As an occasional feature, delving into the Spurs Odyssey archives, here are extracts of three of Brian Judson's previews from the late 1990s:-
(August 1997) This match has been traditionally recognised as a game for football purists to watch. Both teams have a long history of trying to play football in the spirit it ought to be played in rather than route 1 football which most of us loathe.
West Ham, in recent years, have not been such an accomplished team as those that once graced Upton Park in the past. Those of us who saw West Ham playing with the likes of Moore, Hurst and Peters in their colours
will know what I mean. It was a delight to watch the kind of football the Hammers used to play. They were one of the first clubs in the top flight to introduce black footballers : who can remember Clyde Best and Ade Coker? (Ed:- See note below about Spurs' Walter Tull)
(Editorial note re Spurs player Walter Tull) - Walter Donald John TULL played for Spurs prior to the First World War. He was born at Folkestone, Kent, on 28th April 1888. He had a West Indian father and an English mother. He joined Clapton in 1908-09 and transferred to Spurs in time for the start of 1909-10, their first ever season in Division 1. He made 10 appearances, scoring 2 goals in the League side, but never really made the grade. He was the makeweight in the deal that brought Richard Brittan to Tottenham from Northampton in the close season of 1911. He was killed in the fighting when the Germans broke through in March 1918, on 25th March 1918.
(April 1999) When I first began to follow Tottenham's fortunes, West Ham were stranded in the old Second Division. They had been a permanent fixture in that Division since their relegation at the end of season 1931-32. But gradually under Ted Fenton, who had succeeded long-time manager Charlie Paynter (who had been manager from 1932 to 1950), West Ham built a side that won the old Second Division championship at the end of season 1957-58. Back in the old First Division, West Ham began to cultivate a reputation as a team that played football and allowed the opposition to play football, too.
(December 1999) - This match will be the 100th 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:
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
West Ham United were elected to the Football League prior to the start of season 1919-20 after Glossop North End had resigned from the Football League, having finished bottom of Division 2 in season 1914-15. Throughout their history, West Ham have been a model of consistency and stability. Harry Redknapp is only their eighth manager, having been appointed to the post in August 1994, following Billy Bonds' resignation. The record for having the shortest spell in charge of West Ham is held by Lou Macari, who
resigned after one season. Perhaps one reason for the stability of the club is that they have always had their affairs handled by the same families in the boardroom. They have always been noted for their harmony
and generosity as hosts even in poor seasons that have ended in relegation.