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

Everton Rise To The Occasion Once Again

7 comments

After Spurs' dreadful 0-0 draw with Partizan Belgrade, Matt Stanger was grateful to see Everton mirror their manager's enthusiasm with a bold display against Wolfsburg...

A New Deal? Yaya Needs To Earn His Place First...

18 comments

His performance against Bayern Munich was his worst of a season that has not quite started for Yaya Toure, who looks disinterested after a summer of unrest...

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

ilarious, thanks for that. But if I may, I do suspect the reason of your partners' ire is not Tottenham, but most probably all the compusilve gambling :)

DannySmith
Backing Costa To Keep Banging 'Em In

T

wo police horses in a paddock. Horse 1: What's with the long face? Horse 2: I'm working St James Park this weekend.

hump3.
Pardew - It's mass hysteria

T

wo things. First, I can't stop reading your name as 'Dane Bowers'. Second, you used the words 'philosophy' and 'Redknapp' in the same sentence.

ajsr1982
Can United's Defence Handle Ulloa?

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Premier League: Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini not concerned by Yaya Toure's form

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has no concerns over the form or commitment of midfielder Yaya Toure.

Transfer news: Chelsea's Jose Mourinho plays down Cristiano Ronaldo transfer talk

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has played down speculation about signing Cristiano Ronaldo.

Dundee boss Paul Hartley anticipates a good derby with United

Dundee boss Paul Hartley maintains his players have no fears as they prepare for the derby match with Dundee United.

Mail Box

Be Careful What You Wish For, Gooners

That's the message from a Man United fan in the mailbox. Plus, thoughts on Paul Lambert's new contract, the Alan Pardew dilemma at Newcastle and lots more...

No, Wenger IS To Blame For Failure...

The backlash to the backlash to the backlash sees Arsene Wenger getting a good kicking while we also have mails on Chelsea, Newcastle, Everton and lots more...

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