Peter Fitzpatrick·7 December 2023
Peter Fitzpatrick·7 December 2023
Spurs’ winless Premier League run extended to five games after West Ham staged a stunning second-half comeback to win 2-1 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Spurs and Ange Postecoglou have been one of the stories of the season but they are currently experiencing a rather dark chapter.
Despite dominating much of the game, and particularly the first half when they should have scored more than once, Spurs still slipped to defeat, making it five games in a row without a win, albeit their sole point at Manchester City was something to be proud of.
It also created two pieces of unwanted Premier League history for the club, as they became the first to not win five games in a row in which they took the lead, as well as the first to lose three in a row at home after doing the same thing.
Those three home losses also make it a first such run at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but in fairness the ground has only been open for four-and-a-half years. It is not quite a 1992-onwards era if that is any solace to the fanbase.
Even with the positivity of Postecoglou, the excellent style of play and the general feelgood energy around the club, some things just don’t seem to change.
It’s all a bit Spursy isn’t it?
On the reverse of their North London rivals, the feeling around West Ham and David Moyes is never too far from one of negativity.
There is some validity to it given the sometimes dour nature of their play, which is made all the more frustrating given they possess genuine quality in Mohammed Kudus, Lucas Paquetá and England duo Jarrod Bowen and James Ward-Prowse.
Bowen and Ward-Prowse grabbed the goals here in the Irons’ comeback victory, both continuing their own individual hot streaks.
It was a seventh away game in a row that the former Hull winger has scored in this season, tying Sergio Agüero and putting Robin van Persie’s record of nine in sight.
As for JWP, it was his sixth goal against Spurs – no other side has felt his wrath more throughout his career.
The win keeps West Ham in ninth but leaves them just three points off fifth place, while they also have a EFL Cup quarter final and the knockout stages of the Europa League to look forward to.
After the Conference League win last season, the Irons and Moyes could be set for another unexpectedly great campaign.
For all their brilliant attacking play for most of the season to date, Spurs have not replaced Harry Kane in any shape or form in truth.
Heung-Min Son has taken up the slack for the most part, returning to his absolute best with nine in 15 league games to date – just one less than the entirety of an off-form campaign last time around.
However, outside of him, Ange Postecoglou just does not have a reliable goalscorer in his side, nor a presence to lead the line and knock it long to when a team parks the bus, like West Ham did towards the end tonight.
Brennan Johnson was signed in the summer but he has netted just once in nine league starts, although his Spurs start was slowed down by a hamstring injury.
Richarlison has also had his issues (both injury and personal) but his tally of two league goals across this season and last just does not cut it for a side looking to qualify for the Champions League. His glaring headed miss late on here told a story.
With there only being three-and-a-bit weeks until the January transfer window, could Daniel Levy loosen his purse strings to give his manager the No. 9 he needs? A returning Ivan Toney, anyone?