Can West Ham get another one up on Spurs in the Cup?

How many times in the last decade, or even two, would you have you felt confident going in to a cup quarter-final against Spurs? Yes, it’s happened. West Ham have dumped the ‘unbeatable’ Man City out of the League Cup and now we get to play our bitter rivals in the round of eight.

We have come out on top in plenty of our shared games over the years, including last month when there was an air of confidence before we’d even kicked a ball at the London Stadium. We’d beaten Everton the weekend before and completed our third win in the Europa League just days before. Spurs were licking their wounds from a defeat in the Conference League, away from home.

The game itself saw us keep up our professional approach to the season. Spurs had their chances and so did West Ham. It looked like a game where one goal would win it, which is exactly what happened.

There just isn’t a better feeling than beating Spurs, is there? Hearing the roar of the crowd when Antonio scored was goosebump worthy, even through the medium of television. Now, we’ll get the opportunity again just a few days before Christmas, but this time at their place playing for the chance to get through to the League Cup semi-final.

Four years ago, we met Spurs in the last 16 of the same competition at Wembley. Bilic masterminded a 3-2 win to lift the spirits when the club really needed it. Andre Ayew netted twice and Lanzini assisted twice. In typical West Ham fashion though, we went behind early on and it took some rallying at half time to pull the win out of the bag, being 2-0 down at half time.

Thinking back to this victory and warming up for the upcoming fixture just reminds me of all the great wins over Tottenham in recent history. I was at the ‘lasagne-gate’ game and it has to be said, it was brilliant fun.

The off-the-field action had given the crowd something to giggle about and the banter on the terraces that day was brilliant. It was the season finale and Tottenham needed a win to secure Champions League football. The Hammers were sitting pretty in the top half of the table and enjoying being back in the Premier League.

Benayoun secured the win in the 80th minute. If you were there that day, you remember the crowd celebrations. You probably lost your keys, wallet, phone or something with all the flailing arms! There are other memorable wins that I haven’t been part of. I’ve never done an away day to White Hart Lane, but watching ‘the Ravel Morrison’ win in 2013 sticks in the memory.

That win came at a time when we’d just lost eight straight away games. We were in the bottom three and were yet to get to double figure points after seven games in the season. What was more, we hadn’t won at Spurs’ place for 14 years. So it was the unlikeliest of results.

Ravel was in the spotlight — he had returned to West Ham after being out on loan and was keen to prove that he was more than the negative headline that followed him. Is there a better way to get people talking about your football than score a goal like THAT against Tottenham?

It was another joyous occasion made better by the ‘non-relegation zone’ status it granted us at the time. And Morrison was handed our Goal of the Season award for his efforts. More recently than that, I watched us take on Spurs for the final time at Upton Park, from the comfort of my sofa. Although, I would have rather been sitting on a cold, red chair in East London!

It was an emotional win that saw Spurs miss out on the opportunity to top the table. There were only a handful of games left to play at the Boleyn and that fact had upped the performance stakes for West Ham. Bilic’s post-match words will live long in my heart, reminding us that we had just beat Spurs at Upton Park for the very last time, which was something our rivals ‘can never take away from us’.

Our most recent win against Tottenham was glorious and has given us great momentum going into another big game against them, but this time it’s a knock-out! Looking back at some of these previous wins should give us confidence — we’ve gone into some of these games in bad form and come from behind to win.

West Ham are now on the crest of a wave, but even if it doesn’t turn out our way, won’t we enjoy the opportunity for a Christmas sing-song? ‘Jingle bells, jingle bells…’

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