Hammer Fan Blog: Spurs draw should give West Ham confidence
PUBLISHED: 17:47 23 March 2011
PA Wire/Press Association Images
“With tough trips to Bolton, Chelsea and Manchester City still to come, it will be pleasing to Grant that his side have discovered a fresh steel”
Following a thrilling display against Liverpool and the comprehensive dismissal of Stoke, Hammers added another string to their bow and maintained their good Premier League form with a hard-fought draw at White Hart Lane.
As painful an admission as this is, Tottenham are one of the best attacking sides in Europe; so to keep a clean sheet against them for the second time this season was an excellent achievement, and one that should give Avram Grant and his side great confidence for the remaining eight games. Indeed, on another day Hammers might have stolen all three points had they shown a little more composure in front of goal.
The game was not without its heart-stopping moments as the Champions League quarter finalists twice hit the woodwork, but if it’s true that you make your own luck then the performances of Robert Green, Matthew Upson and particularly Wayne Bridge were fully deserving of the fortune that came their way.
With tough trips to Bolton, Chelsea and Manchester City still to come, it will be pleasing to Grant that his side have discovered a fresh steel, resolve and defensive quality that was painfully lacking the first half of the campaign.
Once again, in this most unpredictable of seasons, survival is far from certain but Hammers are giving themselves a realistic chance. A realistic chance that, not so long ago, seemed unlikely.
In truth, the international break could not have come at a worse time for West Ham as they will be chomping at the bit to get at Manchester United in two weeks time. The League leaders have well-documented injury problems in defence and are short in midfield in the absence of Paul Scholes. They have looked less than certain away from Old Trafford and with confidence flowing at Upton Park; Avram Grant will feel confident that his side can cause an upset.
Hammers supporters, though, will remember only too well last season’s pathetic 4-0 capitulation against a Manchester United side without three of the first choice back four and with Michael Carrick pressed into action as an emergency centre half for 70 minutes of the match.
It will be essential that Hammers midfield trio set the tone for the match this time. First though, Grant faces a nervous fortnight to see if key performers like Scott Parker return injury-free.
I’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge ‘thank you’ to Scott Parker on behalf of all West Ham United supporters. Playing football & putting aside the trauma of the death of his father may well be Scott’s way of dealing with his pain, but like Jack Collison before him, he didn’t NEED to.
He turned in yet another massive performance for the club when it needed him most and whilst he is assured of a third successive Hammer of the Year title, this somehow does not seem enough to mark the contribution of a colossus of a player and, in recent times, a man.
It’s perhaps the most fitting tribute to him that I’m certain that his late father was immensely proud of his son both on the pitch and off it.
So here we are at the irrelevance of an international fortnight. Hammers supporters will be united as one in hoping the squad can stay injury free over the next two weeks before taking up the baton again in the battle for Premier League survival, a battle which is not yet won.
Survival is the very least that Scott Parker deserves.
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