West Ham musings by Pete May, author of Hammers in the Heart, West Ham:Irons in the Soul and Flying So High:West Ham's Cup Finals.
Sunday, October 6
Lasagne is a dish best served cold
Tottenham Hotspur 0 West Ham 3 (three!)
Manage to catch the game in an East London boozer that serves good beer. It's a nice day for a pint with Lisa and Matt even if we are sure to lose 4-0 with Defoe getting a hat-trick. And we're playing with no strikers. Still, we start well, making headway down the flanks with Downing delivering a dangerous cross that Nolan heads wide, Reid just fails to connect with another header, and we're playing in neat triangles with our six midfielders and quick to the ball. We can hear Twist and Shout from the away fans. Tottenham's defence is dumbfounded by the ghost striker Spanish-style formation of tactical genius Grande Samuel Allardicio. The best chance of the half comes after a clever chipped free kick from Noble that Nolan volleys just wide, while Red just fails to connect with a corner. We're happy with 0-0 at half-time.
Spurs step it up at the start of the second half, with Jussi saving a one-on-one with Defoe. But he always seems to score against us. Could it be our day?The excellent Tomkins, sporting Mr Rocheser-style sideburns, produces a fine save from Lloris after a Hammers corner. "You know West Ham could win this," suggests the commentary team. Surely not? WHO PUT THE BALL IN THE TOTTENHAM NET?
Morrison, Noble and Diame are dictating play in midfield and we're keeping the ball on the ground. On 66 minutes we win a corner. Winston Reid connects, the ball rebounds off Nolan and back to Winston and bang, it's in the net! YEEEEEEEES! An away goal. Extraordinary. Who put the ball in the Tottenham net? Winston Winston Reid! We glance at the clock. Oh no, 24 minutes left.
Surely we'll defend deep and bugger it up as normal. Only Noble slips a ball thrpough a ball to Vaz Te who outpaces Walker on the left and shoots straight at Lloris. The ball rebounds straight back on to Vaz's knee and into the net! YAAAAAY!!!Less the Hand of God and more the Knee of Vaz. "Now I'm really worried," says Matt. We text Michael the Whovian in delight to inform him his favourite player has scored. Meanwhile Nigel is dancing in the lanes of the New Forest where his mum lives. TOTTENHAM UN-RAVEL
Two-nil and we effed it up? Remember the Cup Final? This can't be happening. Or can it? on 79 Diame spins brilliantly to release Morrison in his own half. He advances with deceptive pace into the Spurs half, skips round the lumbering Dawson and then the static Vertonghen and chips the ball over Lloris. The ball trickles over the line as Ravel turns away to nonchantly celebrate. OHMYGGGGGGGGGGGOOOOD!!! EAT LASAGNE SPURS! THREE GOALS IN 13 MINUTES! "He made that look like a training ground goal," muses a gobsmacked Matt. "But he should have followed it up before celebrating." We're seeing something special here. THREE-NIL TO THE COCKNEY BOYS!
It's all Bubbles now. You wait all season for one away goal and then three turn up at White Hart Lane. The Spurs fans think there's a fire drill and the West Ham section goes effing mental. Lord Sugar! Sir Gary Lineker! Ricardo Villa! Christian Gross! AVB! Small Paul Ince! Chas and Dave! Can you hear me Chas and Dave? We're giving your boys one hell of a beating!
Joe Cole comes on and we nearly score a fourth. We haven't won at White Hart Lane since 1643. The whistle blows. Allardicio, still looking like Gene Hunt with his tie undone, smiles and clenches his fists. "Will Andy Carroll get his place back?" I muse. Matt and Lisa contemplate buying matching West Ham onesies. We go effing mental too and order more bottles of light ale. It's time to text all those Tottenham fans and offer lasagne for dinner. Clearly a dish best served cold.