Tottenham started with greater pace and urgency in their play, using the two wingers – Aaron Lennon on the right and Andros Townsend on the left. They caused West Ham early problems as they got to the bye-line to deliver crosses into the box and proved a constant threat. After early success when Jermain Defoe, Townsend and Adebayor struck efforts just off target, West Ham always managed to have a defender in the right place to head the ball clear or make a challenge or an interception just as a Spurs player prepared to shoot.
Emmanuel Adebayor started his first game of the season, only his second appearance, and had a point to prove. He dropped deeper into midfield, playing behind Defoe but then got forward in support. The two players linked up well for the Spurs goal – Defoe carrying the ball forward from inside the visittors’ half, looked up at the side of the 18 yard box and delivered a cross which Adebayor met perfectly to volley into the roof of the net, off the underside of the bar. Will Adebayor keep up that degree of endeavour and effort in future games or has he made his point?
In defence the return of Danny Rose for an hour brought greater solidity at left back but in central defence the make-shift partnership of Vlad Chiriches and Etienne Capoue was always under pressure when West Ham played a long, high ball forward. They coped while Carlton Cole was isolated as the lone striker but when they put more players forward in search of an equaliser the defence was found wanting.
The final result was disappointing but there were signs that Sherwood was wanting his team to play in a more attractive style but the old problem was still there – how to unpick a packed, well-organised defence.
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