We beat Tottenham at White Hart Lane for the first time in 14 years. We scored our first goals away from home since April. We got three points on the road for the first time in eight trips on the road. It was brilliant. We were brilliant. Everything about it was brilliant.
After a goalless first-half where we spent most of the time frustrating Spurs by packing the midfield, closing them down at every opportunity and playing some nice football on the floor in stages, every West Ham fan in the world would have taken a point.
But what happened in the second-half was something no one, not even the neutrasl, could have imagined. Spurs came out strong and Jermain Defoe missed a golden chance when one-on-one with Jussi Jaaskelainen to put the hosts up front, while Jaaskelainen was called in to action again shortly afterwards, tipping over Defoe’s fierce drive from the edge of the area.
And then it began. Jan Vertonghen conceded a corner after Guy Demel‘s cut back on the right couldn’t reach Mo Diame. Stewart Downing whipped the corner in and Winston Reid rose above Vertonghen to head his effort straight against Kevin Nolan, who’s block landed right back in to the path of the Kiwi, and he slotted home to send the fantastic away support absolutely mental.
Six minutes later and the lead was doubled. Mark Noble‘s clever turn in the middle of the park wrong footed Moussa Dembele and Gylfi Sigurdsson, and then played in Ricardo Vaz Te with the outside of his right boot. Vaz Te’s initial effort was straight at Hugo Lloris but in rebounded straight back of the Portuguese’s knee and in to the back of the net. There was a touch of luck surrounding the goal, but it’s the sort of luck you need when you haven’t won away to Spurs since 1999.
And then came the goal of the game and a definite early contender for goal of the season. Reid’s clearance went only as far as Diame, who’s turn opened up another counter-attacking opportunity. He laid it off to Ravel Morrison who then begun a mazing run from inside his own area, making Michael Dawson and Vertonghen look stupid in the process, before neatly chipped the ball over Lloris in to the goal to put the game to complete the rout.
Tottenham had only conceded two goals in 11 games this season, but West Ham turned up and scored three against them in 13 minutes.
All credit must go to Sam Allardyce who, despite all the stick he gets about his tactics, got it so right tactically here. He dropped Modibo Maiga after the Malian had failed to score a single goal so far this season and lined up with a 4-6-0 formation. By packing the midfield, Tottenham were left frustrated for the entire 90 minutes. By closing down in numbers, we were able to win the ball more often and break with pace.
A midfield that includes like likes of Diame, Morrison, Vaz Te and Downing gives you the opportunity to break quickly with a real threat on goal. Everything about the performance was absolutely perfect from start to finish and it was a long time coming.
James Tomkins and Winston Reid were both outstanding in defence, as was Guy Demel, who arguably had his best game in a Hammers shirt so far.
Did we deserve it?
Yes. We fully deserved it, which makes it all the more sweeter. We haven’t played so well, nor have we looked so good, in a very long time. When you make a Tottenham side that’s had a £100million make-over in the summer look pretty average on their own patch, you certainly deserve to win.
As mentioned above, Allardyce got it tactically correct on the day and it paid off. Very well deserved.
Who stood out for the Hammers?
All eleven players were outstanding on the day but special mention must got to Ravel Morrison. He’s been a breath of fresh air this season and his goal – his fourth of the season in all competitions – really was something special. It was his first big test at Premier League level and he stepped up and looked as if he’d been playing at this level years all game, capping it off with a wonderful individual goal.
Guy Demel, as mentioned before, put in arguably his best shift of his West Ham career and was strong on and off the ball, out muscling Paulinho on several occasions.
James Tomkins also hard a good game and has given Allardyce a headache in defence as he’s done enough to keep his place in the starting line-up ahead of James Collins.
After such a morale boosting victory the last thing we wanted was another international break. But once that’s out of the way Manchester City come to the Boleyn to take on our superstars.
There’s absolutely no reason why we can’t take something from that game either. We’ve showed against Tottenham that we are a very good side when we want to be, while City have already shown this season that they can be beaten after losses to Cardiff City and Aston Villa.
One thing for sure is that the atmosphere is going to be absolutely huge after this win over Spurs. If you haven’t got your ticket yet then make sure you get one, because it’s all set up for a good game.
|22.||Jussi Jaaskelainen||Didn't have much to do all game. Kept out two Defoe efforts, but was an unexpected spectator for most of it.||6|
|2.||Winston Reid||Solid, composed and has probably still got Defoe in his back pocket. Got up well to get his goal. Mr. Consistent.||9|
|20.||Guy Demel||Out muscled Andros Townsend and Paulinho on several occasions. His best Hammers performance.||8|
|5.||James Tomkins||An assured performance and almost scored shortly before we took the lead. Did enough to keep his spot against City in two weeks.||7|
|8.||Razvan Rat||His experience shone through and he looked comfortable all game. Kept Spurs' only real threat, Townsend, out of the game.||7|
|4.||Kevin Nolan (C)||Should have scored in the first-half. Battled well throughout and was a typical leader in the middle.||7|
|23.||Stewart Downing||A fairly quiet afternoon but it was his first start after coming back from injury. Played his part in the first goal with a dangerous corner.||6|
|15.||Ravel Morrison||Unfazed by Tottenham's multi-million pound players and look comfortable throughout. Doesn't stop running in midfield. His goal will go down in Hammers folklore. MOTM.||9|
|16.||Mark Noble||Another battling performance from the midfielder. Closed down and tracked back well and frustrated Paulinho and Sigurdsson.||7|
|21.||Mohamed Diame||Another game playing out of position, but he played his part in midfield, frustrating Spurs' midfield all game. Top-class turn set up Morrison's goal.||7|
|12.||Ricardo Vaz Te.||Got his wish by starting ahead of Maiga and was rewarded with a goal, despite it being rather fortunate. Put in a good shift, will be unfair to lose place against City.||7|