Dawud Marsh's Photo Diary

Hammers Struggle To Break Down Spurs As Lloris Denies Arnautovic

David Hautzig's Match Report

West Ham 0, Tottenham 1. We Deserved Something.

When we lose, which I know is often, I often shut football out of my life for rest of the weekend. I don’t watch any other matches, I don’t read any blogs or sites (sorry Iain), and I certainly stay off Twitter in terms of West Ham. So a loss on a Friday before an international break gave me a whole extra day to be angry. Definitely not something I needed. You know what I did? I watched baseball. The Red Sox in particular. I’m not a Sox fan per se. I’m a Mets fan. But the enemy of your enemy is your friend, and in that regard I’m a Red Sox guy all the way. And Boston has plowed through the opposition with delicious rage, and it has allowed me to kind of pretend what it feels like to support a team that used to define suffering but now wins. Boy, would that be nice.

The opening minutes were full of energy if not quality. Snodgrass ran like he wanted to show that ground covered was the most important statistic known to man. Arnautovic as always tried to make runs behind the Spurs defense. On the other side Moura showed energy and a willingness to test Zabaleta. The first real opportunity came in the 11th minute when Spurs won a corner from a deflected shot by Sissoko. Fabianski came out to punch the delivery away for a Spurs throw, but eventually it all died down thanks to an offside flag.

Moments later West Ham created a chance of their own. Arnautovic tried to attack inside the box but Sanchez timed his tackle perfectly. Yarmolenko got to the ball and lofted it into the box, and Alderweireld took the safe route and sent it out for a corner. Anderson’s delivery was poor, yet it somehow led to a second corner. Unfortunately the second delivery was worse than the first.

The Cresswell v Masuaku debate isn’t a simple one. Defensively it’s a clear advantage for Cresswell. But Masuaku can be as good on the ball as anyone in Claret and Blue. With Masuaku having supposedly taken a knock, Cresswell was called back into action at left back. In the 21st minute he nutmegged Dier and won a free kick. The delivery found Arnautovic in the box to right of the goal, but Arnie seemed caught in the middle of either a pass or a shot and he did neither as the ball flew over the bar and out for a goal kick.

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And moments later Anderson’s third corner was remarkably worse than the previous two. At that rate he looked destined to eventually score an own goal from a Hammers corner.

Defending can often be overlooked by the media and many supporters during a transfer window. In the 27th minute Kane got the ball near the West Ham eighteen yard box and looked certain to get a clear shot on goal. But then came Diop, and the 21 year old made the kind of tackle and clearance in the box that was as valuable as a goal. The combination of Diop and Balbuena is quite literally the best thing that happened to West Ham over the summer. I think.

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In the 38th minute, West Ham won another corner. I had hoped to be able to make some snide comment about another poor Anderson corner. Pellegrini took that chance away from me when Snodgrass took the set piece, and it was indeed better. Balbuena got his head to it, and it bounced towards Yarmolenko near the far post. The Ukrainian tried to find his feet and the ball, but the former failed him. His right foot looked to collapse under him and he went down. At first I thought ankle, but the word on the street leaned towards achilles. From the look of it, whatever it was we won’t be seeing him anytime soon.

The only semi positive was that Pellegrini chose to give Diangana the spot over Antonio.

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The first 40minutes of the half were fine by our standards. The final five were more typical. The loss of Yarmolenko started it. Then in the 44th minute, Anderson’s horrible day got worse when Sissoko turned him inside out before sending a pass into the box that Lamela guided past Fabianski with his head.

West Ham 0
Tottenham 1

Moments later West Ham were very, very fortunate not to give up a second when Lamela beat Diop on the right side of the box. Fabianski made a great stop, but couldn’t hold onto the ball and pushed it right to Sanchez. But Fabianski was up to the challenge and made another fine save to keep the deficit at one.

West Ham 0
Tottenham 1

The second half began with Cresswell giving Pellegrini reason to think he may be a good fit after all when he won the ball deep in the Spurs half and sent a cross into the box that Arnautovic headed towards the top corner. Only a diving Lloris save kept the Hammers off the scoreboard.

In the 52nd minute, it looked almost certain Anderson could do nothing well this afternoon. So when he ran the ball out for a Spurs throw, with nobody around him, I decided the only way to deal with the Brazilian today was to embrace the horror and hope for better down the road. He was replaced by Chicharito, who hadn’t played for seven weeks due to a viral infection. That kind of said it all.

For Snodgrass to come back to us after his loan spell at Villa, with all of the inappropriate nonsense thrown at him by our de facto DOF owner, and work his socks off the way he has says a lot about his character. In the 57th minute he won a corner by sheer will. Minutes later, West Ham won a second after Lloris made another diving save on a low shot by Arnautovic. The set piece delivery by the Scot was good enough to land on the head of Balbuena but the attempt went wide.

West Ham won their 8th corner of the afternoon in the 71st minute, once again due to the hard work of Snodgrass. The delivery hit Diop in the box but his header went wide. The relevant point there was the number 8. And less than half of them led to even an attempt on goal, let alone on target. Needless to say, we need to do far better on set pieces.

As the game wound down, West Ham continued to work hard, close down, and make Spurs work to keep their advantage. But they didn’t have enough at the very end to find the equalizer. The offside goal worked by Arnautovic and Hernandez showed what could be, but so often isn’t. Then in added time Arnautovic was sent in by Hernandez and Lloris made an exceptional save to keep Spurs on top. In the final seconds Antonio fired a long shot that went over the bar. It was both terribly frustrating and not entirely surprising.

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Final Score
West Ham 0
Tottenham 1

We probably don’t have as many points so far as we deserve. But isn’t that also The West Ham Way? The next twelve league matches will come against teams outside the top six. In all likelihood those matches will give us all a better idea of where we deserve to be in the table.

Back to baseball.

Match Thread

Match Thread: West Ham v Tottenham Hotspur

West Ham v Tottenham Hotspur
FA Premier League
London Stadium
KO 3pm
TV: None
Radio: WHUFC.com

Please use this thread to comment on the game as it progresses.

Opposition Q & A

Opposition Q&A with Tottenham

This week West Ham welcome (is that the correct word?) Spurs to the London Stadium. We have had varied results against our nearest Premier League rivals over the past few seasons, and it is sure to be a great atmosphere inside the ground. Ahead of the game I spoke to Andy of the Spurs fanzine"spursforlife":http//spursforlife.com to discuss the game and his thoughts on the season.
First of all what’s the latest news on the stadium? It seems like it’s being constructed by the same firm that is making Crossrail. You must be dying to get back to White Hart Lane.
Other than what’s been published in media recently there is still no set date for the stadium to open. Last week however I did receive an email saying my season ticket entrance card is now in the process of being sent, so hopefully soon. Wembley is very flat as all our supporters are very spread out, and the council also limit the tickets that are allowed to be sold for certain games.

Anyhow we’re playing at the London Stadium this week, are you confident you can repeat your 2-3 victory of last year against us?
We have not been firing at all this season. We have gotten results, but we need a much improved level of performance to win this game. West Ham always up their game against us so we also need to raise ours.

It’s pretty tight at the top of the table with you being one of five of (the so called Top) six clubs with 6 wins so far. What are your ambitions for the season? To win the League, Champions League berth, or continuing your recent record of ending above Arsenal?
Finishing above Arsenal is nice, but not something the club should focus on as a whole. It’s not a trophy at the end of the day. I don’t feel the league is realistic with the spending power of Man City and the other clubs, and we have lost our first two Champions League games. Top 4 is what we need to aim for again, and I’d be very happy with an FA cup or even the League Cup.

I think a lot of fans look quite enviously at the young crop of players you have at Spurs. But is your lack of investment in players over the summer going to cause you problems during the run in to the end of the season? Is this down to Daniel Levy keeping his wallet closed whilst you finish off paying for the stadium rebuild?
We have a good squad but everyone else has improved around us. I feel we needed to strengthen, but the window is closed now so we have to move on. What is a positive is we didn’t lose any key players. As for why we didn’t spend this summer, that’s not really a question I can answer – I could only make an assumption. The person to ask would be Mr Levy himself I suppose.

Of course you are playing us in the League Cup, so let’s hope that wish doesn’t come true! Pochettino continues to impress, I like the way he handled himself over your summer transfer dealings, compared with the way Jose Mourinho bleated over his. Surely it can only be a matter of time before ‘Poch’ returns to Spain to take on one of the big clubs there?
If he gets an offer from one of the big boys he has earned it I feel. He turned down Madrid this summer, but if he’s not backed in the transfer market his head could possibly be turned.

Do you think Manuel Pelligrini is going to raise West Ham to a new level? What are your thoughts on him?
Pelligrini has won the Premier League, and is a proven winner; he is capable of doing a job at any club. West Ham have bought a lot of new players so he needs time. The team will need to gel and he will need a couple more windows to really make his mark. Once he knows his best 11 he can then improve on it and who knows what he can achieve? Unfortunately, there are a few clubs in the league that can spend more than West ham and Tottenham put together so it’s always hard to reach a new level. Top 8 for West Ham would be a good achievement this season I feel, and possible.

Which West Ham players if any have you got in your fantasy team?
I was bottom of my fantasy league after the first two weeks and I had a good moan and haven’t looked at it since. Maybe I’m More of a Mourinho than a Pochettino.

If you were bottom after two weeks, then given our start I presume that means you had quite of few of them. Which Tottenham players do you wish had been shipped out during the summer?
Well We didn’t sign anyone, so it’s a good thing no one left.

*Even now I cringe when I think of the game at Upton Park when you beat us 3 – 4 in 2007. Any particular memories of games against West Ham? Feel free to mention the Currygate game.
My last ever game at White Hart Lane was the 4-1 victory against West ham so that one I suppose is my favourite memory. I left to travel for a year so didn’t manage to get back there again. As for the worst memory, when we lost 3 nil at The Lane sticks out as Ravel Morrison (what a waste of talent) was on fire. I wasn’t too happy after that game.

Gary Lineker or Harry Kane?

Glen Hoddle or Christian Eriksen?
I’m only 28 so I’ve seen Eriksen play more so I have to go with him.

How are Tottenham likely to line up against us this weekend? Team/Formation?
That’s a question for the manager. Eriksen is fit now though as is Dembele.

Well many thanks to Andy for his time and considered responses. I am sure if he had seen Hoddle play he would have put him above Eriksen. No score prediction from Andy, but for my part on a wing and a prayer I’m going for a famous 2 – 1 home victory. COYI

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Talking Point

Should Karren Brady be allowed to negotiate BREXIT?

West Ham Vice Chairman Karren Brady appeared before the London Assembly Budget Monitoring committee at City Hall earlier this week and her performance was impressive.

The Baroness says she finds E20’s match day costs of up to £290,000 per West Ham game quite incredible and she doesn’t understand them.

Brady explained that West Ham’s running costs at the Boleyn Ground before the move were £51,000 per match day including stewarding, police and electricity for the former 35,000 stadium in Green Street. She added even doubling that amount should mean a cost of £102,000 per match day which would be less than West Ham rent for the London Stadium. She says she shared those figures as part of the original tender process. She insisted that West Ham’s rent was not too low at close to £3m per year but the London Stadium running costs were way too high. “I refuse to accept any criticism that our rent is too low, because that is simply not the case. Costs are too high,” Brady said.

Brady claimed she offered free help to the stadium owners 15 times but her offer of advice despite 25 years of running stadia had been refused.

The Baroness also told the London Assembly committee that she has reached an agreement with stadium owners London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) on a suite of disputes yesterday with CEO Lyn Garner the evening before before her appearance at City Hall.

Brady says the LLDC has now agreed that West Ham can rename the London East Stand after a West Ham player thought to be Billy Bonds and there is also an agreement to install a statue at Champions place outside the stadium where the Champions Statue from Green Street was supposed to be moved.

She added that there is now an agreement on a new pitch surround which will be mainly claret with West ham crossed Hammers logos with a small London Stadium dark blue edge to it. The West Ham honours board will also be re-instated after the two sides came to an agreement.

The West Ham Vice-Chairman Karren Brady revealed that West Ham United and E20 Stadium LLP will go to court on the 19th of next month. Brady estimated that both sides had spent around £2m each so far and the matter was unlikely to be resolved out of court at this late stage, adding whoever loses would pay the other’s legal costs.

The court case will centre around the judge’s interpretation of the London Stadium concessionaire agreement signed by both West Ham and E20 Stadium LLP in 2013.

The agreement – which is in the public domain after a freedom of information request – defines the minimum football capacity of 54,000 but is strangely silent on the subject of a maximum capacity despite having over 66,000 seats available in the stadium. The agreement does infer that West Ham has the full use concessionaire areas of the stadium on match days which the club are understood to have interpreted to include all the seats within the stadium.

Brady confirmed that West Ham were forced to take out a legal injunction against London Stadium owners E20 to release information to an FA investigation about the Burnley crowd troubles. Brady explained to London Assembly members that initially E20 refused to hand over information for the FA investigation so the club was force to take them to court and won an injunction against them. The Vice Chairman added that the FA hearing about the Burnley crowd troubles which includes a look at the stewarding provision was being heard this week.

Brady also revealed that West Ham took out a second legal injunction against E20 to stop them installing a second tier of LED adverting at the London Stadium as it wasn’t permitted in the 2013 concessionaire agreement with West Ham. Again the Hammers won the legal injunction and the stadium owners were forced to abandon the installation.

West Ham Vice-Chairman Karren Brady had admitted that the London Stadium with its current contracts would be difficult for West Ham to take over despite saying it is something she would look at.

Finishing her evidence to the London Assembly budget monitoring committee she was asked whether West Ham would be prepared to take over or buy the London Stadium.

Brady replied that the club would need to be really clear how UK Athletics, seat moves, long-term stadium maintenance costs and the operator were factored in to even consider it. Brady said “To be blunt, the reason we fixed our rent as a contribution to the operating costs is we did not want to find ourselves in the same position as E20 now find themselves in. We didn’t want to pick up costs of an operator we have no control over so we made an estimate being £51,000 being the cost at Upton Park”

Brady added “If I put myself in E20’s place and I have to pick up the contracts that they have signed which don’t seem to be very commercially geared in my mind with the operator, with seat moves, with UK Athletics and other users then I think that would be a very difficult situation for anyone to take over”

Karren Brady isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but I am glad she is on our side, fighting our corner and negotiating on our behalf.

He is often said she negotiated ‘the deal of century’ for West Ham when signed the agreement for the London Stadium. If that is the case maybe the government should ask her to negotiate BREXIT with the European Union ? ;-)

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