What are the main points for Tottenham fans to come away from the game with?
Spurs have been waiting for this performance from Dempsey all season, and it has come at the perfect time with Adebayor suspended. The American embraced his role behind the striker, picking out clever passes that he didn’t seem capable of in recent weeks. Dempsey slipped in Bale for the second, Lennon to set up the third, and rattled the crossbar himself with a stinging shot from distance. Hopefully this weekend will be something for Dempsey to build on, and if he continues to play well in the next two fixtures this week, he will finally feel settled in the Spurs side.
Dawson replaced Gallas in the heart of defence, with Caulker partnering the Spurs captain, and Vertonghen moved back to the left. It remains to be seen if Villas-Boas made the change just for this game to combat West Ham’s aerial prowess, but whatever the reason for his inclusion, Dawson must be now ahead of Gallas in the pecking order. A comfortable performance from the defence as a whole was partly due to Dawson and Lloris commanding the box far better than Spurs have in recent matches.
As mentioned above, Lloris is an incredible presence in the penalty area. The Frenchman now seems installed above Friedel in the number one position, and game on game he is showing why. Whilst he had less to do than against Lazio, some of his interventions were no less important, throwing himself at the feet of the West Ham attack to block crosses and coming out to ensure West Ham’s set pieces were largely nullified.
News filtered out just over an hour before the game that Dembele had felt his hip injury, and would not be taking part in the game. Whilst the Belgian didn’t start, he did appear from the bench, giving hope he is close to full fitness once again. In the meantime, Huddlestone gave a strong performance in the second half, having been quiet in the first, and Sandro was simply superb again. Whilst they paired up nicely today, Huddlestone will still face questions over whether Carroll should come in ahead of him if Dembele cannot start matches.
Bale turned in his best performance of the season so far, terrorising his full back and cutting inside with real intent. He could easily have had a hat trick and Spurs need him to maintain this standard for the coming weeks. That said, Bale could probably do with cutting out the Cristiano Ronaldo impressions at free kicks.
image: © NathanF