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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Spurs v West Ham, 11.09.2000

Last season's game - Spurs 0 West Ham 0, 06.12.99
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This preview was written by Brian Judson

Full Record of Spurs -v- West Ham United

Prem          Pl   W   D   L   For-Ag  Pts
Home           7   3   1   3    7 - 8    7
Away           7   2   1   4   11 -12    7
Total (Prem)  14   5   2   7   18 -20   17
Football Lge
Home (Div 1)  33  17   7   9   65- 51   47
Away (Div 1)  33   9   9  15   45- 54   29
Total(Div 1)  66  26  16  24  110-105   76
Football Lge
Home (Div 2)  10   4   4   2   18-13    12
Away (Div 2)  10   3   3   4   13-12     9
Total(Div 2)  20   7   7   6   31-25    21
Total (Prem)  14   5   2   7   18 -20   17
Total (Div 1) 66  26  16  24  110 -105  76
Total (Div 2) 20   7   7   6   31 -25   21
Grand Total  100  38  25  37  159 -150 114

This match will be the 101st League clash between the two clubs since Spurs first met them for Football League points in season 1919-20. The "Hammers", as they are popularly known were originally founded in 1895 as Thames Ironworks but reformed under their present name in 1900, having joined the Southern League at the start of season 1899-1900. Spurs first met West Ham United in the Southern League during 1900-01. Their record is:

         HOME    AWAY
1900-01  0-0     4-1
1901-02  1-2     1-0
1902-03  1-1     0-1
1903-04  2-1     2-0
1904-05  1-0     0-0
1905-06  2-0     1-0
1906-07  1-2     2-4
1907-08  3-2     1-1

The goal-less draw between the two clubs at Tottenham last season was the first occasion since 1904-05 that there had been a goal-less draw in the history of the fixture.

Hislop, the West Ham goalkeeper, had much to do with it, too. He made a series of saves that earned the plaudits of Graham and Harry Redknapp, the West Ham manager. "He was man of the match," Graham said. "He was fantastic."

Hislop reserved his best for the 86th minute, when Ginola clipped in a free kick from the right and Armstrong, a substitute, stooped low to nod towards goal. Hislop reacted immediately, tipping the ball on to post and then crossbar. The West Ham defence, under siege for much of the second period, breathed a collective sigh of relief.

West Ham had proved confident and competent in the first half, with Cole, 18, darting elusively around midfield. Ginola was behind most of Tottenham's moves as he weaved across the pitch. However, West Ham's gradual progress was halted shortly before half-time, when Lomas foolishly collected two yellow cards in the space of five minutes. First he appeared to aim a retaliatory tap on the ankles of Dominguez in an off-the-ball spat, then he lunged at the Portuguese winger and felled him. It was West Ham's fifth sending-off of the season.

"I hold my hands up when players get sent off for kicking, but I've watched the first incident and it was nothing," Redknapp said. "In the second, he made a rash challenge, but I don't think there was any contact. All of the five red cards have been for silly things and that's annoying."

Earlier in the season, Spurs had crashed at Upton Park. Di Canio pierced the defence and found Lampard just inside the area. Lampard casually slid the ball past Walker into the left corner to take the lead. That was just about the only really noteworthy incident of the first match of the season. West Ham also lost Ian Pearce with a broken leg. He has still to return to the team as far as I am aware.

This season, of course, West Ham have made a poor start. They have only picked up two points so far, both from draws. They have drawn 2-2 against Manchester United at home and 1-1 against Sunderland away. The Hammers have a horrendous injury list and are scraping the barrel to form a team. Di Canio has been playing well but as with all teams who are unlucky, West Ham have not been getting the breaks. On paper, West Ham are too good to go down but that has been said about too many teams that have represented West Ham in the past, particularly those that have been relegated.

Probably the best match I ever saw involving these two teams was the 2-2 draw at Upton Park on October 17th 1970. If memory serves me correctly, Tommy Taylor was making his debut for West Ham that day after signing from Orient, where, of course, he is now manager. It had everything in that match. The gates were closed at 2.30pm with thousands locked out. Many Spurs supporters missed the game because there were problems at Mile End on the Underground. Alan Mullery and Mike England scored the goals for Tottenham.

And since many people are remembering the 60th anniversary of the start of the Blitz on London, I might as well do so the same myself. For on September 7th 1940, Spurs played at Upton Park on the second Saturday of the 1940-41 season in the Football League (South). We had lost 3-2 the previous week at Tottenham to West Ham, with Ronnie Burgess scoring our two goals. But a week later, we had won 4-1, despite the game being abandoned after 80 minutes. Ronnie Burgess had hit three goals and Andy Duncan had added the other. The reported attendance at Upton Park was 2,000. The Spurs team that day was : Percy Hooper; Ralph Ward, Bill Whatley; Albert Hall, Arthur Hitchins, Vic Buckingham; Jimmy McCormick, George Skinner, Ronnie Burgess, Andy Duncan, George Ludford. Unlike many teams of that era, all of these players were actually Spurs players. Indeed, I understood from my father that Bill Whatley and Jimmy McCormick spent the war years working alongside him in the munitions industry. The match was abandoned as the Luftwaffe soared high over the East End to bomb the Docks.

And Monday night's match? I have high hopes that we will all be singing:

"I'm forever blowing bubbles
Pretty little bubbles in the air
They fly so high
They nearly reach the sky-y-y-y-y
Then like West Ham they fade and die
I'm forever blowing bubbles
Pretty little bubbles in the air!"

I predict that Sergei Rebrov and Les Ferdinand will score the goals that will nail West Ham to the floor of the Premiership table even more!


Cheers, Brian

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