Filed: Sunday, 24th February 2013
By: Preview Percy
Hello are you still here? It’s so long since I had to write one of these Arsenal may have still been in with a chance of a trophy. Well perhaps not that long ago but it’s still been an age.
Next we play host to the repository of limited intellect that is Tottenham Hotspur. It’s a Sky game so kick-off will be at 20:00 hrs GMT (that’s 8pm if you’re a Spurs supporter). Being a Monday there are no planned engineering works so you’ll just have all the usual peak hour transport hassles to cope with.
The visitors currently sit in 4th spot with 48 points from 44 games. That’s 4 points above the other club in North London. Their last six league games have provided them with three wins (3-1 at home to Reading, 1-0 away at West Brom and 2-1 at home to the Geordies) and three draws (0-0 at QPR, 1-1 at home to Moan Utd and 1-1 at Norwich).In amongst all that they’ve beaten Coventry and lost to Leeds in the Cup and, in midweek, just managed to sneak past Lyons in that cup that they’ll be ridiculing if it’s the only thing Arsenal qualify for next season
Their position in the league is directly linked to the form of man of the moment Gareth Bale. He’s a fine player but does himself no favours with his diving antics. Watching him pick up a deserved yellow the other week he then had the bare-faced cheek to deny the dive in his post-match interview. For the record if contact from a defender isn’t enough to knock you over but you go down anyway that’s a dive. We’ll have none of this “if he feels a touch he has a right to go down” nonsense. Of course his antics won’t cause any shame to the Spurs faithful who, by definition, are incapable of embarrassment in any case.
,Bale has been the only Spurs player to find the net in their last three league matches, netting four times in that period. We can therefore assume that he is pretty happy with life at the moment which begs the question: “what does he actually sound like when he really is about to burst into tears?”
They did a shrewd piece of business during the window, picking up Lewis Holtby from Schalke for anything between £0-£1.5m depending on your source. Holtby is half English, half German which makes him something like 157th in line to the throne, probably. He’s now been capped at competitive level by the Germans, which has ended any chance of his wearing the three lions. Still, on the bright side, it means that there is probably one person in the German squad who is capable of missing a penalty when we play them in the next World Cup.
The other bit of business they did was to bring in left back Ezeikel “Zeki” Fryers, who went into the development squad. Despite the exotic name, and despite his arrival from Standard Liege, Fryers is in fact English and hails from Manchester – and therein lies a problem. Fryers is a product of the Moan Utd academy and, although his contract was up at the end of last summer, a compensatory fee would have been payable to any English club taking the player on. The player spent the summer training with Spurs, but when it came to sitting down and talking cash the Salford lot asked for £6m. That seems a lot to me for a kid that you’ve offered £1,500 a week. Tottenham agreed and didn’t go through with the transfer. Fryers moved to Standard Liege, who not being an English club, weren’t obliged to pay Fergie’s whingers a penny. Well there has to be some benefit in being Belgian I suppose. Fryers lasted until January before homesickness and the sacking of Standard’s manager got the better of him. Strange that a lad from Manchester couldn’t settle in a place where chips are the national dish. Spurs stepped in and picked up the player for half of what Fergie was asking. Fergie cried foul but made no formal complaint, presumably on the grounds that, technically anyway, Spurs did nothing wrong. I mean it’s not like they paid and gave instructions to a player that was registered with another club unlike some I could mention, eh Fergie?
One player who is likely to be missing from the visiting squad is Jermain Defoe. Defoe damaged ankle ligaments against West Brom and, despite optimistic managerial noises, he has yet to resume full training apparently. Striking duties will fall between cowboy actor Clint Dempsey – who has an irritatingly decent record against us – and the Togoan Emanuel Adabeyor. Adebayor didn’t exactly endear himself to the club by taking 5 days to get back from South Africa where he took part in the African Cuppasoup. Now I’ve been to South Africa – the Avram Grant Rest Home for the Bewildered used to run occasional exchange trips to its sister establishment in Johannesburg (The Eugene Terreblanche Harmony Homestead) until they discovered it the trips were a front for getting rid of all the cheap mince before the health inspectors came round – and I’m pretty sure that the flight was something like 13 hours long, so 5 days did seem a bit excessive.
Of course we should spare a thought for poor old Scott Parker. We of course remember him when he was good but having sold him once he was past his best it was rather sad to see him giving the ball away to the French with monotonous regularity the other night. Still his Hammer of the Year awards must be some sort of consolation to him as he sees out the twilight years of his career in reduced circumstances.
And so to us. Villa was a complete mess and yet again one can only look at the mindset that we seem to adopt on the road. There was a team short on confidence whose home form was appalling and we set ourselves up once more as if we were after the draw. Baffling. I’m also beginning to tire of the “if only we’d scored more goals than them we’d have won” comments from the management that seem to follow each reverse. If my granny had wheels she’d be a skateboard.
Still this time last year we went to Dubai and only lost once more that season so maybe the trip abroad will have warmed the blood a little. I will admit to feeling a slight unease at the choice of venue for the warm weather training, remembering how they wouldn’t grant Benayoun and Katan entry visas when we went there a few years ago. There must be decent warm climes available elsewhere where the hosts don’t discriminate against certain nationalities.
There is relatively good team news to report. Joey O’Brien is back in training after coming off at Villa. George McCartney is said to be nearing a return from his knee injury – he allegedly faces a late fitness test – whilst James Collins is not far behind Linda in the recovery stakes, though realistically it may just be a week too soon for the pair.
Left back has been a bit of a worry, though I’d have to be on the verge of a panic attack before I’d be convinced that Ricardo Gardner might be the answer to those worries. Some sources suggest that Gardner has been on trial at the club whilst the quasi-official tweets of Sullivan Junior claim that the player has simply been training with us to keep himself fit between clubs. I’ve no reason to doubt young Mr Sullivan, though the player’s reported appearance for the development squad would seem to suggest there’s more than helping out an old friend on the agenda.
The return of Maiga from the Cuppasoup means there are no fewer than five strikers available, if you include Welly Paulista who has been on target a few times in the stiffs. However, comments from the club whenever his name is mentioned suggest that they still consider the Brazilian to be a work in progress rather than a realistic option for the first XI at this time.
One player we will be able to call on, albeit indirectly, is Bobby Moore OBE. This match is the closest to the 20th anniversary of the great man’s passing and, if you haven’t already done so, I can recommend a listen to the wireless thingy that this website has put together which has contributions from all sorts of people (I believe he means the kumb.com podcast – Ed). On Monday night the club has all sorts of stuff planned. There will therefore be a uniquely West Ham sort of atmosphere in the ground – something that will go some way to countering the fact that in the away end football’s thickest group of supporters will see the match as a cup final. Meanwhile, on the subject of Bobby one can only weep at the general decline in standards that has seen the likes of Terry & Gerrard considered to be suitable heirs to the position of England captain.
Back to the match and we are a different team at home. We don’t always get what we deserve mind – QPR and Liverpool are two matches where we’ve outplayed average opposition with little reward for example. For this match, Bale is wasting the form of his life with Spurs at the moment and keeping him quiet will be the key. No doubt Mr Allardyce has some sort of scientific analysis prepared – I just hope that the players are up to the job.
The form book suggests that this’ll be a difficult one to get anything from. However I remember playing at Forest just after the demise of Brian Clough and the atmosphere carried them to an unlikely win. So I reckon that a combination of home advantage and the Bobby Moore effect might just be enough to overturn the form book. I’ll therefore be placing the proceeds of the Avram Grant Rest Home For The Bewildered’s fund-rasing sales of “Pistorius Bladerunner” T-Shirts (£2.50) on a 2-1 home win in the hope that both crowd and players can do Bobby proud.
Enjoy the game!
When Last We Met the Boleyn Boleyn (September 2010) The apparently MLS-bound Piquionne nodded home from a decent Noble corner to secure all three points. Two collectors’ items for the price of one then.
Referee: Howard Webb. Past it and a return to pounding the beat with the South Yorkshire plod is probably overdue. At a FIFA conference he spoke out about the need to clamp down on “simulation” amongst players. Let’s see how he deals with Bale.
Danger Man:Gareth “Christian” Bale – he’s their main goal threat at the moment either from open play or from dubiously-won free-kicks. This will probably be his last time at the Boleyn for a few years as he’ll no doubt be off somewhere bigger in the summer. Barcelona has been mentioned though even FC Chernobyl would be an improvement in surroundings.
Daft Fact Of The Week: Thousands of homes in the Tottenham area, even the few without wheels on them, miraculously received state of the art tv sets after the riots a few years ago. Unfortunately the instructions are far too complicated for the average Spurs fan, many of whom have yet to work out how to get the sets out of the box.
Stat man John: Northcutt's corner
April 1953: West Ham Utd 2-1 Tottenham (Dixon, Barrett)
May 1969: West Ham Utd 3-4 Tottenham (Bonds, Hurst, Moore, played in USA)
July 2007: West Ham Utd 0-1 Tottenham (played in Japan)
Billy Bonds, December 1978: West Ham Utd 4-2 Tottenham (Cross 2, Robson, Bonds)
Steve Perryman, April 1979: Tottenham 2-2 West Ham Utd (Lansdowne, Cross)
Barry Daines, March 1981: Tottenham 2-3 West Ham Utd (Morgan 2, Pearson)
Bill Nicholson, August 1983: Tottenham 1-1 West Ham Utd (Swindlehurst)
Pat Holland, May 1984: West Ham Utd 4-1 Tottenham (Cottee 2, Orr, C Allen)
Gerhardt Ampofo, May 1986: West Ham Utd 5-1 Tottenham (Cottee 2, Robson 2, OG)
Tony Galvin, October 1987: Tottenham 2-2 West Ham Utd (Dolan, Brazil)
Alvin Martin, August 1988: West Ham Utd 2-0 Tottenham (Gale, Hilton)
Ray Clemence, August 1990: Tottenham 4-1 West Ham Utd (Livett)
Billy Bonds, November 1990: West Ham Utd 4-3 Tottenham (Morley, Breacker, Bishop, Bonds)
Johnny Wallis, April 1996: Tottenham 1-0 West Ham Utd (Dowie)
1997-98 Samassi Abou (a); 1998-99 John Moncur (a); 1999-2000 Steve Lomas (a); 2002-03 Ian Pearce (a); 2007-08 Luis Boa Morte (a).
Former players Jack Tresadern and Harry Redknapp have both been managers at Tottenham.
They Played For Both
Paul Allen; Clive Allen; Les Bennett; Michael Carrick; Jermain Defoe; Ilie Dumitrescu; Matty Etherington; Dave Dunmore; Les Ferdinand; George Foreman; Jimmy Greaves; Fred Griffiths; Chris Hughton; Bill Joyce; Bill Kaine; Freddi Kanoute; Robbie Keane; Kenny McKay; Fred Massey; Fred Milnes; John Moncur; Jimmy Neighbour; Scott Parker; Tony Parks; Martin Peters; Mark Robson; Sergei Rebrov; Neil Ruddock; Teddy Sheringham; John Smith; Mitchell Thomas; Bobby Zamora.
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.
by James Luneau France
12:48PM 24th Feb 2013
''Good article. We'll probably be a bit too strong for you - unless of course you feed us dodgey lasagne again! I wouldn't worry about Ade - he's still got jet and brain lag!''
12:32PM 24th Feb 2013
''Very good... 2-0 Spurs.''
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