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Kwame Boakye, Recorder blogger
Monday, May 5, 2014
Our West Ham blogger remembers when it was a big thing to beat Spurs rather than a common occurrence
So after 37 games we’ve finally achieved what like it or not was our only real objective for this season, survival.
Our third (yes third) win over Spurs this season secured our status and as a consequence the tempest surrounding Big Sam’s future has abated, in fact that victory and the manner in which it was achieved has in all probability secured his own future in the Hammers hot-seat for next season.
The performance against Sherwood’s boys was incredible; it had everything we’ve lacked in our four straight defeats; verve, determination, tenacity and most importantly a cutting edge.
In many ways Tottenham at home was the perfect fixture for Allardyce; he’d already masterminded two victories over the Lilywhites and he knew even his harshest critics would be silenced by a yet another victory over our neighbours.
From the first to the last minute we were in complete control and it was only the brilliant Hugo Lloris who kept the scoreline respectable. The extra man we had in midfield really told as we were able to overrun Spurs and put them under constant pressure; it really is incredible when you consider what Spurs spent on their midfield that they could be so easily marshalled and dominated by Mark Noble and Matt Taylor.
Against Tottenham, to a man I thought we were magnificent, we snapped into tackles, closed them down quickly and we carried a threat throughout the game.
We started the match quickly, got on top and didn’t relent until all three points were in the bag. There were so many top individual performances but I’d like to single out Stewart Downing who caused Spurs problems for the entirety of the contest.
It was his surging run which forced Kaboul’s red and though the Spurs wall was as flimsy as their performance I must admit it was nice to finally see West Ham score from a direct free-kick. (Lord knows we’ve conceded from enough of them this season.) It was by far Downing’s most impressive showing for the club and I’m sure there’s more to come from him next season.
Whatever fans may think of Sam Allardyce his West Ham record now reads promotion in his first season and safety in his next two, we realistically as a club couldn’t ask for anything more.
Lastly on the win over Spurs; I remember when beating them used to be a big deal…it simply isn’t anymore. It’s sweet but whilst a win over Tottenham was something we use to be able to dine out on; it now just seems a bit run of the mill and to be honest it’s something we expect these days.
Next season we should be stronger, this season has been testing but the experience of what has been an incredibly difficult campaign will surely have battle-hardened our squad and should give the fans a bit of faith that we can come through the difficult times.