· Last season's game - West Ham 2 Spurs , 28.11.98
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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 6 3 0 3 7 - 8 6
Away 6 2 1 3 11 -11 7
Total (Prem) 12 5 1 6 18 -19 16
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
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) 12 5 1 6 18 -19 16
Total (Div 1) 66 26 16 24 110 -105 76
Total (Div 2) 20 7 7 6 31 -25 21
Grand Total 98 38 24 36 159 -149 113
All too quickly the summer has slipped away. Just a brief two months
after Manchester United completed a fantastic treble by winning the
Champions' League with two highly improbable goals against Bayern Munich
the football season is with us once again. Unfortunately, I will again be
unable to join the faithful in their devotions at White Hart Lane due to
my continuing health problems so I will only be contributing match
previews to the List and reports of matches transmitted live on Sky. I
would urge all those who do go to the Lane to contribute reports to the
List along the lines Paul Smith, Steffan Chirazi, Bruce Lewis, Ivan Cohen
or I compile. We need to have as many objective reports as possible for
those of us who cannot be there ....
Most of us had hoped to see a signing to boost our woeful strike force
but things haven't worked out for us. There are those of you, I know, who
think we should sign just about /any/ donkey that claims to be a striker
but we've had too many donkeys in the past. I don't think Chelsea will
find Sutton any better than Robert Fleck or Alan Mayes were in the past.
Quality strikers and, come to that, quality players are _very thin_ on
the ground at the moment. Clubs with the right quality players are not
allowing them to move and who can blame them. Quality players who are
moving tend to be short term stop gaps but I'm not convinced this is the
answer. We've had too much short term-ism in the past. I'm convinced
George Graham is trying to build a squad that will eventually be as
successful as Arsenal were under his tutelage. He is prepared to wait (as
Bill Nicholson and Keith Burkinshaw did) for the right players to become
So, to Saturday's fixture. I have been watching West Ham's progress in
the Inter-Toto Cup courtesy of Sky. If we have problems up front, the
Hammers look to be even shorter of ideas in that direction as well.
Wanchope is still settling in and doesn't seem to be sure what he is
supposed to be doing. Kitson seems lightweight as a striker and Wright
has been on the bench in each of the games so far played without having
much of a run out. At his age it takes longer for him to become involved
in the game around him.
West Ham have a lively midfield but can be closed down. Once the midfield
is closed down, the Hammers tend to come under pressure. They are
fortunate that Lomas is reading the game well because I don't think
Ferdinand has quite got his act together. Ian Pearce has only just
returned to the team after injury whilst Stuart Pearce has yet to make
his debut. I imagine Stuart Pearce will be used as a sweeper to allow
Lomas to roam more freely. Shaka Hislop has been in good form.
Tottenham have performed fairly well in their pre-season friendlies,
although they still have a nasty habit of conceding stupid goals. I
suspect that this is because Campbell and Perry are still sorting
themselves out and Walker is probably feeling a bit edgy because of that.
As we have effectively only one fit striker in Steffan Iversen, I'm
wondering whether we ought to play in a 4-5-1 formation as we did under
David Pleat during 1986-87. There's no point in playing an unfit striker
and Iversen does seem to be on a 'streak' at the moment, although of
course the opposition he has been scoring against are nowhere near the
standard of the Premier League.
Looking ahead, it is _imperative_ that Tottenham get off to a good start.
We never really recovered from the poor start we made last season. It is
true that Tottenham tend to be notoriously slow starters (I still haven't
forgotten our dreadful start to the 1968-69 season!) but in these highly
competitive days we simply cannot afford to be left on the starting
blocks. We cannot allow ourselves to be in the position of Southampton
for whom a successful season is finishing in 17th position every season!
So, how do I see the season developing? Whilst it would be nice to do
well in Europe, I see that as a distraction from our major target. I do
not pretend that we are capable of winning the League but I do feel we
are capable of finishing in the top five. If West Ham can do so, we
should be able to do so. We are a much bigger club than West Ham will
ever be despite their pretensions .... I shall not be sorry if we make an
early departure from the UEFA Cup ....
And the outcome of Saturday's match? I think we can nick it at Upton
Park. West Ham again demonstrated last night their inability to break
down an obdurate defence. We only need to break that defence down once
and we should be capable of snatching all three points .... But we will
need to be patient (and by that I include the fans who travel to Upton
Park) and we will need to concentrate 150 per cent for 90 minutes plus
injury time. We cannot afford to relax our vigilance at all ......
Thus, 1-0 to the team coached by a bloke who once used to be loathed and
hated when in an earlier incarnation, and a good start to the new season!
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