West Ham parked the bus to earn a 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur. Only Son Heung-min’s late strike prevented the Hammers from walking away with all three points. Here are five things we learned.
It was widely acknowledged to be a priority for David Moyes, and after a number of unnerving performances, West Ham finally produced an effective defensive display again. By the 70th minute, when Pedro Obiang scored his sublime goal, West Ham had not had a touch in Spurs’ penalty area. This backs-to-the-wall approach was exemplified by Angelo Ogbonna, who made ten clearances and two blocks to help West Ham to a point. After a run which saw West Ham concede seven goals in three games, this was a much needed showcase for Moyes’ improvements.
Spurs endured a difficult night, though Son’s late equaliser will act as a salve for Spurs fans, who at least did not have to see their hated opposition take away all three points. Tottenham’s frustration was exemplified by Harry Kane, with the in-form striker failing to find the net despite seven shots on goal.
The team as a whole had 31 shots, with 14 blocked, including three in the space of thirty seconds during injury time. Questions might be raised over Spurs’ inability to breakdown West Ham’s defence.
Rice’s Big Performance
Declan Rice continued his breakout season with a man-of-the-match performance against West Ham’s biggest rivals.
The 18-year-old produced an impressive display that effectively neutralised Harry Kane, and cemented him as one to watch in the back half of the season.
With West Ham having not seen a youth player come through the ranks for some time, Rice’s performances continue to inspire confidence that something positive may come out of this season. If West Ham can recall Reece Oxford from Germany, and settle him into the team, then two potential stars will provide real interest around West Ham’s performances.
Tottenham’s Lacklustre Midfield
Mauricio Pochettino opted to replace the entirety of his midfield through substitutes last night, with the lack of creativity allowing West Ham’s defence a big result.
Eric Dier and Moussa Sissoko were uninspiring, and offered little for their attacking players to latch on to. Whilst West Ham celebrated the performance of a young player, Spurs fans will rue the injury to young Harry Winks, whose imagination was sorely missing last night.
Top Six No Problem
David Moyes’ rejuvenation of West Ham’s results has seen them pick up points against top six clubs on four occasions, with Manchester City only narrowly beating them. Along the way, West Ham have only conceded three goals, leading to wistful glances at poor performances against Newcastle and Bournemouth.
If Moyes can impart the attitude that the Hammers approach ‘big’ games to every weekend, then we could, despite the mockery surrounding his appointment, be dealing with the next long-term West Ham manager. And who could have predicted any discussion of that in November?