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West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur - Match Preview

Filed: Thursday, 23rd September 2010
By: Preview Percy

The nation is in turmoil - apparently lardy breakfast DJ Chris Moyles hasn't been paid for two months. Preview Percy isn't quite as lardy but we haven't paid him either. Ever. Like the BBC we get what we pay for.....

Next we entertain Tottenham and their soap-dodging supporters at home for a 3pm home Saturday kick-off. All our home matches have kicked-off at this time so far this season. Which is nice.

The visitors lie in 5th place in the league, having taken 8 points from their five matches so far from wins against Stoke (away) and Wolves (home) and draws at home to Man City and away at West Brom. Their sole defeat in the league thus far came at home to Wigan, though they also took a thumping in midweek to Arsenal in the League Cup.

In the league it's fair to say that they've enjoyed a fair share of luck so far this term. As mentioned in last week's Stoke preview, they were fortunate to come away from the Britannia with all three points when the ref decided not to trust his own eyes when the ball clearly crossed the line late on, and it took a late late show last weekend at home to Wolves to give them a slightly flattering 3-1 home win. The goals included a rather flukey finish from Alan Hutton – as I said to that upstart Fabregas last week, come back when you've done it from your own half for Civil Service away at Carshalton son.

They are, of course, managed by alleged tax dodger and former Hammer Harry Redknapp. Redknapp took major exception to a tv reporter referring to him as a “wheeler dealer”. That's the same Harry Redknapp who devoted whole chunks of his “auto”biography to bust-ups he'd had with the likes of Barry Fry and Jim Smith over his “interesting” methods in the transfer market. Tottenham have largely avoided some of the problems usually associated with Redknapp in the transfer market by effectively taking the manager out of the loop in the actual process of signing a player. However, this may not protect the club in the event of his getting on the wrong end of a guilty verdict in the forthcoming tax case. A brief look at the charges involved suggests that the amount of tax allegedly evaded is not great – certainly a lot less than the good people at HMRC would normally consider worthy of going to court for. All of which suggests that, should a guilty verdict be forthcoming, Redknapp's next pre-season training camp might well have barbed wire on the perimeter fence.

They qualified for the so-called Champions League last season by being in the right place at the right time; the highly amusing decline of Liverpool coming before Man City's billions had had time to take effect. They struggled a bit in the first leg of their qualifying round against Young Boys (yes calm down at the back we did all the jokes at the time thank you), going down (I said stop it) 3-2 in Switzerland, before strolling to a 4-0 win in the return leg. Their first match in the interminably long group stages saw them draw 2-2 away to Werder Bremen.

It was maybe surprising that they resisted the temptation to get too busy during the window, it being a largely acknowledged truth that the extra matches that a European campaign brings will place pressure on a squad. William Gallas came in from Arsenal on a free in an apparent attempt to make himself unpopular all over London. £8m went on Dutch midfielder Van Der Vaart in a deadline day deal whilst Brazilian midfielder Sandro arrived for an “undisclosed fee” believed to be in the region of £6m. Sandro was given a debut in the League Cup defeat to Arsenal as was keeper “Michael” Stipe Pletikosa, a long-term target who has come in on loan from Spartak Moscow. In the league, Cudicini has got the nod so far this season in the absence of Gomes who is recovering from a groin strain.

They've not had the best of luck on the injury front in defence. Jonathan Woodgate and Michael Dawson are both on the “no return date” list, Dawson picking his injury up on England duty in the victory over Bulgaria. Woodgate was left out of the 25 man Premier League squad having been absent since last November with a persistent groin problem, and there are rumblings about retirement. Another long-term absentee is Vedran Corluka who has a bad back. Against Wolves they went with a back four of Kaboul, King, Gallas and Assou-Ekotto. King's knees are in a similar state to my own, though he at least doesn't have to carry the same sort of weight around as me.
On the left side of midfield they have been playing the impressive Christian Bale, a player who bigger clubs are keeping a close eye on. After an uncertain start to his career in London having come up from Southampton, he has improved no end. A decent striker of a dead ball. He has weighed in this season with both goals and assists. Clearly one who is destined for better things.

Up front they will be without everyone's favourite deserter Jermain Defoe, another whose England exploits have led to a spell on the treatment table. Although loyalty is clearly defined in the Defoe dictionary as “those cards you get from supermarkets” rumours that he asked for a transfer to Spain at half-time during England's World Cup defeat to Germany are believed to be far-fetched. Keane and Crouch started against Wolves whilst Pavlyuchenko came on, scored and picked up the statutory yellow for that most awful of crimes: taking his shirt off. Why this “offence” should be given the same punishment as actually kicking somebody is something I've never been able to understand. However, we must accept that it's a jolly important problem. After all why else would the powers that be at FIFA to have thought it necessary to issue instructions to officials on the subject rather than spending their time investigating corruption amongst the likes of Blatter, Walker et al. Good job our game is in such good hands isn't it?!

So to us. Well the point at Stoke was well-deserved. Whilst they will point to their disturbing the metalwork on a number of occasions, we created a number of chances of our own. Piquionne hit the bar himself, whilst another day and another 'keeper would have seen another goal so a draw was about the right result. The midweek win at Sunderland will have given Grant food for thought – particularly up front where Obinna and Piquionne both opened their accounts. Whether their exploits will be enough for Grant to seriously consider leaving Cole on the bench is another matter but it's something I'd like to see tried in a league match.

In defence the cup-tied Jacobsen will come back in, presumably at the expense of Faubert, whilst Tomkins can expect to revert to the bench with Da Costa, Gabbidon and Upson all available for selection. Hitzlsperger will, on the other hand miss this one – if I hadn't seen him score for us out in Austria during pre-season I'd be beginning to doubt whether or not he actually exists.

Predictions? Well I think both clubs are in slightly misleading positions and, as mentioned, the visitors have ridden their luck to a certain extent this season. The two performances away from the Boleyn will have boosted confidence in the team. I am therefore going to go for an entertaining 2-1 win for this one as the recovery continues.

Enjoy the game!

Last season: Lost 1-2 One nil up from a superb goal from Carlton Cole. All looking good. Then Cole elected to set up Defoe with a suicidal back pass cum through ball for the equaliser, before Spector fell over to let Lennon in late on.

Danger man: Christian Bale In my opinion their best player who is capable of both scoring and creating.

Referee: Martin Atkinson Inconsistent official whose punishment of offences often appears to depend on his mood. He'll be seen ignoring shocking tackles one minute before dishing out a yellow for a nothing challenge. We had him for three matches last season - Stoke away (lost 2-1), Hull at home (won 3-0) and Arsenal away (lost 2-0).

Travel: Once upon a time a company built a railway called the District Railway. This eventually became the London Underground's District Line. It's coloured green on the iconic Underground map. As usual it's shut.

Daft fact of the week: Tottenham's new “hello sailor” home kit has not been popular with their supporters. Apparently the blue bits over the shoulders show up the dandruff something rotten when dumping old fridges and mattresses in your front garden.

Note to visiting Spurs fans The "Christian" Bale reference is an in-joke amongst the regulars in my local. You see there is a solitary Spurs fan regular in there who once claimed to be "Christian" Bale's best mate, much to the amusement of those of us who actually go to games. And he does have a fridge in his front garden as well.

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 Editor
06:37PM 24th Sep 2010
''To supporters of The Club That Doesn't Care About Us:

Please note that all submissions are checked and verified before going live, therefore the inane drivel you've been posting in your droves throughout the day in reply to Percy's article above is about as likely to be published on this website as it is that one of you will realise Percy might not actually have been entirely serious when referring to 'Christian Bale'.


by Preview Percy
06:03PM 24th Sep 2010
''Note to Spurs supporters - yes I know Bale's real 'Christian' name. It's an in joke between me and a Spurs fan of my acquaintance who once drunkenly claimed to be a really good mate of 'Christian's'...

@notmore drivel - how stupid are you feeling right now?!''

by liam (THFC)
11:50AM 24th Sep 2010
''Sorry, I think you mean Gareth Bale? Christian Bale is a Hollywood actor :)''

by dave jason (diehardammer)
08:22PM 23rd Sep 2010
''Great article, really made me chuckle!

I think that your prediction of a 2-1 win is on the money. Our results and position in the league don't tell the real story of how we have played this season and even though the red tops will argue, basket case we definitely aint!

Once we eradicate the fear on the pitch (which Uncle Avram is slowly achieving) and to a degree on the terraces then I believe this team will cause some real shocks. I am not sure if the Spurs game has come a bit early for us but I certainly feel more optimistic about a result after the Stoke and Sunderland performances and, for the first time in a long while I am really looking forward to this game.''

by notmore drivel (THFC)
07:26PM 23rd Sep 2010
''And todays Comedy Award and distinction for being totally ignorant about Premier League players must go this site. CHRISTIAN Bale?? Is he related to Gareth Bale who is one of the nominations for Skys's player of the month? Getting his name wrong ONCE can be a slip up or slapdash. Getting it wrong twice makes one wonder about the efficiency of the Care in the Community programme. Christian Bale. lmao!!!!''

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