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West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur

Filed: Saturday, 3rd May 2014
By: Preview Percy

We had so much fun waking Preview Percy up in the middle of the night last week that we thought we'd do it again. We'd like to apologise in advance to famous conductor Andre Previn for the torrent of tweets of complaint he's about to get from N17. By the way, we loved the Morecambe and Wise thing sir if you're reading this....

Next we pay host to Tottenham Hotspur. Kick-off is 12:45pm so best set those alarms for an early wake-up call.Tubes in the general vicinity of the ground should be ok but the District line through the centre of town and the Overground formerly known as the East London Line are both out. Also (editor please note) the C2C is shut between Benfleet and Basildon/Stanford Le Hope with replacement Chelseas for part of the journey. Set that alarm even earlier then.

Our visitors – a really big club lest we forget – sit in 6th spot three points and a shedload of goal difference behind Everton, who occupy 5th place. Arsenal are 7 points clear of them in 4th place with two games to play so 4th spot is mathematically out of the question. To summarise: No So-called Champions League and even the Thursday Night League may be a stretch. Still, they are a really big club so that's ok then.

Their last 6 read WLWDWW which isn't too bad. However, what has potentially cost them another energy-sapping series of trips to unpronounceable places in Eastern Europe is their failure to give account of themselves against their betters. They've lost heavily against us, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City this term. The latter two stuck 20 goals past them in the four league matches played this season, something that was responsible for a full-scale emergency at the A&E department closest to us here at the Avram Grant Olympic Rest Home For The Bewildered as the home's entire population was admitted suffering from hysterical laughter. Still the hospital is getting used to that sort of thing. Watching John Terry cry the other night gave us another chance to check out the nurses.

Part of their problem this season was the manner in which they spent the cash received from the transfer of their team (aka Gareth Bale) last summer. The replacements have, by and large, failed to pull up any trees. This seems to have resulted from a conflict between the then manager Aston Villas Boas on the one hand, and Franco Baldini and Daniel Levy on the other. If rumour is to be believed, the players that came in were the choices of the latter two rather than the former, with AVB reportedly expressing a preference for the likes of Hulk, David Villa and Jose Mutinho.

Having failed to fashion a silk purse from that with which he had been provided, AVB paid with his job, one of the tonkings against Liverpool representing the final nail in his coffin. Regular readers will remember that AVB's departure was preceded by a twitter campaign of the sort that only Spurs fans can mount. Having previously managed to confuse Sir Chris Hoy with referee (not Sir) Chris Foy, they went one better by bombarding an unfortunate lady based in America called Ashley Van Buren with abusive messages, presumably on the assumption that there couldn't possibly be more than one person in the Northern hemisphere with those initials. If you were ever wondering where the inspiration for Trigger from Only Fools & Horses came from consider this: the late Roger Lloyd Pack was a Tottenham supporter.

The subsequent appointment of Tim Sherwood to the managerial hot seat had an immediate benefit for Emmanuel Adebayor insofar as it meant he had the novelty of actually being picked for games. Under AVB, the striker was behind the asthmatic kid with NHS specs and an asthma inhaler, the tea lady and three of the programme sellers in the pecking order for selection. However, Sherwood's arrival saw a rejuvenation of the player, though it has to be said that he's been a bit quiet of late, to the extent that the asthmatic kid with the NHS specs and the asthma inhaler may be considering withdrawing his transfer request.

Sherwood will be on his bike at the end of the season. He's pulled in a lot of criticism in his time at the helm, committing what seems to be a bit of a crime for Spurs fans in that he often prefers to watch matches from the stands. I suppose they have a point. Would you trust someone who willingly watches Spurs from the stands?

Of the players they spent something like £100m on in the summer one of the better arrivals has been Christian Eriksen. The Dane has a decent shot about him and has grown in form in decent weeks, chipping in with goals and assists a-plenty. Liverpool are reportedly considering a summer bid for the player if he can add diving to his list of skills. He gets a doff of the cap from us here, however, mainly for the fact that he started is youth football career with his hometown club Middelfart. (Snigger).

One of the bigger disappointments for them has been the form of Roberto Soldado who seems to have trouble scoring from outside the box. Or from inside it, or that matter, unless the ball is placed invitingly on the penalty spot for him. Being, apparently the only Spaniard who can't play, it won't be a surprise to them that he's featured on just about every “worst signing of the season” list going. Which is a worry, with our sequence-busting record.

In better form and just emerging as a first XI regular is youngster Harry Kane. He's another one of the brighter spots in an otherwise undistinguished season for the visitors though someone needs to take him to one side and give him some career advice - apart from Spurs he's also spent time on loan at Millwall. That's a pretty thick skin he must be developing at such a young age.

Us? Another week another disappointment. The most notable thing of the last seven days though has been result of a poll over the manager's future. The poll itself came as a result of the manager's claims that supporter discontent came from a minority of supporters. I'm not sure that that can be claimed any longer, given that the poll questioned more people than were consulted over the Olympic Stadium.

I detect a spot of siege mentality about the place as our beleaguered boss goes on the defensive in the press rooms as well as on the pitch. Claims from Italy that Allegri has been sounded out as a replacement were being thrown about the other day, though with my deaf-aid being on the blink, it was entirely possible that Matron was actually trying to sell me her clapped-out old Austin.

There are no fresh injury worries, other than the Boriello calf injury of course. Boriello is one of a number of players we'll probably not see at the Boleyn again. Most notably, Joe Cole is possibly on his way, struggling as he does to hold down a place in the squad at present. He's never quite been the player we all felt he could have been having been sacrificed to Chelsea when we needed the money a few years back and he's struggled to reach the heights of those carefree years of his youth. If this is his last showing in E13 we wish him a fond farewell.

Prediction? Well I'm not overly optimistic about this one. We're not at our best at present and we do have a habit of losing to lesser clubs who have that irritating habit of raising their games against their betters. I think we'll go down this time round so the Avram Grant Olympic Rest Home For The Bewildered's fund (£2.50) to buy a replacement copy of the video of John Terry crying (we've worn out the current one)

Enjoy the game!

When Last We Met At The Boleyn – Lost 2-3 (December 2012) Gareth Bale was the difference between the two sides. Whatever happened to him?

Referee: Phil Dowd Cost the manager £8k for pointing out that the chubber was a poor referee a year or two ago. Boy George can look forward to a stream of abuse should Dowd upset the visitors

Danger Man: Christian Eriksen – the form player who will have the added incentive of being able to put himself in the shop window for a move to someone bigger.

Daft fact of the week: Lasagne is a pasta dish consisting of layers of flat pasta interspersed with layers of sauce, often meat and bechamel and flavoured with wine, onion and garlic. There are regional variations in Italy, though the Bologna region, to which the dish is traditionally ascribed, seems to favour a “ragu” for the meat sections. Meanwhile, as a pasta dish containing decent levels of carbohydrates, it's often recommended as a meal for the night before strenuous sporting activity.

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.

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