Pissing on the Spam’s parade there’d only be one team that the late Bobby Moore would have wanted to play for last night. Not the hoofball merchants representing his former club, the one he wanted away from to join a classier side.
Sam Allardyce got his ProZone knickers in a twist and claimed that they only lost because of Gareth Bale.
Well yes he did score two pretty damn good goals but he didn’t contribute all of the greater possession Spurs’ had, the football the visitors played compared to the hoofball from the other side. He didn’t have the host’s main striker in his pocket, he didn’t make any great saves like the Spurs ‘keeper and he didn’t have all the shots that Allardyce’s man between the sticks needed to save to stop it being a cricket score.
It was a close call who was the West Ham man of the match. Jaaskelainen, Scott Parker or Adebayor.
Spurs started poorly. Walker a bit nervous at the back, helped give West Ham some impetus to go with them being up for their cup final. Hugo Lloris the first ‘keeper to be called into any real action with a fine save. Spurs didn’t get going until the chants bout Bale resembling a monkey started. He’d had one attempt just before met by jeers. The second wasn’t.
Defenders know what he’s going to do, he’s been doing it for the last couple of months now, yet they still back off and let him do it. Get on his left foot and have a bang. Which he did after nicely being gifted the ball.
The lead should have lasted longer than 10 minutes but with the ball in the Spurs’ area and a bit of panic about Parker did what he usually does in moments of blind panic. A stupid reckless challenge. This is not something new, he did this last season, just got away with it a bit more and the worshippers glossed over it. Not here, clear penalty. Carroll giving Lloris no chance with the spot kick.
Just before the half Jaaskelainen produced one of those saves, from a Caulker header from a corner, that makes you think it’s going to be one of those nights. He continued to do it throughout the second half, from two more Caulker headers at corners and shots from all parts.
He didn’t have to do much for what looked to be his most important save. Ten minutes into the second period after a good save from Sigurdsson’s deflected curler, Adebayor was faced with an open goal. He calmly nodded the ball straight into Jaaskelainen’s grateful hands.
It pretty much summed up the “striker’s” night. His season. Pathetic. Apparently though we have to support him because he wears the shirt. A shirt that belongs to a club he’s mugging off. We all knew Adebayor’s M.O. We all knew this would happen, yet some expected it to go differently.
Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
Adebayor scores that sitter and what followed it wouldn’t have happen.
One minute and twenty seconds later from being what should have been a 1-2 scoreline it was now 2-1. Vertonghen showing what can happen when you have a centre-back at fullback he played Joe Cole onside, when with his pace and Cole’s lack of it he could have cut Cole off. Cole finished well and again Lloris didn’t have much hope.
Say it again Adebayor scores and that doesn’t happen.
And so he joins Jaaskelainen and Parker as their best players on the night. Jaaskelainen made more game saving saves before the tables were turned. Taylor was clean through on the Spurs’ goal but as he had done all night – during which he’d commanded his area under high balls and played the sweeper – Lloris rushed out and smothered the shot. Game saving.
Couple of minutes later from a Bale free-kick panic in their area lead to Adebayor completely air kicking another great chance, only for this time for it to fall to Sigurdsson to bundle in, for the Icelander’s first league goal for the club. He certainly played his part after coming on for Holtby early in the second half and was well deserving of the goal.
It was an all out siege on the West Ham goal now. But Jaaskelainen was still at it.
Until just before the end of the 90th minute, when after picking himself up, Bale shuffled to the left and banged another beauty into the net. Was going to take something special to beat Jaaskelainen and that it was.
One man team? Certainly a team when you look how they celebrated with Bale as he charged towards the manager – remember him the one the media told you the players hate – though reports of Adebayor’s whereabouts during this celebration haven’t reached us yet.
Must win game, won in the last minute of normal time. Who’d have thunk it?
One man team? Lloris, Gylfi, Dawson, Caulker say no.
That’s the team Bobby Moore wanted to join when he wanted desperately away from Upton Park.