Game 08 v (A) West Ham United
2-0 win, 3 points
Total points: 18
Julian Dicks, Tony Cottee, Billy Bonds, Frank Lampard Senior, Danny Dyer, Russell Brand, Ray Winstone, The Krays, Phil and Grant, Jellied Eels, Burberry, Lego castles, Knees up mother brown, Dick van Dyke, Nigel Winterburn, Scott Parker, Green Street, lasagne, Carlito Tevez, The Academy of Football, Frodo Baggins....can you hear me Frodo Baggins? Your boys took one hell of a beating! Your boys took one hell of a beating!
Nothing sideways about Spurs at Upton Park. At least by the end of the game there wasn't. Pretty non-descript first half. West Ham pretty in possession but fuck all else. Zola attempting to get his players to play Italian style. Someone needs a word in his ear that you need quality players to get away with that type of football.
Spurs with the better chances (Pav hitting the post being the closest we got). Second half, we were resolute and determined. And simply better in every way in comparison to the little team from Green Street. Aaron 'I really do have some end product' Lennon crossing for Ledley 'my knee is knackered but I'm still better than most' King who duly headed the ball downwards into the ground and over the despairing reach of Rob Green. The second goal came from a counter after Gomes brilliantly saved twice (first save was good, second was actually down to the ball being struck straight at him by DiMichele, but let's just reveal in the moment) and off down the other end of the pitch we went where O'Hara hit a sweet shot giving Green no chance for the second time in the game.
Pav. Played upfront on his own, didn't hold up the ball that well but you could argue that hoofing the ball to him isn't the cleverest of things tactically. He's a bit slow which became more than apparent when the pacey Bent came on. Much better suited in a 4-4-2 where he is more likely to cause a bit of havoc 'running around' alongside Darren.
And then we have Modric. I predicted we would win if he played. Minute or so in, and he should have scored. Bit rusty, didn't strike his shot with any venom or placement. Tame effort at the keeper. But no problem. He was different class to anyone out on the pitch (yes, we know that's probably not saying much). Luka is a quality player who has taken a while to adjust to life in the Prem, which was always going to be the case. He's poor form in the early part of the season was mainly due to the disaster of a start we had. Now the team is winning games (9 out of 12) and he has some protection and team-mates who work as a cohesive unit, he is free to roam and playmake. He has yet to score for us, but his vision, touch and movement is just as important. Without him, we can't keep hold of the ball. With him? Possessions nine tenths of the law. He is our new Berbatov. Smaller, no floppy hair and moody face. No goals, but enough creative spark to see us have a possible 'world class' player to fill the void left by the Bulgarian. Give him another 3-4 months and with Pav hopefully settled to London life - we'll have more than enough to smile about.
If any Spurs fan wants to mass-email the league table along with a quote or three from any number of messages received about 4 weeks back - including photos of road signs and jokes about triangles, please feel free to do so. It's a give and take world we live in. So make sure you fucking well give it.
Challenge Spurs™ - Stats Update
4 games left in the Challenge Spurs™ Dirty Dozen series. When I started this, the challenge was as follows:
- 30 points minimum by January 1st
- 12 games
- 6 at home
- 6 away
- 36 possible points
For now, tilt the head ever so slight upwards to stop the nosebleed.