Dawud Marsh's Photo Diary

Through the Lens: Photographs From Hammers History Part 3 Tony Cottee

Tony Cottee Debut at Upton Park 1st January 1983

Tony Cottee was born on 11th Just 1965 in Forest Gate, London. One of the most prolific goal scorers in English football during the 80s and 90s, scoring 293 goals in 712 games, in all competitions.

Playing on his debut aged 17, Cottee scores past Spurs and England goalkeeper Ray Clemence on 1st January 1983 in the English League One match at Upton Park.

Cottee went on to play 8 games that season, scoring 5 goals. Cottee secured a regular first team place in the following season scoring 18 goals – still on 18 years old. But, in 1984-85 season, Cottee scared 17 First Division goals and by the age of 20 had already managed 37 league goals.

Cottee went to his first match at Upton Park as a boy with his dad to in March 1972 to watch the Hammers beat Nottingham Forest 4-2, with Pop Robson scoring 2 goals. Cottee himself describes this as his ‘rite of passage’ and he has been connected to the club for almost 50 years.

Talking about his debut, Cottee describes how only the year before he was watching the team play from the stands and by the New Year he was in the first team playing with Martin and Devo – something he just couldn’t believe at the time!

For Cottee, and many others who have played for the club or followed the Hammers, Upton Park holds so many special memories and scoring “in a 3-0 victory against the old enemy. It couldn’t get much better than that.”

I love this photo, not only because its of Cottee scoring against Clemence in goal for Spurs, but its such a perfect shot, capturing the moment the ball leaves Cottee’s head, but a perfect rule of thirds composition. Depth of field is spot on with the crowd blurred in the background – but you can still make out some fans standing with their hands up in the air in celebration. The frame of the goal posts, the structure of the stand and the players creating a triangulated dynamic that leads your eye around the scene.

Dawud Marsh's Photo Diary

Player In Focus: Michail Antonio

Born 28th March 1990 in Wandsworth, Antonio signed for West Ham United on 1st September 2015, making his debut on 19th September in the 60th minute in a win against Manchester City.

Antonio has scored some key goals in his career so far, notably against Southampton on 28th December with the Hammers 1-0 down, eventually winning 2-1. And who can forget Antonio’s homage to Homer Simpson after scoring on 27th February 2016 against Sunderland where he lay on the floor sideways, spinning round in a circle!

Also, Antonio scored the only goal as Hammers were the first team to beat Spurs in their new stadium on 29th April 2019.

Antonio started the 2016-17 season as a right back, but for the Hammers first Premier league match at the London Stadium, he was switched to winger and scored the only goal in a 1-0 win against Bournemouth.

Hit by injury this season, we have at times missed his pace and ability to stretch and unsettle defences. Apparently without Antonio in the team it takes the Hammers 27mins longer to score a goal.

His strength on the ball gives the team time, especially in forward play, but how often does he get caught surrounded by players unable to cross or pass the ball? Despite some key goals from Antonio, how often has he missed a sitter that is the difference between winning a losing? Antonio has missed 9 big chances this season, with a shooting accuracy of 43%.

Antonio can frustrate as much as he entertains at times, but the team, I would argue, has so much more when he is in it. Antonio runs down the wing, pulls defenders and offers us much needed attacking power. He can get in goal scoring positions and with a 70% tackling percentage so far this season he can break up play in midfield and get the team going forward.

Dawud Marsh's Photo Diary

Through the Lens: Photographs From Hammers History Part 2 Trevor Brooking

Trevor Brooking Scores Only Goal to Seal 1980 FA Cup Final Win Against Arsenal

Sir Trevor Brooking CBE was born on 2nd October 1948 and began his West Ham United career on the 24th July 1965 as a young apprentice, turning down both Chelsea and Spurs. Trevors status is legend within West Ham history and reputation as a gentleman, both on and off the pitch and as an ambassador for football is beyond reproach.

There are a number of photographs of Trevor Brookings goal that sealed the FA Cup against Arsenal, showing the before and after on a hot, sunny 10th May in 1980. But this shot shows the moment the ball crosses the line, Jennings diving late and Trevor surrounded by Arsenal players which shows was a fantastic goal it was. Trevor had to bend down to get at the low shot, he was perfectly positioned as play revolved around the six yard box. Not only has Trevor bent down, he has managed to get the perfect angle to head the ball between defender and keeper. 1-0 and the stadium is rocking!

The build up to the goal came after a slow start to the match, the Hammers gained possession from a free kick after Brady was caught offside. Keeping possession in the 12th minute West Ham’s Devonshire broke down the left wing firing over a cross into the Arsenal 6 yard box. Cross’s shot was blocked by Young but Pearson had a shot at goal. As the ball went across the goal Trevor’s quick reaction left the Arsenal defence stranded and he flicked a header past Jennings in the 13th minute. Trevor’s goal decided the match as the Hammers sealed a famous victory at Wembley, which remains the last time a team from outside the top flight has won the FA Cup Final.

Looking at the replay of the goal its amazing to see the crowd of photographers either side of the goal – there must have been about 30 at least, and a few hands raise up in celebration as the ball hits the back of the net and therefore missing a shot of a lifetime. You can even see some of the photographers switching cameras as Devonshire makes his cross and Jennings gets a hand to ball. In some respects, sport photography is quite different these days. And this is what makes this such a wonderful photo. But given how many photographers there were either side of the net, someone was bound to get a great shot. There is just a split second to get it right.


On This Day: 26th March

Given the lack of football at present due to the Coronavirus, and the consequent lack of match previews, I’ll be occasionally delving into Hammers history with some ‘On This Day’ features and birthday celebrations for Hammers past. I hope all readers and their families are well. Keep safe – Dan.

West Ham 2-1 Wimbledon, 26th March 2000

In the first of two featured games today, we travel back exactly 20 years to 26th March 2000, a time when Tony Blair was Prime Minister, ‘Never Be The Same Again’ by Melanie C was number one and Toy Story 2 topped the UK box office. Jadon Sancho was born the day before and singer Ian Dury died the day after. West Ham United, meanwhile, met Wimbledon on a Sunday afternoon in a Premier League encounter.

The Hammers ran out 2-1 winners in front of 22,438 spectators at the Boleyn Ground that day, in a game that will forever be remembered for one of the greatest goals the old stadium ever saw. Only nine minutes had been played when Marc-Vivien Foe sprayed a pass out to Trevor Sinclair on the right flank; Sinclair’s driven crossfield, diagonal pass sailed over the head of Dons defender Kenny Cunningham and was inch-perfect for the lurking Paolo Di Canio. In an instant, the Italian maverick left the ground with both feet and, while in mid-air, volleyed the ball back across goalkeeper Neil Sullivan with the outside of his magic wand of a right boot. Martin Tyler’s commentary – “Oh I do not believe that – that is sensational… even by his standards” is synonymous with one of the greatest goals scored in the Premier League era.

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Debutant Frederic Kanoute – signed on the March transfer deadline in an initial loan move from Lyon – scored the hosts’ second on the hour when he was left in acres of space to run on to a Sinclair pass and slot confidently past Sullivan. Former Hammer Michael Hughes scored his own stunner with a dipping left-foot volley from distance which beat Craig Forrest with 15 minutes remaining.

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Harry Redknapp’s Irons would end the 1999/2000 season in ninth position while Egil Olsen’s Dons were relegated in 18th place. Di Canio was voted Hammer of the Year, with Sinclair runner-up, in a season which saw Manchester United win the league title and Chelsea beat Aston Villa to be crowned FA Cup winners in the last Final held at the old Wembley.

West Ham United: Craig Forrest, Steve Lomas, Rio Ferdinand, Igor Stimac, Scott Minto, Trevor Sinclair, Marc-Vivien Foe, Frank Lampard Junior, John Moncur (Marc Keller), Paolo Di Canio, Frederic Kanoute.

Wimbledon: Neil Sullivan, Kenny Cunningham, Trond Andersen, Chris Willmott (Dean Blackwell), Alan Kimble, Neal Ardley (Carl Leaburn), Robbie Earle (Damien Francis), Jason Euell, Michael Hughes, Marcus Gayle, Andreas Lund.

West Ham 2-1 Hull, 26th March 2014

In the second of our two featured matches, we travel back exactly six years to 26th March 2014, when David Cameron was Prime Minister, ‘I Got U’ by Duke Dumont featuring Jax Jones was number one and The Grand Budapest Hotel was in UK cinemas.

The Hammers ran out 2-1 winners in front of 31,033 spectators at the Boleyn Ground that evening, taking the lead in the 26th minute through Mark Noble’s penalty after Hull ‘keeper Allan McGregor was sent off for bringing down Mohamed Diame. The Senegalese midfielder, who would sign for Hull the following summer, appeared to control the ball with his hand and referee Mike Dean did not initially penalise McGregor’s challenge but awarded a penalty and issued a red card on the advice of his assistant. To compound matters, McGregor suffered kidney damage in the collision.

Future Hammers striker Nikica Jelavic deflected in Tom Huddlestone’s free-kick to level three minutes into the second half, but James Chester diverted Guy Demel’s speculative cross in just six minutes later, swinging his left boot wildly and shinning the ball over substitute goalkeeper Steve Harper to restore the hosts’ advantage.

Despite the Irons claiming the three points, and ending a run of three consecutive league defeats in the process, a section of the home support greeted the final whistle with boos, prompting manager Sam Allardyce to cup his ear to the crowd in surprise at the criticism. The victory saw the Hammers leapfrog the Tigers into 11th in the table.

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Allardyce’s Irons would end the 2013/14 season seven points clear of the dreaded drop in 13th position while the Tigers would finish four points clear in 16th place. Noble was voted Hammer of the Year for the second time, with Adrian runner-up, in a season which saw Manchester City win the league title and Arsenal beat Hull to be crowned FA Cup winners.

West Ham United: Adrian, Guy Demel, James Collins (Roger Johnson), James Tomkins, George McCartney, Mark Noble, Matt Taylor, Mohamed Diame (Joe Cole), Kevin Nolan, Stewart Downing, Andy Carroll.

Hull City: Allan McGregor, Ahmed Elmohamady, James Chester, Curtis Davies, Maynor Figueroa (Liam Rosenior), Alex Bruce (Steve Harper), Jake Livermore, David Meyler, Tom Huddlestone, Nikica Jelavic (Yannick Sagbo), Shane Long.

You can see all the goals from both these games on the WHTID social media pages.

The GoatyGav Column

The Culture Of The Outside Of The Boot

I’ve had the idea in my head to write this article for quite some time. The current global situation, added to the fact that I’m officially on a week and a day’s holiday, have meant that the time to put it together and post has been in abundance.

Before a ball was kicked this Premier League season the West Ham squad got together and trained, in Switzerland, along with some of the new signings. One triple training session, or I should say one particular aspect of one of the triple training sessions, grabbed my attention in particular. Rather than talk through it I thought I’d share the youtube footage of the moment with you instead: -

There’s something very cultured about the use of the outside of the boot. I liked to try and attempt to use it myself when I played, at school and in Sunday League, as I felt the ball could be ‘guided’ in to the path of team-mates making runs and, often, away from defenders at the same time – handing the advantage to the recipient of the pass. This method to finding angles on the pitch is one that I used to coach the kids I used to manage. Earlier this season Dan put a video on his pre-match article for the Sheffield United game which featured footage of the late, great Bobby Moore making one such pass : -

One of my favourite players in world football, Isco, bends the ball with the outside of the boot beautifully in the following video. The touch and finish from Benzema is pretty decent too. If it were only with the outside of the boot as well : -

There are several other advantages to the use of the outside of the foot. Not all are for sublime passes. Striking a shot with that area of the boot can generate more curve on the ball. Those who’ve seen it couldn’t possibly forget Roberto Carlos’ outrageous free kick from thirty-five yards against France in 1997. To this day scientists are still impressed by the amount of bend that Carlos generated and, specifically, physicists believe that the feat will never again be repeated. Often referred to as “The Impossible Kick,” the aerodynamics of the strike have been studied at great length. When you look at Fabien Barthez he’s completely rooted to the spot as he doesn’t believe it could hit the target in a month of Sundays however the shot clips the inside of the post on it’s way to the back of the net: -

The amount of curve that Carlos managed to generate with that free kick, and the subsequent rippling of the back of the net, is right up there with some of the greatest goals of all time however it certainly wasn’t the first. The following footage of a goal scored by Eder for Gremio, against fierce rivals, Internacional, in a Campeonato Gaucho match in November 1978, shows, what appears to be a similar amount of, outside of the boot, curve but with the ball hitting the underside of the bar to the keeper’s right. In this instance the curve takes the ball away from the keeper, rather than around the wall and back inside the post like in the Carlos example, which is another benefit of the swerve that can be generated in this manner : -

Eder’s goal for Gremio was a bomb, from distance, that contained a similar length of run up to Carlos’. In fact his run was so long that the cameraman had to move from right to left just to keep up with the entire shot. Could the distance of the run up have anything to do with the amount of turn achieved? Perhaps one for the scientists to consider.

Another form of the pass, the cross, is also skill where exponents of users of the smaller toes have shown their creativity. Not, generally, known for his cultured feet Romelu Lukaku hits an absolute beaut of a centre, for Inter, with his left peg in the following video. At first viewing the finish looks like it might have come from the same area of the foot but, on closer inspection, Lautaro Martinez’s volley is hit with the laces – and to great effect : -

Despite the phrase originating with spin bowlers in cricket there have also been football players who have “made the ball talk,” down the years. So many of those “visions spectacular,” have come from the outside of the boot of those richly talented legends of the game. For me it’s the moments of sublime skill, or artistry if, like me, you prefer, that invoke the admiration and pure love of the game more than anything else. Once we return to watching live football I hope to witness many more of these magical moments of footballing history. With any luck the majority coming from our heroes in Claret and Blue.

Meantime keep safe, be kind to, and look after one another.


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