The S J Chandos Column

Will Everton (away) be the match where we finally 'click?'

We can only hope so! Few Hammers fans would have thought that they would be looking at four straight defeats at the beginning of the season, but that is the way that it has played out and we just need to get on and rectify it as soon as possible. If the losing run continues much longer then the pressure on Pellegrini, the players and the board will just continue to build up and no one wants that.

This could prove to be a good possible opportunity to start turning things around, with a number of Everton first teamers allegedly absent due to injury and suspension. We really do need the win to ‘take the wind out of the sails’ of media and social media feeding frenzy around our club. At the very least we need a draw to get a point on the board and stop the rot. However, three points would be preferable with the Chelsea and Man Utd matches following on from Sunday. Mind you, it would be just like the contrary nature of West Ham to rise to the occasion and win points from the latter two fixtures. It has happened in previous seasons, where we have looked at a run of very tough fixtures (with everyone predicting nil points) and they actually end up getting some good results. Lets hope that particular aspect of West Ham history is repeated in the coming weeks.

It is easy to become very gloomy and pessimistic when results have not gone your way. But not everything is negative. Fabianski has looked a bargain buy so far this season and I have lost count of the ‘almost cert’ goals he has saved in our first four PL games. Fredericks has taken time to settle in to the right-back role and is now starting to perform to expectations. Cresswell has returned from injury well and looks by far the most solid available option at left-back. Diop played extremely well against Wolves and demonstrated his potential with a commanding overall display. While Anderson played his most effective game at Arsenal (in the No.10 role), running at the opposition and creating chaos in the Gooners rearguard. I would argue that Anderson must be given greater freedom to replicate that type of performance. Finally, Silva is looking an absolute bargain and scoring regularly for the U-23s. It can only be a matter of time (if he continues to impress) before he is selected for the bench for a PL game. Might his time come earlier than expected against Everton?

In terms of other areas of play, we probably need the greater experience and mobility of Ogbonna, alongside Diop, in central defence. Obiang and Rice should arguably be selected to start on Sunday, in a dual defensive midfield role; allowing Wilshire to be pushed in to a more advanced midfield role. Up front, we need an attacking three of Arnautovic, Yarmolenko and Anderson. This trio looks a potentially devastating combination, with their collective skill, power and technique, but they need to start realising that rich potential soon. In particular, they must start converting the chances that fall their way. Against both Arsenal and Wolves we missed some very good chances and, but for that profligacy, both matches could have had very different results.

While we wait and hope that Pellegrini gets it right soon (on the pitch), the unfolding conflict between West Ham and their landlord (off of it) continues to rumbles on. With publicly released correspondence, statements/counter-statements and on-going legal processes, it is all getting very fractious and counter-productive. And so far, it has to be said that the landlords are coming over very clearly as the unreasonable party in this whole unfortunate saga. Yes, the landlord obviously resents the content of the deal signed with West Ham United, but the club have a legally water tight contract that still has 97 years to run. If huge future debts are to be avoided then a new line is necessary.

The landlords should respect the terms of that contract and opt to work productively with the club to make the stadium a commercial/financial success. They can do that by: fostering improved relations between Tenant and landlord; accepting the offer from the club to pay for the pitch surround (whether claret or a combination of Club and landlord branding); drawing on the club’s in-house commercial/sponsorship expertise to get a major naming rights sponsor and secure other necessary commercial opportunities; and hold meaningful discussion about the club purchasing additional rights at the Stadium. This also means the landlord dropping the illegal tactic of trying to load additional payments on to the club (outside of the terms of the existing contract); engaging in childish behaviour like confiscating the club’s honours board and refusing to reinstate it before they receive payment of non-existent debts; ceasing to irresponsibly waste public monies on futile legal cases where the club have a ‘water tight’ case; and convincing Mayor Khan of the need to be more conciliatory and take a co-operative and partnership line in order to solve the Stadium’s current financial issues.

If that cannot be done under the existing arrangements, then perhaps the landlord will eventually find themselves in a position where they will have to ‘cut their losses’ by negotiating an acceptable deal for West Ham to purchase the Stadium outright?

SJ. Chandos.


The HamburgHammer Column

Can't score for toffee ? Maybe we can at least score against the Toffees.

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International weekends in football aren’t what they used to be. Back in the day I could muster at least a modicum of excitement whenever Die Mannschaft, as the German national side have been known for a few years now, took the field for a game. Not anymore. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I don’t think the (non) performance at the most recent World Cup is the main issue here. Club football is just so much more important, at least that’s how it feels for me.

All I know is that Germany were apparently playing a team from deepest darkest Peru in a friendly over the weekend. And there were plenty of international matches in a new-fangled competition called UEFA Nations League. Apparently it’s not quite as complicated as it seems and sounds. Once I have figured out for myself what the point actually is and if it is a good idea, I shall get back to you on that one…

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So, what has been happening in the world of West Ham lately? Not much apparently, other than some more posturing and legal wranglings delivered by the highly competent owners of the stadium we play half of our season’s fixtures in and our club hierarchy. I understand the latest issue is about the colour and costs of a new stadium carpet.
On another level it is about certain people realising that West Ham’s rent on its own isn’t sufficient to actually keep the stadium going, not without eventually selling the naming rights of the stadium and/or increasing the rent.

Whatever the ifs, buts, pros and cons are here, please don’t ask me to talk much more about this shambles of a situation (again). Me old strawberry tart can’t handle that kind of crap as well as it used to a few years ago. It is a massive can of worms for sure, a display of stupidity and stubbornness of epic proportions – a sad state of affairs all around.
I suppose that’s why our club happens to be right in the middle of it, we seem to be attracted to situations like these just like flies do to a fresh pile of horse poo. Only at West Ham!

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Thank God West Ham football will be back next week and hopefully we will be seeing a positive reaction from the team and at the very least a fighting performance.

I remember learning a few things about Everton from a former colleague of mine at Hapag (who looked a bit like Darren Anderton) when I was working in Barking – I once shared a room with the guy during some sort of company weekend trip and for some reason which escapes me at the moment he turned out to be an Everton supporter.

I learned from him that Everton were actually based in Liverpool, and no, I didn’t know that when I arrived in Britain in 1996, same as I wasn’t aware that Villa were in Birmingham. I also had no idea whereabout in England Sunderland might be.

Be that as it may, my colleague told me a few things about his team, for instance why Everton were commonly known as The Toffees (I do like toffee, but not so much that I would have contemplated switching my allegiance to Everton there and then). Many years later of course I met the Concordia goalkeeping coach who happens to be an Everton supporter as well, a guy owning a giant Rottweiler dog called Neville, named after Everton goalkeeping legend Neville Southall.

Having seen video footage of Neville the goalkeeper – and live performances of Neville the dog – I have to say that the name doesn’t really fit the canine: The dog used to be a much better jumper than the guy (at least before the Rottweiler developed arthritis in old age) and also he was nowhere near as fat as Southall in his Everton heyday…

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I really don’t know what to expect from the Everton game. We don’t usually travel well when it comes to Scouseland, as a rule of thumb, no matter if it’s the red or the blue corner of Liverpool.

But we do need to see some vital signs coming from our lads. And at some point this season we will need to start putting some points on the board. So why delay any further actually ? Why not give it a proper go, try to minimise the number of on-field blunders and get a highly unexpected first away win of the season ?
Mr.Pellegrini, over to you!

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Hamburg football update: No games for the big clubs due to international weekend, and with no West Ham game on the box either I filled my Cordi boots with a tripleheader of games over two days, with mixed success. The first team lost on Friday evening, 0:1 away at Victoria in front of nearly 300 spectators (don’t laugh, it’s a decent crowd for league games at that level).

On Saturday came the news that Cordi’s director of football had left his position at short notice and by mutual consent. Rumours are he messed up the transfer of two players who are now allegedly not eligible to play until January while still drawing wages from Concordia. Looks like someone forgot to fill out a form or put the wrong stamps on the envelope.
Sounds like something West Ham might do, doesn’t it ? ;-))

On Sunday the U23s surprisingly lost their home game 1:2, against a side of bullies, loudmouths and brutes from the outskirts of town. The referee on the occasion was very young and inexperienced though and I can understand why he was very cautious not to blow his whistle against the visitors too often. Even I got slightly scared looking into some of those boats. Frightening! But parts of the matchday experience reminded me of Upton Park. Where else nowadays would you expect to see heated verbal exchanges between players and fans ?

As the weather was lovely and the Concordia women’s team was up next, well, it would have been impolite to leave, so I watched them win their game 5:0 (finally a Cordi victory!), with three of the goals being almost identical. A very gifted, but small winger named Michelle “Mini” Hille was running the show, easing past her opponents on the right wing almost at will, pulling the ball back into the box into the very same spot three times resulting in three goals from three different scorers. Lovely to watch.

Women’s football will always be slower in tempo than the male variety, however, it does have its merits. Less playacting, less unsportsmanlike conduct in general, no nasty fouls, risking injury to fellow players, no crowds around the referee whenever a foul is given and a far more relaxed and family-friendly crowd, if you know what I mean…;-))

PS: Next Friday will see Concordia hosting Altona (anyone remember them of 3:3 preseason fame?) Altona always bring plenty of fans to away games, so this one might well be a rare sellout at Concordia, guaranteeing a lively atmosphere in front of a full house which in Cordi’s case means 500-600 fans.
If you fancy it, there will be a free stream available again:

www.sporttotal.tv/spiele/oberliga-hamburg-spiel-84-concordia-1-altona-93-1-8-spieltag-


The GoatyGav Column

An Indomitable Spirit And A ‘Ticker’ In Midfield

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One of the tenets of Taekwondo is an ‘Indomitable Spirit’. Listed in the principles of the honourable sport it is described as follows: -

“Indomitable spirit / Baek-jeol-bul-gul / ????

One may not always succeed on the first try at everything that one attempts in Tae Kwon Do, or in life. The indomitable spirit has the courage and confidence to try again and not be subdued or overcome in the face of fear or failure. The indomitable spirit perseveres. Sometimes this can be a challenge; training in Tae Kwon Do can help to develop it.” (Credit – Hans Taekwondo, www.hanstkd.com )

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With this in mind I wonder how much Manuel Pellegrini will ‘stick to the plan’. It’s obvious to see that he’s attempting to do things his way and for that I admire him. Small wonder that he has the confidence in his convictions given his experience as well as the power that he’s been handed, in the running of first team affairs, by the club owners.

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Listening to Gareth Southgate during a post match interview, following the defeat to Spain this weekend, I was reminded of the ‘Indomitable Spirit’ that Taekwondo competitors hold close. “What’s the point in going back to previous ways of doing things?” or words to that effect were uttered by the England manager. Essentially he’s part of a journey – a much bigger picture that is dragging English football out of the dark ages and in to the modern era of the game. Interestingly, listening to another Ex-player on the radio this week, I found myself, once again, in full agreement. Stewart Robson made a really interesting point about the development that has been made since the coaching methods at the elite level have moved towards making players more ‘comfortable in possession’. England now have players who are excellent dribblers with much improved touch and close control. What England don’t have, Robson pointed out, are any players who are capable of pulling the strings, like an Andrea Pirlo. Someone with great vision to play the ‘killer’ pass and not necessarily with the ability to take players on but with the footballing ‘intelligence’ to use the ball in the most effective way without needing, or being inclined to, take multiple touches.

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Back to West Ham there have been a few of those highly influential midfielders who make us ‘tick’. The obvious one that comes to mind is Ronnie Boyce. Apart from the alternative name for the vital organ that West Ham do their best to give me an attack of, ‘Ticker’ is a term that has been used at West Ham for players who’ve had the ability to find the ball that hurts the opposition in the most effective manner as well as being linked to players with a high work-rate.

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At present there are a few with the potential to become the modern day Tickers of the team. I believe that Jack Wilshire could become that player if he applies himself properly however Manu Lanzini is the one who I think will get there. Our Argentinian ‘Jewel’ has a great work-rate. I’ve seen him, in a number of games, carry out both the defensive and attacking midfield duties to great effect. He can be a tenacious tackler as well as a gifted attacking midfielder with the ball at his feet. His injury has been a huge blow to the team’s fortunes and the sooner we get him back from his ACL surgery the better. That said it’s very important that he’s not ‘rushed back’ for the long term full recovery of the injured knee.

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Without question we need to see an ‘Indomitable Spirit’ from the players on the pitch however we, as fans, need to, as we always do, ‘Never Say Die’ as well. The away fans at Everton won’t need any encouragement. Those who give most of themselves in the club and travel all over the country shouting the boys on will always provide a vociferous support however we need more noise at home. ‘Sing your heart out for the lads’. Right now they need us more than ever.

COYI!


Talking Point

Cottee and McAvennie to be honoured in race horse

Frank McAvennie and Tony Cottee are looking to become winners all over again after having a horse named after them by an Irons-crazy fan.

CotteeMcAvenniGoal has been sent to top trainer Kim Bailey where he is currently undergoing a “breaking in”  process before he hits the racecourse probably around March or April next year. The final e of SuperMac’s name has been omitted as there is a limit on the number of characters allowed in a racehorse’s name.

Hammer Simon Keane, who bought the horse, said:

“Kim Bailey is one of the few National Hunt trainers to have trained the winners of all three of the top national hunt races, The Champion Hurdle, The Gold Cup and The Grand National. He is a bit like WHU in that he has had his ups and downs but is currently back on the up and his current group of very good horses include Vindication, Red River and First Flow.” Simon got to know Kim through a man called Peter Kerr who organizes and runs syndicates for owners who do not want to purchase horses outright."

Simon approached his two favourite Hammers, Macca and TC with the help of Claret and Hugh who immediately gave him permission to use their names and were delighted to be asked.

Simon said: 

“I am absolutely convinced that WHUFC were the best team in that league in the famous 85/86 season and were only robbed of the title due to the backlog in fixtures. But my overriding memory was the terror that Tony and Frank installed in the opposition with their brilliant and deadly partnership. One thing that has always stuck in my mind was Frank coming back from international duty with Scotland from Australia on a Saturday morning and coming on to score the winner against QPR.   Make no mistake the naming of the horse is a tribute to two fantastic players in a brilliant team.”

Trainer Kim was happy to discuss the three-year-old and said: “He’s a nice looking horse but it’s very early days and is currently being broken in. He will celebrate his fourth birthday on New Year’s Day and like the guys he’s been named after looks very athletic.It’s obviously too early to think in terms of what races he will be entered for as I wouldn’t expect him to be ready for the course until around March or April next year. But his first outing will be in a bumper (a flat race for National Hunt horses) before he is sent over the hurdles, after which we will hope to see him make up into a chaser.”

When Frank McAvenie was contacted he said “I feel honoured that an out and out Hammer should have named his horse after us. I’m not into racing like I once was but this is a terrific thing for the old firm of Frankie and TC. He texted me up and asked permission and I couldn’t have been more pleased to say ‘yes..’ We will be following the horse with terrific interest when he hits the track next year. Kim Bailey is a top trainer so we all have to have high hopes for Cottemacavennigoal. I hope he wins us all a good few quid.”

We also spoke to Tony Cottee who added: "I do feel honoured, as far as I know, I have never had a horse named after me, and to have one with Frank and the aspect of a goal is special, it is a huge honour, I said to Simon keep in touch, keep me up to date and it would be nice to watch it run and maybe it will get a few wins. I do like a day out racing, I go to Cheltenham every year and my dad was a very keen horse racing man so he bought me up with gambling and horse racing.

A bit of background on Ireland based Simon and how he became a West Ham United Supporter in his own words

Simon says:

“In fairness, it is a question that I am often asked when I meet WHU supporters from England. To be honest there is no one answer but I do remember when I started Primary school on my first day my mum produced a WHU bag , how she got it here in Ireland I will never know, so I must have been supporting them then, in 1973. I think the main reason I started supporting them was at the time all my Friends supported Arsenal (Brady, Stapleton and O Leary ) or Liverpool or Man Utd and I just wanted to be different and picked WHU. I also remember when I first saw Sir Trevor Brooking and Billy Bonds play I was transfixed. Sir Trevor had such an effect on me that I remember looking forward more to England matches on TV than Ireland games because in those days it was really the only time I saw anything WHU related on tv. I consider myself extremely lucky that my three children, Sarah (15) , Charlotte (12) and Marcus (10) all support WHU as does my wife Carol who eventually caught the bug. Since starting to support WHU I think my favorite teams were the team that won the cup in 80, the team of ‘86 and the Bilic’s team of the last season at UP. If pushed I would go for the team of 86 because of the other WHU legends like Alvin Martin, Ray Stewart and Alan Devonshire hence the name of the horse had to be related to them.”

Simon’s Interest in Horses in his own words

“Since about 1995/ 1996 I have always had a share in a racehorse and until I got involved with a syndicate run by Peter Kerr these horses were trained by Michael O’ Brien in Beechcourt Stables in Ireland. The best horse I have been involved in with Michael was a horse called Commonchero. He finished second in a grade one at the Punchestown festival and won at least five races. I used to be a regular at the Cheltenham Festival , in fact, I think I attended 18 out of 19 years since 1991, the only year I missed was 1996 when I was in Australia. Those years in the 90’s coincided with a golden period for Kim Bailey and hence I was always aware of what a brillant trainer he is. Like WHU Kim has had his ups and downs and it was only when I was watching racing on tv a few years ago and saw his horse Harry Topper win a big race that I actually thought to myself “that’s nearly 30 years that Kim Bailey has been training winners”. I didn’t think at the time I would ever have a horse in training with him though.”

“About this time last year my wife and I decided to once again have a share in a racehorse and because Irish Racing is currently dominated by Gigginstown ( owned by Michael o Leary of Ryanair fame) and trainer Willie Mullins and it is virtually impossible for a small owner to have a winner we decided to buy a share in a horse that would be trained in England. Kim being the brilliant trainer that he is was always top of the list of English trainers so I looked up his website and this is where Peter Kerr came in. I emailed Peter Kerr, who runs Kim’s ownership syndicates, late one evening looking for information on shares in horses that would be trained by Kim that were available. I honestly thought I would hear back in a day or two but despite it being late at night Peter came back with a detailed response about twenty minutes later. From the first time I spoke to Peter I knew I could trust him and we knew we would have a share in one of his syndicates. Hence we also have a share in a very exciting young horse called Pond Road. While he has never run before I think Kim and Peter like him, but time will tell!”

“Fast forward to March this year and Gold Cup morning and I visited Kim Bailey’s yard in Andoversford to meet with Kim & Peter Kerr and also see Pond Road. I brought along a good friend of mine, Paddy Ryan, who breeds his own horses. As I am not involved in racehorses on a day to day basis I have to rely on the expertise of people I trust. Walking away from our visit Paddy was massively impressed with Kim’s yard and how the horses were not only trained but how well they were looked after. It was driving back to where I was staying that week that I made the decision to try to convince my wife Carol that we should take the plunge and put a horse in training with Kim. I think it is only right to point out that despite only knowing Kim and Peter for about a year I absolutely trust them 100% also which is very important for people like us who want to get into ownership but have no idea of the type of horses to get involved in”

“Luckily it took very little to convince Carol, who lives by the mantra “you only live once” to buy a racehorse. Initially my idea was to buy a racehorse currently in training with another trainer and move him to Kim. Peter Kerr was a great help and in fairness the horses he had picked out have since won but also got withdrawn from the sales so I never had the chance to bid for them. A great friend of mine, Mark MacRedmond , who is a partner in a very large veterinary practice on the Curragh put me in touch with William Flood of Broadsmill Stud who had a three-year-old for sale. For people interested in horse racing William’s stud farm stands brillant stallions Kalanisi ( who sired CotteeMcAvennigoal)Court Cave and Mount Nelson among others. Both my daughter and I spent a wonderful Saturday morning in William’s stud farm about six weeks ago and we came to an agreement re “ The Kalanisi gelding”. Funnily the guy, who I think is John, who led the horse around that morning and my daughter Charlotte talked about potential names and they settled on Wilshere as he was an Arsenal fan and Charlotte is a hammer. I thought to myself “ I will do better than that”

“Now I am a great believer if you’re going to do something you have to do it properly. I asked Kim who would be the best man to break the horse in and do the pre-training and hence CotteeMcAvennigoal is now with a man called Martin Jones. He has been with Martin for about a month now and I would expect that he will remain there for the next 4-6 weeks before going over to Kim’s yard. It’s early days but the reports from Martin to date are positive so the dream lives on, no sign that it is yet a case of “ fade and die”

Approaching Tony and Frank re the name in Simon’s own words

“I wanted to contact both Tony Cottee and Frank McAvennie to in reality get permission to use their names for the horse and tbh I did not even know where to start. This is where the West Ham family kicked in. Last Sunday morning I emailed Nigel to explain what I was trying to do and did he have any ideas on how I would get in contact with Tony and Frank. Ten minutes later Nigel had emailed me back saying he had forwarded my mail to Sean to see what could be done. In another ten mins Sean had emailed me back with both Tony and Franks mobile numbers and within an hour of wondering how I would contact the guys, I had sent a what’s app message to both.”

The Response from Tony and Frank

“Things may not be going well for our current bunch of players on the pitch but from my small interaction with Tony and Frank I can assure you we WHU fans have every right to be extremely proud of the team of 86 if these two great guys are anything to go by. Again within twenty minutes, Tony had responded that he loved the idea and that anything that provided a bit of fun for WHU supporters these days he was fully behind. His only condition was that we kept him up to date of the horses progress and where he would run Lol. Tony said that through his father he had a great interest in racing. He also mentioned that as Frank was at the Celtic Rangers match I might not hear from him until Monday!. But incredibly Frank did come back and gave the idea a massive thumbs up. Again both Tony and Frank were 100% behind the idea of an article on the horse which I personally believe is incredibly generous of them considering that they have never met me or my family.”

The Team of 86 and Naming the Horse

“I am absolutely convinced that WHU were the best team in that league that year and were only robbed of the title due to the backlog in fixtures but my overriding memory was the terror that Tony and Frank installed in the opposition with their brilliant and deadly partnership. One thing that has always stuck in my mind was Frank coming back from International duty with Scotland from Australia on a Sat morning and coming on to score the winner against QPR I think. You might ask him about that when you speak to him. Make no mistake the naming of the horse is a tribute to two fantastic players in a brilliant team.”

“The name was quite simple. When the Kids were growing up during the better weather we would go out to the back garden to play football in the evening. Usually it ended up me and Charlotte versus Marcus and Sarah. Marcus was always his favorite players, Payet or Lanzini, Sarah started as Tomkins but moved to Andy Carroll and We would be either Sir Trevor and Billy Bonds or Cottee and McAvennie. On the evenings we were Tony and Frank I found myself continually repeating CotteeMcAvennieGoal as I scored time and time again against my ten-year-old daughter and five-year-old son!”

As a footnote Tony Cottee messaged Simon saying he’d been playing golf with Tony Gale today and Galey was wondering if Simon could name the next horse GaleMartincleansheets after his and Alvin’s great defensive partnership!


Dan Coker's Match Preview

Crossed Hammers & Three Lions: Paul Goddard

Welcome to the latest in a series of articles designed for international matches – a look back at former Hammers players who wore the Three Lions of England.

Today, as England prepare to face Spain in their first ever Nations League match, we look back at a former Hammers striker – Paul Goddard. ‘Sarge’, as he was known after his Boys’ Brigade days, was born in Harlington on 12th October 1959 and started his career at Queens Park Rangers, making his debut in April 1978 in the same team as future Hammers team-mate Phil Parkes. He scored 16 goals alongside another former Iron, Clive Allen, in 1979/80 before John Lyall spent a club record £800,000 on the England Under-21 striker in August 1980. Goddard made his West Ham league debut at the age of 20 on 16th August 1980 in a 2-1 Second Division defeat to Luton at the Boleyn Ground. He scored his first goal for the club in a 2-0 League Cup second round first leg win at Burnley on 26th August 1980 and made 55 appearances in the 1980/81 season as the Hammers won promotion to the First Division and reached the League Cup Final. He scored 23 goals in his first season, including a strike in the 2-0 League Cup semi-final second leg win over Coventry at Upton Park on 10th February 1981 and a diving header in the League Cup Final replay defeat to Liverpool at Villa Park on 1st April 1981. He also bagged a hat-trick in a 3-0 home win over former club QPR later that month.

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Goddard made 46 appearances in 1981/82 as the Hammers returned to top flight football and finished ninth. He scored 17 goals, including a hat-trick in a 4-2 home win over Southampton in September 1981. Ron Greenwood gave ‘Sarge’ his one and only England cap aged 22 in a 1-1 draw against Iceland in Reykjavik. He came on as a 40th-minute substitute for the injured Cyrille Regis with the Three Lions 1-0 down. Goddard, playing alongside Hammers team-mate Alan Devonshire, scored the equaliser after 69 minutes, running on to Glenn Hoddle’s pass to become the first England player to score while playing less than a full match. Despite this debut goal, Goddard was not taken to Spain for the 1982 World Cup.

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An eighth-placed finish followed in 1982/83 with ‘Sarge’ scoring 12 goals in 46 matches. 1983/84 was injury-hit for Goddard as he scored two goals in just six appearances; the Hammers finished ninth. The Irons would dip the following season, finishing 16th in 1984/85 but it was a more fruitful season for Goddard personally, as he scored 14 goals in 48 appearances, including a hat-trick in a 4-1 FA Cup third round win over Port Vale at the Boleyn on 5th January 1985.

1985/86 would go down as the finest league season in West Ham United’s history. Goddard started the season partnering Tony Cottee but dislocated his shoulder 31 minutes into the opening day 1-0 defeat at Birmingham. New signing Frank McAvennie, who started that match in an attacking midfield role, took Goddard’s place up front and the Irons went on to record their highest ever finish of third. ‘Sarge’ made just seven appearances, scoring one goal in the 8-1 thrashing of Newcastle on 21st April 1986.

Goddard made five appearances in 1986/87, scoring two goals. His final goal in claret and blue came in a 3-2 League Cup third round win at Watford on 29th October 1986, while his last game as a Hammers player was a 1-0 home win over Everton four days later. After scoring 71 goals in 213 appearances for West Ham United, the 27-year-old moved to Newcastle on 7th November 1986 for a fee of £415,000 – the most the Hammers had ever received for a player at the time. My video below shows 11 of Goddard’s 71 goals for West Ham United, scored against Shrewsbury, Castilla, Poli Timisoara, Bristol Rovers (all 1980), Preston, Coventry, Liverpool, Middlesbrough (all 1981), Manchester United (1982), Newcastle and Watford (both 1986).

Goddard spent 15 months on Tyneside, playing alongside Glenn Roeder, before moving to Derby in a £425,000 deal. He was on the move again a season and a half later, returning to London to sign for Millwall for £800,000 in December 1989. Goddard reunited with John Lyall at Ipswich a little over two years later, moving to Portman Road on a free transfer. He helped Ipswich win promotion to the Premier League for the 1992/93 campaign and was made first team coach by Lyall in the summer of 1994. During the 1994/95 season, he was temporarily caretaker-manager with former team-mate John Wark between the departure of John Lyall and the arrival of George Burley; Goddard went on to become the club’s youth team coach.

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Having played alongside him at QPR and Newcastle, Goddard became Glenn Roeder’s assistant manager at West Ham in the summer of 2001. He helped the Hammers to a seventh-placed finish in 2001/02 but the Irons were relegated in 2002/03. The last three matches of that season saw Goddard reunited with former Hammers team-mate Trevor Brooking as the West Ham legend assumed the role of caretaker manager after Roeder fell ill. Goddard left West Ham in January 2004, three months after Alan Pardew took over as manager. Now 58, Goddard was recently known to be living with his family in East Bergholt, Suffolk. He has also worked for the Stellar Group football agency.

England v Spain

England face Spain this weekend in a Nations League match – it will be the 26th meeting between the two nations. The pair met in the 1968 European Championship quarter-finals, with England winning the first leg 1-0 at Wembley on 3rd April 1968. The Beatles were number one with ‘Lady Madonna’, Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier and Katharine Hepburn were in UK cinemas in Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner and Thames Valley Police was formed two days earlier.

Alf Ramsey’s England took the lead six minutes from full-time courtesy of 30-year-old Manchester United legend Bobby Charlton, who thumped home from an indirect free-kick. It was the 44th of his 49 England goals, in the 83rd of his 106 caps. England won the second leg in the Bernabeu 2-1, with Hammer Martin Peters on the scoresheet. The Three Lions were beaten by Yugoslavia in the semi-finals but won the third-place play-off against the Soviet Union. Italy went on to win the tournament.

England: Gordon Banks (Stoke), Cyril Knowles (Tottenham), Jack Charlton (Leeds), Bobby Moore (captain, West Ham), Ray Wilson (Everton), Alan Ball (Everton), Martin Peters (West Ham), Alan Mullery (Tottenham), Bobby Charlton (Man Utd), Roger Hunt (Liverpool), Mike Summerbee (Man City).

Spain: Salvador Sadurni (Barcelona), Inaki Saez (Athletic Bilbao), Gallego (Barcelona), Juan Manuel Canos (Elche), Ignacio Zoco (captain, Real Madrid), Pirri (Real Madrid), Jose Claramunt (Valencia), Amaro Amancio (Real Madrid), Poli (Valencia), Fernando Ansola (Valencia), Ramon Grosso (Real Madrid).

The previous articles in the series are:

Jack Tresadern
Ken Brown
Johnny ‘Budgie’ Byrne
Bobby Moore
Martin Peters
Sir Trevor Brooking
Alan Devonshire
Alvin Martin
Stuart Pearce
Joe Cole
David James
Robert Green


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