Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v Everton

Blast from the past

28th August 1971: West Ham met Everton at the Boleyn Ground, Diana Ross was number one with ‘I’m Still Waiting’ and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was in UK cinemas.

Clyde Best (pictured below) scored the only goal of the game as the Hammers recorded their first win of the 1971/72 season at the fifth time of asking in front of 26,878. Best would end the campaign as the Irons’ top goalscorer with 23 goals from 56 appearances.

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Ron Greenwood’s Hammers went on to finish the 1971/72 season in 14th place, while Harry Catterick’s Everton ended up 15th. Trevor Brooking was voted Hammer of the Year for the first time with Bobby Ferguson runner-up. Derby won the First Division title and Leeds won the FA Cup.

West Ham United: Bobby Ferguson, John McDowell, Tommy Taylor, Bobby Moore, Frank Lampard, Johnny Ayris, Billy Bonds, Trevor Brooking, Bryan ‘Pop’ Robson, Clyde Best, Geoff Hurst.

Everton: Gordon West, Keith Newton, Mick Lyons, John Hurst, Peter Scott, Howard Kendall, Alan Ball, Colin Harvey, Johnny Morrissey, David Johnson, Jimmy Husband.

Club Connections

Former Hammer and Toffee David Unsworth is currently in charge of the Under-23s at Goodison Park. David Moyes welcomes his former club. They are joined in representing both clubs by:

Goalkeepers: George Kitchen, Richard Wright.

Defenders: William Wildman, Lars Jacobsen, David Burrows, George Eccles, Bob Young, Lucas Neill, John Russell, Alex McCartney, William Kelly.

Midfielders: Harry Dawson, Don Hutchison, Joe Blythe, Mark Ward, Ray Atteveld, Niclas Alexandersson, Danny Williamson, Ian Bishop, Thomas Hitzlsperger.

Strikers: Chas Crossley, Alex McDonald, Mike Newell, Enner Valencia, Tony Weldon, Nikica Jelavic.

Slaven Bilic played for both clubs and managed the Hammers, while Sam Allardyce managed both clubs.

Today’s focus falls on a player who is perhaps the most notable Hammer to have also represented the Toffees – legendary goalscorer Tony Cottee. Famously scoring on his debut at Upton Park against Tottenham as a 17-year-old prodigy on New Year’s Day 1983, Cottee scored five goals in nine appearances in his first half-season as a professional player. He scored 19 goals in 47 appearances in 1983/84, including four in the 10-0 League Cup second round second leg win over Bury at Upton Park on 25th October 1983 – he scored a further four hat-tricks in his first spell at the club. The Hammers finished ninth in the First Division that season; Cottee bagged 24 goals in 50 matches the following season as the Irons dropped to 16th. TC won the PFA Young Player of the Year Award as a 20-year-old in 1986 having helped the Hammers to their best-ever finish of third. He scored 20 league goals in the 1985/86 season, taking his tally to 57 in three-and-a-half years.

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Cottee improved his personal record in 1986/87, notching 22 league goals, but West Ham plummeted to a 15th-placed finish. He scored a further 13 in his final season and, at this stage in his Hammers career, Cottee had scored 118 goals in 256 games. My video below shows 52 of Cottee’s 118 goals in his first spell at the club.

West Ham avoided relegation in 1988 on goal difference; Everton, meanwhile, had finished fourth and they swooped for the Hammers’ home-grown goal machine in a £2.2m deal that summer – the move briefly made Cottee the most expensive player to be signed by a British club before the fee was eclipsed by Ian Rush’s return to Liverpool from Juventus later that month. He made his Everton debut on 27th August 1988, the opening day of the 1988/89 First Division campaign, in a 4-0 home win over Newcastle, in which he scored a hat-trick. He managed a further 12 goals that season, though Colin Harvey’s Everton were relatively disappointing in the league as they finished eighth, having twice been champions in the previous four seasons. However, they did reach the FA Cup Final with Cottee collecting a runners-up medal after a 3-2 extra-time defeat to neighbours Liverpool. Cottee had also been on the receiving end of another Wembley defeat earlier in the season, in a 4-3 loss against Nottingham Forest in the Final of the Full Members Cup, although TC did get on the scoresheet twice.

Cottee spent his first season at Goodison Park playing alongside Graeme Sharp, but manager Harvey changed the formation for the 1989/90 campaign and brought in future Hammer Mike Newell as Everton’s third striker. Cottee once again scored 15 goals as the Toffees finished sixth. The following season, 1990/91, was arguably Everton’s worst season in a decade – Harvey was sacked in October with Howard Kendall returning to lead the Toffees to a final placing of ninth. Cottee was Everton’s saviour in an FA Cup fifth round replay as he scored a late equaliser which forced a 4-4 draw against rivals Liverpool; they eventually won through in the tie but were knocked out by West Ham in the quarter-finals at Upton Park. Cottee scored 11 goals in the 1990/91 season.

1991/92 saw Peter Beardsley and Mo Johnston replace Sharp and Newell, with Cottee restricted to nine goals as Everton finished in mid-table – it was the first time that he had scored less than ten goals in a season since his debut season with the Hammers nine years earlier. 1992/93 was a better campaign as Cottee scored 13 goals, and he bagged 19 goals in 1993/94 as Everton narrowly avoided relegation under new manager Mike Walker.

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Following 82 goals in 226 matches for the Toffees, Cottee headed back to East London in September 1994 in a swap deal with David Burrows to join up with new Hammers manager Harry Redknapp. Cottee faced a mixed start on his return to the claret and blue – he was sent off on his second debut for the club after scything down Rob Jones in a 0-0 draw at Liverpool on 10th September 1994 but followed that up the following week by notching a late winner in his first match back at Upton Park, a typical poacher’s effort in a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa. Cottee hit a rich vein of form around Christmas, scoring six goals in five matches, including a hat-trick in a 3-0 home win over Manchester City.

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He grabbed his 100th Hammers league goal with a solo effort in a 2-1 win at Leicester in February 1995 before hitting a double in a 2-2 draw with former club Everton in his next match. TC’s 13 goals ensured he finished the campaign as West Ham’s top scorer and this contribution went a long way towards securing survival that season. His ten league goals the following year helped the Hammers to a first top ten finish since the Cottee-inspired 1985/86.

With the inception of ‘West Ham United Nations’ in 1996/97, Cottee was deemed surplus to requirements and left for Selangor of Malaysia. His last Hammers goal came in a 1-1 League Cup second round first leg draw at Barnet on 18th September 1996, while his final game for the club was a 2-1 home defeat to Liverpool 11 days later. His second spell had seen him play in 80 matches for the Irons, scoring 28 goals. This took his Hammers totals across both spells to 146 goals in 336 games. All 28 of Cottee’s goals from his second spell can be viewed in my video below.

After less than a year at the Shah Alam Stadium, he was back in the Premier League with Leicester, scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win at Old Trafford in January 1998. Cottee came off the bench to score twice against the Hammers as West Ham beat Leicester 4-3 on the final day of the 1997/98 season.

Cottee won his first major trophy two years later as Leicester beat Tranmere in the League Cup Final and he scored 34 goals in 99 matches in total for the Foxes. Alongside a loan spell at Birmingham, Cottee went on to play for Norwich and Millwall, with a short period as player-manager at Barnet sandwiched in between. He also won seven caps for England. Considering Sir Geoff Hurst was moved to a more attacking position later in his development by Ron Greenwood, it can be claimed that Cottee is the greatest ever striker to be produced by the West Ham United Academy. Now 54, Cottee works for Sky Sports and has been on the mend after suffering a brain haemorrhage last year.

Referee

The referee on Saturday will be Andre Marriner; the 49-year-old failed to send off Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero for an elbow on Winston Reid in August 2016, with the Hammers trailing 2-1 with 14 minutes remaining. The Argentine was retrospectively charged with violent conduct and suspended for three matches, a decision which did nothing to benefit West Ham. Marriner did, however, show leniency that day towards the visitors by failing to issue Arthur Masuaku with a second yellow card on more than one occasion.

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Since we achieved promotion back to the top flight in 2012 the Birmingham-based official has been far from a good omen for West Ham – he has refereed 19 of our league matches, officiating in only three wins for the Hammers, five draws and 11 defeats. He officiated the Irons for our 2-0 defeat at Wolves last month and, more recently, for our 2-1 defeat at Crystal Palace on Boxing Day.

Possible line-ups

For West Ham United, Lukasz Fabianski, Ryan Fredericks, Jack Wilshere and Andriy Yarmolenko are out, while Arthur Masuaku, Michail Antonio and Felipe Anderson are doubts. Everton have certainly been the Hammers’ bogey side in recent seasons – we have only beaten the Toffees three times in the league, home or away, since April 2007, drawing five and losing 13 in all competitions since then.

Carlo Ancelotti will be without the injured Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Andre Gomes and Alex Iwobi.

Possible West Ham United XI: Randolph; Balbuena, Diop, Ogbonna; Zabaleta, Rice, Noble, Cresswell; Lanzini, Fornals; Haller.

Possible Everton XI: Pickford; Sidibe, Keane, Holgate, Digne; Walcott, Davies, Sigurdsson, Bernard; Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!


The David Hautzig Column

My Top 11 Of The Last 10

Goalkeeper: Adrian
Sorry Fabs. If the decade were longer you’d have likely won out.

Central Defender 1: Winston Reid
*Once Sam taught him how to defend in the Premier League, he was among the first names on the team sheet.

Central Defender 2: James Collins
*As dependable as a Subaru. Built like one, too.

Right Back: Pablo Zabaleta
*I think this speaks to how woeful we have been at this position.

Left Back: Aaron Cresswell
*Better than Zabaleta, but basically the same point as above.

Right Midfield: Michail Antonio
*It’s easy to forget that Antonio has been with us for some time. And in that time, his positives are enough to give him the spot.

Central Midfield 1: Mark Noble
*There should be no reason to defend this call. So I won’t.

Central Midfield 2: Kevin Nolan
*This one is a tougher call, but his work to get us promoted and then stabilize us is the decider for me.

Left Midfield: Le Snake
*His one year of brilliance was enough.

Striker 1: Carlton Cole
*His goals got us promoted, and he was always there when we needed him. Longevity plays a part in this decision, even though Arnautovic was a better striker in a vacuum.

Striker 2: Andy Carroll
*We might not want to admit it, but his signing made us relevant in the transfer market. The end product was far les than we paid for, but he scored 34 goals. Not much. But only Cole scored more.


Talking Point

My West Ham United Team of the Decade

Robert Green

Has to be Greeno for me. Lukasz Fabianski has made a tremendous start to life as a West Ham player, winning the Hammer of the Year prize in his debut season. Green made 108 appearances for the Hammers in this decade though, and was England’s number one goalkeeper for a spell. Alongside Scott Parker, he was a rare shining light in keeping us up in the first half-season of the decade and his performances in the Championship helped us to promotion, particularly his saves early on in the Play-Off Final. A great character who was loved by supporters.

Carl Jenkinson

Difficult choice, sadly not for good reasons. We haven’t really had a decent right-back in this decade, to be brutally honest. Lars Jacobsen was solid but unspectacular, as was Joey O’Brien. I never really rated Guy Demel. Julien Faubert came very close to being named in this side as he was good on the ball, decent going forward and helped swing the Play-Off Final in our favour when he was introduced as a second-half substitute. Zabaleta has never been the player he was at Man City for us and I’m not a huge Fredericks fan. Sam Byram could have been a decent player for us were it not for injuries, so it’s Carl Jenkinson who just gets the nod – solid enough defensively and came up with a couple of goals in Slav’s first season. James Tomkins nearly got the call but was always a centre-half really and I’d rather have an orthodox right-back in the side.

James Collins

Cult hero. Would put his body on the line, great leader, spirited – a proper, British centre-half. I was delighted when Sam Allardyce brought him back to the club following promotion and he proved to be a bargain signing. Difficult to leave the homegrown Tomkins out of the team as I was always a fan of his too but the ‘Ginger Pele’ gets the call.

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Winston Reid

If you’d have told me I’d have named Reidy in my Team of the Decade at the end of the 2010/11 season, I’d have laughed. One of Sam Allardyce’s real success stories, he transformed Reid into a bullish centre-half whose partnership with Tomkins was one of the cornerstones of our promotion in 2012 – another reason why it was so tough to leave Tomkins out. Came up with big goals against rivals Millwall and Tottenham and scored the last ever goal at the Boleyn to defeat Man Utd and round off the perfect script to that glorious night. Great to see him back on the bench to end the decade after a long spell out with injury.

Aaron Cresswell

I was always a big fan of the understated and underrated George McCartney, who did a fine job for us in our promotion season and establishing the club back in the Premier League – I remain stunned that no other club picked him up after his release in 2014. But it has to be Cressy for me – our first-choice left-back for over half the decade, capped by England, a great crosser of the ball and a scorer of the odd (often spectacular) goal.

Mark Noble

Skipper in my Team of the Decade, his true worth to the club will not be fully felt until after he retires. So unlucky not to win international recognition, particularly in that 2015/16 season when he was superb and, for me, at his best. One of my favourite ever Hammers and a penalty king, his place in this team was never in doubt.

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Scott Parker

What fantastic service Scotty gave us – a Football Writers’ Player of the Year despite finishing bottom of the league and relegated with his club, scored the goal that kept us up in the first half-season of the decade and was our best player by a country mile in 2010/11. Pretty much carried the club in the opening 18 months of the decade and even turned out hours after the death of his father to help us to a goalless draw at Tottenham. Easily won the first two Hammer of the Year awards in the first two years of the decade, Parker was a perfect picture of passion, perseverance and pirouettes – one of my all-time favourite Hammers.

Michail Antonio

A scorer of crucial goals, pace, power, good in the air and a great character. Plays on the right wing in this team to allow himself to get in on the back post and be an aerial threat.

Kevin Nolan

Just gets in the side ahead of the more technically-gifted Manuel Lanzini due to the role he played in the club’s promotion and establishment as a Premier League side. The club needed leadership and a stronger team spirit when he arrived in 2011 and he helped instil that when he joined as captain. His goals in February 2014 also helped keep us up that season.

Dimitri Payet

For me, our most gifted player of the Premier League era, even above Di Canio. For 18 months he was an absolute joy to watch. I absolutely loved Dimi – his fantastic free-kicks, his sublime skill, his delicious delivery. What a player! The way he left us was deplorable but I prefer to recall the moments of pure joy he gave us during his stint in claret and blue. Helped deliver the best season I’ve ever had the pleasure to witness in 2015/16, scored the best free-kick I’ve ever seen live and quite possibly the best solo goal too – his two assists in that final Boleyn match gave us a victory that will stay in the memory forever.

Marko Arnautovic

A really tough one to call this, and very much an ‘on his day’ selection. Carlton Cole was excellent in our promotion season but, for me, was at his best in 2008/09 so before this decade started – he struggled to live up to those heights in the 2010s. I was a huge Andy Carroll fan and he probably comes the closest to being selected in this side – Arnie’s extra touch of skill just sees him get the nod ahead of the big Geordie, who was no slouch on the deck himself. Demba Ba and Diafra Sakho both had some great goalscoring runs in their spells with the club too but I’m going for Arnautovic – strong, quick, a good finisher with a thunderous shot but perhaps not with a proper striker’s instinct. I’d like to think my inclusion of Kevin Nolan just behind him will ensure that he will get the tap-ins that Arnie wouldn’t.

Subs: Lukasz Fabianski, James Tomkins, George McCartney, Declan Rice, Manuel Lanzini, Diafra Sakho, Andy Carroll.

Manager: Super Slaven Bilic.


The GoatyGav Column

Has the current squad got enough?

I don’t do transfer speculation often – generally preferring to reserve my opinions about players until their official signing has been announced on the WHUFC site. As a club West Ham are linked with hundreds of potential new players in each window. The rumour mill, fuelled by pure speculation in most cases, goes in to overdrive. But despite my reticence in commenting on prospective club targets I do think it worthwhile discussing what’s missing from the current squad and areas that are in need of further strengthening.

Since Cheikhou Kouyate and, to a lesser degree Pedro Obiang, moved on the biggest miss, for me, has been a dynamic and combative box to box midfielder. I know that many saw Check as having suffered bad form for a good season and a half before he was sold to Crystal Palace but I thought the wrong player was allowed to leave with Obiang having less impact on games than his Senegalese midfield contemporary. I know that many will disagree however I’m always of the belief that good players don’t suddenly become bad players and the phrase “form is temporary, class is permanent,” is one that I strongly believe in. I see Check’s sale as a mistake, borne of impatience, which Crystal Palace are now benefitting from.

So here we are today needing a ‘beast’ to dominate the middle of the park the way that Check used to. This area is where I believe that the board and team management should be looking to invest as the number one priority. I’ve heard, and seen, a few players identified to fulfil this role and it’s here that I’d like to see your next signing made. Personally I think that attacking midfield is already more than well catered for. If we could just get some of our more gifted manipulators of a football, in those areas, linking up and working better together then much of the excitement that I felt at the start of the season would return for sure.

With the recent, repeated, injury to Ben Johnson we’re also looking slightly light at full back. Now that Fredericks is out the requirement has become more of an imperative. Elsewhere in defence, namely at centre back, I believe that we are well catered for. With the return to fitness of Winston Reid we now have four central defenders of quality who should be trusted to do the job for us. Whether that should be as a back three or as a pairing is another discussion but, with some excellent young prospects like Alese, currently out on loan at Accrington Stanley, and Akinola, having just made a huge impact in his first game back after a year out with injury, this is a very healthy state of affairs at the base of the outfield spine. Which links rather nicely to our third area needing an addition to the squad.

I could feel the collective hearts of our fanbase sink when ‘Super Fab’ broke down again in the game on Friday. David Martin has done well, with the exception of the one mistake made after he replaced Lucasz, however another experienced keeper is needed. Whether Darren Randolph will eventually sign or not isn’t really known. No disrespect but the amount being discussed for a transfer fee I do find quite surprising. Despite all this the good news is that, according to the official site, a scan has shown that Fab may only be out for a couple of weeks. Let’s hope so.

Lastly I think that further striker backup should be sought. Should Seb Haller pick up an injury, and considering he gets kicked up in the air every time he plays this is a likely scenario, we will be looking extremely light. Yes, Antonio can play there and is nearing a return, however he’s really not at all effective up front on his own and I can’t see a starting line-up with him and Ajeti any time soon.

So that’s it IMO. Seventeen more days to make four key signings. I doubt we’ll end up seeing all four positions strengthened but those are the ones I believe are most important. Overall I think we’ll have enough to stay up however that wasn’t what I had envisaged at the beginning of the season. I hope the boys push on and start putting points on the board towards a top half finish.

Away from the first team the ladies thought they’d secured a draw but lost two-one to Tottenham Women. The same score as the reverse fixture but this time the local rivals clinched victory deep in to injury time to take all three points.

Without squad captain Connor Coventry and dynamic winger Nathan Holland the U23’s winning run came to an end with a three-three draw away at Reading. Holland linked up with former Hammer Marcus Browne who’s on loan to Oxford from Middlesboro. With Oxford three-nil down at half time, to fellow promotion chasers Rochdale, Holland was introduced and had a positive impact with Oxford winning the second half one-nil. Coventry was a starter for Lincoln City who drew one all away to Shrewbury. It will be interesting to see how the loanees get on for the rest of the season.

Have a good week all

COYI!


Talking Point

The Moyes is back in town

Year have come and gone and Moyes has returned for his second spell as manager. First of all I hope everyone had a good Christmas with family and friends, and equally I hope the club and all West Ham fans reading this have a prosperous 2020.

My thoughts with regards to David Moyes coming back in weren’t particularly positive to be honest but he has done well thus far with two wins, a total of six goals and two clean sheets. When I considered it all, I was not that annoyed that Moyes had been appointed because I felt confident he would make us tougher to beat (perhaps not difficult following Pellegrini’s ability to coach a defence) and we would work harder on and off the ball. With the two David’s opting for the Scotsman I felt it was just a regressive decision and a bit uninspiring. However, as I thought about it even more and discussed it with my Dad as well as friends, Moyes was the sensible choice and anybody I ideally wanted (Niko Kovac) would not be silly enough to come and work under the owners and will eventually get a better and more attractive offer.

The Bournemouth game was really important in the end as teams around us had all got good results, and so to win in such emphatic fashion was pleasing to see. Noble was very good, you could clearly see despite only having had at maximum two sessions under the new manager, the players were pressing and putting in a lot more effort. Haller’s goal following a surprisingly accurate Fredericks cross was superb, and hopefully under Moyes we put in more crosses for the Frenchman and he prospers. That goal sandwiched in between Noble’s brace was a reminder to us but perhaps more other teams and fans in the Prem that we have a very talented striker who hopefully kicks on as Moyes directs us up the table. Anderson this season has not hit the heights he did last season and until the game on New Year’s day had not scored a goal, and he had been criticised a fair amount on social media. However, against Bournemouth I felt he was very good and the goal capped off a much better performance. Perhaps he was slightly sloppy in possession on a couple of occasions or a pass did not quite reach the intended target, but I would argue some of that comes with the nature of his position and style as he is a player tasked with making penetrative forward passes. Again under Moyes I think and hope we will see a much better version of Felipe, because like most of our players he looked lost and devoid of confidence under Pellegrini.

The Gillingham game was always likely to be difficult as the lower league teams almost always want a Cup run and to beat Premier League sides unless they are battling promotion perhaps. In the first half with a strong team in a new formation which I imagine we’ll see more of, we were shockingly bad in my opinion. I have no doubt Moyes told the players they needed to do better and in the second half we were better and created chances, ultimately winning with a professional performance in which the defence did especially well up against a lot of corners and long throws. If I were being generous to Mr Pellegrini, the best we would have achieved under him vs Gillingham would have been a replay at London Stadium but under Moyes we showed a resilience to dig in when required and get the job done.

Talking more generally about West Ham at the moment I’m very pleased to see Pablo Fornals settle in more and be contributing to goals and assists. In a lot of ways I differ to the 23 year old Spaniard both physically and in terms of playing style, he’s a skilful attacking player and I’m generally a holding midfielder and he’s obviously a hell of a lot better than me! However both Pablo and I in our last outings on a football pitch registered a goal and assist; having said that I’d rather be contributing to an FA Cup tie than a Monday six a side league but we can’t have it all. I’d like to think my assist though was more legitimate than Pablo’s as I intercepted a pass and played through my West Ham supporting friend called Will who’s in good goal scoring form. Whereas the No. 18 rather scuffed an attempted shot which found its way into the path of Zabaleta. Moral of this paragraph: Fornals has been very good and will continue to improve hopefully, and maybe I should be playing alongside Pablo instead of Lanzini!

Ultimately, Moyesy has got off to a good start and the players appear to like him. We are already working harder than we were and I have faith that the former Everton and Manchester United man will steer us away from the drop zone. The pressing has been good and the occasional long ball over the top towards Haller can definitely work. It’ll be tough with the upcoming fixtures looking difficult so we’ll see where we are with Moyes after that. We certainly need reinforcements in this window, by the time this article goes out Randolph has probably been announced, maybe a right back will come in on loan due to Fredericks’ as well as possibly a centre back and a striker. But the position we desperately need to address and thankfully appears to be of primary concern is central midfield as Rice needs a dynamic box to box style player and if we get that we’ll be alright I think. By the time this is out, Gedson Fernandes might have arrived. I hope he solves some problems but if he’s the only midfield arrival he’ll have a lot of pressure on his shoulders.

Hope everyone is well, and has a good week.


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