Tottenham Hotspur 3-3 West Ham United: Premier League – as it happened

Daniel Harris on 18 October 2020

Right then: that, right here, is us. Thanks all for your company and comments - sorry I couldn’t use them all. Presumably you need more of the same, so here’s more of the same, but otherwise, ta-ra and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Moyes, then! He says the teamtalk at half-time was difficult as he thought his lads were playing well, so didn’t want to do anything. They didn’t defend well enough in the first half – but also notes that Kane was brilliant – and so asked them to keep doing what they’ve been doing. He’s really proud to be manager of his players, praising their honesty in keeping going and says he wasn’t going to kneeslide down the touchline as it’s been done before. He thinks the team is improving, and that’s his aim, to improve things.

As for the goals we’re seeing, he wonders if the forwards are so good, but as a defender looks at ropey defending. He says it’s good to see so much action, but you also want to see good defending.

The greatest genre of tweet, by far.

Ok, stick with me for Moyes, coming up after the commercial break.

Phew. What a game that was, and all power to the Moyesiah. West Ham are a serious proposition of power and fortitude now, and you can only credit him for that.

Wrap yer peepers around this match report.

At half-time, Mourinho told his players to keep playing as they’d been and to beware conceding set-pieces because West Ham have a lot of aerial power and praises how hard they worked. He’s asked if he thinks something is going on because we’ve seen so many crazy games, but says he’s only interested in his own team.

He says that West Ham are much improved and he gives them credit, but he’s not happy with how his team defended in the closing stages. He says Kane and Bale had chances to kill the game, but they deserved to be punished because they made mistakes. He says Winks gave them more balance and they were in control of the game, but West Ham’s belief increased after they scored their first goal.

“What happened?” Mourinho is asked. “Football” he answers, quite brilliantly.

Looking again at the equaliser, Lloris goes with his top hand, so he was reaching across. I wonder if he might’ve saved it had he gone with his lower hand, that started nearer to where the ball went.

I guess Lanzini got booked for removing his shirt after scoring. Apologies for not reporting that vital detail.

“I can’t tell you,” says Declan Rice when asked what just happened. “Just one of them special moments in football ... och, I can’t put it into words.”

He says that he didn’t think it was a 3-0 game and that they felt there was something in it for them at half-time. He can barely contain himself laughing, fidgeting, looking all over the show trying to absorb every memory and every moment. He looks like he’s seen a ghost, handing him a sack of money and love. I’m still shaking and I’m sat in a box room in north London.

Please someone tell me there was a camera trained on Mourinho for those last few minutes. Make sure you’ve got your radioactive suit on, because his coupon will singe you through the screen.

This thing of ours, I don’t even know anymore. There really is nothing like it whatsoever.

“Ooops,” says Martin Benson. “81 minutes - Spurs 3 West Ham 0 - Can Spurs win the league? 94 minutes - Spurs 3 West Ham 3. I think you’ve got to take some blame for that.”

I can’t legislate for this fable of reconstruction, I’m afraid.

I don’t have a clue how that happened, except it’s also very clear how that happened: West Ham kept at it and Spurs can’t defend. It took a pornographic finish to level the match, yes, but it was a product of all that had come before, and of Spurs’ lack of conviction or composure at the back. And you have to give credit to David Moyes – whatever he said at half-time, he should say more often, because his players came out to fight when they could easily have come out to relax, and he also got his substitutions bang-on. Moyes still hasn't beaten Mourinho, but it won’t feel like that now.

Full-time: Tottenham Hotspur 3-3 West Ham United

This is it! This is why, despite Sullivan this, Gold that and Brady the other, we keep coming back! Amazing!

David Moyes celebrates following the final whistle.
David Moyes celebrates following the final whistle. Photograph: Tottenham Hotspur FC/Getty Images


WHAT A GOAL WHAT A GOAL WHAT A GOAL! Tottenham Hotspur 3-3 West Ham United (Lanzini 90+4)

Winks clears and the ball lands on the laces of the advancing Lanzini, who power-caresses a gigantic, colossal, monumental, devastating swerving, screeching drive that Lloris can only fingernail against the bar and in! What of that Bale miss now? Unbelievable, astonishing behaviour from West Ham! Football!

Lanzini celebrates.
Lanzini celebrates. Photograph: Matt Dunham/Reuters


90+4 min It’s not a bad kick either, aimed for Rice, but Spurs half-clear it...

90+3 min Were I a Spurs fan, I’d be concerned by how they’re defending now. There’s no intensity or organisation, just a succession of desperate lunges ... and, as I type that, Aurier concedes a free-kick which Cresswell will swing ove...

90+2 min Kane brings the ball away and finds Bale outside him – what words those are! – then Bale sways left and right, twizzling Ogbonna into the ground, bursting into the box AND HE’S GOING TO SCORE! He passes wide.

90+1 min There’ll be four added minutes. Moyes has sent Fellaini Soucek up front.


90 min Snodgrass replaces Masuaku,

89 min I guess we can be kind to Spurs and say they finished the game, but their defending is still sketchy. Anyhow, Cresswell slides a ball into the box and Bowen’s shot is blocked, then Moura runs the ball clear and Masuaku disburses a good, honest, old-fashioned bodycheck.

88 min “We are seeing some players at their peak,” says Alan Morgan. “For example this the Finest Work Son I’ve seen.”

87 min I guess this is the main aspect of the can Spurs win the league question: nothing they can do will alter the fundamental, elemental nature of their overarching Spursyness.

GOAL! Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 West Ham United (Sanchez own goal, 85)

Hello. HELLO! West Ham – who deserve credit for not just seeing out the second half hoping to avoid a kicking – win a corner which goes short, and Soucek plays a clever reverse-pass for Soufal, whose cross is inepted into his own net by Sanchez! Game absolutely on!

Sanchez scores an own goal.
Sanchez scores an own goal. Photograph: Richard Pelham/NMCPool


84 min Oh dear. I guess this is germane to whether or not Spurs can win the league, but what a shame.

GOAL! Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 West Ham United (Balbuena 82)

West Ham win a free-kick down the left which Cresswell swings out, and Balbuena leaps while Sissoko doesn’t, and there’s a livener....

Balbuena celebrates scoring for West Ham.
Balbuena celebrates scoring for West Ham. Photograph: Jed Leicester/BPI/Shutterstock


81 min So can Spurs win the league? It already looks like it’ll take a lower points tally than the past three seasons, which should mean more teams can stay in the race for longer. Spurs have plenty of goals in them, but it’s worth remembering that the way they’re playing is fairly new on opponents, and plans will be made. Though teams have been making plans for Harry Kane for five years now, and how did those work out for them?

80 min Moura replaces Son.

79 min “Kane is unassailable in the Prem,” says Mike Ollier, “but, he just doesn’t score in the big England games against the big teams.”

No that’s true and ... EXCUSE ME WHILE I INTERRUPT MYSELF! Son sweeps the ball across the face of the box to Kane, left alone while Bale run into it draws defenders, and first-time, he sweeps a left-footer that leaves Fabianski dreaming of green clouds and furry combine harvesters, as the ball clatters the post. As we were saying, from 12-22 yards, he is absolutely disgusting.

77 min Double change for West Ham, Antonio and Fornals coming off with Lanzini and Yarmolenko coming on.

77 min Kale runs away from Coufal, so Soucek comes over and can’t help but introduce forearm to phizog. He’s booked.

Kane, taken out by Soucek.
Kane, taken out by Soucek. Photograph: Tottenham Hotspur FC/Getty Images


76 min Nice passing in midfield from Spurs, then Kane lofts a ball over the top for Bale, but it’s slightly too strong.

74 min Yes, Winks is on for Ndombele.

73 min Bale invites himself to take the kick, plopping over the wall and straight at Fabianski. I think Winks may have come on as well, but if he has we’ve not been allowed to see properly, in all the Bale excitement.

Bale takes the free-kick.
Bale takes the free-kick. Photograph: Matt Dunham/PA


72 min Ogbonna is late on Bergwijn, earning himself a booking; free-kick Spurs, in prime Bale territory, and right on cue, yerman makes his return, replacing Bergwijn.

Bale comes on as substitute.
Bale comes on as substitute. Photograph: Clive Rose/Reuters


70 min West Ham win a corner down the left which Cresswell drives in, hard and flat, but no one attacks it and Spurs bring the ball away.

68 min “REM wrote a song all about Kane: Superman,” says Paul Mills. “I would add that Hugo (or CuyaHugo as he is known somewhere or other) is definitely the Number One I Love.”

Man, Life’s Rich Pageant is so, so good. There are fewer than 10 acts in the entire history of popular music who were as good for as long as REM. To still have Automatic For The People to say, eight albums deep, is astonishing.

67 min West Ham knock it about then Spurs rob them, Son feeding Kane whose shot is blocked; Kane scrabbles about like a madman trying to retrieve possession, but can’t quite manage it.

65 min “Seeing Kane this season,” says Rohit Dixit, “I am wondering if Firmino is just a poor man’s version of him. Kane is doing everything that Firmino gets plaudits for, just much much better. By the way, he also scores goals.”

Well yes, Kane is a much better player than Firmino, but Firmino’s style works in a successful team, so.

63 min “More than Chelsea, this Spurs side is starting to resemble Mourinho’s Real Madrid,” reckons Chetan Narula. “That was when a Mourinho side was at its devastating counter-attacking best. Remember the 100-goal season? That too when Pep’s Barca were in their prime. Spurs are still not the finished product though, lacking some quality at the back. I would say a star centre-back signing should do it – Skriniar would have been perfect. But even with current defending options, this is brilliant to watch.”

The title Mourinho won, Guardiola’s Barca were probably a season past their best, but yes, the comparison is a fair one – Guardiola certainly found out all that at Bayern, who Madrid dematerialised on the counter in the Champions League. Skriniar is one of those players I’ve never seen be great, but yes, I agree Spurs need a better centre-back, and I’m still not convinced by their midfield.

61 min Kane drives towards the West Ham box, starting deep and turning. He should really find Son, outside him and unmarked, but hat-trick hunting, he opts to shoot, dragging just wide of the near post.

Kane shoots wide.
Kane shoots wide. Photograph: Neil Hall/PA


61 min We’ll be seeing Gareth Bale before long, I shouldn’t wonder.

60 min Hojbjerg clears Rice’s ball into the box and Soufal swings back in, but Lloris is able to collect unchallenged.

58 min “Begin the Bergwijn” says Alan Morgan; “Son Central Kane” says Peter Oh.

56 min “I’d make a change to your Mourinho rankings,” says Ursolin Waxoh.

‘1. Back to back Europa League and Champions League with Porto.

2. Inspiring a team that lasted a generation at Chelsea.

3. Winning the treble at Inter.

4, Taking a league title off the greatest club side ever at Madrid.’

I’d put his triumphs with Chelsea ahead of his Porto wins. Remember: Andre Villas-Boas achieved similar results to Mourinho’s at Porto six or seven years later. His Porto team would have definitely been a contender for the CL title had it not been stripped of its best players and AVB himself after an astonishing Europa League campaign.But whereas Mourinho conquered London - a new club, a new country - on his first try, AVB found England a tougher proposition. The real question is, if Mourinho somehow wins the title with Spurs - Spurs! -, where would THAT rank?”

Ah, that wasn’t an order, it was a list in chronological order. I change my mind repeatedly, so all I really know is that I’d have Chelsea bottom. But I don’t think we can saw Villas-Boas did what Mourinho did, given he didn’t win big ears and given he inherited a far better side than Mourinho did; when Mourinho took over, Porto were fifth and Boavista had won the previous title.

54 min West Ham have started the second half well, Masuaku beating his man – honestly – before shooting into legs. Of course, the upshot of all this will be more Spurs goals on the break.

52 min “Arsene Wegner used to get a lot of slack for justifying Arsenals’s lack of transfer activity by saying their wasn’t value in the market,” says Matthew Carpenter-Arevalo, “but it appears Daniel Levy has followed that same philosophy. When it was a seller’s market Spurs did little. When it was a buyer’s market they reinvented their squad. Wouldn’t you say?”

“Value in the market” was an Alex Ferguson obfuscation when he was justifying the Glazers taking hundreds of millions out of Man United; Wenger was talking guff about young players when Arsenal needed to sell season tickets while paying the mortgage. But yes, you could argue Spurs spent well in the summer, but not without noting that when they had their best side since at least 1987, Levy refused Mauricio Pochettino the money he needed to reinforce and refresh it, and ended up having to sack him.


50 min WHAT A MISS! Antonio runs at Alderweireld, nips inside as the defender haplessly allows it and drives a shot which is blocked, but rears up to the far post, where Fornals arrives, unmarked! All he has to to do is not into the empty net, but instead he thunders over the bar! If anything, Clive, he’s headed that one too well.

48 min Nice from West Ham, Rice spreading to Soufal whose cross is deflected further across by Sissoko. It’s dropping beautifully for Soucek, who volleys home fresh air in spectacular style, while the ball passes between his legs.

47 min Spurs have played a load of games and have a load of games coming up. But, on the other hand, they have plenty of players playing for places and the other two are Son and Kane, so who knows what’s going to happen during the rest of the game?

46 min Off we go again.

“Comments on Shearer MkII” says George. “I completely agree that as greats age, they are no longer front of pack raw speed/ jump/ etc. Of course, the veteran’s wisdom paired with his residual formerly fantastic ability places him in an altogether different sphere.”

Yes, Shearer was still good, but his knowhow didn’t compensate for the lost gas. Thinking about it, I’d probably have Kane above Shearer now, given his record in Europe.

“Taking Nicholas Walsmley’s pass, and running with it,” says Matt Dony. “Must be really pleasant to play Kane and Son in this kind of mood. Near Alderweireld Heaven. I’m sorry.”

No apology necessary; I ran through the track listing of about six REM albums in my head while looking at the teamsheet, trying to find something similar, and missed this iteration. But I agree, who can cope with Son Son H?

“What has happened to the Jose of old?” asks Jonny Bull. “His previous teams would have shut up shop at 1-0, suffocating the opposition and, eventually his own team’s fans with his miseryball.

This Spurs team have been averaging three goals a game this season and show no interest in easing off when ahead. Did Mourinho take the criticism of his style to heart? Or has he been visited by a ghost from his future imploring him to change his ways?”

I’m not sure, because one characteristic of his later career has been trying to impose a style of play and being on squads and players to whom both are entirely unsuited. I guess Spurs are still a counter-attacking team, and striking opponents who come forward is part of the plan. But it’s also fair to say that his first Chelsea team were devastating going forward when Robben was on.

Bit of half-time entertainment.

Half-time: Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 West Ham United

Harry Kane. That really is all there is to say.

45+2 min A ball into the box from Masuaku and Soucek tries to shoot then Coufal does, but his effort is blocked at source by ... Harry Kaneavaro! Unbelievable behaviour.

Kane blocks Coufal’s shot.
Kane blocks Coufal’s shot. Photograph: Richard Pelham/NMCPool


45+1 min “Did you really say that Shearer wasn’t elite?” asks Robert Lin. “Are you out of your mind?” he wonders.

No I didn’t say that, I said that Shearer Mk III wasn’t elite, which I don’t think is especially controversial. Still good, but not one of the best in the world.

45 min There’ll be two minutes of additional time.

43 min Excellent from Spurs, one-touch stuff pinging the ball about before Ndombele tries a pass over the top for Kane. He can’t gather, but Ndombele then manages two decent challenges to keep West Ham down. Is he the first player since Joe Cole who’s come back and been useful to Mourinho, after being victimised by him?

43 min “Losing My Reguilon is the song of the night for whoever’s supposed to be marking him,” sniggers Nicholas Walmsley.

42 min Spurs counter and Kane finds Sissoko; he squares for Bergwijn, who wafts wide. Spurs are playing through West Ham so easily.

40 min “Considering a Moyes-less West Ham’s last two league games garnered two wins (against Wolves and Leicester),” says Charlie Pulling, “and a total of seven scored and zero conceded, I hope, I think, I know that the Hammers would surely prefer the Scotsman would take a lesson out of Gareth Bale’s favourite Oasis album and please do go away. D’know what I mean?”

In fairness, he was managing remotely, and this team absolutely reeks of Moyes – in both good and less good aspects.

Moyes reacts.
Moyes reacts. Photograph: Matt Dunham/AFP/Getty Images


39 min Reguilon, who’s settling very nicely, arcs a cross into the space behind defence and keeper that has too much gas on it for Bergwijn.

37 min Antonio looks to budge the ball across Alderweireld, anticipating a challenge that’ll win him a penalty, but Alderweireld is firm, fast, and first to the ball. Excellent defending.

36 min “Harry Kane channelling Don Revie,” says Mal Simon, I imagine referring to the progenitor of the withdrawn centre-forward role.

I actually think someone else played it here first but can’t remember who – I shall investigate – but yes, it was inspired by Nandor Hidegkuti.

35 min Eeeeesh! Aurier again makes ground down the right and crosses low and hard; Son slides in, but can’t quite make contact so Fabianski collects. That was very nearly 4-0.

33 min I guess we oughtn’t be surprised that Kane is thriving under Mourinho – Mourinho is still a genius, but more than that, Kane is exactly the sort of monomaniacal freak of nature on with whom he gets.

33 min Reguilon finds Son, who finds Kane, but Soucek just about gets a foot in.

30 min “On Twitter last year,” says John Tumbridge, “one on of those pointless surveys” – are there any others? – “the question was ‘What is your unpopular view about Spurs?’ My response was that ‘We’ve seen the best of Harry. I was wrong .”

Yes, I also used that humiliating medium to wonder if Mason Greenwood was already better than him. Ahem.

29 min I wondered about Spurs in midfield, but they look alright so far. Maybe it’s just the addition of Kane, but Hojbjerg is playing really well and Ndombele is growing too, taking a chipped pass from Kane and sliding a nice ball inside the full-back for Aurier, who can’t pick out a man with his cross.

28 min Spurs haven’t scored for a bit.

26 min “Thanks for the pop video,” says Charles Antaki. “The music is a bit on the hectic side for me, but great to see Helsinki’s beautiful Cathedral Square featured. I didn’t last the whole clip, but if the kids made it to the extravagant Orthodox cathedral a couple of hundred metres down the road, we’d have had the full travelogue’s worth.”

There’s only one Helsinki.

24 min A stat comes up: Mourinho has never lost a match to David Moyes.

22 min Spurs win a free-kick down the right which Son will swing out, and just as Kane looks poised to attack it, it prangs off Ogbonna who was looking the other way. Then, in the repechage that follows, a stray elbow cracks Sissoko – Antonio’s – and he goes down.


20 min The aspect of those 12-22 yard finishes that sets Kane apart is how quickly he sizes up the situation then does whatever it demands. Neither keeper nor defenders can set, and the purity of his technique – as much a facility of practise as nature, I shouldn’t wonder – means there’s nothing they can then do about it. Oh, and Antonio slid in late on Son, earning himself a booking.


18 min I’m not going to lie, I wondered about Kane. He’ll be able to finish and pass until the day he does and probably after then, but I wondered if he’d lost his gas, and whether that would have him like Shearer Mk III, a good player but not an elite one. If it was not already clear, I am a moron.

GOAL! Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 West Ham United (Kane 16)

It’s absolutely rrrrrrridiculous! West Ham have five defenders and they still can’t get close to Harry Kane! Hojbjerg finds Son, he goes wide to Reguilon and everyone knows what’s coming next: a perfect cross, an expert’s header, and Spurs are ravaging West Ham like wild dogs!

Kane heads home Tottenham’s third.
Kane heads home Tottenham’s third. Photograph: Tottenham Hotspur FC/Getty Images


15 min “Thanks for the interesting mix of images today,” says Justin Kavanagh. “It got my slightly murky Sunday mind thinking how football has changed from the 1920s to the 50s and 60s to the present day. For example, who could picture either of the Charlton brothers with a man bun? Or Gareth Bale sitting in Madrid airport before his physical this summer with a beer and ciggie on?”

I guess there were footballers in the 60s with the equivalent of the bun, just as there will be players now who enjoy a tab.

14 min And where would winning the league with Spurs rank on Mourinho’s bedpost?

14 min In between conceding fine goals from ludicrous defending, West Ham have played pretty well, and Bowen collects the ball sliding through to Antonio, who lunges into a shot. It goes wide, but he was offside anyway.

12 min I’ve no skin in this game, but how not to want to Spurs to score when every time they do, this happens? How long before the players say bun this, I’m off to the kluhrb?

10 min It’s absolutely ridiculous how good Harry Kane is. His most obvious comparator is Shearer, I guess, and though he doesn’t have the same acceleration, he’s a much better passer, smoother technician, and better finisher from 12-22 yards. I’m not sure I’ve seen anyone better from that range.

GOAL! Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 West Ham United (Kane 8)

Harry Kane! Harry Kane! Harry Kane! Bored of playing as a number 6, Kane appears as a number 10, sliding Bergwijn through. He crosses to the back post and Coufal cranes his entire being to head clear, but Hojbjerg collects, finds Son who finds Kane, and the absolute man megs Rice on the half-turn then drags a brilliant finish inside the near post with Fabianski expecting one towards the far. What an absolute player!

Kane scores Tottenham’s second.
Kane scores Tottenham’s second. Photograph: Matt Dunham/Reuters
Kane celebrates.
Kane celebrates. Photograph: Neil Hall/PA


7 min This is a good response from West Ham, winning a corner which goes to the near post, where Antonio plays Steve Bould, winning the flick on; Sanchez pokes a foot at it, sending the ball across the face and behind, but the ref appraises a goalkick.

5 min But Cresswell has a shy, looking to sweep it around the outside of the wall. It’s not far away, ruffling the side-netting, but Lloris had it covered.

4 min But West Ham win a free-kick 25 yards out, left of centre, and Rice lines one up...

2 min That’s West Ham’s gameplan out of the window then. My guess is they’ll try and stay on the game for now and for the next hour if they can, before changing to a more aggressive formation.

GOAL! Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 West Ham (Son, 46 seconds!)

Midfield maestro Kane picks up possession not that far outside his own box, and hoddles a ball in behind Balbuena for Son, who latches on, advances into the area, and with intense joy and extreme prejudice, bends a finish past Fanianski towards the far corner! These two!

Son scores the opener for Spurs.
Son scores the opener for Spurs. Photograph: Matt Dunham/AFP/Getty Images
Son celebrates with provider Kane.
Son celebrates with provider Kane. Photograph: Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images


1 min Aaaaand off we go.

The players take the knee. All black lives matter, people.

I hope the game comes with as much incident as Declan Rice’s barnet.

Here come the teams! Bale is saying something extremely riveting, because he’s put a glove in front of his face so no lip reader can work out its secret. But using my supersense, I can reveal that what he in fact said was “Be Here Now was actually not bad, y’know.”

And here are further details of the Gatwick derby.

It’s not been a good day for Tottenham Women. They’re currently 6-1 down to Arsenal.

Moyes is back from corona, and says his team played well after lockdown and good in pre-season so he’s not surprised they’re doing well now. Looking at their XI, they must be an absolute mare to play against.

I was thinking during the week about the total ridiculousness of Mourinho’s achievements. Save coming second with that dreadful Man United team that had a decent keeper, which is his best achievement of these:

1. Back to back Europa League and Champions League with Porto.

2. Inspiring a team that lasted a generation at Chelsea.

3. Winning the treble at Inter.

4, Taking a league title off the greatest club side ever at Madrid.

David Ferrier has the answer: “The only time the FA Cup left England, won by Cardiff City?”

There it is.

Back to 1927, “Was it that players were limited to a maximum of five cigarettes on the pitch?” wonders Bill Hargreaves.

Woodbines only.

footballers smoking
Brazilian football players Dino Sani, Gilmar (Gylmar dos Santos Neves) and Hilderaldo Bellini reading a newspaper with a man on wheelchair who’s the Brazilian team mascot at the 1958 FIFA World Cup. Photograph: Emilio Ronchini/Mondadori via Getty Images
jack charlton smoking
Brothers Jack and Bobby Charlton wait in the departure lounge of London airport as England leave for the Mexico World Cup.
Photograph: Bob Thomas/Getty Images
bruce forsyth
And just because. Photograph: Ron Case/Getty Images

“Can you explain if Spurs bought Matt Doherty to do anything other than weaken their main rival for a place in next season’s Europa League?” asks Duncan Edwards. “That and mess with my Fantasy Team week in week out.”

He’s good, was cheap, and gives them an option of 3-5-2. It’s also hard not to notice that he’s repped by Jorge Mendes, who also reps Mourinho.

Garry Bale, then. If he’s not lost his gas, he’s one of the best players in the league, though I wonder where he’ll play. I find he looks a bit awkward on the right because he’s a power player not a touch player, so looks more comfortable on his natural side, but Son plays there. I guess they can swap and rotate.

Bale starts on the bench.
Bale starts on the bench. Photograph: Clive Rose/AP


Mourinho says that the “message and philosophy we want is here”. He says they don’t talk about top four, or winning a cup, just about the next match, and doesn’t matter where or against who, but they go in order to win. At Old Trafford, they conceded a goal in the first minute and just played their football.

On Bale, he says he has three “incredible attacking players” on the bench, and also references the excellent ones who aren’t involved.

Who can forget this encounter? And go on, a trivia question while we’re here: what was, and remains, unique about the 1927 FA Cup competition?

That said, I’m slightly surprised we’ve not seen more of Bergwijn, who looks a far better player than Moura, has more room for improvement and – crucially for Mourinho’s purposes – is no less unpredictable.

Back to that Spurs XI, my guess is that Bergwijn would’ve come in anyway. Lamela was there to do a particular job at Old Trafford – win the ball off United’s dicky back-four high up the park – but against West Ham, width will be the order of the day, which is why, I imagine, Aurier and Reguilon remain the full-backs. Though Kane and Son are good enough to fashion a goal in all manner of circumstance, the game for Spurs is out wide.

At Selhurst Park, Alexis Mac Allister has just equalised in the ... er ... checks notes ... M23/A23 derby in the final minute. There are, though, seven minutes of injury time to play and whatever happens, both sides can ultimately console themselves with tea at Tasty Jerk next door the ground.

As for West Ham, they’re as unchanged as you’d expect.

Spurs make two changes from their 6-1 Old Trafford squeak: Eric Dier has a minor hamstring, so Toby Alderweireld comes in, and Erik Lamela is suspended after his red card against Man United injured (I think), so Steven Bergwijn comes in. It’s funny really, given Giovani Lo Celso and Dele Alli are also missing, out of nowhere Spurs look like they’ve got a good squad. Oh and Gary Bale is on the bench, likewise Carlos Vinicius.


Let's have some teams...

Tottenham Hotspur (a reanimated 4-3-3): Lloris; Aurier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Reguilon; Ndombele, Sissoko, Hojbjerg; Bergwijn, Kane, Son. Subs: Hart, Doherty, Davies, Winks, Moura, Vinicius, Bale.

West Ham United (a sophisticate’s 5-4-1): Fabianski; Coufal, Ogbonna, Balbuena, Cresswell, Masuaku; Bowen, Rice, Soucek, Fornals; Antonio. Subs: Randolph, Fredericks, Diop, Noble, Snodgrass, Lanzini, Yarmolenko.

VAR’s straight man: Paul Tierney (Belfast)


Football is extremely weird – at the best of times but even more so now. Yet even in such circumstances, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United stand out from the mess, the kid in the playground who turns up for school in an overcoat thinking it makes them classy, and the kid in the playground who turns up in a pink fur thinking it makes them different. Or something like that.

Not that long ago, Spurs looked to be hurtling through the phases of Mourinho at record speed – footage of their performance at Lokomotiv Plovdiv has been censored in some countries – but they muddled through and have been much better since, defensive uncertainty offset by devastating speed in attack. And seduced by the sadism of it all, Jo looks an entirely different manager; the smug is back, and football is all the richer for it.

Similarly, West Ham looked a total state ... and then the season started. Their last three league games have seen them lose narrowly to Mikel Arteta’s genius before handing absolute tousings to Wolves and Leicester, feats beyond the majority of teams in the world, never mind the country. With Tomas Soucek and Declan Rice sitting in front of three centre-backs, penetrating them is a miserable task, Michail Antonio is a one-man forward line, and David Moyes looks to have found a real one in Jarrod Bowen. If they can refrain from early collapse, they have more than enough to do something in this one.

All of which is to say that we should be in for an exciting and high-scoring game ... or with both teams set up to minimise risk while scoring on the counter, the ball spends 90 minutes on the centre-spot. Definitely one of the two.

Kick-off: 4.30pm BST


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