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Les's Hammer cracker

Posted on 23 November 2001  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Les Ferdinand remembers fondly our FA Cup triumph over West Ham at Upton Park last season.

We travelled to the home of the Hammers cast firmly in the role of underdogs by many pundits and observers as West Ham had already seen off Manchester United and Sunderland away from home in the competition.

It was certainly a cracker.

"It was the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and West Ham had been going great guns, we'd done okay in the Cup and it was all set for a fantastic game - I think that's exactly what everybody got," recalled Les.

"West Ham had such great results away from home in the competition and that was their game at home so it was seen as a foregone conclusion as they had done so well and they was only up against Spurs at home.

"We changed the script that day."

The script took another twist the following week with the departure of George Graham from the club - a story that Les feels might crop up in a quiz in years to come.

"This game always throws up trivia. You look back on things and we had a great result and a few days later we're without a manager."

The club is now looking only onwards and upwards, and Les is looking forward to another London challenge this weekend.

"They've made quite a few changes this season and seem to have found a little bit of form, with things starting to improve for them.

"We've done pretty well away from home this season and are looking to improve somemore.

"The game last Saturday was a massive game, it always is against Arsenal, and everyone is bubbling and up for it. Now we've got another London derby against West Ham and to say it won't have the same passion would be a lie.

"As anyone who saw the cup game will realise, they'll be the same battles going on all over the field.

"Then we go away to Fulham in the cup and then we play Charlton not long after."

So what do London derbies take out of players physically and emotionally?

"It's another game of football and you've got to get yourself up for it. It is a derby and there is that added incentive - we've just got to give a good account of ourselves.

"The emotions are a bit different for this game, but if you're not emotional about any game you're going to struggle.

"I woke up on Sunday morning and felt like I'd been in a battle, but I feel like that every Sunday morning."