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Five points on West Ham - with Jason Burt of the Telegraph

22 September 2017|Tottenham Hotspur

A regular at Spurs matches in his role as Chief Football Correspondent for The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph, Jason Burt was also in the press box for West Ham's recent win against Huddersfield at the London Stadium. Here, Jason gives his insight into the Hammers for our 'Five Points' feature...

jason_burt Jason Burt
Chief Football Correspondent
Daily/Sunday Telegraph

Point 1 - Performance v Huddersfield

Jason: “It wasn’t the prettiest performance and the return of Andy Carroll made them more direct and physical, but in the circumstances that wasn’t a bad thing because they just needed to win the game. It was their first home game of the season and what you will find with this particular team is they always respond to adversity. However, they struggle to be as creative as they need to be without Manuel Lanzini (knee injury) and without him, going more direct was probably the right thing to do against a Huddersfield team who were quite disappointing on the night. The big conundrum facing Slaven Bilic is how to get both Carroll and Javier Hernandez in the same team. Against Huddersfield, he played Hernandez out wide and it didn’t really work. Hernandez was substituted at 0-0 but it was the right thing to do because Bilic then brought on wide players and it made a difference. Ideally, he’d play a 4-3-3 and go with Marko Arnautovic, Michail Antonio and Hernandez through the middle, but it’s difficult to leave out Carroll when he’s fully fit as he’s so effective.”

Below: Andy Carroll


Point 2 - Andy Carroll

Jason: “I think he’s a good footballer but he’s so good in the air, so strong that there is always the tendency, especially under pressure, to play it long up to him. He’s incredible in the air and that 4-3-3 isn’t a bad system for him, especially with wide players like Antonio. If everyone is fit, he might not even get into their first 11 and he’d be more effective coming off the bench – but you play him because we all know that if you hit the ball in the air, he’ll get on the end of it.”

Below: Slaven Bilic


Point 3 - Potential tactics

Jason: “I wouldn’t be surprised if Bilic went with the same team that started against Huddersfield. He will be thinking about what Spurs might do and if he thinks Spurs will stick with 3-4-3, he might match the teams up. Bilic has used that 3-4-3 when they’ve been under pressure and needing a result. The key is Aaron Cresswell, because he gives that width at left wing-back. Cresswell and Pablo Zabaleta did well as wing-backs against Huddersfield and you’ve Winston Reid, James Collins and Jose Fonte as three strong central defenders. He might think about 3-4-3 again, especially in the absence of Lanzini.”

Below: Javier Hernandez


Point 4 - A neutral’s view of West Ham-Spurs

Jason: “I think it’s a brilliant game and I wish I was covering it! I was there last season. It’s developed into a real rivalry in recent seasons. West Ham’s win against Spurs last season was their biggest at the London Stadium. It’s the game they looked at and said ‘that’s what we need to replicate’. It meant a lot to them to win that game.”

Below: Harry Kane


Point 5 - Spurs

Jason: “I’m sure the draws have been a bit frustrating and the team has been a bit unfortunate, the Swansea game almost encapsulated that, Swansea defended brilliantly but Tottenham should have won. Having said that, I think you are still playing some great football. Christian Eriksen has been fantastic, almost under the radar and Harry Kane has been, well, Harry Kane! He’s my favourite striker. I think he’s exceptional and if I was to suggest to any young footballer which player you would look at and say ‘that’s who to emulate’ I would say Harry Kane. He behaves brilliantly, never reacts on the pitch, continually looks to improve himself and has an unshakable determination to be the best, and he has a brilliant attitude. He’s a fantastic example to every young footballer.”