Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey - Preview v West Ham 15.09.02
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Preview Spurs v West Ham, 15.09.02

Here is Brian Judson's preview of the game

Full Record of Spurs -v- West Ham United


Premier            Pl   W   D   L   For-Ag  Pts
Home                9   4   2   3    9-  9  14
Away                9   3   2   4   12- 12  11
Total (Premier)    18   7   4   7   21- 21  25
Football League
Home (Division 1)  33  17   7   9   65- 51  47
Away (Division 1)  33   9   9  15   45- 54  29
Total (Division 1) 66  26  16  24  110-105  76
Football League
Home (Division 2)  10   4   4   2   18- 13  12
Away (Division 2)  10   3   3   4   13- 12   9
======================= ======================
Total (Division 2) 20   7   7   6   31- 25  21
Total (Premier)    18   7   4   7   21- 21  25
Total (Division 1) 66  26  16  24  110-105  76
Total (Division 2) 20   7   7   6   31- 25  21
Grand Total       104  40  27  37  162-151 122

This match will be the 105th 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:


Southern League
Home (Div 1)  8  4  2  2   11-  8  10
Away (Div 1)  8  4  2  2   11-  7  10
Total(Div 1) 16  8  4  4   22- 15  20

Unhappily for the Hammers, they are coming to White Hart Lane having to boast they are the strongest side in the Premiership, having to hold up the nineteen clubs immediately above them, They made an awful start to last season but slowly but surely climbed the table. Life at the Boleyn Ground is never dull it seems! It remains one of life's major mysteries how the Hammers manage to produce a team that, on paper, looks fairly strong, particularly in midfield, but never seems to gel.

Over the years, West Ham have been noted for their loyalty to managers and a desire to play football. Closing down to defend a 1-0 lead is not their style of play. There have only been nine managers in the whole history of West Ham, with the last four only being appointed since 1989. It is probably why they have been able to concentrate on developing players from within their ranks. There have been so many good players over the years that it would be unfair to name any stars. Most have eventually left West Ham for other clubs because they wanted tangible reminders of their career, which they knew they would be unlikely to achieve with West Ham. The Hammers, in fact, recognise they cannot compete with the bigger clubs and settle for being on the fringe of the leading clubs.

Until 1958, West Ham were an average Second Division side but that season they raced away with the Second Division championship and have spent most of their time since then in the top flight, though they do tend to yo-yo between the top flight and the one below from time to time. When West Ham are very poor, they can be horrible to watch but in full flight, they can be poetry in motion even more than Tottenham.

One of my memories of Spurs and West Ham matches is of Greaves and Moore, nearing the end of their time with their respective clubs, dancing a jig during a footie match. Another of my memories is Greaves missing a penalty kick during the 1966-67 season, a costly miss, as we lost 3-4. My happiest memory is travelling home from Upton Park, stomping on the tube trains, celebrating our return to Europe at the end of season 1966-67.

Spurs and West Ham have swapped many players over the years but the saddest of them all has to be John Smith. Like many players, John was ambitious and he was a central lynchpin in the Hammers defence. He left for Tottenham, expecting to replace Danny Blanchflower. His departure from West Ham allowed the promotion of one Bobby Moore .... Smith had the frustrating experience of having to play understudy to Blanchflower and when Blanchflower was injured, he saw Tony Marchi preferred to him. Smith presumably turned to alcohol for consolation. At any rate, his weight ballooned and he became quite tubby. Ultimately, Smith left for greener pastures, just before Blanchflower announced his retirement as a player in the spring of 1964. Yet imagine for a moment that Smith had remained at West Ham ... perhaps Bobby Moore might have become frustrated and left himself. There might not have been a famous West Ham three in the World Cup or could it have been John Smith instead of Bobby Moore, holding aloft the World Cup?

To my mind, Sunday's game is a hard one to call. With West Ham bottom and Tottenham's ability to achieve defeat from the jaws of victory when playing a team at the lower end of the table well chronicled in the past, I shall be surprised if we have it easy. We should win but I would advise spectators to ensure they have nails long enough to chew before they can celebrate.


Cheers, Brian

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