West Ham host an out-of-sorts Tottenham Hotspur side on Sunday and must take advantage of a defence that is in utter disarray.

Spurs boss Jose Mourinho is famed for his rigid defence structure that grinds out results.

It’s a method that has served him so well throughout his managerial career, as shown in all its glory during his successful first spell at Chelsea as they won back-to-back Premier League titles in 2005 and 2006.

However, it is not working in North London and his players are clearly not up for the job.

The West Ham forwards should be salivating at the thought of taking this awful defence to task.

West Ham

Spurs have shipped seven goals in their last two domestic outings (3-0 loss to Manchester City in the Premier League and 5-4 League Cup defeat to Everton).

Their defence has been ripped to shreds and the Irons attack could wreak havoc at the London Stadium on Sunday.

At West Ham Zone we have taken a look at where the Hammers could seek to win the game.

We believe the substantial gaps left between Spurs full-backs and central defenders are ripe to be exploited by the clever movement of Jesse Lingard and Jarrod Bowen.

Take the first image below where the arrow shows the distance between Davinson Sanchez and Japhet Tanganga.

West Ham

This space attracts Ilkay Gundogan to make a dangerous movement in between ready to receive the ball.

Raheem Sterling duly obliges and rolls the ball into the empty space for the German midfielder to run onto.

West Ham

Pierre-Emile Hogbjerg is slack in tracking the runner and subsequently pulls down Gundogan for a penalty which is tucked away to open the scoring.

We have clear visions of Lingard making a similar run and causing chaos in the Spurs backline.

But don’t just take that as the sole example.

This next image is probably more representative of a position that Bowen will find himself in if he lines up on the right-hand side of the Irons attack.

Here Sterling fronts up Ben Davies and looks to play it into Joao Cancelo’s feet who then has the simple task of passing the ball ahead into the oceans of space left between Davies and Eric Dier on the left-hand side of the defence.

West Ham

Sterling then easily runs in behind Davies to collect the one-two and the hosts are on the attack again at the Etihad Stadium.

Davies has endured a rather torrid season so far and one thing he lacks in abundance is pace so this is a clear area for Bowen to target.

That was when Spurs were 1-0 down and chasing the game a bit more so perhaps pushed up a little bit further than they would like to.

But this next example shows that even when they are camped on the edge of their own box there are still gaps that appear.

West Ham

The above image led to Everton’s extra-time winner in the FA Cup clash on February 10 and reflected poorly on both full-backs, with Matt Doherty in particular focus.

There are a barrage of bodies hunting Gylfi Sigurdsson on the ball as Spurs look to remain compact and keep the ball in central areas.

However, you can see the position of Doherty at the beginning of the arrow and the gap that has opened up for Bernard to run into and score.

West Ham probably don’t even require the pace of Lingard and Bowen to exploit these sorts of opportunities as Mark Noble could even stroll through and slot home if space opens up like this despite his advancing years.

The stage is set for the Irons to prove their European credentials and put this ailing Spurs side to the sword.

We’re backing Bowen and Lingard to embarrass this average mid-table team and underline the difference in levels.

In other West Ham news, see our exclusive interview with Frank McAvennie on why he’s changed his tune on this Irons ace.


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