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Tottenham Hotspur preview

Filed: Thursday, 20th August 2009
By: Preview Percy

Next up we have an early London derby against Spurs. Of course it’s all too easy to laugh at Spurs fans and their obsession with the size of their club. Which is why we’ll carry on doing so.

Not nearly as successful as their nearest neighbours and bereft of the class and intelligence that you’d associate with, say, Dagenham & Redbridge, size is just about all they usually have to boast about. Which is why, no doubt, any of you unfortunate to have acquaintances who happen to support them will have had your ear bent about how after all of two games they are top of the league at the time of writing.

Their opening fixture saw them overcome a dreadful Liverpool side 2-1, though had the ref been in the mood to give the sort of penalty that the Scousers take for granted at home they might have got an undeserved point or even three out of the match. Spurs’ second win came up at Hull. Whilst five goals away from home is never to be sniffed at, it would appear that Hull have carried on where they left off at the end of last season when they were barely able to muster a point after the turn of the year. The suspicion must be, therefore, that Spurs are unlikely to be the last team to come away from the banks of the Humber having filled their boots.

There’s been some interesting activity in the transfer market. Darren Bent left for the Stadium of Light having discovered that there was no room for both a twitter and a twitcher at White Hart Lane. Some of the money received was spent on buying up anyone at Bramall Lane called Kyle. Naughton was deemed decent enough to go into the squad whilst Walker was able to stay put as he was immediately loaned back to the Hypocrites.

Also arriving in defence was Sebastien Bassong, whose signing was designed to combat injuries to Michael Dawson, Jonathan Woodgate and Ledley King. Bassong’s debut had a touch of controversy about it as he had only served one game of a two match ban picked up whilst playing for the Geordies. Even though he had signed for Spurs before Newcastle had played the second of those matches, he was deemed to have served the ban as soon as Newcastle had played the extra game, a match that was conveniently played before the start of the Premiership season. This appeared to defy all logic and common sense, though as we know to our cost there is little point in mentioning common sense in the same breath as the words “football authorities”.

The other major signing was the arrival of Peter Crouch from the disintegrating hulk that appears to be Portsmouth at the moment. The move marks a return to the club where Crouch started out as a kid. It’s fair to say that the lanky one has his limitations as a top-level striker. Someone that tall ought by rights to be a lot better in the air, though as someone once pointed out to me, that may be because being so much taller than everyone else all his life he has never had to learn to time a jump like shorter mortals. However it’s hard not to warm to the geeky charm of someone who, when asked what he would have been if he hadn’t become a professional footballer, reportedly gave the answer “a virgin”.

Of those players still with the club from last season ‘ keeper Gomes is a major injury doubt as we speak, having limped off after only 15 minutes of the midweek win at the KC with a thigh muscle problem. Early indications suggest that the injury may leave the Brazilian custodian of the onion bag on the sidelines for quite some time and, whilst former Chelsea net-minder Cudicini is a capable replacement, any prolonged absence for Gomes would leave Spurs short of cover in that department – or “down to the bare bones” as their manager is prone to saying.

Of course they could always enlist defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto to take over the goalkeeping duties with him probably having handled the ball more times in last season’s corresponding fixture than Gomes did. B A-E (as we will refer to him) was on the scoresheet alongside Bassong on the opening day and will start on the left with Alan Hutton likely to start on the right.

Key man in the visitors' midfield will be Luka Modric, whose continued presence in the Spurs line-up is said to be being monitored by some of the bigger clubs. The “Croatian Cruyff”, as nobody probably calls him, has benefited from a change of emphasis to a more advanced role as his career has progressed in England, and accusations of his being lightweight which surfaced during that hilarious spell when they faced relegation last year seem a long time ago.

David Bentley has been much in the news of late. Premiership footballers, even those who have sunk to the depths of playing for Spurs, are paid an absolute fortune these days. So every time I hear of one being caught drink-driving (yes you Carlton) I question the intelligence that that leads a player to think “I’ll save myself £20 on a cab fare and drive home – after all nobody will notice me in my Ferrari/Porsche/insert name of whichever warp-speed buggy is the vehicle of choice for professional footballers these days”. I know we all do daft things after a few jars (every time I see my ex-wife I wish I’d sobered up earlier) but really!

Up front they have gone with Defoe & Keane as the starting pair thus far. This has left Pavlyucenko and Crouch on the bench, the former having to date been limited to a few moments of stoppage time against the Scousers on the opening day. Whilst Crouch won’t be too put out at this state of affairs, it’s hard to see the Russian being overjoyed with the situation if the twitchy one maintains this selection policy rather than rotating his front men.

As for us, well the performance up at Molineux has been described by many observers as “thoroughly professional”. It’s fair to say that, with the exception of the first ten minutes of the second half when Rob Green was at his busiest, we looked fairly comfortable. In some ways it’s a bit of a shame that we were unable to carry that momentum into a midweek match against a shell-shocked Villa, although injuries to Cole and Ilunga will have benefited from the extra recovery time. I was particularly impressed with Noble last weekend – and not just for his (admittedly superb) goal. My worry when we play Spurs is that the young midfielder can often let his natural fan’s desire to put one over on them to get the better of him, which can cause him the odd disciplinary issue. However, if he can curb any over-enthusiasm he can be a key man this weekend.

The striker situation isn’t any better of course and the sight of CC limping off at the end of the Wolves match last week didn’t exactly inspire confidence though we assume he will be available this week. Another who will be there is Ginger Pele who couldn’t agree terms with Stoke this week. Collins had a decent game against Wolves and, although we seem blessed in the central defence department, I’m not at all upset to see him stay.

I think this one will be a cracker. Both sides will have confidence after the opening fixtures and I have an inkling that we are in for a treat which, on past experience, will probably mean a 0-0 draw of the very worst kind. I’ll therefore plump for an entertaining 2-2 draw this time round which will bring both clubs’ 100% records to an end!

Enjoy the game!

Last season: Lost 0-2 - an awful performance not helped by Assou-Ekotto’s handball on the line to clear a goalbound header from Cole.

Danger Man: Defoe - you know why.

Look out for: The usual anoraks may be in the wardrobe if the weather is ok, but there will still be shellsuits and dandruff a-plenty in the away end.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg - we didn’t get him last season. Few clubs did as he was suspended from duty amid concerns about his business finances.

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.

Your Comments

by JimmytheYid (THFC)
07:42PM 22nd Aug 2009
''I am a Spurs supporter but I enjoyed the article. I would be slightly disappointed yet content with a draw. However, the loss of Ilunga may loom large with Lennon looking sharp against Hull (but who doesn't look sharp against Hull?). Good luck on the morrow.''

by EvilC
09:39AM 22nd Aug 2009
''Spurs fans - our big game is on Tuesday. Thanks for providing the warm up. Enjoy the game.''

by emlyn
08:13AM 22nd Aug 2009
''TOP TIP for Tottenham fans.

Read match previews on bbc.co.uk/football its much nicer for your sensitive nature. Why pay attention to a West Ham fan site and rant like lunatics about its biased views?

Oh and Alan, I predict a 2-0 West Ham win. is that better?''

by 1englishhammer
08:08AM 22nd Aug 2009

"I am not jealous of Harry Redknapp," he said. "I do admire him, I do respect him. He has done a great job and has a good team but I wouldn't change my team with any other team.

"If we are all fit we can compete with anybody."

Clearly focused only on making it six points out of six, Zola said his main role was to "coach and pick a side capable of challenging every week."

6 points out of 6? Even Zola thinks so.''

by Rob
06:18PM 21st Aug 2009
''Love Percy's Previews, bit tongue in cheek without a doubt and of course this is a Hammers site! I feel that insulted that 'Spurs' have a shop in my home town's high street to service their two fans in this Essex heartland!

2-0 to the Hammers and 2 sending off!''

by terry c
06:06PM 21st Aug 2009
''I will never forgive them for ripping us off over Carrick; they knew we were skint so they screwed us. Give it them big time on Sunday.''

by Bob
03:24PM 21st Aug 2009
''There seems to be a lot of angry replies from a bunch of Spuds who don't care....hmmm.

Anyway, on to Tuesday, bring on the 'Wall.''

by Emlyn
09:43AM 21st Aug 2009
''I like this preview. I like this site because it's biased. I also read other sites like BBC, Sky Sports etc for "unbiased" views and news. I don't however, go onto, say, Tottenham fan blogs to read about their views on their "wonderful" club. How can dimwits come up with "not being obsessed with West Ham" yet come on our site?

The preview is from a fan of West Ham on a West Ham site. Please, if anybody from Spurs wants to give a better preview ... actually, don't bother, I wont read it. I'm not obsessed.

2-0 the Irons.''

by Rosco
09:34AM 21st Aug 2009
''Well good to see that the Spurs faithful have nothing better to do on a Thursday night then to log onto a Hammers supporter sight and type what can only be seen as drivel really.

Although it is refreshing to see that they have been passing the thesauras around north London, most of these comments are actually written in pure tabloid speech, I am just stunned at how you can possibly take something that is written in a very lighthearted "observation from the pub" style and wave it around like a party manifesto.

Lighten up to the fact that you shall always be in the shadow of Arsenal and that you are an occasional cup side that have a good run and finish in the top half of the table most years.

West Ham 2 Spurs 1.''

by 1englishhammer
08:12AM 21st Aug 2009
''West Ham have been and are better than Spurs. You have never signed a player from us that we would want back and never will thanks to our board and your "lets spend loads on mediocre players and STILL finish midtable" board.''

by Manor Rd Buildings
06:42AM 21st Aug 2009
''Tottenmam Win? No chance my son. Harry's gonna lose his 100% record...''

by Preview Percy
01:33AM 21st Aug 2009
''Obsessed with Spurs? Moi? Perlease.

It's a match preview about our next opponents. Preview Percy writes one every week! Hence the name! If you have a look at the site you'll see that I was similarly "obsessed" with Wolves this time last week!

Vile hatred? In a light hearted article that praised Cudicini, Modric and Crouch? Sensitive lot aren't you! You'll be developing a twitch next!

Thanks to those who actually READ the article!''

by Dominator
01:00AM 21st Aug 2009
''Tottenham seem to be doing very well this season, and although I dislike them due to them being a London teams and the rivalry between our clubs, I can still admit that currently they appear to be the strongest Tottenham side since the 'food poisoning year'.

However I love the way that you Spuds fans always claim that you 'don't care about West Ham'. If that is the case why are so many of you on this website, commenting? It's because you do care about beating West Ham. Obviously it's not the most important game of the season, we're probably the fifth - after the top four, but that's understandable. However if there was no such thing as a 'big four' then it would probably go Arsenal, Chelsea then West Ham in your eyes, which is fair enough, but Tottenham fans could at least admit it.

Harveydinio, you're saying that Gomes is better than Green? Just look at the statistics for last year, and you will find that Green outclasses Gomes, and at least he's consistent, unlike Heurelho 'aah the ball's coming straight at me, lets palm it into the goal' Gomes. On his day he is a very good keeper, but Green destroys him over a season certainly.

I haven't seen enough of Assou-Ekotto to comment, but I do know that Ilunga is a top quality left back, although I doubt you would, seeing as you will only watch us on MOTD or something similar, which doesn't really do in depth analysis of left backs.

King better than Upson? You say the article is biased, but that statement reeks of it. Just ask Capello. Who exactly is England's third choice centre back after Terry and Ferdinand? King? No? Didn't think so. Carlton Cole is probably not better than Defoe, no, but i would say he is better than Crouch definitely, seeing as Cole has more strengths than Crouch overall, and Pavlyuchenko has always been overrated IMHO, he just had quite a good Euros, then did nothing at Tottenham. I would say he may be a tiny bit worse than Keane, but Keane has strike partners, something Cole doesn't have the luxury of, which helps hugely.

I will admit that the current Tottenham 11 may be stronger than us, but they've spent how much more, yet hardly widened the gap recently. I'd predict a draw - not because I'm scared but because I think that our home grown players could either be excellent or dodgy due to their own feelings, especially Noble.''

by Happy Hammer
10:48PM 20th Aug 2009
''Let's see Tottenham play straight down the middle at Upton Park and we will see how well they do! This WILL be a day to remember! Unlike our rivals we use the whole pitch to play football, they won't know what has hit them.

Defoe WILL choke and Greeno will keep everything out that the predictable Keane fires at him. Noble will boss the midfield and I feel that Dyer will have an amazing day. If Kovac has his visa sorted we will be a midfield to match anyone and with Faubert crossing like he did on the opening day Spurs are in for a torrid afternoon.

Top 4? You're having a laugh! Hope you boys brought your own packed lunches, we wouldn't want you complaining about the hotel food again, would we?''

by Stuart (THFC)
10:11PM 20th Aug 2009
''You are and NEVER will be a rival to us, when are you going to learn this.

What is with the obsession with tottenham, get a life FFS''

by harveydinio (THFC)
09:56PM 20th Aug 2009

I would have Gomes in goal over Robert Green every day. Ilunga is absolute garbage and Benoit assou- Ekotto is much better did you not see the goal against liverpool. King is better than Upson by miles, Ledley King is absolute world class and would get into the England team over Upson easily. and every one of our strikers is better than Carlton Cole.''

by Bengeeze
09:52PM 20th Aug 2009
''To all the Tottenham fans who "couldn't care less about West Ham", if that's true then why have your mob spent the whole evening visiting a West Ham fans' site?

Face it ladies, in terms of recent Premier League performance we're a lot closer to you than you are to the Gooners, who quite frankly are in a different league to you lot. How does it feel to have spent what must be at least £100m over the past few seasons and still be no further up the league table?

Enjoy your cup final on Sunday.''

by Baz (THFC)
09:52PM 20th Aug 2009
''So looking forward to this game.''

by Staff Writer
09:35PM 20th Aug 2009
''With regards to West Ham United's purported obsession with Tottenham, please take note of the number of replies to this article by away fans in comparison to any previous match preview (I should add that there were many, many more we were unable to publish due to their use of either racist, offensive or extreme foul language).

Considering that our friends from Tottenham claim not to care a great deal about this fixture, they appear to be making a hell of a racket... As for rivalry - I'm afraid your Spurs just aren't a patch on Millwall in our eyes, but carry on purporting the myth if it helps you through the day.

Here's to a cracking London derby.''

09:28PM 20th Aug 2009
''It never ceases to amaze me how you continally bang on about us whilst looking on in awe. Any of the Spurs players mentioned in this jealousy filled 'article' you would have in your side in a heratbeat. Face it, compare your first 11 with Tottenham Hotspurs first 11 and how many players would we swap for yours? Nah, thought not. ''

by flynn
09:26PM 20th Aug 2009
''Who was it that said Spurs have better players in every position? You're telling me that Gomes is better than Green? Ekotto (the fairy) better than Ilunga? Woodgate better than Upson; Crouch better than Cole?

Dream on Spurs fans, you can talk the talk but can't walk the walk. Everyone is sick of your 'top four' obssesion. This year they've played better because they haven't had any pressure but now, with you expecting a win, you will fold.''

by Ox Yid (THFC)
09:23PM 20th Aug 2009
''This was a very poor article written by a very bitter West Ham supporter, who knows they on a very big loser on Sunday. Remarks about both the Tottenham wins over Liverpool and Hull wins show his lack of class. West Ham will do well if they get 2 points from the two games, Liverpool at home and Hull away but we will see. The big question I always ask in this situation, is how many West Ham players would get into the Spurs starting side? The answer is maybe Robert Green, but it is touch and go between him and Gomes, but no one else is good enough I am sure, Sorry.''

by Tottenham John (THFC)
09:16PM 20th Aug 2009
''Haha, SO VERY BITTER. West Ham are a bit like Orient minus the class.''

by didyouseethat (THFC)
08:24PM 20th Aug 2009
''I'm absolutely amazed at the vile hatred you have for Tottenham. It smacks of the ramblings of a beaten underdog. From what I hear I don't even think the Spurs fans consider you rivals. Just a fun couple of games each year played by two good footballing teams. Time to grow up I think.''

by harveydinio (THFC)
08:18PM 20th Aug 2009
''You are just annoyed that we pay you no attention because we dont see you as a close rival we put Arsenal and Chelsea above you and maybe some midlands clubs abouth 5th choice. Spurs are a much better team and it is just West Ham fans casting envious eyes over our club and squad, just wishing they could be as good. We have better player's in every position than your woeful team. You make me laugh slagging off modric the boy is quality and you could only wish you had someone of that calibre in your team.''

by Maikel (THFC)
08:03PM 20th Aug 2009
''Funny thing is the fact you spend 2/3 of your article writting about Spurs, and the last third is mainly spend prehand excuses on why your team might not be at its best at the moment, and therefore might be in for a good hammering come sunday.''

by Stoney (THFC)
07:25PM 20th Aug 2009
''Spurs are going to come down to that dump you call the bolyne, in that squalid east end hole called dumpton park, and play you off the park to such an extent you'll be crying all the way back to your trailer park. 4-0 to the mighty SPURS. I hate your ugly bunch nearly as much as those south London nomads. And boy do I hate them. ''

by GotThemNotStir (THFC)
07:22PM 20th Aug 2009
''You mention that we are getting carried away with the first two results this year and to be honest, I agree. Two games means nothing in the grand scheme of things, we all know that there is a long, long way to go yet. However, your assumption that it was a terrible Liverpool side I have to disagree with, I honestly believe that we made them look very ordinary by not giving them time on the ball. Secondly, for me its not the fact that we have 6 points from 2 games (t-shirts being printed as we speak!) it is the manner in which we have gone about attaining those victories. We look balanced for the first time in years. Add to that the fact that ol wrinkly has managed to figure out how to get out of both Defoe and Keane on the same teamsheet and you start to get an idea as to why we are getting a little over excited.

Anyway, i'm looking forward to a good game this weekend and think it will be a tough one for both teams. However, just to tempt a slating, I'm predicting a 1-3 result in our favour!

Enjoy your season and good luck.''

by Morgan (THFC)
06:51PM 20th Aug 2009
''Well written, shame it stinks of bitterness from the start to the finish! 'overcome a dreadful Liverpool side 2-1'..........Please!! I was standing with Arsenal and Liverpool fans who mentioned how well Spurs played.''

by t (THFC)
06:48PM 20th Aug 2009
''west ham fans=obssesed with spurs''

by Anon (THFC)
06:40PM 20th Aug 2009
''I know quite a few decent Hammers with an IQ into high double figures. They told me about the embarrasing website as I thought they were exadurating.

They weren't. I will apologise to them as they were correct. This article plumbs new lows in exhibiting why us normal fans are given such a bad reputation by blind, bigotted morons. Congratulations. After 50+ years of supporting football and having the ability to mix with decent fans of most clubs I have now seen the gutter that some so-called fans can sink to. Pathetic,infantile scribbling.''

by Macca (THFC)
06:25PM 20th Aug 2009
''Our obsession with the size of our club is almost as laughable as your obsession with our obsession!!

Why you seem to have such a big chip on your shoulder regarding Spurs I have no idea. We're your rivals, you're not ours - most Spurs fans couldn't care less about WH and view you in the same bracket as Fulham or QPR, just another London club.

In any event, should be a good game, looking forward to it.''

by Beach_Bum (THFC)
06:24PM 20th Aug 2009
''The above article completely ignores one of the main reasons Spurs have won their first 2 league matches. His name is PALACIOS. Before he joined Spurs their defence was (inspite of the presents of Woodgate and sometimes King),very ordinary.This Iron-man is one of the reasons West ham will lose this match.Oh sure,Defoe will tear your defence to shreds and you will fall under the spell of Modric the magician,but all of the Spurs team is revitalisedthis season..Last season Hutton looked out of shape and out of place.Against Hull he was great!! .2 -2,you say I will take your money.Spurs to win 3 - 1 is my bet.''

06:03PM 20th Aug 2009
''The spurs obsession goes on. Please stick with millwall. ''

by CaribYid (THFC)
06:03PM 20th Aug 2009
''Excellent, entertaining preview - looking forward to the game Sunday. May the better team win... ''

by Alan (THFC)
06:03PM 20th Aug 2009
''You play down our 5-1 win against Hull and then talk about your "proffessional performance" against newly promoted Wolves? I saw the highlights to that game and let me just say I saw just as much Wolves chances in that game as I did for professional West Ham..

What's interesting is that none are you feel confident enought to predict a win on Sunday. Do you know you are at home to what you call an underachieving side? ''

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