West Ham have not kept a clean sheet in their last 10 games
If Spurs win their final two PL games they’ll equal their best-ever points total (72)
The Hammers are aiming to beat Spurs for the third-straight time this season
West Ham welcome London rivals Tottenham Hotspur to Upton Park on Saturday (Watch live on NBCSN, 7:45 a.m. ET and online via live Extra) as the Hammers aim to secure their Premier League status.
The Hammers have lost four straight and all of a sudden they are five points ahead of the drop zone and could go into the final match of the season with a chance of being relegated. The boo boys have been out to get Sam Allardyce as West Ham’s fans want a change at the top. Should West Ham lose to their massive rivals Tottennham this weekend, expect more demonstrations against ‘Big Sam.’
As for Spurs, they continue to plod along in sixth spot and will qualify for the Europa League with a win. However Tim Sherwood’s future is still up in the air and uncertainty is lingering around White Hart Lane.
In terms of the match, the Hammers have gone to White Hart Lane and won twice already this season, beating Spurs 3-0 in the league and then again in a League Cup quarter final. Can they do the treble? Andy Carroll needs to find his scoring boots if the Hammers bag a big win, with the England international scoring just twice since he returned from injury in January.
What they’re saying
West Ham’s James Tomkins on the rivalry: “It’s a big game for all of us, really. We need to win to get ourselves out of trouble and, with it being Tottenham, we know what it means to the fans and everyone. It’s a massive game.”
Tim Sherwood on West Ham’s threats: “We’re disappointed with the two home results. Obviously, the League Cup game was my first and we dominated but got suckered by a couple of long balls forward, and that’s what West Ham are all about. We’re expecting that. They won in the league with breakaway goals, we know they have a threat and we will treat them with respect.”
There is a toxic atmosphere around Upton Park as the home fans are not happy with the style of play and want Allardyce out. Be careful what you wish for, Hammers fans. West Ham are hard to beat and will give Spurs’ defense plenty of problems but as we saw away at Stoke City last weekend, Tottenham are able to grind out a result when needed. I expect Sherwood’s boys to do the same and beat West Ham.
Don’t sleep on the fact that Schmid might be gathering momentum from inheriting a talented and underachieving roster and a brand new game-changing midfielder, which feels a bit like karmic retribution for Seattle firing him and signing Lodeiro the next day last season. Seattle only went and won the MLS Cup.
Schmid has used any number of formations, but could deploy a 4-3-3 with Jona Dos Santos, Jermaine Jones, and Joao Pedro in the midfielder and Giovani Dos Santos, Alessandrini, and Gyasi Zardes up top (Sebastian Lletget could return at some point, too).
Now FC Dallas is very deep, Sporting KC looks powerful, and Seattle won it all last year — plus, may be adding Derlis Gonzalez?!? — but LA’s move to add Dos Santos creates a quartet of teams with proven mettle (Houston looks decent, too, but I have concerns about their first-time as a unit in the playoffs).
While that still hampers the idea of the 34-year-old playing again — he’ll be 36 when the ban ends — it’s a significant change if he’s open to the idea of returning to the game.
Barton’s original ban expired in late October 2018, well into a season. From Sky Sports:
The appeal board also agreed: “It was clear that Mr Barton was not involved in any cheating, he did not influence any games and there was nothing suspicious about his bets.
“(The reduction) reflects the overall seriousness of the breaches and also the mitigation of Mr Barton’s addiction.”
Barton’s remarkably controversial career has including several suspensions and imprisonment, but he always found his way back to the field and was very good when in form. After time at Manchester City and Newcastle United, Barton fended off naysayers with stints at QPR, Marseille, Burnley, and a regrettable move to Rangers.
Paul Arriola’s motor was constantly running as the United States men’s national team claimed its sixth Gold Cup title, and it could drive him all the way from Club Tijuana to Europe or a prime spot on an MLS roster.
Arriola is reportedly wanted by Real Salt Lake and clubs in both the Netherlands and Portugal, but the LA Galaxy has what Goal.com describes a “dubious homegrown player” claim on Arriola, who participated in a minimal of practices with the Galaxy when he was younger.
As you’ll see below, there isn’t much “homegrown” about it and, to its critics, it ispeak MLS monopolized tomfoolery. Here’s how Goal describes it:
“He was already a U.S. youth national team player when he traveled the 120 miles from Chula Vista to take part in a handful of training sessions with the LA Galaxy academy and eventually the Galaxy first team.
“The Galaxy are believed to hold a homegrown player claim on Arriola, and would have the right of first refusal on making Arriola an offer if he comes to MLS. The Galaxy’s current salary-cap situation might not allow them to make a serious bid for Arriola.”
But… here’s how the Galaxy described his choosing to sign for TJ instead of a pro deal from LA in 2013:
Did Arriola spent significant time with LA, or is it possible the Galaxy might reap rewards from having an already established youth national teamer to practice when he was a kid? Whether you’re okay with that or not, consider that it encourages clubs to pilfer rights without actually registering or training the player.
Not to mention there is no guarantee that playing in the Netherlands or Portugal will be better for his development than MLS. Benfica or Ajax and potential action in European tournaments? Maybe. NAC Breda or Tondela? Maybe not.
Nevermind the quagmire that is American youth soccer clubs’ not earning money from transfer fees, the Arriola drama seems baseless. We don’t know the Galaxy will hold the player hostage, but they would actually be depriving MLS of a talent, as LA would theoretically get nothing should TJ sell him to a European club.
In any event, check out Arriola’s use chart from Tijuana and you’ll see why he’s valued by Bruce Arena as well as his suitors. He’s a Swiss Army Knife. Here’s hoping Tinseltown doesn’t stop him from a proper next step (assuming he’s ready to leave Liga MX).