3 best and 3 worst players from Tottenham 1-1 West Ham

Heung-Min Son of Tottenham Hotspur scores his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United at Wembley Stadium on January 4, 2018 in London,...

Two wonder strikes lit up a dull and dire clash at Wembley as Tottenham and West Ham drew 1-1. Who were the best and worst players?

Pedro Obiang of West Ham United celebrates after scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United at Wembley Stadium on January 4,...

Best: Pedro Obiang

Tottenham had been raining shots on West Ham's goal (they ended the night with a whopping tally of 31) whilst the Hammers hadn't responded with even one. But then Pedro Obiang strolled into the space Moussa Sissoko should have been marking and unleashed a sledgehammer of a shot so god damn good that it needed Alan Partridge commentary attached.

The ball flew by Hugo Lloris leaving the Tottenham captain with no chance whatsoever. West Ham had stolen a lead (that they would fail to hold) because Pedro Obiang took a risk and delivered in spectacular style. It was the gloss on an otherwise poor performance from the Spaniard, but what a gloss!

Pablo Zabaleta of West Ham takes a throw in during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United at Wembley Stadium on January 4, 2018 in London, England.

Worst: Pablo Zabaleta

One can only imagine the horrors that Sam Byram must be performing in West Ham training to remain behind Pablo Zabaleta in the pecking order, because the Argentine put in yet another inept display at right-back for West Ham.

The fact that Tottenham failed to punish him by taking one of the many chances created from this flank is a damning statement of the quality that Tottenham brought against West Ham, because Zabaleta was terrible.

Heung-Min Son of Spurs celebrates his teams goal during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United at Wembley Stadium on January 4, 2018 in London, England.

Best: Heung-Min Son

Whilst Tottenham failed to truly trouble Adrian for most of the game, this was largely down to poor decisions with the ball and some weak displays in the final third from Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and yes, Harry Kane. Heung-Min Son, however, was quality all night long.

This wasn't vintage Son, at least not until West Ham gave him too much room and he blasted a 30 yard rocket into the back of the net to equalise for Tottenham, but he was by far the most productive and incisive Spurs player even before he flambéd the West Ham net.

Heung-Min Son of Tottenham Hotspur scores his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United at Wembley Stadium on January 4, 2018 in London,...

Worst: Mark Noble

Part of the reason Son was able to pull a lightning bolt out of the hat and equalise for Tottenham is that no one was actually closing him down.

As the Korean wound up to launch his ICBM of an equaliser, Mark Noble should have stepped up to prevent him from getting a clean look at goal. Instead Mark Noble was being a big man and pointing to where his team-mates were supposed to be standing instead of doing his own job - and so when he did make a lunge, the ball was already gone.

It was a little thing, but perfectly summed up Noble's performance. He was everywhere, but mostly useless wherever he was.

Harry Kane of Spurs battles with Declan Rice of West Ham during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United at Wembley Stadium on January 4, 2018 in London,...

Best: Declan Rice

In a game that was short on quality, young Declan Rice provided steaming hot heaps of it right onto your plate. The teenager was immense for West Ham, partnering Angelo Ogbonna at the heart of David Moyes' defence and helping to shut down the white hot Harry Kane.

So often when Tottenham felt they had found a way into the heart of West Ham's box, up popped Rice to slam the door shut in their faces. The youngster made 2 blocks, 1 interception and 7 effective clearances. An impressive display (only Andre Ayew was as uniformly good, but he played just 25 minutes whilst Rice did all 90).

Moussa Sissoko of Tottenham Hotspur is challenged by Arthur Masuaku of West Ham United during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United at Wembley Stadium on...

Worst: Moussa Sissoko

Where does one even start with Moussa Sissoko? He never lacks for effort or dribbling ability but beyond that he is a player who brings almost nothing to the table when Tottenham play the 4-2-3-1.

When Tottenham play the more vertical 3-4-2-1 then Sissoko's ability to carry the ball is useful, but here against a packed defence with three creators ahead of him and limited room to run, Sissoko is less than useless.

That it took Mauricio Pochettino 74 minutes to remove him (and Eric Dier, who was almost as terrible) is a major reason why Tottenham left Wembley with just 1 point instead of 3.

 

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