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West Ham boss believes that Tottenham have struggled after the departure of Luka Modric

West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce in the dugout. Picture: PA Wire West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce in the dugout. Picture: PA Wire

Saturday, November 24, 2012
8:00 AM

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce believes that Tottenham’s recent woes have been down to the departure of Luka Modric.

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The Croatian left White Hart Lane in the summer, with replacement Mousa Dembele yet to fire after the Belgian joined from Fulham.

And the former Newcastle manager believes that the loss of the playmaker is why Spurs have struggled.

“They’re without Luka Modric and a top quality midfielder player,” Allardyce said.

“When you used to listen to Harry talking about Luka Modric as about one of the top midfield players in the world today [it shows what a loss he is].

“So when you take a loss like that then that is then difficult to replace.

“But you look at the front line of [Aaron] Lennon, [Gareth] Bale, [Jermain] Defoe.

“It’s full of talent, full of quality. And it’s full of players that can win a game on their own.

“They’ve still got the flair there and we have to cope with that flair on Sunday. If we want to revert back to what we’re very good at.

“Certainly against Manchester City we coped very well with Dzeko, Tevez, Aguero and Balotelli.

“So if we can cope with Tottenham’s front three the way we coped with those lads we’ve got a chance of getting something out of the game.

Spurs are coming into the game on the back of a 5-2 defeat to Arsenal in the north London derby last weekend, but did have a creditable draw against Lazio in Rome on Thursday.

“The only lost [against Arsenal] because they had a player sent off,” the Hammers boss said. “If you look how they started, it looked as though they were going to blitz Arsenal.

“I saw the whole game and up to the Adebayor sending off, Tottenham were in the ascendancy. It looks as like Arsenal would struggle to get a result but fortunately for them Adebayor did something daft.

“I don’t think Andre Villas-Boas will pay too much attention to the loss of that game as it was down to the sending off.”

“I don’t think Andre Villas-Boas will pay too much attention to the loss of that game because it was basically down to the fact they were down to 10 men for so long.”

A fourth straight league defeat would put Villas-Boas under pressure at White Hart Lane, but this doesn’t phase the Hammers boss.

“I have no idea what sort of pressure he is under. It’s about getting some more points and continue our good run to this season,” Allardyce said.

“I said after the game against Stoke, even though we were disappointed with a draw, we’ve totted up 19 points from 12 games.

“We’ve shown we can sustain our form over the next period of games, we can show we really are a force in the division this season.

“Not just the next three, the next five. They all come together quickly – the next three are in six days.

“It’s going to be a massive ask for the players to get the results in those games. If we can, we show to everybody that we’ve become a force in this league.”

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