Dan Coker's Match Preview
Blast from the past
West Ham United arrived at the Park Royal Ground, the former home of this weekend’s opponents Queens Park Rangers, for a Southern League First Division fixture on 12th September 1910 while en route to a fifth placed finish. A 2-0 victory in front of 7,000 was recorded thanks to a double from legendary inside-forward Danny Shea (pictured), who scored 186 goals for the club in 290 appearances. QPR would finish five points below the Hammers in 1910/11, in sixth position.
West Ham United: George Kitchen, William Lavery, Robert Fairman, Frank Piercy, Thomas Randall, Fred Blackburn, Thomas Caldwell, Herbert Ashton, Frank Curtis, Danny Shea, Frederick Massey.
A long list of players have turned out for both West Ham United and Queens Park Rangers over the years. Divided by position, these include:
Goalkeepers: Ludek Miklosko and Phil Parkes.
Defenders: Tim Breacker, Rufus Brevett, Neil Ruddock, Anton Ferdinand, Keith Rowland and Tal Ben Haim.
Midfielders: Gary O’Neil, Andy Impey, Martin Allen, Nigel Quashie, Steve Lomas, Ravel Morrison, Kieron Dyer, Yossi Benayoun and Trevor Sinclair.
Strikers: Modibo Maiga, Iain Dowie, Leroy Rosenior, Clive Allen, Bobby Zamora, Les Ferdinand, Paul Goddard and Hogan Ephraim.
Ex-Hammers Robert Green, Rio Ferdinand and Bobby Zamora are currently on the QPR playing staff. In addition, former West Ham players Dave Sexton and Harry Redknapp have managed QPR, while former Hoops defender Glenn Roeder has managed the Hammers.
This week’s focus though is on a player who is recognised as one of West Ham United’s best centre-backs of the last ten years. Danny Gabbidon started his career with West Brom in 1999 before joining Cardiff in 2001. He signed for West Ham United (along with James Collins) in July 2005 and quickly built up an effective partnership with Hammers’ homegrown product Anton Ferdinand, making 39 appearances in all competitions as the Hammers embarked on an exciting and memorable 2005/06 campaign. The Hammers finished ninth under the guidance of Alan Pardew and came within seconds of winning the FA Cup. Gabbidon’s contribution to that terrific campaign was recognised by the club’s supporters as he beat off strong competition to become the recipient of the Hammer of the Year award that season. Hamstring and groin problems during 2006/07 restricted Gabbidon’s contribution to ‘The Greatest Escape’ to 22 matches and the signing of Matthew Upson, coupled with Gabbidon’s increasing injury issues, led to tougher times for the Welsh international; indeed, injury ensured he would not play a single match between December 2007 and August 2009.
Gabbidon returned to play 11 matches under Gianfranco Zola in 2009/10 as the Hammers narrowly avoided relegation but the club would not survive the following campaign as the defender made 27 appearances under Avram Grant. After 96 league appearances over six seasons with West Ham, Gabbidon was released after relegation in the summer of 2011.
A Welsh international, Gabbidon won 25 of his 49 caps while with West Ham United. He made his Wales debut as a Cardiff player in a 0-0 draw with the Czech Republic in March 2002. Within four months of his move to east London, he captained his country in a 1-0 away defeat to Cyprus. Gabbidon announced his retirement from international football in October 2010 but reversed his decision in the spring of 2011.
Gabbidon signed a one-year contract with Neil Warnock’s Queens Park Rangers in July 2011 after impressing whilst on trial with the club. He scored an own goal on his debut in a 4–0 loss to Bolton but, on 17th January 2012, Gabbidon scored his first goal since March 2005, a header from a corner in QPR’s 1–0 FA Cup third round replay win over MK Dons. It was his only goal for QPR as, following Warnock’s sacking, Gabbidon rarely played under new manager Mark Hughes and was released at the end of the 2011/12 season. He enjoyed a spell at Crystal Palace and is now back at Cardiff as a player/coach at the age of 35. He was joint-interim manager earlier this season following the departure of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The last time West Ham United won a Premier League away game, Mike Jones was the referee as West Brom were defeated at The Hawthorns. Jones will take on his second Hammers appointment of the season as the Claret and Blue Army go looking for positive omens for the short trip to Loftus Road. Jones’ previous two Premier League games officiating West Ham have both come at Old Trafford – the 3-1 defeat last term and the 1-0 loss the season before. He is perhaps more infamous for a shocking display during our FA Cup quarter-final defeat at Stoke in 2011, when he allowed both goals for the home side to stand despite blatant infringements on Matthew Upson and Thomas Hitzlsperger respectively. He also awarded the Potters a penalty for a Matthew Etherington dive (which was saved by Rob Green) and astonishingly gave Stoke a free-kick for a tangle which should have seen James Tomkins awarded a penalty.
Former Hammers favourite Rio Ferdinand will miss out for Queens Park Rangers, as could left-back Suk Young-Yoon. Alejandro Faurlin and Eduardo Vargas are long-term absentees. After a fortnight without a game, the Hoops could have Armand Traore, Leroy Fer and Adel Taarabt available for selection.
For West Ham United, Guy Demel joins James Tomkins, Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho on the sidelines.
Possible Queens Park Rangers XI: Green; Isla, Caulker, Onuoha, Traore; Phillips, Barton, Sandro, Fer; Austin, Zamora.
Possible West Ham United XI: Adrian; Jenkinson, Collins, Reid, Cresswell; Song, Kouyate, Noble; Downing; Cole, Valencia.
Enjoy the game – Up the Hammers!Submit your match prediction