Now Playing

Now Playing IconNow Playing:

Evolve Radio

Artist Name

Album Art

Ange: I’d love to have a joystick to control Spurs players

Ange Postecoglou stressed Tottenham aren’t the “finished article” after he joked about wanting to control his players with a “joystick” following their 1-1 draw at West Ham.

Spurs missed the chance to close the gap on fourth-placed Aston Villa having taken a fifth-minute lead through Brennan Johnson’s tap-in, but Kurt Zouma equalised by heading in when unmarked at a corner.

The Hammers should have completed the turnaround after half-time as Spurs goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario saved well from Konstantinos Mavropanos from another corner, before Michail Antonio wastefully fired straight at the Italian while completely through on goal.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Sky Sports’ Sam Blitz and Dharmesh Sheth discuss how important a point it was for Tottenham and West Ham following their clash at London Stadium

Both sides could have won it in stoppage time as Destiny Udogie shot straight at Lukasz Fabianski from inside the box and Bowen’s effort went wide of Vicario’s far post.

West Ham's Kurt Zouma, left, scores his side's equaliser
Image: West Ham’s Kurt Zouma, left, scores his side’s equaliser

“I thought for the most part we controlled the game pretty well,” said Spurs boss Postecoglou. “They are a big, strong team. They sit deep and make it difficult for you. You have to be fairly calm in your approach but also really disciplined because they are a threat from the counter-attack.

“We conceded from a set-piece but the rest of the set-pieces we coped with really well. In the front third we lacked a bit of clarity of thought. But they are human beings, it is just football. I would love to have a joystick and put them where I want them, but it doesn’t work like that.

“Sometimes we have more time than we think. There were times when the ball was flashed across the box when we should have been in those areas. It is all part of the development. That is why we have coaches, why we develop a system. We are not the finished article and we know that.

“There was enough there tonight for me to say that it is a team still heading in the right direction.”

The result means Spurs sit two points behind Villa – who head to Manchester City on Wednesday – and nine ahead of sixth-placed Manchester United, who face Chelsea on Thursday. West Ham, meanwhile, remain in seventh after Newcastle’s draw with Everton.

Player ratings

West Ham: Fabianski (7); Coufal (7), Zouma (8), Mavropanos (7), Emerson (6); Soucek (6), Ward-Prowse (7), Paqueta (7); Kudus (6), Bowen (8), Antonio (6)

Subs used: None

Tottenham: Vicario (8); Porro (7), Romero (6), Van de Ven (8), Udogie (8); Bentancur (6), Bissouma (6), Maddison (6); Johnson (7), Son (6), Werner (7)

Subs used: Sarr (6), Kulusevski (6), Richarlison (n/a), Hojbjerg (n/a), Lo Celso (n/a)

Player of the match: Kurt Zouma (West Ham)

How an end-to-end game could not be settled

West Ham started this London derby brighter and had a glorious chance to take the lead as good work from Mohammed Kudus down the left saw him cross for Bowen in the box, but the England international took his eye off the ball and put his close-range effort wide.

Team news headlines

  • West Ham were missing Alphonse Areola in goal due a groin problem, so Lukasz Fabianski started. Kalvin Phillips was once again named on the bench.
  • Tottenham welcomed back Micky van de Ven into the starting line-up after a hamstring issue. Dejan Kulusevski and Pape Sarr were rested for Rodrigo Bentancur and Brennan Johnson.

That proved crucial as less than a minute later, Spurs took the lead. Yves Bissouma fed Timo Werner down the left, and the German was allowed to enter the box and find Johnson a few yards out. Unlike Bowen, the Spurs winger knew where the net was.

Back came the Hammers as Kudus saw another close-range effort deflected over from a corner – and it was from a similar set piece where West Ham found their leveller.

Tottenham's Brennan Johnson celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's opening goal d
Image: Tottenham’s Brennan Johnson celebrates with teammates after scoring his side’s opening goal

Zouma was allowed the space to venture to the front post and meet Bowen’s corner completely unmarked, with the defender nodding the ball home with the back of his head.

Both sides had chances to reclaim the lead as James Ward-Prowse tested Vicario’s gloves with a 30-yard free-kick, while Pedro Porro and Rodrigo Bentacur fired wide for Spurs in an enthralling opening period.

It finished where it let off in the second period as West Ham searched for an early second. Vicario was equal to Antonio’s drive, then Mavropanos’ header from the resulting corner, before Lucas Paqueta flashed a drive just wide from the edge of the box.

The hour-mark saw the chance of the game fall to Antonio, who latched onto a long ball forward and held off Micky van de Ven to run completely clear. With Vicario to beat, he could only fire the ball into the goalkeeper’s midrift.

West Ham's Michail Antonio competes for the ball with Tottenham's Destiny Udogie
Image: West Ham’s Michail Antonio missed the best chance of the second half

Spurs put the pressure on as the second half went on, with Heung-Min Son – unusually quiet in this game – firing well wide of Fabianski’s near post, while Porro tested the West Ham goalkeeper.

The game had to wait until 93 minutes to find the final big chances of the game. A loose ball fell to Udogie in the box and with a clear sighting of goal, he could only hit Fabianski’s midrift.

West Ham then went up the other end and Antonio’s flick found Bowen in the box, but he could not find the far corner while under pressure from the onrushing Vicario. A point had to be settled for.

Ange: Our forwards lacked clarity of thought

Tottenham missed the chance to close the gap on Aston Villa in fourth-place
Image: Tottenham missed the chance to close the gap on Aston Villa in fourth-place

Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou:

“The most part, we controlled the game really well. It’s a tough place to come, they sit deep and make it difficult for you, which you kind of know you have to be calm in your approach and really disciplined as they’re always a threat on the counter.

“The most part we dealt with it really well. We conceded from a set piece, but on the whole we handled our set pieces well on the whole.

“The front third lacked a bit of clarity of thought. We got into some good areas and could have had much better outcomes, our general play I was really happy with.

“They [the attackers] are human beings, it’s just football. I would love to have a joystick and tell them where to be!

“It’s not easy against a side like West Ham. At times I think we have more time than we think. There were times where the ball was flashed across the box where we could be in those areas.”

Moyes delighted with West Ham’s record vs Spurs this season

West Ham manager David Moyes:

“The draw was probably fair in the end. We did a lot of good things again, showed a lot more good things defensively tonight than we did at the weekend. We looked a threat when we had to be, we had to be at our best to stop a very good Tottenham team.

“We were much more aggressive and resilient defensively. Overall, if you had given me four points off Spurs this season, I would have shaken your hands and said thank you very much. Overall, a really good set of results against Tottenham this season.

“Undoubtedly, they made us work hard as well. We had to chase the ball a lot tonight. But I want a team who, out of possession, who can do the time through the minutes. Who knows, we might need it in injury time in the weeks to come.”

Analysis: Spurs have a set-piece problem

GRAPHIC

Sky Sports’ Sam Blitz at the London Stadium:

Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou looked towards his forward line not having “clarity of thought” in key areas for their 1-1 draw against West Ham, but perhaps the other end of the pitch requires a bit more attention.

Spurs conceded their tenth goal from a set piece this season in this game as Kurt Zouma rose unmarked in the box to head home the equaliser. That’s the sixth-worst record in the division – and five out of those six worse teams are relegation candidates.

Postecoglou’s side are also in the bottom three for Expected Goals conceded from set plays. It is relegation standard defending in this department.

Goalkepeeper Guglielmo Vicario was targeted from set plays in Spurs’ FA Cup exit to Manchester City in January, then again in the 2-2 draw with Everton a week later.

Two more points were dropped at West Ham – it is a nagging issue that is holding Postecoglou’s side back in his debut campaign at Spurs.

What’s next?

West Ham are back in action on Saturday, taking on Wolves in the Premier League; kick-off 3pm.

Tottenham play on Super Sunday, taking on Nottingham Forest, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 6pm.

Sky News
(c) Sky Sports 2024:Source