Match Preview; West Ham v Spurs (a must-win game!)
Sunday the 21 February at the Meccano stadium.
After our easy game on Thursday, we now come back up and meet a much more tough opposition. At one time, this “much tougher opposition” was favourites to go down or at least struggle while we had it all before us. How times have changed, and the situation reversed. Now we are struggling while the bubble blowers are above us by six points. They may be dreaming of European Champions League football, while we only can – at the moment – think of scrapping into the Europea League. That is how much things have changed. The bubble blowers were a laughing stock, while we were considered the real deal. Now we must start on our road to recovery, first up, smashing the spammers into bits of bubbles. Easy said than done; just remember our last encounter… we were 3-0 up and laughing at them spammers, then just as quick as a Tommy Coppe’s magic trick they equalised, and we felt that we’d been flummoxed. What a shit! After that game, it was up and down – top for a moment in time – and then a slide down the greasy pole.
So, to no more further ado… let us go straight to team news and see how the land lies.
The Bubble blowers
West Ham forward Michail Antonio is in contention to start after missing two matches with a thigh issue. Fabian Balbuena could feature for the first time since 23 January following a calf injury.
Harry Kane is expected to start for us after he was left out as a precaution for our Europa League victory against the schoolboys. Son, who was substituted at half-time against Wolfsberger, is expected to start.
Serge Aurier remains out with a calf problem, while Sergio Reguilon is not entirely over a muscular issue, so Ben Davies and Japhet Tanganga may get the nod at full-back.
Gareth Bale more than took his opportunity with a goal and an assist in the first half, putting him in contention to start this game. Mourinho is expected to recall the likes of Steven Bergwijn, Tanguy Ndombele and Harry Kane.
My prediction and thoughts
West Ham are flying high and are up in fifth place, while we have recently been pretty ordinary. On form, some critics will probably go for the bubble blowers, but as long as we have the likes of Kane and son, nothing is predictable. Remember, the spammers have fragile glass balls, while ours are solid metal ones. Thus it may end up being a clanging game, with us ending 4-2 at the final whistle. So, that is my prediction and balls to all.
West Ham manager David Moyes has faced Jose Mourinho in 15 games without winning – his worst return against any manager (D6, L9) and may it long continue.
West Ham United could equal the top-flight club record of four successive defeats against the same opponent.
Nonetheless, we might fail to beat West Ham in a league season for the first time since 2013-14, but I am sure Mourinho and the boys won’t let it happen. At the end of the day, it is all about the quality of one’s balls.
West Ham United
West Ham have lost just once in 10 Premier League matches, winning six and drawing three.
The Hammers’ tally of 42 points is their best after 24 games of a top-flight season since they recorded 48 in 1985-86 and eventually finished third.
They have already earned three more points in 2020-21 than they did in the entirety of the previous season.
Defender Aaron Cresswell needs one more Premier League assist to match his career-best return of seven, set in 2017-18.
We have lost four of our past five league games, as many as in our previous 28.
We have won just once in seven top-flight away fixtures (D3, L3).
We have lost seven Premier League matches this season. It is the second-worst return of Jose Mourinho’s managerial career after losing Chelsea nine times in 2015-16.
We have conceded eight goals in our past two games – the most a Mourinho team has ever let in across a two-match period.
Mourinho has averaged 1.65 points per game in 49 matches as our manager. It is the lowest ratio of any Spurs boss since Juande Ramos’ 1.17 between 2007 and 2008.
Harry Kane’s return of 11 goals in 15 Premier League appearances against West Ham is bettered only by his 14 versus Leicester City.
Son has scored three goals and assisted three in his last five Premier League games against West Ham.
So, you’ve got my prediction, team news, thoughts and some match statistics… it just leaves me to sprinkle some magic optimism around and hey, presto, another right score… yes, I predicted we would win 4-1 against the hapless RZ Pellets WAC, and they say luck comes in threes!
Talking about being optimistic, Mourinho seems to be reading from my book of sanguinity. Yes, he has said, “it is still too early to look at the Premier League table”, and believes we can finish in the top four despite our recent faltering form. That is the spirit, Jose!!! He then goes on and says, “It’s very premature to think about the table. People still have matches in hand. In our case, we played already two matches against Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City. So we have to fight, and we have to wait until the last match to see what happens. Anything can happen. We can finish top four, top six or outside the top six. We have to make sure the best possible thing is going to happen.” I can’t argue with that… of course, at the beginning of the season, I was arguing for everything, now just Europa, League Cup and a top-four finish; let us not be greedy!!!
All the best, Glenn