|OPPONENTS||West Ham United London at the Taxpayer's Stadium|
|DATE||Saturday 23rd November 2019|
the start of the international break, this looked like a fixture
between two struggling London sides. With the appointment of
the new Spurs Head Coach, it looks like the media circus will be
focusing on Jose Mourinho and the start of his new era with
Tottenham Hotspur. He says that this time it is not about him,
but the football world will always create a fuss around him and it
will momentarily detract form Tottenham's poor league placing.
However, the result is the important thing and for Spurs fans that will be the main thing. We are only three points off fifth place, but that looks a log way away at the moment. So, a London derby with the opposition playing their first game of the season may not be the ideal start for Jose.
But West Ham are a club with their own issues, both on and off the field. There is near constant turmoil over their use of the Olympic Stadium focuses a lot of the club's energies and while the funding for it is not all their own, their financial status is always under-lined by the people in charge - The Dildo Brothers, to coin the Sporting Lisbon President's term for the co-owners of the club - accused of looking to sell the club on. On the field in the distance, they are suffering a poor run of results under under-fire manager Manuel Pellegrini.
They will feel better on Saturday, with Mark Noble and Jack Wilshere both deemed to be fit enough to play, although I know West Ham fans who would rather they hadn't. One plus for them is the fact that Mikael Antonio returns from injury and he can be effective down their wings. It will be interesting to see Pablo Fornals, as a lot of noise has been made about him following his part in Spain Under-21s Euro Championship win in the summer. An attacking midfielder, he is skilful in the build-up and in the finishing of moves, so will be taking the place of Lanzini, side-lined with a broken collarbone.
Another area where there is trepidation is the goalkeeper, with Roberto Jiminez replacing the injured Fabianski. The Pole is a solid keeper, who often keeps them in games, while Roberto has a habit of throwing them away with error-strewn performances. How Tottenham could do with one of those from him on Saturday.
In defence, Masuaku is an over-lapping left back and Aaron Cresswell can reflect that on the other flank, but their defensive abilities will be needed as the Irons try and turn around a run of six games without a win since they beat Manchester United back in September. Diop is an athletic central defender with some pace, while Ogbonna adds height to the back line and attack at set-pieces. Balbuena is a rugged centre-half, who likes to impose himself physically on opponents, with Winston Reid a similar type of player, who met his match last week in Troy Parrott and got upset when playing for New Zealand against the Republic of Ireland. Ryan Fredericks is familiar with Spurs fans, having come through our Academy, but appears to need to prove himself when he plays us, putting in an extra effort to get stuck in and Pablo Zabaleta has been knocking around for years with Manchester City before joining West Ham and is now in the twilight of his career..
Declan Rice is the shining star in the West Ham squad and the owners will regard him as their prized possession, although he is often linked with other clubs higher up the Premier League. Elevated to the England squad from the Republic of Ireland Under-21s with mixed results, he is a solid midfielder with an eye for a creative pass. Snodgrass works hard and is good at set-pieces and Carlos Sanchez used to play for Aston Villa. Feilpe Anderson is Marmite to the West Ham crowd, with some thinking he is fantastically skilful and others thinking he is not fit to wear the shirt. It all depends on what sort of day he has
Signing Sebastian Haller has added a new dimension to the West Ham attack after Andy Carroll was let go. At 6' 3", he is literally head and shoulders above his team-mates and will pose problems for Tottenham at corners and free-kicks. He is also not too bad with the ball at his feet and scored lots of goals for FC Utrecht and Eintracht Frankfurt to make a name for himself. With Hernandez moving on, they are only left with new signing Albian Arjeti, a Swiss international forward and Andriy Yarmolenko, who is strong on the ball and has a decent finish, but often has a poor choice of option.
For Spurs, it will be interesting to see what team Jose selects for his first match and what, if any, impact he has had on their lack of confidence and creativity this season. Harry Kane has been knocking them if or England, but has looked out of sorts with little to feed off for Tottenham. If Mourinho has had enough time with the squad to organise them into a functioning unit, it may produce a performance akin to those he churned out with his previous clubs. Three days is not long and the games are piling up ahead of the side, so how much opportunity he has on the training pitch to drill his philosophy into the players over the next couple of months may be limited.
A new manager boost might help Spurs, if they are buying into his way of thinking, while some players might find themselves out of the picture if they can't. With both teams not performing to their best, it won't be a classic, but Tottenham might edge it if they can put the West Ham goalkeeper under pressure.
|PREDICTION||West Ham United London 1 Tottenham Hotspur 2|
HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS : -
Jose Mourinho starts his career as Tottenham Head Coach without Erik Lamela (hamstring) and Hugo Lloris (elbow), with Jan Vertonghen and Tanguy Ndombele facing late tests on their fitness.
UNITED LONDON TEAM NEWS
|Premier League||Kick off 12:30|
Tottenham Hotspur 3 (2)
Antonio 73m 52s
Son 35m 27s
|Crowd : 59,930||Weather : Chilly and overcast|
|Referee : Michael Oliver (Northumberland)||Assistant Referees : Mr. Stuart Burt; Mr. Simon Bennett|
|Fourth Official : Robert Jones|
|Video Assistant Referee : Andre Marriner||Video Assistant Referee Assistant : Andy Halliday|
|Spurs kicked off and played towards the North stand end in the first half.|
|Game time : - 90 + 10 minutes.|
Diop (foul on Kane) 11
Fredericks (foul on Son) 39
Snodgrass (retaliation on Kane) 87
Davies (foul on Antonio) 69
Kane (foul on Snodgrass) 87
|West Ham United London :||kit||Tottenham Hotspur :||kit|
Andriy YARMOLENKO (18
Pablo FORNALS 56)
10 Harry KANE
|Manager : Manuel Pellegrini||Manager : Jose Mourinho|
|Sponsor : Betway||Shirt sponsor : AIA|
|Kit Supplier : Umbro||Kit Supplier : Nike|
Spurs went to the Taxpayers Stadium on the back of a week up upheaval at the club, with the sudden departure of Mauricio Pochettino and the even more sudden appointment of Jose Mourinho. But the bare facts are that the new man in charge presided over the first away win Tottenham had recorded since their victory at Craven Cottage over Fulham back in January and while the final score was 3-2, the gap between us and West Ham was massive.
Mourinho put out a 4-2-3-1
with pace in the attacking midfield as Son and Lucas were wide of
Dele Alli and Davinson Sanchez came in alongside Alderweireld at the
back, with full backs Davies and Aurier. Dier was drafted into the
defensive midfield two alongside England team-mate Harry Winks. The
frantic nature of the start to the match saw both sides turn over
possession, but when Dele picked up the ball 25 yards out, he
slipped a pass into the box that Harry Kane finished with a rising
left foot shot but he was offside and a goal within three minutes
was ruled out. An action replay of that move put Kane in again, but
once more, he had strayed beyond the last West Ham defender.
Spurs seemed to be playing
the ball forward and they were not playing it out from the back from
goal-kicks. There was possession football at the back, but halfway
up the half, with the press further up the field being a little
deeper than under Pochettino. Spurs worked the ball around the 25
yard line and ended up with Son coming infield to strike with his
right foot, but the keeper pushed it wide. When the ball came back
in another Son shot spun wildly up into the air towards the left
side of the box and Lucas got onto it, but he headed the spinning
ball well wide.
When Son got away on the
left again, Fredericks flew into a challenge that took the full
weight of it on his ankle with the West Ham manís studs showing. A
booking was all the referee gave, when it was using excessive force
and could have been a red card. From the free-kick, Roberto came for
the ball and was nowhere near it, taking Ogbonna out in the process.
But it fell to Dele, whose shot saw the goalie turn it away this
Antonio came on for West ham
at half-time, but it was Spurs who nearly went further ahead. Lucas
took a ball out of the Spurs defence and ran it to halfway, where he
played it to Son, who returned the pass to give him a run at goal.
Moura reached the box and was only faced by Roberto, but rather than
getting a shot on goal, he pulled it across goal perhaps caught
between scoring and crossing for Dele coming in at the far post.
Davies picked up a caution when Antonio decided to go on a run with the ball, letting Cresswell have a chance from the free-kick, but it hit Harry Kane full on the forehead and go down after taking that impact.
West Ham got a goal back in the 74th minute, when a number of scrambles in the box saw the ball go to the left. When it was played back to Noble, he played it on to Antonio, who dummied the ball past Toby on the edge of the box and shot past Gazzaniga from 12 yards out. Not only was it a goal, but Ben Davies left the field injured, after the challenge on the goal-scorer when he got booked, so Danny Rose came on, just as Mourinho was talking to Eriksen about what he wanted him to do as he was about to put him on. As it was, the change was only a little delayed, as Eriksen replaced Dele.
With Spurs on the break, Kaneís pass for Son was intercepted, but ran to Lucas, who was pulled back by Carlos Sanchez. Kane struck it from 30 yards out straight at Roberto, who got cheered for stopping it. When substitute Sissoko was fouled, West Ham would not put the ball out and Kane fouled Snodgrass to stop the game. The Scottish midfielder got up and grabbed Kane and threw him to the floor. Players gathered around and it looked as though it might kick off, but both players were handed yellow cards, while Sissoko limped off the pitch awaiting being called back on by the officials.
A late corner came in from
the West Ham right and Haller won the header down at goal, but
Declan Rice put the ball into the net from close range and
somehow it took VAR to rule it out in the last minute of normal
time. Haller won another header from a Snodgrass cross, but didnít
get much power behind it and it his Antonio to take any pace there
was off it as it went through to Gazzaniga.
A win is a win, but you have
to remember that this was only West Ham United we were playing.
Winning his first game with new clubs has been Mourinho's thing after losing his first game in management, so three points are most welcome, but harder challenges are to come and the side need to tighten up at the back to prevent letting teams back into matches. This would have been an ideal opportunity to improve our goal difference and at 3-0 we should have gone for the jugular. To let them get a couple of goals, even with the second being with the last kick of the match, is not the stuff of champions. So, if that is what Mourinho wants to make us, he has a lot of work to do.
It won't happen overnight, but I am sure that if he can achieve that, any past views Spurs fans might have of him will change.
This was the first time that Tottenham have won three successive league away games against West Ham.
Harry Kane's goal took him
to third in the all-time Spurs goal-scorers chart, one above Martin
|Match ball sponsors||-|
|Match programme sponsors||-|
|Match shirt sponsors||-|
|How the players did|
|Paulo Gazzaniga||Not much chance with either goal, but relatively untroubled otherwise.|
|Ben Davies||Good defensive performance and tried to get forward to add to the attacks down the left. Won header that lead to second goal.|
|Toby Alderweireld||Very good performance against a much taller opponent. Read the game well to make interceptions and made some good tackles. Won the ball for the first goal, but got done for Antonio's goal.|
|Davinson Sanchez||A late arrival from international duty, Davinson played very well and made some good clearances of balls into the box, but did lose Ogbonna for the last goal of the game.|
|Serge Aurier||Solid performance, with no mad moments. Produced an inviting cross for Kane to head the third goal.|
|Harry Winks||Reinstated to the side, he played like he had for England in midweek - driving forward, tidying up and moving the ball on in midfield.|
|Eric Dier||A player Mourinho likes and did a good job, with much of the play going through him. Needs to sharpen up his passing, but perhaps not surprising when he has been out for so long.|
|Lucas Moura||Looked on it today from the off. Ran well with the ball and committed West Ham players. Determined to get onto Son's cross to score the second goal.|
|Heung-Min Son||Kept going for the whole game even though he took a couple of bad tackles. Scored the opening goal of Mourinho's time at Tottenham and made the second.|
|Dele Alli||A return to form for Dele, with the edge that his play has been missing. Great skill to keep the ball in play for the second goal and a decent all-round performance.|
|Harry Kane||Worked really hard at the front and in defence. Well worth his goal, as he was getting more supply than he has done for a while. Captain's performance.|
|Christian Eriksen||Worked hard, but lacked the final killer pass that would have put the game out of reach for the Irons.|
|Moussa Sissoko||Took a kick soon after coming on, but kept going to put some fresh legs in midfield.|
|Danny Rose||Late sub, who did what he had to do.|
|Giovani Lo Celso||Unused.|
|What you thought|
|Other scores during this week :|
|Brighton & Hove Albion||0||Leicester City||2||Saturday|
|Sheffield United||3||Manchester United||3||Sunday|
|Aston Villa||2||Newcastle United||0||Monday|
|League Table 2019-20|
|4||Frank Lampard's Chelsea||13||8||2||4||28||19||26||+9|
|12||Brighton & Hove Albion||13||4||3||6||15||19||15||-4|
|17||West Ham United London||13||3||4||6||19||24||13||-5|
Position before match :
Position after match : 6th
Position after the weekend : 9th
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