Match Report

Onwards and Upwards

I would like to make a tribute to our away fans, the most loyal and viciferous of our supporters. Game after away game, they can be heard above the home supporters urging our team on.

The fact that they, the heart of our club, staged a demonstration against GSB yesterday shows how widespread the dissatisfaction is with our board. Whatever happens, this will not change. Unfortunately, they will never be able to distance themselves from the promises they made when we moved to the London Stadium. I urge them to get rid of Brady and disassociate themselves from any decision making at the club. Get a true Director of Football or even Directors of Football.

By the way, I believe one lesson Husillos taught us is that we should only buy players who are British, or have at least two year’s experience in the football league. One of our main problems is we have a hotchpotch of players with all the associated problems of adapting to England and the Premier League. Probably for every good buy, such as Payet and Lanzini, we have five who don’t make the grade. Make your own list.

In my last post, I stated that David Moyes has brought new commitment and effort from the players. Some disagreed, but last night ,our players cannot be faulted on that score. If this continues, there is no way we shall be relagated, although I am afraid of the inconsistency we have shown in the past on that score.

I also questioned why Ngakia had disappeared.I believe there is now complete agreement that his place in the team should be made permanent.

Now, despite what I have already said about David Moyes, his tactics, team choice and substitutions seemed to be deteriorating and no better than Pellegrini. We should highlight particularly the treatment of Pablo Fornals. I must admit I thought he was a waste of space for his first few games, but then , just as he started improving game by game, he was dropped. This was a great mistake. Based on his performance against Liverpool, he needs to be reinstated.

We are all agreed it was a great performance against Liverpool and very heartening. However, we have in Snodgrass, Noble and perhaps Cresswell, players who lack the pace for the Premier League. If we are to move on, they need to be replaced. We keep hearing about what a great captain Noble is, but I keep thinking about the confrontation he had with Ogbonna on the pitch.

Antonio is not a striker/centre forward.He needs to play further back , so his ability as a bull in a china shop can be fully exploited. He is the one player who has always given his best. Anderson was out worst player, but he can be excused as he was coming back from injury. He reminded me of my snooker game. Everything is perfect in my head, but the execution is awful. But, we should have faith, because he is the one player who can reach the level of a genius, but his confidence to go for goal himself needs to be restored.

Tragically, Fabianski made an unexplainable error. He should donate a week’s wages to charity and undergo a flogging by Brady. That, at least , would give her something to do for her £20,000 per week. By the way, what does she do, apart from adding London to our logo?Answers on a postcard please.

What to do with Haller? I havent got a clue.But for his brief appearance, Bowen showed he has pace and got himself in a position to have his Roy of the Rovers moment. Perhaps , Haller should be sent on a sabbatical to Striker’s School. His positional sense seems to be lacking.

By the way, I thought Rice was sensational and showed his real class – the finest tribute to Bobby Moore. Soucek also showed commitment and it would be a shame to lose him for a few games.

So, onwards and upwards to the game against Southampton.


Match Thread

Match Thread: Liverpool v West Ham

Liverpool v West Ham
FA Premier League
Anfield
KO 8pm
TV: Sky Sports
Radio: BBC Five Live

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


Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Liverpool v West Ham

Blast from the past

Since our first game at the home of Liverpool in 1914, we have only ever won there on four occasions – the most recent was in 2015, 52 years after our previous victory there in 1963; prior to that was a win in 1954 and our first victory was back in 1928. Needless to say, Anfield is not the happiest of Hammers hunting grounds!

That first victory came on 4th February 1928 in a First Division match in front of 23,897 spectators – Leon Trotsky had been exiled to Alma-Ata four days previously while, four days later, John Logie Baird broadcasted a transatlantic television signal from London to New York. Hammers legends Jimmy Ruffell (pictured) and Vic Watson were on the scoresheet, Ruffell scoring twice and Watson once in a 3-1 victory. Dick Edmed struck the hosts’ consolation from the penalty spot. Outside-left Ruffell would end the season as the Irons’ top goalscorer with 19 goals in 41 matches.

The Hammers went on to finish in 17th place in 1927/28, level on 39 points with six other teams and one point clear of relegated Tottenham. Liverpool were one of these sides, the Reds finishing one place above the Hammers while their Merseyside rivals, Everton, won the title. Blackburn won the FA Cup.

Liverpool: Arthur Riley, Tom Lucas, David McMullan, Tom Bromilow, Fred Hopkin, Dick Edmed, Harry Chambers, Tommy Reid, John Clarke, Don MacKinlay, Jimmy Jackson.

West Ham United: Ted Hufton, Billy Henderson, Alfred Earl, Jimmy Collins, Bill Cox, Albert Cadwell, Tommy Yews, Stan Earle, Vic Watson, Billy Moore, Jimmy Ruffell.

Club Connections

Adrian welcomes his former club. A whole host of players join the goalkeeper in having turned out for both West Ham United and Liverpool, particularly over the last 30 years. These include:

Goalkeepers: David James, Charles Cotton.

Defenders: Alvaro Arbeloa, Rob Jones, David Burrows, Glen Johnson, Julian Dicks, Rigobert Song, Neil Ruddock, Thomas Stanley.

Midfielders: Don Hutchison, Yossi Benayoun, Joe Cole, Victor Moses, Paul Ince, Ray Houghton, Javier Mascherano, Stewart Downing, Mike Marsh.

Strikers: Craig Bellamy, Peter Kyle, Titi Camara, Andy Carroll, Robbie Keane, David Speedie, Neil Mellor, Charlie Satterthwaite, Danny Shone, Tom Bradshaw.

George Kay made 237 league appearances for the Hammers between 1919 and 1926, becoming the first-ever player to play more than 200 league matches for the club. Kay was also the West Ham captain in the 1923 FA Cup Final. He went on to manage Liverpool between 1936 and 1951, winning the First Division title in 1947.

Today’s focus falls on a former England left-back who played for West Ham before later appearing for Liverpool. Paul Konchesky was born in Barking on 15th May 1981 and went to school in Dagenham. He was a product of the Senrab club, which also produced the likes of John Terry and Jermain Defoe. Konchesky attended the West Ham United Academy as a youngster and was a season-ticket holder at the club who idolised Julian Dicks.

Konchesky joined Charlton at the age of 16 and became the club’s youngest ever player in 1997, a record since broken by Jonjo Shelvey. He sent a penalty over the bar against West Ham in a 2-0 defeat for Charlton at Upton Park in April 2002. The 21-year-old Konchesky made his England debut at the Boleyn Ground under Sven-Goran Eriksson in a 3-1 friendly defeat to Australia in February 2003. He joined Tottenham on loan in the summer of 2003 but was recalled in December of that year due to an injury crisis at his parent club.

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Konchesky remained at Charlton until the summer of 2005 when he signed for Alan Pardew’s newly-promoted West Ham United for a fee of £1.5m. The 24-year-old made his West Ham debut on the opening day of the 2005/06 season, in a 3-1 home win against Blackburn on 13th August 2005. He was sent off in his next game, a 0-0 draw at Newcastle the following week, although the red card was later rescinded. He won his second and final England cap in a 3-2 friendly win over Argentina in November 2005 and scored his first goal for West Ham in a 2-0 home win over Sunderland on 4th February 2006. His second and final goal for the club, in the 2006 FA Cup Final in Cardiff, so nearly saw the Hammers lift the trophy before Steven Gerrard’s late intervention; Konchesky saw his penalty saved in the shoot-out as Liverpool won the FA Cup following a 3-3 draw. Both of Konchesky’s goals for West Ham can be viewed in my video below.

Having made 45 appearances in his first season at West Ham, a loss of form for both Konchesky and the Hammers team saw him make just 25 appearances in 2006/07, with new signing George McCartney increasingly preferred in the starting line-up. Konchesky’s former manager at Charlton, Alan Curbishley, took over midway through the campaign and Konchesky was sent off in Curbishley’s second match in charge, a goalless draw at Fulham on 23rd December 2006. His final appearance for the club came in a 4-3 home defeat to Tottenham on 4th March 2007.

Konchesky signed for Fulham for a fee of £3.6m in July 2007, having scored two goals in 70 appearances for West Ham United. He scored the BBC’s Goal of the Month in January 2009 against his old club at Upton Park, a game which saw the Hammers triumph 3-1. Having appeared for Fulham in the Europa League Final against Atletico Madrid, the 29-year-old Konchesky followed manager Roy Hodgson to Anfield, signing for Liverpool for £3.7m on August transfer deadline day in 2010. He made his debut on 12th September 2010 in a 0-0 draw at Birmingham and made 18 appearances for the Reds, without scoring. His final appearance for Liverpool came in a 3-1 defeat at Blackburn on 5th January 2011.

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With Kenny Dalglish taking over as Liverpool manager, Konchesky joined Nottingham Forest on loan in January 2011 for the second half of the 2010/11 season. He joined Leicester in a permanent move at the end of that season. Konchesky spent the 2015/16 campaign on loan at QPR and joined Gillingham in a permanent move in the summer of 2016. He dropped down to the Isthmian League Premier Division to join Billericay Town in February 2017 and had a short spell with East Thurrock United of the National League South in the summer of 2018.

Now 38, Konchesky owns Konch’s Kafe in Brentwood and is a patron of Stacey’s Smiles, a charity which provides treats and wishes for children with neuroblastoma.

Referee

The referee on Monday will be Jonathan Moss. The Yorkshire-based official’s matches in charge of the Hammers last season were our 1-0 home win over Arsenal in January and our 4-3 home win over Huddersfield in March. He refereed our 1-0 win at Chelsea in November and, most recently, our 2-0 home defeat to Liverpool last month.

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Arguably the 49-year-old’s most controversial Hammers appointment was the 2-2 draw at Leicester in April 2016 when he sent off Jamie Vardy and awarded two penalties, the second arriving deep into stoppage time as the Foxes rescued a precious point.

Possible line-ups

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is without Nathaniel Clyne, Jordan Henderson and Xherdan Shaqiri. The Reds are unbeaten in seven league matches against West Ham, winning five and drawing two. Liverpool need five victories from their final 12 league fixtures to guarantee a first top-flight title since 1990.

West Ham boss David Moyes is without the injured Ryan Fredericks, Jack Wilshere and Andriy Yarmolenko. Moyes has not won any of his 15 matches as a manager against Liverpool at Anfield. Michail Antonio has scored in four of his five Premier League appearances against Liverpool.

Possible Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Keita, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane.

Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Zabaleta, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Masuaku; Rice, Soucek, Noble; Bowen, Antonio.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!


Parish Notice

Crowdfundraiser Target Reached!

Just to quickly let everyone know that at midnight we reached our target of £5,000 to fund the future development of WestHamTillIDie.com. It came due to a very genrous donation by a site regular of £390. This person wishes to remain anonymous, but I thank them, and indeed everyone else who donated.

What I need to do now is develop a proper spec for the new site. I’ve already discussed with Russell the basics, but now is the time to feed in any ideas or requests that you may have. Feel free to leave comments below or email me via the Contact button at the top of the page. I’ll probably launch a Survey Monkey survey over the course of the next few days as well.

I would hope the new site will be ready to launch in the Spring or early Summer. One thing I can promise is the return of the Predictor League for the start of next season… whichever league we happen to be in!

So thanks once again. It’s great to read all the comments from people about how you all value this site. It’s really brought home to me what a community we have built together. Let’s all be proud of it.

All the best

Iain


Opposition Q & A

Opposition Q&A with Liverpool

West Ham sit in the bottom three, and to rub salt into a suppurating wound we travel to Anfield this Monday evening to try to put the blocks on a runaway Liverpool team in a fixture that in my 57 years we have won precisely twice! Ahead of the game I spoke to lifelong Liverpool fan John Watson who has married into the same family of Evertonians as I have to discuss the fixture and the season.

Hi John, Liverpool seem to be having another memorable season, whilst West Ham fans will be hoping that this will not end up being a disaster. Last year’s points total would have won the title during most seasons, are you really that much better this season? What do you put the improvement down to?
The main area of improvement has just been the mentality of the squad. Even with 5,10,15 minutes to go at 0-0 you still feel like the goal is coming whereas last season that didn’t feel like the case.

You had a difficult game, and loss against Athletico last week: would you prioritise staying in the Champions League over having an unbeaten record over the Premier League season?
Yeah it was a tough game. Only thing I would say is last season we might have let the atmosphere get to us after the 1st goal went in and conceded 2 or 3 (ie. Barcelona away) We kept ourselves in the tie and I would fancy us to go through. I’d sooner stay in the CL to be honest. I understand the whole invincibles thing but I’d rather have a 7th european cup.

I expect you will assume that you have the title sewn up? Who will join you in the Champion’s League spots next year?
Not sewn up yet! Learnt that the hard way as a Liverpool fan but yes I’d expect us to win in. Got to be Man City and Leicester in 2nd and 3rd. Chelsea seem to be coming good at the right time and I’d expect them to get 4th. If 5th gets in the CL, I hate to say it but with Spurs injuries and Sheff Utd’s lack of goals I think Man Utd will sneak 5th.

You must be worried for next year that Everton finally seem to have a manager that can once again restore them to their former status?
I’m not sure worried is the word I’d use! Seriously though he’s the best manager they’ve had in years. Still think they’ve got a way to go before being able to challenge the top 4 though.

Is Everton’s former boss David Moyes going to keep West Ham in the Premier League next year? What if anything did you think about his appointment as our manager?
It seemed a strange appointment to me. Your board didn’t renew his contract because you didn’t think he was the right person to take you forward but 18 months later they decide he is! Very short term appointment in my eyes. He might have the skills to guide you out of trouble like last time but I’d be surprised if he lasted past this season either way

Following on from that, who are your favourites for the drop?
Norwich seem a certainty. Then any two from Watford, West Ham, Aston Villa and Bournemouth. If I had to guess I’d say Watford and Aston Villa

Which of this current squad would you put up there with Anfield greats of the past?
I wasn’t born when we had domination in the late 70’s and 80’s so it’s hard to say but Van Dijk is the best centre half I’ve ever seen. The thing that sets him apart is he never seems rushed; no panic whatsoever. I’d say in time Trent could be up there as well. Great to have a local lad doing so well. Whilst he doesn’t get the plaudits others do Jordan Henderson has gone from nearly being sold to Fulham a few years ago to captaining us to European Cup and a (likely) Premier League trophy. Made up for him because he’s had so many people saying he wasn’t good enough since he signed.

Where if anywhere will Jürgen Klopp look to strengthen your team for next season?
I think we could do with another top attacking option. Whether that means someone like Timo Werner and dropping Firmino into a deeper role possibly.

How will Liverpool line up against us on Monday evening? Team/formation?
We will have had 6 days since Madrid so I hope full strength but he might rotate the midfield a bit. Alisson, Trent, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Keita, Milner, Mane, Salah, Firmino

As West Ham have had success at Anfield twice in the past 50 odd years, you will probably not be too worried that we will sneak a win against you this week. Prediction for score?
3-0

Well many thanks to John for his time and thoughts. I’m sure many West Ham fans will agree with his thoughts about David Moyes appointment whilst we languish in the bottom three. It’s hard to argue against his prediction of a win, though I hope it won’t be a thrashing. I’m hoping for at least one shot on goal. COYI

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