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‘I’d like joystick to control players’

‘I’d like joystick to control players’

Brennan Johnson makes it 1-0
Brennan Johnson – involved in more goals as a sub than any Premier League player this season – scored after starting against West Ham

Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou said he would like a “joystick” to control his players like in a video game after they were held by West Ham.

The Spurs boss was left frustrated as his side missed the chance to move into the Premier League top four with the draw at a rain-soaked London Stadium.

Brennan Johnson’s tap-in put them ahead after five minutes, but the Hammers levelled when Kurt Zouma headed home from a corner.

Both sides showed endeavour but lacked a cutting edge as the spoils were shared.

Despite having 68% possession Spurs only had four shots on target, including Johnson’s early opener and Destiny Udogie volleying straight at home goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski in second-half stoppage time.

They never looked likely to achieve the two-goal margin of victory they needed to overtake fourth-placed Aston Villa, who face Manchester City on Wednesday at Etihad Stadium.

Postecoglou’s side remain fifth, two points behind Villa, and the Australian said his team missed “clarity of thought” at times in attack.

‘We have more time than we think’

When asked why they lacked that clarity, Postecoglou said: “Because they’re human beings, mate, it’s just football.

“I’d like to have a joystick and put them where I want but it doesn’t work that way. My role is to try to help them through that.

“At times, we have more time than we think. We scored a great goal but there are times the ball is flashed across when we should have been in those areas. It’s things to work on.”

Tottenham led when Johnson – brought in as one of three changes to the Spurs starting line-up from Saturday’s win over Luton – turned in from close range after Timo Werner was allowed space to get in behind the left side of West Ham’s defence to fire in a low cross.

But West Ham responded well, and their tactics of swinging in corners to put Spurs goalkeeper Gigi Vicario under pressure worked when Jarrod Bowen’s 19th-minute set-piece was nodded in from five yards by Zouma.

The Hammers came closest to finding a winner after the break, but Michail Antonio shot straight at Vicario after the Jamaican international had overpowered Micky van de Ven to get one-on-one with the keeper.

West Ham stay seventh as both Newcastle and Wolves failed to win and overhaul David Moyes’ side in the Europa Conference League qualification place.

Vicario impresses but set-piece struggles continue

With the promise of fourth place on offer, Spurs came out of the traps quicker than in recent games.

Their fifth-minute opener came after their previous 12 league goals were all scored in the second halves of matches, a run dating back to 3 February.

But an old weakness reared its head again as they conceded from a corner dropped on top of Vicario, who had twice punched unconvincingly at earlier set-pieces.

The Italian has largely impressed following his move from Empoli last summer and made more crucial saves here – flying to his left for a two-handed stop from a James Ward-Prowse first-half free-kick and then denying Antonio twice after the break.

But corners remain a weakness which he and Spurs must address.

Bowen shines but defensive frailties hurt Hammers

Moyes will have wanted a response from West Ham after the galling 4-3 defeat at Newcastle, having been two goals ahead with 15 minutes remaining. Despite the early goal conceded, his team delivered.

“I genuinely thought we didn’t deserve to go behind,” Moyes told TNT Sports. “But the players did a good job.

“We had a threat and so did they – they are a good side and that’s why they are challenging for the Champions League. Maybe a draw was the right result in the end.

“I’m sure after the way we played on the weekend, to see the way the defence played [here], we looked much more organised. We had set-pieces, we had chances, so overall hopefully it will give us good confidence.”

Things had looked positive when Mohammed Kudus pressed high to win the ball back near the Spurs area, before crossing from the left for Bowen to fire wide from a good position.

Seconds later the Hammers switched off in defence and Spurs led, another example of the frailties which have frustrated fans in this campaign.

Moyes’ men have now conceded 55 league goals this season, the same number as the whole of 2022-23, and are without a clean sheet in 11 matches.

But there is clearly some fire in this West Ham side, sparked by the inspirational Bowen who raised a taunting fist in defiance at the away fans after delivering the dead-ball routine for Zouma’s equaliser.

The hosts went on to create the better chances, but could not find the winner.


West Ham

Formation 4-5-1

  • 1Fabianski
  • 5Coufal
  • 15Mavropanos
  • 4Zouma
  • 33Emerson
  • 20Bowen
  • 10Lucas Paquetá
  • 28Soucek
  • 7Ward-Prowse
  • 14Kudus
  • 9AntonioBooked at 53mins


  • 2Johnson
  • 3Cresswell
  • 11Phillips
  • 17Cornet
  • 18Ings
  • 21Ogbonna
  • 40Earthy
  • 45Mubama
  • 49Anang


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 13Vicario
  • 23Porro
  • 17RomeroBooked at 89mins
  • 37van de VenBooked at 44mins
  • 38Udogie
  • 8BissoumaSubstituted forHøjbjergat 82′minutes
  • 30BentancurBooked at 61minsSubstituted forSarrat 70′minutes
  • 22JohnsonBooked at 74minsSubstituted forLo Celsoat 90′minutes
  • 10MaddisonSubstituted forKulusevskiat 70′minutes
  • 16WernerSubstituted forRicharlisonat 82′minutes
  • 7Son Heung-min


  • 5Højbjerg
  • 6Dragusin
  • 9Richarlison
  • 12Emerson Royal
  • 18Lo Celso
  • 21Kulusevski
  • 29Sarr
  • 33Davies
  • 40Austin

Match Stats

Live Text

  1. Match ends, West Ham United 1, Tottenham Hotspur 1.

  2. Second Half ends, West Ham United 1, Tottenham Hotspur 1.

  3. Attempt blocked. Mohammed Kudus (West Ham United) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Konstantinos Mavropanos.

  4. Attempt saved. Destiny Udogie (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Giovani Lo Celso.

  5. Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Cristian Romero.

  6. Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Giovani Lo Celso replaces Brennan Johnson because of an injury.

  7. Cristian Romero (Tottenham Hotspur) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  8. Foul by Cristian Romero (Tottenham Hotspur).

  9. James Ward-Prowse (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Attempt missed. Pape Sarr (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left following a corner.

  11. Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Vladimír Coufal.

  12. Attempt missed. Tomás Soucek (West Ham United) header from very close range misses to the left. Assisted by Jarrod Bowen with a cross following a corner.

  13. Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Micky van de Ven.

  14. Dejan Kulusevski (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Foul by James Ward-Prowse (West Ham United).

  16. Foul by Micky van de Ven (Tottenham Hotspur).

  17. Mohammed Kudus (West Ham United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  18. Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Richarlison replaces Timo Werner.

  19. Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Pierre-Emile Højbjerg replaces Yves Bissouma.

  20. Cristian Romero (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Player of the match

BowenJarrod Bowen

with an average of 6.86

West Ham United

  1. Squad number20Player nameBowen

  2. Squad number14Player nameKudus

  3. Squad number7Player nameWard-Prowse

  4. Squad number10Player nameLucas Paquetá

  5. Squad number15Player nameMavropanos

  6. Squad number9Player nameAntonio

  7. Squad number4Player nameZouma

  8. Squad number33Player nameEmerson

  9. Squad number28Player nameSoucek

  10. Squad number1Player nameFabianski

  11. Squad number5Player nameCoufal

Tottenham Hotspur

  1. Squad number22Player nameJohnson

  2. Squad number37Player namevan de Ven

  3. Squad number13Player nameVicario

  4. Squad number7Player nameSon Heung-min

  5. Squad number10Player nameMaddison

  6. Squad number38Player nameUdogie

  7. Squad number17Player nameRomero

  8. Squad number23Player namePorro

  9. Squad number30Player nameBentancur

  10. Squad number16Player nameWerner

  11. Squad number8Player nameBissouma

  12. Squad number29Player nameSarr

  13. Squad number21Player nameKulusevski

  14. Squad number9Player nameRicharlison

  15. Squad number18Player nameLo Celso

  16. Squad number5Player nameHøjbjerg

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