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Five of the best players to play for Spurs and West Ham in the PL era

Tottenham face West Ham this week in a huge derby day meeting between the two London rivals, with both sides battling to secure European qualification.

The two sides have more than a century of rivalry and tomorrow’s meeting shapes as an intriguing clash. Despite the often frayed relations, including Lasagne-gate and the battle to win the Olympic Stadium, several players have adorned both colours in the Premier League.

Ahead of the clash, we’ve pick out five of the best players to play for West Ham and Spurs in the Premier League era.

Les Ferdinand

Les Ferdinand forged a reputation as one of the Premier League’s finest forwards during the first decade of the division, scoring prolifically for both Queens Park Rangers and Newcastle.

Ferdinand’s spell with the latter saw him form part of the Magpies’ entertaining side of the mid-nineties. He scored 41 league goals in just 68 appearances over two seasons, and was named the PFA Player of the Year during the 1995/96 campaign.

After two seasons on Tyneside, he moved to boyhood side Spurs in a £6m deal, though injuries hindered his initial impact as he struggled to replicate his previous goalscoring exploits.

The forward won the League Cup during his debut season in North London and scored 33 goals in 118 league appearances for Spurs, though he later admitted the move was one of the worst decisions of his career, after leaving a Newcastle side capable of challenging for a Tottenham team in turmoil.

Ferdinand spent six seasons with Spurs before joining West Ham, but was unable to prevent relegation during his sole season with the East London outfit, before moving on to Leicester.

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Teddy Sheringham

Among the few players to remain popular on both sides of the divide, Teddy Sheringham was a key figure for Spurs during the Premier League’s opening seasons.

Sheringham finished as the leading scorer in the division during the Premier League’s inaugural campaign after signing for Spurs from Nottingham Forest, and would score 76 goals in 166 appearances across two spells in North London, either side of a trophy-laden period at Manchester United.

The deep-lying forward was one of the Premier League’s great evergreen players and holds the divisional records for oldest outfield player and oldest ever goalscorer, with both records set during a successful spell at West Ham.

Sheringham signed for the Hammers after their drop into the second tier and fired the club to promotion with a 20-goal campaign in 2004/05, before continuing to make an impact at the highest level beyond his 40th birthday.

Michael Carrick

One of a collection of academy graduates who came through the West Ham system either side of the turn of the millennium, Michael Carrick’s talents were brought to the capital after spotting the midfielder at notorious North East amateur side Wallsend Boys Club.

Part of the club’s FA Youth Cup winning side, Carrick broke into the senior side shortly after and quickly made an impression in the West Ham first team, with the midfielder a player with superb technique and an ability to dictate the tempo of the game.

Carrick made 159 appearances in all competitions for the Hammers before moving across the capital to Spurs, following the club’s drop into the second tier, where he would cement himself as one of the Premier League’s best young midfielders at White Hart Lane.

His performances saw the star remain with Spurs for just two seasons as Manchester United came calling in search of a Roy Keane replacement, with Carrick becoming one of the most decorated footballers of the modern era during a glittering career with the Red Devils.

Carrick made 464 appearances and won five Premier League titles at Old Trafford. He became one of just two English players – alongside Wayne Rooney – to complete a full set of major club honours.

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Jermain Defoe

Jermain Defoe joined West Ham’s thriving academy system from Charlton as a teenager, before returning from a prolific loan spell at Bournemouth to break into the senior side.

Defoe impressed with his natural goalscoring ability and finished as the club’s leading scorer during the 2001/02 season, as Glenn Roeder’s side finished seventh following an impressive Premier League campaign.

He continued his progress the following season but was unable to keep West Ham in the division as they slipped to a surprise relegation, before souring his relationship with the fans after handing in a transfer request, just 24 hours after the club’s drop into the second tier.

Defoe remained with the club but after 15 goals in 22 appearances over the first half of the season, he was subject of interest from Tottenham in the winter window, moving to North London in a deal worth up to £7m.

Defoe quickly became a fans’ favourite and emerged as one of the club’s most popular players of the 2000s, spending two spells with Spurs and scoring 143 goals in 363 appearances, a figure bettered by just six players in the club’s history.

Scott Parker

Scott Parker’s career included a tour of the capital with spells at five separate London clubs, enjoying spells at both Charlton and Chelsea before making the move to West Ham – via Newcastle – in 2007.

The midfielder became a huge favourite among the Hammers’ fanbase for his selfless style and full-blooded commitment to the cause, bringing energy and drive to the West Ham engine room.

The England international was named as the club’s Player of the Season in back-to-back campaigns, and secured his place as one West Ham’s best players of the Premier League era during a four-year spell at Upton Park.

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Parker’s performances saw him named as the FWA Footballer of the Year in 2010/11 despite West Ham suffering relegation from the Premier League, with his all-action style not quite enough to secure the club’s safety.

With his international aspirations in mind, he departed for Spurs and spent two seasons in north London, anchoring the midfield in familiar tenacious style before finishing his career at Fulham.

Read – Noughties Nines: A striker’s striker, Jermain Defoe

See also – 90s Hitmen: Teddy Sheringham, a forward of enduring excellence

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