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West Ham and Tottenham's Argentinian experiments had very different outcomes

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

17:31 2 Mar 2016

They vied for the Olympic Stadium tenancy, they have been going head-to-head in the battle of the London contingent of clubs and sometimes that can become unsavoury when the more extreme element of the fanbase get involved.

But this season, both West Ham and Tottenham can be happy with their efforts. West Ham are having a very positive campaign in their final year at the Boleyn Ground before they up sticks to the Olympic Stadium.

Tottenham are in even more buoyant form as they visit West Ham tonight, with an opportunity to go top ahead of Leicester City should they win.

As we looked back on last week, West Ham are not a very trophy-heavy club, with Tottenham leading 2-0 on league titles head-to-head and 8-3 on FA Cups.

One of the most famous of those FA Cup triumphs was the 1981 final which saw Tottenham defeat Manchester City in a replay when Argentinian midfielder Ricky Villa scored not only one of the greatest FA Cup winning goals, but also one of the most memorable solo runs and finishes of all time.

One year before the Falklands War between Britain and Argentina, Tottenham not only had Villa but his 1978 World Cup-winning compatriot Ossie Ardiles bringing South American flair to English football, with the duo ultimately being inducted into the Spurs Hall of Fame for their services.

West Ham would try a similar Argentinian duopoly in August 2006 when superstars Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano arrived in East London for undisclosed fees.

The transfers not only sparked discussions about third party ownership - given the way they were signed - but did not work out, particularly in the case of Mascherano.

Tevez at least proved vital as West Ham escaped relegation at the expense of an irate Sheffield United in 2006-07 as his seven goals in the final 10 games proved crucial.

Significantly his winner against his next club Manchester United was the goal that secured safety for the Hammers.

While his heroics were having an effect, Mascherano made just five appearances for West Ham, before taking an escape route on loan to Liverpool in January 2007 where he resurrected a career that has taken him to success with Barcelona and a World Cup final with Argentina.

Either way, it's Villa-Ardiles which wins out over Tevez-Mascherano if it's a West Ham v Tottenham battle we're talking about. 

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