West Ham United legend Trevor Sinclair has lifted the lid on the club’s hatred for bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur ahead of Sunday’s huge clash.
West Ham take on Spurs at the London Stadium in a game which could go a long way to having a say in the race for European places.
A win for West Ham over Tottenham would consolidate their place in the European mix and put them nine points ahead of their London rivals.
Victory for Jose Mourinho’s visitors would cut the gap to just three points.
West Ham’s cup final? Spurs are the one resting players for it
So it really is the proverbial ‘six-pointer’ when it comes to the race for the European spots.
Tottenham have struggled of late. But they looked in decent form on Thursday night, beating Austrian side Wolfsberg 4-1 in the Europa League last 32.
West Ham are accused of treating games against Tottenham like a ‘cup final’.
But it is Tottenham who have rested key players such as Harry Kane to ensure they are fit for this game.
The truth is the rivalry between West Ham and Spurs has always been there. It has just grown stronger over the years, particularly with the absence of games against West Ham’s true rivals Millwall.
Sinclair lifts lid on West Ham ‘hatred’ of Tottenham
Speaking on talkSPORT ahead of the match, Hammers legend Sinclair summed up just why Tottenham grate on his old club so much.
“For West Ham fans, from my experience when I was at the football club, it’s edging towards hatred,” Sinclair said when explaining the rivalry on talkSPORT.
“They’re very close (geographically), they were closer obviously where Upton Park was, but the fans live amongst each other in that east-north-east and Essex area of the country.
“There’s a huge rivalry, certainly for West Ham fans, because they do feel that Tottenham are a bit flash and they think they’re the bees knees and they always love to beat them.
‘If there’s any game they want to do well in, it’s against Tottenham’
“Fortunately I was lucky enough to play in quite a few of those games and we did pretty well in the games against Tottenham. But you definitely get the feeling from the fans that if there’s any game they want to do really well in, it’s against Tottenham.”
Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho proved Sinclair’s point yesterday too.
The Spurs boss – who isn’t even liked by a growing section of his own fans – told Tottenham’s official Youtube channel that he believes the Hammers will begin to drop down the table during the final third of the campaign.
His comments were labelled ‘classless’ by West Ham fans who will be hoping their side can prove him wrong over the remaining 14 games, starting Sunday.