The new seasons is upon us and Sam has promised a new look attacking West Ham. What we got was Carlton Cole up top on his own .
The game started at a pretty frenetic pace as you would expect in a always competitive London derby. However both teams cancelled each other out, and chances were at a premium. However, after 27 mins a turned shot from Kevin Nolan was adjudged to be hand balled by Kyle Naughton and he was dismissed and Mark Noble stepped up to take the pen. I have never been the biggest fan of his penalties but he always seem to score them, so fair play. Anyway this one he pulled to the left of the goal and the game stayed drawn. As is usual Spurs started to get back into it, and they swapped to 3 at the back. This is where Sam made the mistake. As soon as Spurs went down the 10 men we should of gone two up top. Valencia and Zareto were on the bench, and Nolan was on the pitch, but no, Sam knows best and kept Carlton isolated up front.
By the second half you could tell the fans were getting frustrated, but we kept getting chances. Stewart Downing was unlucky after getting through 2 players to only drop short against a brilliant Lloris save. Valencia came on for the last 15 and looked lively although small. Collins was also dismissed after the hour mark for a second yellow, both of which were justified as basically he was trying to break up play with cynical fouls.
The interesting thing was that at 90 mins, no one was leaving the ground. I and I think everyone else knew that something was going to happen but didn’t know what. They didn’t have long to wait when Spurs new signing Dier broke through the dogged WHU defence and slotted home the winner around Adrian.
Bottom line is we played OK, just OK, but not poorly. Cresswell looked great and Kouyate was OK in the middle but needs to come out and forward more. Valencia’s cameo appearance was encouraging, but he is way too small to play on his own up there.
For me Cresswell was MOTM, with Noble closely behind. Nolan was shocking and Sam needs to take a good look at his best mate and his contribution to the team. And at least we are above Man U on the league.
I also had some time before the game to check the progress on our new home in Stratford. Things seems to be coming along, but it still looks too big for us if I’m honest.