I was worried about this one given the recent results but needn’t have been. It turned out to be our easiest home win of the season thanks to three classy goals. West Ham gave a performance that made you wonder how they had picked up so many points thus far.
We began with a good tempo and passing rhythm and for once at WHL were well on top from the off. Defoe and Bale regularly found space in front of and behind Tomkins and Reid, Dempsey was getting involved and Big Tom was finding the time to pick a pass. As we approached half-time Bale’s run and pile driver against the bar looked like the closest we were going to get to a breakthrough though despite our superiority until Defoe collected Walker’s pass in front of the dugouts and wriggled clear of Reid and McCartney. Noble had already been booked so maybe that explains the flimsy challenge that JD easily evaded en route to the edge of the area before he rifled a shot inside Jaaskelainen’s near post.
West Ham were set out to contain and hoof to Carroll (or didn’t have the ability to do anything else) so the more open character of the game in the second half didn’t suit them. Nolan had a chance to find Jarvis in space after the former had beaten the offside trap but that moment apart we were all over them and much the better side. Dempsey hit the bar a few minutes before, with a dainty chip, he played in Bale who finished off the post. Lennon then led a breakaway that had its roots in some tigerish tackling from Huddlestone and Sandro and squared to Defoe to roll in number three.
The away fans were noisy at the start but were quiet once the goals started going. There were plenty of blue seats visible well before the end. Some of those who remained were intent on adding muck to their team’s reputation with chants of ‘can we stab you every week’ and ‘Adolf Hitler, he’s coming for you’. Nice. The FA have said they’ll look into it but anyone expect any strict censure? No, me neither.
Despite the comfortable nature of the win it wouldn’t be Spurs if it was too easy thus Carroll was allowed to get on the end of a cross after Caulker’s poor clearance and some self-induced panic set in. A Joey O’Brien (I think) attempt was deflected over by Dawson, that was the last of the scares though and Bale in fact was the one who came closest to changing the scoreline.
Dawson, Lloris, Sandro, Bale and of course Defoe were all excellent and Walker too which will help his confidence. Lloris has surely become first choice now; his handling is top class, his demeanour totally confident. Dawson was probably selected due to Carroll’s presence in the visitors’ line-up; it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Gallas back for Liverpool. Dembele came on as a late sub again, I’ve no idea whether they’re being cautious with him as they’re worried about his injury or just need him fitter before he can start. With games on Wednesday and Saturday we’ll find out this week.
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