Things got a mite testy at the end of last Saturday’s match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United at the London Stadium, and the league has seen fit to intervene. The Football Association has charged both Spurs and West Ham for “failure to control their players” after an on-pitch scrum in the dying moments of the match, a 3-2 Spurs win.
With Spurs down to ten men and West Ham pushing for an equalizer in the waning moments of the match, things boiled over in the 95th minute after Andy Carroll fouled Fernando Llorente, seemingly in retaliation for what Carroll thought was a forearm shiver from Llorente moments earlier.
That led to lots of shoving, particularly between Llorente and Winston Reid. Shirts were pulled. Grown men yelled at each other. There were handbags-a-plenty, and may or may not have been hands to the face. Michael Oliver ended up showing five cards: three to West Ham (Carroll, Reid, and Andre Ayew) and two to Tottenham (Llorente and Eric Dier).
But that’s apparently not enough for the FA, which issued the following statement:
"It is alleged that in or around the 95th minute of the game, both clubs failed to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion."
I don’t know if I agree that levying charges against either club was warranted. Yes, tempers flared, but it was a close match in a London derby against teams that don’t really like each other that much, and Oliver seemed to have a good grasp of the situation. Nobody got hurt, lots of people got booked, and the match ended, if not amicably, at least without any serious repercussions. We certainly saw a lot worse in the Battle of the Bridge.
But whatever. Both clubs can appeal the ruling, but I suspect neither will bother. Each club will likely receive a moderate fine and the incident will be quickly forgotten. And really, if we’re going to be upset about something it should be how Javier Hernandez was in the thick of that entire incident and somehow managed to skate without picking up a second yellow and being sent off with a one-match ban. THAT deserves an investigation.