Dan Coker's Match Preview
Blast from the past
23rd March 1957 – Harold Macmillan was Prime Minister, Tab Hunter was number one with ‘Young Love’ and Tyrone Power was starring in Seven Waves Away. West Ham United met Stoke City at the Victoria Ground for a Second Division encounter on the day Sir Patrick Abercrombie, a town planner best known for the post-World War Two re-planning of London, died.
Ted Fenton’s Hammers were to emerge victorious with a 1-0 victory at the home of the Potters in front of 19,794 with the winning goal coming courtesy of Geordie left-winger Malcolm Musgrove (pictured). Musgrove had scored a double on the same ground almost exactly two years previously. The 23-year-old ended the season with 10 goals from 44 appearances. Inside-left John Dick, absent for this game at Stoke, finished the campaign as the Irons’ top goalscorer with 13 goals in 41 matches.
West Ham would finish the 1956/57 Division Two season in eighth place, while Frank Taylor’s Stoke would end the campaign in fifth position. Leicester and Nottingham Forest would win promotion, Manchester United won the First Division title and Aston Villa won the FA Cup.
West Ham United: Ernie Gregory, John Bond, Malcolm Allison, Noel Cantwell, Andy Malcolm, John Smith, Mike Grice, Mick Newman, Billy Dare, Eddie Lewis, Malcolm Musgrove.
Glen Johnson should face the club with whom he started his career. A reasonable number of players have also worn the shirts of both Stoke City and West Ham United. These include:
Goalkeepers: Steve Banks, Lawrie Leslie, Bob Dixon.
Defenders: Clive Clarke, Danny Collins, Matthew Upson.
Midfielders: Luke Chadwick, Matthew Etherington, Paul Allen, Kevin Keen, Victor Moses.
Strikers: Lee Chapman, Sir Geoff Hurst, John Carew, Henri Camara, Frank Richardson, Nicky Morgan.
Lou Macari has also managed both clubs, with two spells in charge of the Potters.
Today’s focus though is on a defender who helped consolidate Stoke’s Premier League place and went on to play his part in a promotion season with West Ham. Abdoulaye Faye was born in Dakar, Senegal on the 26th February 1978. He began his career at Senegalese clubs, ASEC Ndiambour and Jeanne d’Arc. He moved to French football in 2002, signing for Lens where he would team up with fellow Senegalese international and future West Ham team-mate Papa Bouba Diop. Following a loan spell at Istres, Faye moved to England in 2005, joining Sam Allardyce’s Bolton. He followed Big Sam to Newcastle in 2007.
The 30-year-old Faye was on the move again the following summer, signing for Tony Pulis’ newly-promoted Stoke on 15th August 2008 for £2.25m. He made his Potters debut later that month in a 3-2 win over Aston Villa. He scored his first goal for his new club against the side he’d just left, salvaging a 2-2 draw in the last minute at Newcastle on 6th December 2008. Faye repeated the feat in the reverse fixture, scoring in a 1-1 home draw against the Magpies on 11th April 2009 – Andy Carroll scored the late equaliser for the visitors that day. In between those goals against his former employers, Faye also scored against his future club, heading home unmarked from a corner against West Ham at Upton Park before strikes from Carlton Cole and Diego Tristan turned the match in favour of the Hammers after Ricardo Fuller had been sent off for slapping Andy Griffin, his own team-mate. Faye ended an impressive first season by collecting both Players’ and Fans’ Player of the Season Awards. He was named captain for the 2009/10 campaign, replacing Griffin, but injuries disrupted his season and Ryan Shawcross assumed the armband in 2010/11. Faye helped Stoke to the 2011 FA Cup Final before departing the club, having scored six goals in 84 appearances in all competitions.
Faye was released in the summer of 2011 and teamed up with Allardyce for a third time, becoming the new West Ham United manager’s first signing at Upton Park. The 33-year-old made his debut as a substitute in a 4-0 win at Watford on 16th August 2011 and made his first start in a 0-0 draw at Millwall the following month. A strong, uncompromising, formidable centre-half, Faye made 29 appearances for West Ham in all competitions, helping the side to 11 clean sheets in those games. His final match for the Irons was in a 3-3 home draw with Birmingham on 9th April 2012.
As the Hammers secured promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking via the play-offs, Faye was deemed surplus to requirements and released at the end of his one-year contract. He stayed in the Championship, signing for Hull, and helped the Tigers secure promotion to the top flight in his first season and to the FA Cup Final in his second. He was released at the end of the 2013/14 campaign and joined Malaysia Premier League side Sabah FA six months later. Faye, now 39, retired in 2015.
Saturday’s referee will be Lee Probert, who will take on only his second Premier League appointment in the last two seasons following injury. He has mostly refereed in the lower leagues this campaign but made his return to top flight officiating on 1st April in Watford’s 1-0 home win over Sunderland. His last match in charge of the Hammers was our 3-0 win at Tottenham in October 2013. He had previously refereed our 3-2 home defeat to Liverpool in December 2012, awarding the Hammers a penalty for a Joe Allen handball. Probert also took charge of our 1-0 home victory over Swansea in February 2013 and our 2-2 home draw with Manchester United in April 2013, when he allowed Robin van Persie’s late equaliser to stand despite the Dutchman being in an offside position.
Probert sent off Matt Taylor for a push on Billy Sharp in the aftermath of awarding the Hammers a penalty in a 1-1 home draw with Southampton in February 2012. The 44-year-old Wiltshire-based official is pictured above issuing a red card to Tamir Cohen in our 2-1 home defeat to Bolton in March 2010.
Stoke, who have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last six games, will be without Stephen Ireland and Ibrahim Afellay, while Jonathan Walters is doubtful. Saido Berahino is yet to score in 11 appearances for Stoke since signing in January. Stoke are unbeaten in their last seven league meetings against the Hammers.
For West Ham United, Angelo Ogbonna, Pedro Obiang, Gokhan Tore, Michail Antonio and Andy Carroll are on the injured list. Robert Snodgrass is a doubt while Sofiane Feghouli faces a late fitness test. Sam Byram and Mark Noble return from suspension and Diafra Sakho may be fit enough to start, although would probably not last the 90 minutes as he continues to build up match fitness. The Hammers are unbeaten in their last three games.
Possible Stoke City XI: Butland; Johnson, Shawcross, Martins Indi, Pieters; Shaqiri, Cameron, Allen, Sobhi; Crouch, Arnautovic.
Possible West Ham United XI: Adrian; Fonte, Reid, Collins; Fernandes, Nordtveit, Kouyate, Masuaku; Lanzini, Ayew; Sakho.
Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!