Over the years there has been much debate as to what constitutes the so called ‘West Ham Way’. For most Hammers fans the answer is quite simple- it relates to our tradition of playing open football with an emphasis on skillful passing and attacking play.
That said, there are a number of other elements that include developing youth through our fabled academy and then giving yhem the chance to develop on the big stage.
However, the ‘West Ham Way’ isn't entirely positive in character as it also includes a frustrating inconsistency and a tendency to unexpectedly lose games just when we seem to be developing some momentum and ready to push towards success.
Also in the list of negative attributes is an unsettling pattern of allowing ‘bigger’ clubs to steal our best talent thus posing a major barrier to the club making the transition to the very highest level. The Sullivan and Gold era has brought financial stability as we are now in the top 20 richest clubs in the World and do no need to sell our top players anymore.
For many fans the arrival of Manuel Pellegrini signalled a return of the positive elements of the ‘West Ham Way’ with open and attractive football after the dirge of Moyes and Allardyce. There was also a belief that our days of being a selling club are over and that we might wave bye bye to our traditional inconsistency on the field of play...
However, on the evidence of this season it appears that old habits die hard as despite convincing victories over the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United, the Hammers have succumbed to Cardiff City and were dumped out of the FA cup in an emphatic manner by League Two side Wimbledon!
Also, recent disappointing results against Manchester United - where we managed to lose a game that we totally dominated due to a number of dreadful refereeing decisions followed by last weekend's disappointing draw with Leicester where Pellegrini's side were denied a perfectly good goal which would have put them 3-1 up with a matter of minutes to play, then managed to allow Leicester to score a dramatic but undeserved equalizer in injury time. They say that refereeing decisions balance out over the course of time but many West Ham fans will disagree and feel that another negative aspect of the West Ham Way is the tendency for refereeing decisions to consistently go against us!
On to today's game, where Pellegrini's troops take on a Tottenham side who are in fine form since moving to their new state-of-the-art stadium. Spurs remain unbeaten at their new home but should brace themselves for another aspect of the ‘West Ham way’ - to turn on the style when all the odds are against it and wreck our enemy’s buzz just when the party is getting started! For seasoned observers it would come as no surprise if West Ham were to emerge today as the first team to beat Spurs at their new home!
The bookies see things differently however with Spurs 5/2 on for the win while the Hammers are 7/1 against. Rory Nostradamus reckons 5/1 for the draw represents the best odds and is predicting a lively 2-2 encounter!
Don’t forget the game is an early Kick off with festivities getting under way at 12.30.