David Hautzig's Match Report

Southampton 3, West Ham 2. Cursed At The Saints.

The very first match I ever wrote a report for was Southampton at home four years ago. We had come off a good away win against Palace, including a great half volley goal by new signing Zarate, and things looked promising. And then we stunk, losing 1-3. I allowed my rather raw emotions get the better of me, declaring the loss a huge step backwards for us. Of course I was wrong. Then again, I was right. We still don’t know what direction we are headed as a club, or if we are even on the move at all. Thus, today’s should-have-been-a-home-match-if-it-wasn’t-for-some-absurd-legacy-to-running-in-circles-to-the-left would either tell us last week was a blip against a powerhouse, a worrying trend, or just another day in Claret & Blue. The starting eleven added even more mixed emotions. I was pleased for Declan Rice, yet felt Obiang was treated harshly. Ten minutes before kickoff came the news that Reid welcomed his new six year deal by hurting his ankle…of course he did… paving the way for Ogbonna to start. I’m so discouraged by our defensive play, I doubt it would have changed a thing had he played.

In the opening minutes, a long ball found its way to Hernandez, and with only Yoshida between him and the goal a little excitement seemed in the cards. But a bad touch by who we hope will be our main goal scorer ended the threat. In the 9th minute, Antonio found Arnautovic, who made a diagonal run into the box. But instead of shooting back across the keeper he tried to tuck it in the near corner and shot it wide.

Tell the truth. Every time you heard that Southampton hadn’t scored at home since April, spanning about 900 minutes, you knew we would be the side that ended that drought. In the 12th minute, the inevitable happened when Redmond played Gabbiadini into the box. Fonte completely missed the run of Gabbiadini behind him, and Ogbonna made no move despite seeing the run, and the man who opened the scoring last season at St. Mary’s did it again by doing what Arnautovic should have done minutes earlier.

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Southampton 1
West Ham 0

West Ham had a chance to score an equalizer in the 22nd minute when Hernandez sent a looping cross into the box that Arnautovic came across to meet with a diving header but Foster was there to push it out for a corner. The corner was taken by Arnautovic. That’s all I will say about that.

I had a season ticket to The New York Rangers ice hockey team for over twenty years, so I’ve seen my share of rough and tumble action. But by the 27th minute, there could have been three red cards handed out by Lee Mason. Tadic early on for a nasty challenge on Chicharito, Lemina for an elbow on Arnautovic, and Noble for a studs up challenge on Lemina. It all came to a head in the 31st minute when Arnautovic lost his mind and elbowed Stephens for a straight red card and a three-match ban. So to put a new spin on old joke from over here, I turned on a football match and a hockey game broke out.

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In the 37th minute, Davis made a run into the box. I bet Fonte was simply trying to give him a little cuddle. Like welcoming someone you haven’t seen in years as they come into your home. But Lee Mason obviously didn’t understand the social element there and pointed to the spot. I’m sure Tadic understood what Fonte was doing but didn’t want to be rude to Mason, so he took the penalty without incident.

Southampton 2
West Ham 0

Antonio made some news this past week when he defended the actions of Coutinho at Liverpool and the very nature of player power. Well, power is something the guy knows a lot about because he has it in abundance. With the ball at his feet at the top of is box, he fought off three Southampton players to get a shot off that Foster could only palm away, and Hernandez pounced to open his West Ham account.

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Halftime
Southampton 2
West Ham 1

The start of the second half saw no personnel changes from Bilic, but the shape changed to Antonio playing the role of lone striker with Hernandez wide left. Just wanted to point it out because writing about the actual action felt too depressing.

The first real chance of the second half fell to the home side when Gabbiadini and Cedric criss-crossed inside the West Ham penalty area, but Cedric’s finish was poor and he chipped it high and wide. A few minutes later a long throw into the box was headed by Ayew into Stephens. West Ham players threw their arms into the air demanding a handball decision, and replays showed Stephens did put his arm out. But Mason didn’t see it, so he didn’t call it.

The Saints came an inch away from a third goal in the 60th minute when Gabbiadini had a look around from 30 yards and decided to let it fly. It sent Hart diving to his left, but it was the crossbar that made the save. A few minutes later, it was Hernandez who tried a long-range effort but it went wide. Southampton came back down the field and this time it was Tadic with a shot from the top of the eighteen yard box that Hart saw all the way and made the save.

The 67th minute saw Bilic finally make a change, with Sakho and Fernandes inserted and Antonio and Ayew withdrawn. Antonio made sense if only to protect his hamstring. Ayew, however, made little sense to me at the time. If I was chasing a game down a man, I’d rather have the poaching possibility that Ayew offers than the defensive support someone like Noble can deliver.

West Ham asked a tough question in the 72nd minute when Hernandez sent in a cross that Sakho was able to head towards goal. It rolled wide and Fernandes tried to get it back into the box but Southampton cleared. But a minute later, a lovely cross in from Cresswell was headed goal ward by Sakho. Foster got a hand on it and knocked it off the bar, but Hernandez was there to score a prototypical poachers goal.

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Southampton 2
West Ham 2

The fact that Southampton had to make two attacking substitutions, Austin and Long, in the 81st minute is testament to how the home side let what should have been a nailed on three points turn into a real football match. A minute later Southampton missed a golden opportunity to regain the lead when Ward Prowse sent the ball into the box and Yoshida just missed a possible tap in.

In the 89th minute, the crossbar came to West Ham’s rescue again when Redmond tried a long range missile that went off Hart’s hand before it clanged off the bar.

Just when we thought an amazing escape with a point was in the cards, the man you never think would make a mistake in such a critical moment did just that. Zabaleta put his forearm into the back of Yoshida, and Mason immediately pointed to the spot. Austin stepped up and coolly put it past Hart.

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Final Score
Southampton 3
West Ham 2

For my summary paragraph here, in the first half I planned to refer back to the season under Grant, when we lost our first three matches and never recovered. After such a hopeful few weeks during the summer with all of the signings, it felt horrifyingly familiar to all of those seasons we spent weeks on end fearful for our top-flight status. Then in the second half I felt emboldened to write about our amazing fighting spirit, which did show itself. Now, I don’t know what to write or even think. I know, it’s only two games. And we seem to have signed an actual goal scorer. But when defensive mistakes are so commonplace they become expected, it’s not heresy to ask questions of both the players in those positions but the people in charge of instructing them. They shouldn’t happen. But they do.

A lot.

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Match Thread

Match Thread: Southampton v West Ham

Southampton v West Ham
FA Premier League
St Mary’s Stadium
Kickoff: 3pm
TV: None
Radio: WHUFC.com

Please use this thread to comment on the match as it progresses.


Lineup Prediction

Lineup Prediction: Southampton v West Ham

Subs: Adrian, Fonte, Collins, Rice, Masuaku, Fernandez, Sakho

I’d love to see Declan Rice start, and it’s possible he could be in instead of Andre Ayew, but I doubt it. Masuaku had a shocking game at Old Trafford and I think he will be replaced by Cresswell, but otherwise I don’t foresee other changes beyond Antonio returning in favour of Fernandez, who was alos a player who didn’t cover himself with glory last week. But then again, who did.

We don’t have a great record at Southampton, although I think we won last year. If we can win today it will do a lot to erase the bad memories of last week. The players have something to prove. I’ve predicted a 2-1 win for the Hammers with Hernandez opening his account.

You have until 1.55pm to enter the Predictor League – even if you missed it last week, do enter today!

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View From The Other Side

Opposition Q&A with the Saints

After last week’s painful thrashing at the hands of Manchester United West Ham travel to Southampton for the second of our four away game start to the season. Our recent results against them have been a bit mixed, but we did come from behind to beat them 1-3 at St Mary’s last season. I spoke to season ticket holder and lifelong fan Simon Lacey from Dance Company New Adventures to discuss the game.

What are your expectations for Southampton this season? Will you finish just above West Ham for the 5th consecutive season?
Somewhere between 7th and 10th and expect West Ham to be between 10th and 13th

Which three teams do you think will suffer relegation and who will lift the title this season?
Brighton, Swansea, Palace for the drop, Man City champions

How do you rate West Ham’s manager Slaven Bilic as a manager?
Like him as a person as honest and seems to relate well to other managers, don’t rate his tactical astuteness and ability to shape or reshape a team

Early days yet, but what league position can West Ham realistically achieve this season?
10th

What do you think of the news that Southampton has a new foreign interest on the board?
The previous owners did nothing wrong and just about everything right so would have rather had no change even if it meant no extra money to spend. Time will tell on the new owner and, as ever, the supporters will just have to take the rough or smooth.

Southampton have also recently appointed a new manager, who will be your third manager in 3 years, will he be able to sustain the success that the last couple have been able to bring to the club?
I would have kept Puel for another year but we seem to be the best at appointing managers (like the purchase of good players for great price); witness 2 of the last 3 managing top 7 clubs in last year’s Premiership so optimistic for more of the same.

If you could have any current West Ham player in your first team who would you choose and why?
That’s a tough one but probably Lanzini as he is the one that seems to offer something different, or possibly Winston Ried as seems fairly reliable (not Jose “give a penalty” Fonte!)

What do you think of Southampton’s ‘Transfer Window’ deals, do you think you have finished your summer trading yet?
We always buy players I have never heard of and they do very well so same applies to Bedanarek and Lemina; expect there will be at least one more but we tend to fall under the gossip radar unless its fallen greats trying to illegally poach our players; on that subject we should keep Van Dyke whether he plays or not and the FA/Premier League should transfer embargo Liverpool.

Which Saints player(s) will be key to your hopes this season?
Gabbiadini up front, Ward-Prowse to run games more from midfield, Forster to warrant his new deal after last season’s amateurish and command his box in all ways and the joker in the pack, Boufal to come good.

How do you expect Southampton to setup against West Ham on Saturday/ Team/formation prediction?
Same as last week against Swansea in terms of formation i.e. 4, 2, 3,1 that become sort of 4, 2, 2.5, 1.5 but Boufal may start instead of Redmond and Lamina for Davis or Ware-Prowse; could also start Austin for Gabbiadini and Bertrand went straight down the tunnel when subbed so MacQueen or Targett for him at left back if any injury i.e Forster, Cedric, Stephens, Yoshida, Bertrand, Romeo, Lamina, Boufal, Ward-Prowse, Tadic, Gabbiadini. Couldaldo

Prediction for score?
2-0

My thanks to Simon for his thoughts on the fixture and his prediction. Dance fans can catch up with Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures on “New Adventures” :http://www.new-adventures.net

I’m hoping for a repeat of last year’s victory, but will accept a draw, 1-2 to the Hammers Let’s hope we can secure our first goals and points of the season. Come on you Irons!

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Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Southampton v West Ham

Blast from the past

1st April 1907 – Edward VII was on the throne, Henry Campbell-Bannerman was the Liberal Prime Minister and the first taxicabs with taximeters had just begun operating in London. West Ham United, meanwhile, were defeating Southampton 3-2 in front of 8,000 at The Dell.

The Hammers recorded victory on the South Coast with goals from 23-year-old centre-forward Harry Stapley, 22-year-old half-back Len Jarvis and 25-year-old inside-forward Lionel Watson. Trialist John Patten and 22-year-old Frank Jefferis replied for the Saints but it was the Hammers who took maximum points back to London. This was one of two goals Patten scored for Saints from four matches but it still wasn’t enough to win him a permanent contract. Jefferis would go on to win two England caps and the 1915 league title with Everton.

Stapley (pictured right) was born in Tunbridge Wells on 29th April 1883 and was considered something of a coup when, as an amateur player, he accepted an invitation to play for the Hammers in late 1904. A schoolmaster by trade, he had resisted the lure of professional football throughout a distinguished football career with Manor Park Albion, Bromley, Norwich CEYMS, Reading and Woodford Town. Slightly-built for a centre-forward, he topped West Ham’s scoring charts for three consecutive campaigns and, after then moving up in the world to join Second Division Glossop, he was the Derbyshire club’s top scorer for seven successive seasons. His duties as a teacher prevented him from travelling to midweek matches but he became the private tutor and cricket and football coach to the Hill-Wood children (the family long associated with Arsenal); Stapley served as private secretary to Sir Samuel Hill-Wood when he became MP for High Peak. Harry Stapley died in Glossop on his 56th birthday in 1939.

West Ham United would finish the 1906/07 Southern League First Division season in fifth position, while Southampton would end up 11th in a campaign which saw Fulham top the division, Newcastle win the Football League title and The Wednesday win the FA Cup. Stapley would finish as the Hammers’ top scorer with 22 goals in 37 matches.

Southampton: George Clawley, John Robertson, John Eastham, Horace Glover, Joseph Harris, James Bowden, Sam Jepp, Fred Mouncher, Frank Jefferis, John Patten, Wally Radford.

West Ham United: George Kitchen, Bill Wildman, Bill Taylor, Tommy Allison, Len Jarvis, Frank Piercy, Dave Lindsay, Billy Grassam, Harry Stapley, Lionel Watson, Fred Blackburn.

Club Connections

Jose Fonte and Michail Antonio travel to the home of their former club. An array of West Ham United’s good, bad and ugly have also turned out for Southampton:

Goalkeepers: Richard Wright, George Kitchen.

Defenders: Richard Hall, Christian Dailly, Joe Kirkup, Wayne Bridge, Neil Ruddock, Bill Adams, Ian Pearce, Darren Powell, Albie Roles, Horace Glover, Calum Davenport.

Midfielders: Jimmy Carr, Bobby Weale, Luis Boa Morte, Nigel Quashie, Eyal Berkovic, Robbie Slater, Peter Cowper, Paul Allen.

Strikers: Vic Watson, Justin Fashanu, David Speedie, David Connolly, Ted MacDougall, Henri Camara, Alex McDonald, Frank Costello, Fred Harrison, Walter Pollard, Arthur Wilson, Jimmy Harris, Jack Foster.

In addition, George Kay played for the Hammers and managed the Saints while Harry Redknapp and Alan Pardew have managed both clubs.

Today’s focus is on a striker who had a period with Southampton in between two spells with West Ham. Iain Dowie was born in Hatfield, Hertfordshire on 9th January 1965. He was rejected by Southampton aged 16 and later went to the University of Hertfordshire to study for an engineer’s degree. On completion he became an employee of British Aerospace, whilst playing football at non-League level for Cheshunt alongside his brother Bob. He left Cheshunt to improve his fitness and signed for St Albans City, then moved on to Hendon. While playing for Hendon, Dowie was spotted by Luton who signed him in the 1988/89 season, when they were in the First Division. An old-fashioned centre-forward, he had a brief loan spell at Fulham before establishing himself as a first-team player at Kenilworth Road in the 1989/90 season, when his eight goals in 29 league games helped Luton finish seventh.

On 22nd March 1991, with Luton still in the First Division and Dowie still a first team regular with seven goals from 29 games that season, he agreed to drop a division to join Billy Bonds’ promotion-chasing West Ham United for a fee of £480,000. He proved himself to be a competent deputy for the injured Trevor Morley as his four goals in the final 12 league games of the season helped secure the team’s promotion as Second Division runners-up. The 26-year-old Dowie made his Hammers debut in a 0-0 draw at Hull the day after signing and scored his first goal on his home debut, a 3-2 win over Barnsley at the Boleyn Ground on 1st April 1991. He scored in his next two home games as well, a 2-0 win over Swindon on 20th April and a 1-1 draw with Newcastle four days later, before making it three goals in a week in a 3-1 defeat at Blackburn on 27th April. When the 1991/92 First Division season began however, Morley had returned to fitness and Dowie found himself on the sidelines until his £500,000 move to Southampton on 3rd September 1991 after less than six months at Upton Park.

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Dowie played alongside Alan Shearer and Matthew Le Tissier – two of the country’s highest regarded players in the early 1990s – and scored nine goals in 30 league games to ensure that Ian Branfoot’s Saints finished high enough for a place in the newly formed Premier League, while the Hammers were relegated in bottom position from the old First Division to the new First Division. His good form continued into the 1992/93 season, despite the sale of Shearer to Blackburn, as he scored 11 league goals. His tally dropped to five goals in 39 games during the 1993/94 campaign, though Southampton avoided relegation again, and he managed another five goals from 17 league games in the 1994/95 season before manager Alan Ball decided that he wanted younger partners for Le Tissier in attack, signing Gordon Watson and Neil Shipperley while dropping Craig Maskell and selling Dowie to Crystal Palace for £400,000 in January 1995. Dowie had scored 30 goals for Southampton from 122 matches in just over three years at The Dell.

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Dowie could not save the Eagles from relegation from the Premier League and returned to Upton Park in September 1995 in a deal which saw the late Jeroen Boere move to Selhurst Park. The 30-year-old Dowie made his second Hammers debut under Harry Redknapp in a 3-1 home defeat to Chelsea on 11th September 1995 and scored his first goal back at the Boleyn in a 1-1 draw with champions Blackburn on 21st October. He scored the only goal of the game at Sheffield Wednesday the following weekend before grabbing a late winner against former club Southampton on 16th December. He bagged the Hammers’ first goal of 1996 in a 2-1 New Year’s Day defeat at Manchester City and notched an 85th-minute winner in a 3-2 home win over Coventry on 31st January 1996, a match which saw the debut of Frank Lampard Junior.

Dowie scored the equaliser in a 1-1 home FA Cup fourth round draw with Grimsby on 7th February 1996 but the Hammers would lose the replay 3-0 the following week. He tapped in the opener in a 2-0 home win over Middlesbrough on 9th March and made it three goals in as many games by bagging a brace in a 4-2 home triumph over Manchester City. Dowie ended the 1995/96 campaign with nine goals from 39 appearances in all competitions and was voted runner-up to Julian Dicks in the Hammer of the Year voting as West Ham finished in the top flight’s top ten for the first time since the famous 1985/86 season.

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1996/97 was to prove less fruitful, with Dowie’s only goals coming in a Hugo Porfirio-inspired 4-1 victory over Nottingham Forest in the third round of the League Cup, a match in which Dowie notched a double on 23rd October 1996. Redknapp had broken up Dowie’s previously successful partnership with Tony Cottee (who had moved to Selangor of Malaysia) but his experiment with foreign imports was not paying dividends – neither Florin Raducioiu nor Paulo Futre, both summer signings, would be in east London by the end of the winter. Dowie ploughed a fruitless furrow up front in the bleak winter of 1996/97 and had to bear the frustrations of supporters who also had to contend with loan flop Mike Newell when Dowie was injured in January before the signings of John Hartson and Paul Kitson breathed new goalscoring life into the claret and blue strikeforce. Dowie’s nightmare own goal at lowly Stockport also dumped the drenched Hammers out of the League Cup in a fourth round replay.

Dowie remained in east London until January 1998, fourteen months and 32 matches after his last goals for the club. He departed, alongside left-back and fellow Northern Ireland international Keith Rowland, in the deal which brought Trevor Sinclair to the Boleyn Ground from QPR. Dowie, who left at the age of 33, had scored 15 goals in 95 appearances in all competitions across both his spells with West Ham United. Twelve of these goals can be seen in my video below.

Dowie spent three years at QPR, ending his career playing in defence and as player-manager of the reserves. He was also caretaker manager of the club for two games in the autumn of 1998. He retired having also won 59 caps for Northern Ireland, for whom he qualified to play through his father, scoring 12 goals. He became manager of Oldham in 2002, knocking Glenn Roeder’s West Ham out of the League Cup at Upton Park, before moving to former club Crystal Palace in December 2003, taking the Eagles from 19th place in Division One to the Play-Off Final, where Dowie again engineered a victory over the Hammers. He took over at Charlton in the summer of 2006 but left before Christmas and became manager at Coventry in February 2007 only to leave a year later. He returned to QPR in the summer of 2008 but was sacked after just 15 games. Alan Shearer named Dowie on his coaching staff at Newcastle when he took over for the final stages of the 2008/09 campaign.

Dowie was named as the temporary ‘Football Management Consultant’ of Premier League Hull City on 17th March 2010 but the Tigers would be relegated with one game left to play. Now 52, Dowie works as a commentator for Sky Sports News. His niece, 29-year-old England international striker Natasha Dowie, plays for Boston Breakers in the American National Women’s Soccer League.

Referee

Saturday’s referee will be Lee Mason from Greater Manchester. Mason refereed the Hammers once in 2016/17 – the 1-0 home win over Hull when he awarded the Hammers a match-winning penalty – but took charge of two West Ham matches the previous season, those being the 0-0 draw at Swansea in December 2015 and the 3-0 win at West Brom in April 2016.

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Mason refereed three Premier League matches involving the Hammers in 2014/15 – the 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa, the 1-0 home win over Sunderland and the 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford when he sent off Wayne Rooney, denied the Hammers a penalty when Morgan Amalfitano’s cross struck Radamel Falcao’s arm and disallowed Kevin Nolan’s last-minute strike for a marginal offside. Mason was also the man in the middle for our 1-0 FA Cup win at Bristol City in January 2015. He also officiated in four of our games in 2013/14, sending off two of our players (Mark Noble against Everton and James Tomkins at Cardiff) and disallowing a perfectly good Stewart Downing equaliser at Crystal Palace.

Possible line-ups

Southampton and England left-back Ryan Bertrand has been passed fit but Virgil van Dijk remains unavailable.

West Ham United could welcome back Michail Antonio from injury, while Aaron Cresswell could claim a starting berth. Cheikhou Kouyate, Manuel Lanzini and Andy Carroll could return at Newcastle next weekend.

Possible Southampton XI: Forster; Soares, Stephens, Yoshida, Bertrand; Romeu, Ward-Prowse; Redmond, Davis, Tadic; Gabbiadini.

Possible West Ham United XI: Hart; Zabaleta, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Obiang, Noble; Antonio, Ayew, Arnautovic; Chicharito.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!

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