Sunday, August 23, 2009

West Ham United v. Tottenham Hotspur: Stopping Jermain Defoe is Key to Hammers Win

It's only the second match of the new season for the Hammers and already the London derby is upon us. Spurs have played superbly in their opening matches, beating Liverpool at home 2-1 and then putting on an attacking display against Hull City 5-1. A new Jermain Defoe has emerged from the summer break. A stronger and quicker Defoe is now on show and Harry Redknapp is raving about his improved performances on the pitch.

Defoe scoring the winner against West Ham at the Barclays Asia Trophy - Will he do it again?

West Ham have made a great start to the season, winning 2-0 against Wolves. However, that win has been marred by ongoing rumours of Matthew Upson leaving, Zola resigning and the board pushing Duxbury and Zola to sell West Ham's best players. It would seem that not all are rosy in the boardroom and so what better place to put things right than on the football pitch.

Jermain Defoe has firmly established himself as the first choice striker in the Spurs attack, having scored a stylish hattrick at the KC Stadium. Harry Redknapp believes that Defoe is in the best physical shape and form since he was 14 years old! His strength and pace at the start of this season are evident. This adds to Defoe's versatility as he can now be relied upon to play with his back against goal, potentially providing more assists than before. This extra dimension to Defoe's game meant that I cannot help but earmark him as the Spurs man to stop. A Hammers' win depends on it.

Cutting out the supply to Defoe has to be the solution and Scott Parker is perfect for the role of destroyer. Serving as the protective screen in front of the Hammers' defence, Parker will be counted upon for determined tackling and intelligent ball distribution.

Defending against Defoe can be difficult due to his quickness. As soon as he is on the ball, the West Ham central defenders must close him down and not give him any room to accelerate. If Danny Gabbidon is fit, his pace and excellent defensive abilities can be a perfect foil against Defoe.

The message is clear. Stop Defoe and Zola's boys will celebrate another three points. History indicates that it will be a tight match but I still think there will be lots of passion and determination in this game. It will surely be exciting.
Last six meetings (Premier League unless stated)
11 April 2009 - Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 West Ham United
8 December 2008 - West Ham United 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur
9 March 2008 - Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 West Ham United
25 November 2007 - West Ham United 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur
4 March 2008 2007 - West Ham United 3-4 Tottenham Hotspur
22 October 2006 - Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 West Ham United
Overall record v Tottenham Hotspur (all competitions) W 43 D 34 L 55


Anonymous said...

the 4-3 agaisnt spurs was 2007 not 2008

TheFlatBackFour said...

oh yeah! thanks for the typo spot!

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