West Ham v Spurs – Preview

So here we are. Unbelievably, Jose bloody Mourinho is picking our team for tomorrow’s 12:30 kick off against the Hamsters in Stratford. (Not West Ham. Stratford.)

Words can hardly do justice to the sense of shock that opening paragraph should impart.

Jose Mourinho. Blimey.

Believe what you read in the papers and Jose is the jockey that Daniel Levy has wanted at his stable for many a year. The players have given the impression that they’ve been flogged to death for a while now and that Lester Piggott would struggle to get a performance from them. We shall see.

Two and a half days is too short a time of course to have much effect on a squad but the comms team at Spurs should be pleased at the carefully managed media campaign that they have, presumably hastily, put in place because that gives the impression that the whole squad has known each other since the cradle. The clips of Son, Dele et al bantering with Jose and the lack of anyone obviously sulking by the corner flags gives the impression that to a man the players are behind the new man and have already bought in to the new regime and philosophy even though they don’t know what it is yet. Mauricio who?

What we, as fans, will be hoping to see straight away is a defence that looks more like a defence and less like a string bag. We want to see an end to the panic in Aurier and Sanchez’s eyes every time a ball is played over their heads. We want to see the back four properly protected by the midfield and the forwards do their job in disrupting opposition attacks before they begin.

This is the sort of thing Mourinho can organise quickly whether through a change in selection (Dier in as holding mid for instance) or through tactics (Lucas told to run his arse off for an hour perhaps). (Not the most sophisticated of options I agree.)

West Ham have had their own issues of late. They lie 16th, below even us, and have picked up just one point from a possible fifteen. Their defence is poor (especially the goalie), their midfield talented but inconsistent and whilst Haller presents a threat, there’s little else up front assuming that Antonio is still injured and Yarmolenko not given much space.

It’s harsh to expect the new manager to break our shitey away run record on his first go, it’s far far more important that we win on Tuesday. We should’nt lose though.

It’s only a matter of time before Mourinho pisses off everyone at the club, let’s just get through these few opening games at least.

Michael Oliver is the referee.


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