As Spurs kicked off the Barclayâ€™s Asia Cup tournament against London rivals (well we are their rivals apparently…to us they are like an annoying, uglier little brother) we approached the game off the back of 2 highly disappointing Wembley Cup games against Barcelona reserves and Celtic reserves.
West Ham fielded a very strong side and Spurs kept a few regulars on the bench but a strong enough team was named.
It became apparent from the off that Tottenham were the fitter of the 2 teams, with West Ham only playing 2 pre-season friendlies to date. We looked sharper, hungrier and quicker. The passing was very good but we were seriously lacking any real quality in the final 3rd. Oâ€™Hara and Modric had a couple of curling shots that had Green beaten but unfortunately went the wrong side of the post. Pava hit the post in a first half that was dominated by Spurs in terms of possession and chances and which saw Boa Morte pick up a bad cruciate ligament injury that could see him out for quite some time (probably the only plus West Ham could have taken from the first half performance)
The only change at half time for Spurs was Keane on for Pava and we quickly stamped our authority on the game again with plenty of possession and forward runs. Green made a few saves, Modric put a shot wide that he should have done better with and with around 15 minutes remaining Defoe was put through for a one on one, it looked like for one minute that he had held onto the ball too long but then slipped the ball through Robert Greenâ€™s legs and watched the ball trickle home to put us deservedly 1-0 up. We then see the game out, creating a few further chances from the lively Defoe, Luka Modric and second half substitute Jake Livermore, who stormed through the West Ham defence before seeing Green make a decent save to deny him his second pre-season goal for Spurs.
All in all a very good performance and a big improvement from the Wembley shambles, Kyle Naughton looked good on the right side of midfield and Alan Hutton defended and attacked constantly. Carlo Cudicini was solid in goal and will certainly contest Gomes for a starting place next season if he carries on his pre-season form into the season.
West Ham could have a few problem, I hope that we meet the same quality of opposition when we visit Upton Park on the second weekend of the season.
By Steve Redgwell
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