Happy Hammers hit the right notes at last

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Just like London buses, you wait ages for a win then two come along at once, and Saturday’s win against Spurs, coming on the back of the Carling Cup victory over Sunderland, was worth the wait. 

But as one swallow doesn’t make a summer, so one victory doesn’t represent a recovery, and while we should enjoy the victory over our local rivals, we have to make sure that we continue on the path up the league and not stay stuck in the bottom reaches of the table. 

In view of the performance on Saturday, Avram Grant has been justified in his comments to the press saying in saying that - while the results have been disappointing - the performances have been good enough to show that now was not the time to panic. 

The fact that both keepers, Robert Green and Carlo Cudicini, pulled off really good saves shows that, although it was a 1-0 score line, both teams played good attacking football and Spurs may feel a draw would have been a fairer result.

But they failed to take any of the chances presented to him with Tom Huddlestone’s miss after rounding Green the most clear-cut of the bunch. 

Two things from Saturday’s game still concern me though. The first is the defence, which was breached at times, and as outlined above if it wasn’t for Rob Green we would still be waiting for our first clean sheet of the season. 

For the first time this season we fielded the same back four as the previous game which hopefully will help in them gaining an understanding of each others movements so the covering defenders are aware of their duties. 

Matthew Upson looked back to his solid best, ably helped by Manu Da Costa in the middle, while Danny Gabbidon out left is getting used to his new position, and Blackburn’s current right back must be one great player because the last minute signing of Lars Jacobson from Rovers has worked a treat for West Ham.  

The second concern from the game came in the fact the game was not a sell out, the attendance was 34,190, which may only be 1,000 short of the ground capacity but when your hoping to move to the 60,000 seated Olympic stadium for me the numbers just are not turning up. 

The last thing the club or fans would want is to move into the new ground and only half or three quarter fill the ground as the resultant loss of atmosphere may damage the team's performances on it. 

This was the second lowest attendance between the Hammers and Spurs at Upton Park in the last five years: the lowest came last season which was 33,095 yet this can be attributed to the fact it was an early afternoon kick off shown live on TV. 

The move to the Stratford stadium will be a contentious one and all facts need to be viewed before the right decision can be made. 

Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.

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