Challenge Spurs™ - Monday Night Cup Final
Harry Redknapp takes his new Tottenham charges to West Ham, hoping they will retain a 100% record for him. The 61 year old has won every Premier League game at Upton Park as an opposing manager since leaving the Hammers, where he was in charge for seven years from August 1994 to May 2001. Portsmouth won there 2-4 in March 2006, 1-2 on Boxing Day 2006 and 0-1 on 8 April this year.
Spurs, who are on course to retain the Carling Cup, need a victory to draw level with West Ham on points, but they're yet to win a London Premier League derby this season.
Gianfranco Zola's Hammers have followed a six-match winless run, with five points out of nine, a three game spell in which as many clean sheets have been kept.
This being Spurs, you can throw out omens and previous history, as nothing is ever certain when we clash with the 'ammers. And with 'arrys return adding an extra spark to the game (for their fans) I'm sure this will be anything but boring. After the disappoint of losing to Everton at home, and with Utd next weekend, 3 points is imperative™. Losing to them is probably on par with losing to Fulham. An annoyance. And its something best avoided considering we are just above (or arguably in) the mire.
12 miles apart geographically, but I've always fancied Chelsea, Arsenal and even Leeds more when it comes to hatred. Their insistent obsession with us is all abit stalkerish (they seem to hate us, like Arsenal, support West Ham in that order).
I know certain minorities from both sides like a rumble now and again, smashing up pubs at 6am, but I've always liked their players/teams and style of play. But I get it, if you lived in the vicinity and supported Spurs, then you'll have grown up surrounded by West Ham fans, so I can see how some of our fans hate them as much as Arsenal.
Meet any Hammer and they will tell you Spurs are not a big club - sure, we're not, but we're still a bigger club than West Ham - which I guess is what they dislike hearing. They seem to discount the fact they yo-yo between divisions, never win anything and brag on about how they finished above us that one season. Trevor Brooking header aside (my earliest footballing memory was celebrating the goal in the back garden), they won the World Cup (or maybe that was a Russian?).
Their finest recent moment was stopping us from getting to the Champions League. But I've always found that I get more defensive when Arsenal fans bring that up rather than a Claret and Blue. I do know that some Spurs fans hate losing to them, much like Man Utd hated losing to Southampton away many years ago.
WHU v Spurs is the biggest fixture in their calender, which is why they paint their faces and sing 'Bubbles' with so much more intent when we visit Upton Park. But fucking 'ell, leave us alone. We've had to contend with Chelseas love for just as long, and the itensity when we play them is far greater than when we play the Hammers. Also, a horrible little place to visit, with the over zealous police and foul-mouthed fans.
Modric plays, we win. If he doesn't, its a draw or something Fulhamesque, which will result in much open bus parade and street parties I'm sure.
Will Harry keep up his 100% record?
Will Spurs manage to win a London Derby?
Will Zola's inform Hammers hammer Harry?
If it breaks their lickle hearts to lose to us, then I'm more than happy for them to get spanked. Tune in Monday.