Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hammers Carling Cup Win Is Great Way To Prepare For Spurs Derby

West Ham had the best preparation ahead of their Saturday clash with Tottenham Hotspur winning their 3rd round Carling Cup match. The fact that it was against Premiership opponents (Sunderland) and that the Hammers finally registered their first away win of the year will give Scott Parker and his team mates a massive boost in confidence.

Piquionne and Obinna finally opened their account for West Ham. With Carlton Cole struggling for goals, the Frenchman and the Nigerian will be relied upon to get the goals. Coupled with that well-earned draw against Stoke City, it has been a happy week so far for West Ham and Avram Grant. Psychologically, this win will do wonders for the player's confidence. And the performance levels have been steadily rising as well.

It is by no coincidence that the introduction of Manuel Da Costa has presided over better defensive displays. His composed and awareness on the pitch makes a difference to players around him. With the Portuguese, James Tomkins becomes a better player. Around the ex-Fiorentina man, Matthew Upson had less to do against Stoke. Surely he has done enough to warrant a first team slot at the heart of the West Ham defence.

That's two wins already in the Carling Cup, perhaps West Ham can gain solace through an extended run in the cup. An excellent cup run can bring about waves of optimism and positivity to a club. This enthuasism could easily translate to improved fortunes and results in the Premiership. Not to mention the much needed financial rewards.

The Hammers' great rivals, Spurs are in good winning form in the Premier League. Relying on individual brilliance (see Bale's goal of the season contender) so far rather than teamwork, they have lost only once. That loss was against Wigan and it shows that Spurs has been complacent against supposedly weaker opposition (also 1-1 against the Baggies). Nevertheless, Spurs have an excellent squad and on their day, 'Arry's team can rip apart anyone. West Ham's fragile defence will have to be wary of the threat of Van der Vaart and Bale especially.

A London derby clash is exactly what Scott Parker and Mark Noble relishes. In these two determined players, West Ham have the perfect platform to try and get three points at Upton Park. After a fine showing in the Carling Cup last night, Pablo Barrera should warrant a place in the starting lineup, considering that neither Assou-Ekoto or Bale can defend.

There has been some great matches between the two sides, the most remembered of all being the 4-3 classic from the 2006/2007 season.

The Hammers were 2-0 up in that relegation threatened season before Spurs replied through Defoe and Tainio. Zamora looked to have given West Ham victory on the 85th minute only for Berbatov to curl in  a freekick on the 89th minute. Late into injury time, Paul Stalteri followed up on a Defoe shot and won it for Spurs.

A combative West Ham win over a complacent-proned Spurs would bring a renewed air of optimism into the club. The prospect of the  Hammers moving ahead of struggling Everton in the league table would be an excellent reward for a week of passionate football.

Come On You Irons!

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