West Ham vs Spurs Double Header An Opposition Fan’s View.

Bearing in mind there are two fixtures against Tottenham at the London Stadium within the space of eleven days it would be foolish not to concentrate on the potential match outcomes as well as the usual rivalry between both sets of fans. We are fortunate to be able to feature a view from the opposition courtesy of spurs for life we are reciprocating with a view from the opposition from a West Ham fans point of view.
“Tottenham Hotspur, it’s happened again.” These chilling words project the worst kind of memories for a modern day Spurs fan. West Ham winning the ‘treble’, unbeaten against their rivals in 2013/4. No matter how high the club might fly in the table,  this is an encounter that even today puts some background trepidation into most fans’ minds
The rivalry between North and East London renews, with Tottenham coming to face West Ham at the Olympic Park. It is a new stadium that has some joy for West Ham fans, but one that will never replace the memories and history of Upton Park, the Boleyn Ground. This match will be a new, fresh attempt to create new memories in this unfamiliar home. 

An awful potential for a treble is set up with a further cup match, again at the Olympic Park stadium, in the Carabao Cup. Ironically, it is on the night of Halloween. Spurs will definitely look to avoid any spooky surprises, whilst the Hammers would love to give their rivals a real fright. However, the likelihood of any kind of treble for either team this season seems unlikely. Both clubs have had some variance in form. Thus, it is quite possible to see three very different matches and three different performances from both sets of players. Add to the mix the large amount of injuries, West Ham with eight and Spurs with seven. Clearly the first choice personnel of both teams aren’t available. This hands chances to the less experienced, less well-versed players to make their first marks on a West Ham-Spurs derby match. 

In terms of the rivalry itself, there is a certain unique character. It is unlike the North London Derby in that the teams aren’t defending their right to represent their part of London. There is no point to prove about Woolwich Wanderer’s wandering from down south. Instead, it seems to be a rivalry charged with a kind of Schadenfreude. There have been some fascinating encounters down the years, such as Steed Malbranque majestically levelling a 4-4 draw. However, the most recent rivalry is borne out West Ham’s satire of Spurs’ setbacks. In 2005-6, the club just needed a win to secure a top four place and thus a chance in the Champions League. However, infamously, some dodgy lasagne, and a- more solid- West Ham performance stopped them right in their tracks. Ever since, the Irons have terrorised Spurs by throwing spanners into their campaigns for European qualification or cup progress. 

Some of the key horror inducing players for West Ham are fortunately out for Spurs. Carlos Sanchez is side-lined with a knee injury. His sometimes unruly, but otherwise robust and resolute midfield play helped to shut down the likes of Christian Eriksen. Similarly Manuel Lanzini’s lightning feet will be absent. He has scored against the Lilywhites before with startlingly ability. However, West Ham still retain as much of their threat. An interesting player to consider is Marco Arnautovic. His recent transfiguration into a striker has made him a new force to be reckoned with. Tall, strong, with good technique, the Austrian has some efficacy in his new position. So far, he is the top scorer with four goals for his club. In addition, there is the experience of Pablo Zabaleta who has played many a derby in his time. Ever present Mark Noble is the fierce captain of the team, ever eager to thwart Spurs for another time. He has spoken to news outlets describing the mixed seasons both teams have been having. In a way he suggests that this match will be a tight, hotly contested affair. He’ll need to back up those claims, and he’ll do that by leaving nothing on the pitch. 

Tottenham are not an infallible team, by any margin. Harry Kane has had time to recover a little from his post World-Cup hangover. His two assists in England’s 3-2 victory over Spain point to his rejuvenation. Indeed, he is a player that loves a derby and has scored some important goals against West Ham. However, he is still not the same vintage of player for whatever reason. However, the form of Lucas Moura has been impressive. This is the player to watch out for in this derby. He is completely new to this rivalry and it will be interesting to see if he can live up to the robustness of such a match. After all, the Brazilian is a tricky player, but has acquired a sense of industriousness and bustle that makes him far more than just a show horse. He will give his all, if called upon.

Overall, this looks to be an exciting new encounter. Manuel Pellegrini will be keen to renew the rivalry between West Ham and Spurs, whilst Mauricio Pochettino will be doing all in his power to defeat his fellow South American. It is a new era for both clubs, with new stadiums being built in this ever changing modern game. Olympic Park is the battleground this coming match day.

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