We’ve had a shocking season and no matter whether we are relegated or survive, I am delighted that the end of the campaign is drifting into view.
Let’s face it, no-one should have to put up with this level of torture but it’s still only March and that means we’ve still got to endure another two months of this. At least one fixture in March is eye-catching: Coronavirus permitting, we’ll be rocking up to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (not quite as catchy as “the Lane”) to see a football stadium that was actually designed for football, renewing our rivalries with the Jose Mourinho-led media favourites. Yes, that is bitterness speaking.
On recent form, the chances of us winning this football match are exactly the same as the chances of Gold, Sullivan and Brady winning a popularity contest. But we have won there before so it is possible. Here, for motivational purposes, are five matches away to Tottenham which have seen happier outcomes in the Premier League era.
Tottenham 1-4 West Ham, 4th April 1994
West Ham’s first season back in the top flight after a year (and their first in the then-Premiership) was ultimately a successful one under the stewardship of Billy Bonds, with the biggest win of the season at White Hart Lane on Easter Monday. A lovely goal from Steve Jones, a brace from Trevor Morley, along with Mike Marsh’s effort ensured the points headed back to East London.
However, the match is most memorable for what is surely the most obvious penalty you will ever see. Watch the complete lack of grace as a Tottenham defender attempts to head the ball away from danger but instead completely misses and absolutely clatters the West Ham player. Comedy gold.
Tottenham 0-1 West Ham, 12th February 1996
Harry Redknapp is in charge now, and he’s busy constructing the West Ham “United Nations” (think Reiper, Bilic, and, um, Boogers – no, actually, best not). Another new arrival was the Portugese international Daniel da Cruz Carvalho – better known as Dani. Remember the wonderkid about whom Redknapp famously said, “I didn’t know whether to pick him or f*** him”?
For one glorious night, Dani could do no wrong. He scored within five minutes of his debut after Julian Dicks’ shot was saved and the ball rebounded to him. He was the new West Ham sensation. Everything was going to be all right for this struggling West Ham side. He was going to be West Ham’s version of Christiano Ronaldo and take us back to the glory days until he left after three months because he never turned up for training, that is. Still, we survived the season, so swings and roundabouts.
Tottenham 1-2 West Ham, 24th April 1999
Three years on from the Dani-inspired triumph came another excellent victory in what was a fine season for Redknapp’s men. Even though John Moncur was sent off for picking up a second yellow card, goals from Ian Wright and Marc Keller (ah, that’s a blast from the past) ensured that our dominance over them that season was maintained.
In fact, that season, we went on to finish fifth, whilst Tottenham could only finish 11th. Ha. Another question from that season that has never been satisfactorily answered: How on earth did we finish fifth and have a goal difference of minus seven? How is that even possible? Answers on a postcard.
Tottenham 0-3 West Ham, 6th October 2013
Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Sam Allardyce’s 4-6-0 formation came up trumps in this one; West Ham’s first win at Spurs in over a decade. Winston Reid poked home the first in the second half, after Kevin Nolan had inexplicably blocked our own shot on the line. Ricardo Vaz Te’s somewhat fortunate deflection off himself (you have to see it) doubled the lead.
And then for one glorious afternoon, Ravel Morrison could do no wrong. He ran the length of the half, moving past defenders as if they weren’t there, before dinking the ball over the top of the goalkeeper. He was the new West Ham sensation. Everything was going to be all right. He was going to be West Ham’s version of Christiano Ronaldo and take us back to the glory days… until he left because, well, his attitude stank. Any of this sound familiar?
Tottenham 0-1 West Ham, 27th April 2019
Tottenham’s first game at their new fancy stadium. We rock up. Antonio scores and no-one has any idea what the celebration means. We win. We’re the first team to beat them at their new place. And it tastes so sweet… so, so sweet. Actually… yes, the season’s been rubbish. But a victory over Tottenham does make it all better. Please can we oblige?