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West Ham United must build on momentum after beating Spurs

Thursday 26th October 2017
Slaven Bilic was given two games to save his job at West Ham United - the first a Carabao Cup fourth-round tie against Tottenham Hotspur. The Hammers, deservedly, claimed a hard-fought 3-2 victory at Wembley. Now, positive performances must continue. 
Taking on a Spurs side brimming with confidence after recent 4-1 victory over Liverpool, the odds were stacked against Slaven Bilic's men.

Tottenham rested some key players. Hugo Lloris, Jan Vertonghen, Serge Aurier, Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane were all saved for more important matches ahead. Regardless, Spurs still looked sharp, taking the lead within six minutes. Their crisp play was proving too strong for West Ham's disoriented players.

Things got even worse for the Hammers when Dele Alli saw his deflected shot find the net - 2-0. The game looked over. Bilic must have felt the noose tightening; his job was under serious threat at half-time.

However, then came the renaissance. Andre Ayew grabbed a quickfire brace within 15 minutes of the restart. And with twenty minutes remaining, an unlikely source netted what proved the winner as, centre-back, Angelo Ogbonna climbed highest to head home Manuel Lanzini's corner.

A victory secured in the unlikeliest of places. It is one to savour for West Ham United, especially their manager who continues to fight for his job.

Bilic's two-game grace concludes against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park this Saturday. The Eagles were the first Premier League side to change manager this season, replacing Frank de Boer with Roy Hodgson in September. Their form hasn't improved since though.

Although Palace defeated the defending champions, Chelsea, they have been the whooping boys up to now this campaign. The recent 4-1 EFL Cup defeat at Bristol City proves just how bad the situation is for the Eagles. Therefore, Slaven Bilic has a great opportunity to lead his team to another much-needed away win in next game.
So, is this the turning point?

West Ham United has endured a terrible start to the campaign. Arguably its worst since 2010. But the win against Tottenham should give the Hammers plenty of momentum. The east Londoners have craved some positivity since their last league win on 30 September against Swansea City.

West Ham is still without James Collins (ankle), Michail Antonio (ribs). and Diafra Sakho (back). Andre Ayew's return to fitness as well as Andy Carroll coming back from a suspension, however, has given the Hammers a confidence boost. The team looks better already.

Against Spurs, Bilic made nine changes to the side that were humiliated by Brighton. Nonetheless, his team were electric. They dug in, found a lifeline - and took it. Having Mark Noble back was also a welcome development. The skipper missed last two games. West Ham lost both. His return adds grit, which was evident during the comeback against Tottenham.

For the moment, West Ham's situation has improved. But it's important to build on this new-found confidence. The Hammers desperately need to win against Crystal Palace - curiously, to save Bilic's job. The Eagles, meanwhile, require a miracle.
Kingsley Ukpai

Kingsley is a football aficionado who craves to read, watch, play and write about the greatest team sport ever known to man. If you're talking football he'll be keen to listen to what you have to say. Loves to play Fantasy Football too.


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