Match Preview : West Ham (Away)

It’s back to business for Tottenham Hotspur after days of shocks and reluctant acceptance of the new normal. Yes, Jose Mourinho is the new head coach of Spurs and he leads his charges into a traditionally difficult fixture – away to West Ham United. 

Since his appointment, Mourinho has been making all the right noises publicly, paying tribute to the work of Mauricio Pochettino, praising his current squad and buying into the vision set out by chairman Daniel Levy. 

Whether or not any of this is true or simply an excellent PR exercise, the real test is on the pitch and really that’s the ONLY thing that matters to Spurs fans. Despite our affection for Pochettino (and what he has achieved), there’s no escaping the fact that our form in 2019 has been poor. Relegation form, in fact. With recent games and results casting a pall over everything related to Spurs. 

No more arguments over what might have been as all we have is the here and now with Mourinho and fingers crossed, we long-suffering Spurs fans will finally get the results that we deserve – Mourinho can talk all he wants, the irrefutable evidence of his impact will be seen in the upcoming games – with West Ham coming up first on Saturday.

Both Spurs and the Hammers have been having torrid times in recent games and so, this is a crucial match for both teams. It has to be noted that the last time Mourinho was at the London Stadium with Man Utd he lost 1-3 and the Hammers will be looking for a similar result, especially in the knowledge that their team typically raise their game for these fixtures, viewing it as some kind of cup final. 

Will Spurs get the benefit of a new coach bounce – Spurs fans are entitled to expect nothing less, considering Mourinho’s vaunted reputation. Emotionally, the players may also want to do well as a tribute to the departed Pochettino, though it would be all too little too late. Thus, I fully expect Spurs to get all three points. Nothing else matters. 

Starting line-up? Who knows. What is evident is that the likes of Lloris, Lamela and Vorm are out, with Ndombele and Vertonghen due for late fitness tests. Mourinho will probably keep faith with his favoured 4-3-3 formation but your guess as good as mine. 

Gazzaniga, Foyth, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies, Ndombele, Sissoko, Alli, Lo Celso, Son, Kane. 

COME ON YOU SPURS!!!