Fortune Favours The Brave And Average

Tottenham did not play well at West Ham by any stretch of the imagination but Sam Allardyce played into their hands by doing what Sam Allardyce naturally does: nothing.

Last Updated: 17/08/14 at 09:51 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Invincible Chelsea? It's Not So Far-Fetched...

5 comments

Cesc Fabregas laughed off suggestions that Chelsea could emulate that Arsenal side but Adam Bate is not so sure it's a joke - they really could pull this off..

No Defence For Liverpool Sloppiness

39 comments

Liverpool's defending again undermined any potential success against Real Madrid at Anfield. They weren't expected to win, but an improvement on Sunday would have been good...

All Articles

The good news for Tottenham fans is that debutant Eric Dier showed admirable derring-do to strike in injury time to earn victory; the bad news for Tottenham fans is that they will not face a manager as ridiculously conservative as Sam Allardyce every week.

By no stretch of the imagination did Spurs play well at Upton Park; they were already on the back foot when Kyle Naughton was harshly shown a red card in the 29th minute. Stewart Downing had been tormenting the woeful Danny Rose, Erik Lamela and Aaron Lennon were struggling to create much of any worth and Mark Noble and Cheikhou Kouyaté were dominating the centre of midfield against Nabil Bentaleb and Etienne Capoue.

Mauricio Pochettino's reaction to Naughton's red card was unusual. Instead of bringing on Ben Davies or Michael Dawson for one of his attacking triptych, he instead shuffled Dier to right-back, pulled Capoue back into the centre of defence and more or less shouted 'as you were' as Spurs played something akin to a 4-1-3-1. His attacking principles were not to be dimmed by the small matter of a one-man disadvantage.

"This is our philosophy. Believe, always, 90-95 minutes, winning the game. This is our philosophy," said Pochettino after the game.

Thankfully for Pochettino, he was not the only man on the touchline with a philosophy. While the Argentine stuck to his guns, Allardyce stuck to his blanks. He had started the game with Carlton Cole (13 goals in three Premier League seasons) as a lone striker and he was not about to be shifted from that steadfast path, whatever nonsense fans and chairmen spout about demanding more entertaining football.

So Mauro Zarate (13 goals in his last 19 games for Vélez Sarsfield) and Enner Valencia (18 in 23 for Pachuca last season) remained on the bench while Cole toiled alone up front and Ricardo Vaz Te shot wildly from the left. West Ham had a one-man advantage for 34 minutes but managed only two shots on target. This, people, is the new-look West Ham. Same as the old West Ham.

Did Tottenham show enough to convince anyone that they should not be incredibly distant sixth-favourites for the title? No. But did Pochettino's approach suggest that this is going to be a fun old ride? Hell yes. It's difficult to say the same about the Hammers.

Sarah Winterburn

Psmly01 - What was your take on the game then? Rather than criticise wildly, try and refute her points.
- jackio

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e doesn't need a caoch. He needs a bus. A bloody big one, that he can park across the goal line. And when he gets one, he can do us a favour and let us know where we can buy one from as well.

HarryBoulton
Rodgers: No defence coach

Y

ou are wrong Per, thats the right way the play. Its everyone elses' fault that it doesnt work.

delboy
Mertesacker urges style change

A

s it's panto season coming soon, let me be the first Oh yes you do

munchie
Rodgers: No defence coach

Latest Photos

Footer 365

La Liga: Barcelona's Luis Suarez adamant biting days are behind him ahead of El Clasico return against Real Madrid

Barcelona's Luis Suarez is adamant his biting days are behind him as he returns from a four-month ban against Real Madrid.

Transfer news: Van Gaal hints former Barcelona keeper Valdes could stay at Manchester United

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has refused to rule out the possibility of signing goalkeeper Victor Valdes.

Premier League: Ronald Koeman looking at European challenge sparked by Dusan Tadic

Ronald Koeman believes Dusan Tadic can spark Southampton into a challenge for Champions League football next season.

Mail Box

'Goals Like That Can Make You Pregnant'

Those being sniffy about Erik Lamela's rabona are given short shrift in the afternoon mailbox, where criticism of Brendan Rodgers is smashed out of the park...

Does David De Gea Need Competition?

It would certainly be a good idea to give Victor Valdes a contract, while we have more mails on Brendan Rodgers, Arsene Wenger, the rabona and mailbox gripes...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property