Mail Online Deputy Sports Editor Matty Lawless looks back at yesterday's game at Spurs...
Losing to Tottenham is never nice. On the school run this morning I was reminded of the score by quite a few, rightfully, smug Spurs fans. Payback for my smarting two years ago.
And that’s why it hurts West Ham supporters so much. Win and you claim bragging rights at work, in the pub, or even on the school run.
Lose? Then it’s probably best to keep your head down for a few days because you know the score... you’ve been reminded of it at 15 times already today!
So, who do I blame: The players? The manager? No. The kit man...
Surely someone should have reminded him that our amazing away wins over Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Crystal Palace all coincided with wearing our alternative strips? We even came back from two goals down to earn a draw at Sunderland. All thanks to the power of the away kit.
Just what was he thinking when he packed the home claret and blue shirts into that big aluminum container for the trip to White Hart Lane? Did anybody not tell him that they failed to inspire at Watford?
In all seriousness though, it was purely a bad day at the office. It happens. It’s just not nice when it happens against your arch-rivals.
I’m certain the players would have shared the disappointment of the supporters and, indeed, their manager Slaven Bilic after the game.
Spurs - who are on an magnificent run of late, losing only once in the Premier League this season - were helped by a catalogue of West Ham errors. But they did play extremely well too. They deserved to win.
Tactically speaking, I would have considered a similar approach to our last visit to north London, when we beat Arsenal, playing young Reece Oxford in that holding midfield role to protect the back four. In doing so, Oxford may have nullified the threat of Harry Kane, who often plays as a deep lying striker. And it might have countered the attacking threat of Moussa Dembele and Dele Alli surging through the middle.
I would have also liked to see Diafro Sakho play as the focal point in attack, at the top, with Mauro Zarate playing in behind. Maybe Andy Carroll would have been a great impact option to call upon. He would be the last person any tired defender would want to see.
Nikica Jelavic deserves credit for his role in creating Manuel Lanzini’s superb consolation goal. Is it time to give the Croatian a chance to shine from the start this weekend?
So, Slaven Bilic has now matched Sam Allardyce’s performance after 13 games last season with 21 points.
‘Has the bubble burst?’ read one tweet. We’ll find out next Sunday in what will be a tough test against a West Brom side who upset Arsenal at the weekend.
The key thing is not to use injuries as an excuse. Dimitri Payet is a huge loss, we all know. But there are very capable players in Bilic’s squad. The bench at White Hart Lane illustrated that, in my opinion. If he wants to change it up for West Brom, he has plenty of options. I expect Alex Song will be pushing hard for a start in training this week.
Let’s hope we see the real West Ham next Sunday, for a match when we celebrate some of the great cult heroes who we’ve marveled at over the years at the Boleyn Ground.
And in the meantime, try to avoid any of those tormenting Tottenham supporters...
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of West Ham United