
Subs Not Used: Forrest, Moncur, Song, Camara, Soma.
Tottenham: Walker, Doherty, Campbell, Perry, King, Freund,
Leonhardsen, Clemence (Young 84), Booth, Rebrov (McEwen 84).
Subs Not Used: Segers, Sherwood, Thelwell.
Coming off the back of a win at Old Trafford for
West Ham and a couple of uninspiring 0-0 draws against teams below us,
it had defeat written all over it. The fact that Spurs came away
with a point was due to some brighter play for our boys and a
performance from the Irons that lacked a cutting edge.
a 0-0 resulted, it was not a boring match, with chances at both
ends. Sergei had a chance, but couldn't direct his shot past the
goalie much as he had done earlier in the match after Sol headed on for
him. It wasn't to be the Ukrainian's night as another first half effort
flashed across the goal, instead of hitting the target. Anderton's
cross was met forcefully by Andy Booth's head and only a linesman's flag
denied him a dream start to his Spurs career. That was after 15
minutes and it looked a close call as the loan player finished of a
passing move that started at the back and offered hope that Tottenham
might be playing a different style to the last couple of matches.
Shaggy's shot bounced back off Hislop to Leo, but he was beaten to it by
Tihenen, who would come back to haunt him later.
the other end of the pitch, Walker had a quiet time until the end of the
half. On 33 minutes, Kanoute (who had a goal ruled out for offside
just a short while earlier) mesmerised Perry and hit a low shot that
Walks blocked at his near post, but the Spurs keeper could do nothing
after a piece of Di Canio magic set up a cross and Lampard met it with a
thunderous header that bounced over off the crossbar.
the break, West Ham picked up where they had left off and it was amazing
how a low cross escaped two Hammers within the six yard box and went
through everyone. Spurs then had their big chance, when Anderton
lofted the ball into the box for Leo to run on to. He in turn
lifted it over Hislop and it was only an amazing kick off the line by
the Finn Tihenen that stopped Spurs taking the lead. Walker had to
be alert to save Pearce's free kick and then got lucky when the same
player hit the outside of the post direct from a corner ! Di Canio
also had a good chance, but could only manage to shoot into the side
netting as he was running away from goal.
did well on his debut and won almost everything in the air, while
running himself into the ground. Anderton used the ball a lot
better and playing in a wider position provided better service, but poor
Rebrov ended the night being subbed by McEwen. For them, Joe Cole showed
a lot of skill and a lot of his tricks, but little resulted directly
from them. Di Canio was more damaging, as was the hard work that
Carrick and Lampard put in.
It was a
surprise that it was the first game between the two sides to be goalless here since 1924, but
after the teams two results at the weekend, perhaps I shouldn't have
MEHSTG TOP MAN : - SOL CAMPBELL
Sid E Netting
|This year is a month old, but
Spurs have already played five times. Apart from the four goals
against Newcastle, they have scored but one other - against Leyton
Orient in the last minute. Another 0-0 tonight and the sixth out
of the last seven League games that Tottenham have failed to score
in. So where does the answer lie ?
Could it be in Andy Booth, the
much maligned Sheffield Wednesday striker on loan at White Hart Lane
? Why not. His fifteenth minute header past Hislop was only
ruled out by the assistant referee's flag and he had another effort
scrambled away at the end. Would Les have done any better in the
circumstances ? He also put Rebrov in with a neat header, but
Sergei is lacking a striker's confidence at the moment and all his shots
were off target tonight.
The midfield was more effective,
with Leo, Daz, Freund and Ledley all working hard to close down the
space afforded to the tricksters in the opposition side, but also did
alright in playing the ball to make a few scoring half-chances.
Probably the best was Leo's late lob over the Irons keeper, but Tihinen
produced Go Go Gadget legs to lift the ball over the bar from an
impossible angle. On another day it might of gone in ... but only
if Tottenham had not been playing.
Defensively, the back three dug
in and the wing backs helped out almost as much as the woodwork.
Pearce's inswinging corner and Lampard's header both came back off the
frame of the goal. It wasn't the only thing that Pearce hit on the
night, with his tactic of letting Rebrov "know he was there"
having the desired effect in making our Ukrainian drift out of the
game. So much so, that McEwen replaced him near the end.
So, not much to write home about
and a point. Grateful for small mercies, but the goalscoring
problem continues. The sooner it is sorted (and news from Norway
suggests a player might be in-coming soon), the sooner Spurs can start
getting results away from home.