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Sunday, 15th September 2002

Tottenham 3
West Ham United 2

by Graeme Howlett

West Ham's appalling start to the season continued unabated today thanks to an 88th minute winner from Tottenham's rookie defender Anthony Gardner.

Gardner struck with less than two minutes remaining to condemn the Hammers to a fourth defeat from five games, leaving Glenn Roeder's side firmly rooted to the bottom of the Premiership table.

If there are any crumbs of comfort to be taken from a defeat to our biggest rivals (who, incidentally rose to second place in the fledgling Premiership table after today's win) it will be in the way that the Hammers refused to lie down and accept defeat, coming from behind twice to level the scores.

But in truth that will be cold comfort to Roeder, whose position as manager must now be seriously threatened by the club's perilous position - and by the way that his team are showing little sign of turning the situation around.

The Hammers first goal - scored by Freddie Kanoute in the 66th minute - was the Hammers first shot on target. The second - and last - came from Trevor Sinclair's excellently taken second equaliser in the 77th minute, coming after Teddy Sheringham has restored Spurs' lead from the penalty spot after Ian Pearce had brought down Robbie Keane - an act which saw the Hammer receive his marching orders.

Spurs had taken the lead 17 minutes into the second half, when Christian Dailly was caught ball-watching thus allowing Simon Davies to sneak behind him and toe poke a cross beyond David James.

Kanoute's equaliser came four minutes later, when Dailly redeemed himself somewhat by hooking back a deep cross which Kanoute stabbed home at the far post.

The turning point arrived five minutes later when Pearce's clumsy challenge inside the box was adjudged to be a sending off offence by referee Uriah Rennie. Quite clearly there was little effort by Pearce to play the ball, although Keane was by no means certain to score due to the quick thinking of David James.

But even down to ten man the Hammers showed great character, and Sinclair drew Roeder's men level moments later when he flung himself at a quick free-kick taken by the returning Paolo Di Canio to poke the ball beyond the advancing Keller.

Heartbreak eventually arrived however when some quite awful defending allowed Gardner to sprint through to the edge of the penalty box unchallenged to score - albeit courtesy of a wicked deflection off Gary Breen, who was just about the pick of the Hammers defenders on show.

More bad news for the Hammers came when Tomas Repka limped off after just six minutes with a knee injury, although initial scans suggest that there was no serious damage.

All in all, another extremely disappointing afternoon for West Ham, who now lie three points adrift at the bottom of the table with just the solitary point from the 2-2 draw with Arsenal to show for their troubles.

Player Ratings

by Jon Waeland

David James (7) Very little to do apart from hauling in a few wayward crosses, catching Teddy Sheringham's headed back pass and picking the ball out of the net 3 times.

Christian Dailly (3) Just not good enough. Yet again looked in over his head and generally uncomfortable. Daydreaming as Simon Davies snuck in front of him for the first goal, and not nearly quick enough to recover.

Tomas Repka (6) Looked solid until Jamie Redknapp tested just how solid he is by trying to break his leg.

Gary Breen (6) A much better performance. If he can string together another ten of these then maybe heíll be a slightly better partner for Repka after all. Actually, Iíd rather see Defoe at the back rather than Dailly at the moment though, so lets not get too carried away.

Ian Pearce (6) The last thing he needed after finally working his way into the starting lineup was to earn himself a suspension. At least he looked the best of our five defenders on show until being sent off, and has surely done enough to prove heís worth a starting spot.

Trevor Sinclair (5) Anonymous until his goal, something just doesnít seem right. Whether he misses linking up with Schemmel and Di Canio down the right or heís got a bit a world cup hangover, we need Trev back to his trickiest if we stand a chance of salvaging our season.

Edouard Cisse (6) Solid, but not quite as influential as in previous games. Heís set the bar very high in my opinion, and if he can build on what heís shown us so far, we could have a very classy young player on our hands.

Steve Lomas (6) See above, except we already know what a quality ball winner and holding midfielder Lomas is when heís fit. He should be getting fitter and fitter (as should Pearce and Di Canio) and more and more influential in midfield as he gets games under his belt.

Joe Cole (7) A class above yet again. Joe has worked tirelessly on striking the ball over the summer, but obviously on a much, much taller goal. His two strikes from the edge of the box would have been two goals for the likes of Gerrard, Beckham, Scholes or Murphy, and Joes finishing needs come up to the same standards. However, anyone who says he isnít ready to play for his country is talking rubbish. Maybe he doesnít score enough goals, but thereís no-one else in the country who is even in the same book as Joe Cole when it comes to running at defenders. His touch, balance and turn of pace is nothing short of sublime. If Joe shaved a doughnut like ring in the back of his head then Zidane could call him mini-me.

Fredi Kanoute (7) Looked like the Kanoute we all know and love again. His silky touch was back, and he looked far more dangerous than if you put the highlights of his last two games together. Surely this performance will fuel the rumours that Fredi is only bothered for the big games, but we all know thatís not true donít we??

Paolo Di Canio (7) Even better than he was against West Brom, and looked fitter as well. A perfect ball in for Sinclair to poke home with his studs and some neat, simple touches and passes complemented the usual flicks and tricks.

Nigel Winterburn (7) The usual quality performance from a quality player. Wins the ball, keeps the ball and plays the right ball short and simple almost every time.

Jermain Defoe (6) Not enough time to make much of an impact, especially as he was up top on his own.

Michael Carrick (6) Nice to see him get a good reception from the travelling fans, lets hope he repays the favour by running the game against Manchester City. Carrick makes us tick in midfield when heís on form, and weíre desperately in need of a bit of rhythm and consistency.

KUMB stats

West Ham United: James, Dailly, Breen, Repka (Winterburn 8), Pearce, Sinclair, Cisse, Lomas, Cole, Kanoute (Defoe 85), Di Canio (Carrick 79).

Subs not used: Van Der Gouw, Camara.

Tottenham: Keller, Taricco (Thatcher 45), Ziege, Gardner, Perry (Doherty 32), Davies, Redknapp, Bunjevcevic, Etherington (Iversen 85), Sheringham, Keane.

Subs not used: Hirschfeld, Acimovic.

Booked: Sinclair, Kanoute, Bunjevcevic, Redknapp.

Sent off: Pearce (70).

Attendance: 36,005

Referee: U.Rennie (6)

KUMB Man of the Match: Joe Cole (7)

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