Sorry Tottenham – the future is now clearly claret and blue

David Bowden says West Ham are ready to step out of the shadows

Hands up who’s had that playground school debate of ‘my team is better than yours’ – everyone? Good. After all it is the classic argument that happens up and down the land in pubs, offices and schools. The conflict between West Ham and Tottenham has been the one that has riled for many a year. Now seems like the opportune moment to examine things a little closer given the Hammers’ flying start to the season.

Under Slaven Bilic, the Irons have assembled a squad packed full of exciting players that like to play football ‘the right way’ and it is proving fruitful with the East End club sitting high up the table. With Spurs hot on their heels, it is time to open that can of worms again, and ask, are West Ham United better than Tottenham Hotpsur? If you had asked me this question over the years my answer, despite all my bravado, would be a painfully hard admission that Spurs have arguably been marginally ‘better’ than us.

They have won the First Division twice, the FA Cup eight times and the League Cup four times, as well as enjoying their fair share of honours in Europe. They have enjoyed regular European football in recent years including that Champions League run under Harry Redknapp. Our recent forays have sadly been rather short-lived, so they are also one up on us in that sense. But for some reason, this year feels different. Under Slaven there appears to be a new sense of belief around the Boleyn, it is really starting to feel like ‘our year’.

On the face of it, we have a better squad than Spurs, with only really Hugo Lloris and Christian Eriksen players I would bring into my West Ham starting 11 from North London. In Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini, Victor Moses, who rejected Spurs to come to us by the way, and Diafra Sakho we have a strike force that anyone outside of the usual top four would love to have. Whilst Bilic may not hold the same level of Premier League experience that Mauricio Pochettino has, the Croatian has been a breath of fresh air since arriving in E13.

At White Hart Lane, the football is equally free flowing, but unlike the Hammers they are reliant on one or two members of the squad to pull the strings. In Eriksen and Harry Kane, they have two terrific players, but when they aren’t on form, the Lilywhites tend to fire blanks. So whilst they may edge us on historic honours, I have every faith that our move to bigger and better things in Stratford alongside Slaven building a strong squad, that the Hammers will soon be a much, much bigger club than Tottenham and maybe even the biggest club in London. Let’s dare to dream for a moment.

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