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Talking West Ham

Posted on 14 September 2002  - 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).

David Pleat looks ahead to Sunday's first home London Derby of the season against West Ham.

IT'S GOT A good history, Tottenham v West Ham and I don't think the game being played on a Sunday will affect the atmosphere too much.

Glenn Roeder hasn't had the results at home so far and West Ham have lost a couple of games at Upton Park already this season. They were beaten at Newcastle too and have conceded more goals than any other team at the moment, I think.

This does not necessarily mean a soft centre. It may mean that when the ball changes hands they are not getting people behind the ball as well as other teams.

It's going to be an interesting game. They are great pals, the two Glenns, and let's hope we can gather the points.

We've had some great games in the past - I remember 1987 in particular. John Lyall got off the bench after the game and said 'you were magnificent'. He didn't mean me, of course, but the team won 5-0.

We were fantastic and a lot of supporters remember that game because they hardly touched the ball.

People should not press the panic button with West Ham this season. They started poorly last season, were heavily criticised and finished seventh. It was unfair of people to say the type of things they did but starting badly in two consecutive years will cause concern.

They have reinforced with the signing of Gary Breen, who hasn't featured much yet but did play in a practice match here at Spurs Lodge. Winterburn has ageing legs now but is a splendid competitor.

Repka is a very good and strong defender I feel, but does give away free kicks.

They are creative in midfield, obviously. Carrick is steady, a cautious and sensible passer of the ball and Cole, of course, who is adventurous and exciting.

My friend Di Canio I don't think will be playing and I think Glenn, in the long run, will rely on a trustworthy Kanoute and an honest Defoe in attack.

I think Defoe is ready now. I think he's been handled perfectly, a loan at Bournemouth for a season then having a few games the following one. This season is the one where he has to go all the way.

I was talking to Pat Jennings recently about a particular reserve game last year where we were beaten. The boys in the other team that beat us, I won't say who, never had an opportunity in the first team.

Our boys have got the opportunity. Partly injuries, partly suspensions and partly the manager's determination to see what he's got. If they don't get that chance at the right age, it goes by and they get disheartened or dispirited.

We do get young players lost to the game.

West Ham have got a reputation for nurturing East End talent. Over the years they have always had a group of boys with a great affinity to the club. I think Tottenham over the years have certainly been perceived as a more glamorous club with greater traditions perhaps.

But West Ham have always played football the right way for as long as I can remember. I know from my time at Luton when we were fighting West Ham for promotions from Division Two, they were always good games, if not great.