Dawud Marsh's Photo Diary

Late Ayew Goal Snatches Victory for Palace at London Stadium


David Hautzig's Match Report

West Ham 1, Crystal Palace 2. Points, And Momentum, Lost.

Did you know I had magic powers? It’s true. Seriously. The Great Escape with Tevez and friends? All me. The minute I stopped watching us play, choosing to be updated by friends who threatened bodily harm if I even thought of tuning in, we started on that run of winning seven of our last nine. The February under VoldeSam that pulled us up from the drop zone to 10th? Me again. Watching those four matches on an IPad propped up on my dresser while I stood on the opposite side of the bed was all we needed. But such power and responsibility has its downside. Last week I wrote that Roberto should be demoted to third behind Martin after Oxford. I do feel a bit of shame for having put that out in the universe only for a certain thigh muscle to remind me such powers can be dangerous. In the end, Roberto wasn’t the reason for our downfall this evening.

A quick note about age. Manuel Pellegrini is 66. Roy Hodgson is 72. They are the two oldest managers in the Premier League. The Eagles have collected the fourth highest point total in 2019. West Ham have their best start in four years, but a win would give the Hammers their best start in 20 years. Maybe the next time we collectively wonder if the game has passed by our gaffer, we should take a deep breath.

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The opening ten minutes were oddly worrying. West Ham had more possession, but offered absolutely no threat near the Crystal Palace eighteen yard box. The visitors didn’t see the ball that much, but their quick counters required Rice to clear the ball right in front of Roberto as well as a long ball out by Ogbonna. Then Ayew got the ball behind the West Ham defense and Yarmolenko did a poor job of clearing. “Palace are looking dangerous” was the comment from the NBC presenter Arlo White. Not exactly the trends we wanted to see at the start of a rather important match.

Diop is either a defensive monster as Jose Mourinho called him last season, or a very inexperienced kid as we have seen on quite a few occasions. In the 22nd minute we saw the latter when a very lazy attempt to get the ball past Ayew led to a Palace free kick. West Ham cleared, but the ball came right back into the West Ham area where Zaha won a corner. A goalmouth scramble could have ended badly for the hosts but Cahill didn’t get good contact and Ogbonna skied the ball away.

West Ham should have taken the lead in the 29th minute when Noble found Yarmolenko after a good run down the right. The winger crossed the ball right to Haller, but with the whole goal in front of him the record signing put the ball directly into the chest of Guaita from point blank range. A few minutes later Fredericks crossed the ball to Anderson but the Brazilian shanked his shot. Seconds after that Fredericks teed up Anderson again but Guaita went down to his right to stop Anderson’s header. At least West Ham looked to have woken up a bit.

Crystal Palace had their moment to look back and rue in the 36th minute when Zaha somehow got the ball around Cresswell just to the left of the West Ham goal. He passed to Schlupp right in front of the West Ham goal, but the shot looped upwards, which gave Fredericks time to get behind Roberto and clear the ball off the line. If anything, it evened out the Haller sitter.

In the 41st minute, when James McCarthy stepped in between Lanzini and Anderson to give himself space for a shot, the reality that Fabianski wasn’t in between the pipes filled me with dread. At first glance, the diving save by Roberto looked terrific. On replay it looked more theatrical. At the end of the day, he made the save. Even if he did drop a shot seconds later, only to be rescued by Diop. Yeah, I’m still very skeptical.

In added time, Yarmolenko sent a sublime pass off the outside of his foot across the box the Anderson, who one touched it to Lanzini at the top of the box. He tried to find space in between the many Palace defenders but in the end the shot went wide.

Halftime
West Ham 0
Crystal Palace 0

The first moment of interest in the second half come five minutes in, when Ward looked to be auditioning for a spot in the NFL game in North London tomorrow when he dragged Anderson down. A good delivery on the set piece to Haller was headed back into the box to Ogbonna. The center back tried to find his feet but his shot went high over the bar.

West Ham kept the pressure on, and it finally paid off. Starting with the kind of short passing one would expect from the big guns in Spain and Italy, it finally broke to Anderson on the left. Yarmolenko did well to feed Fredericks on the right, who moved forward with his head up and his eyes scanning. A quick roll into the box was directed into the net by Haller. A lovely goal from the first pass to the final moment.

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West Ham 1
Crystal Palace 0

Minutes later, West Ham gave all the good work back when Kouyate got the ball inside the West Ham box. He tried to put the ball over Rice, and in a very rare moment he made a significant error when he raised his arm well over his head and blocked the ball. Clear handball. Van Aanholt put it past Roberto, as expected.

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West Ham 1
Crystal Palace 1

West Ham kept turning to Anderson on the left to make things happen, and in the 72nd minute he won a corner off of Ward. Guaita did well to get in between the many bodies in the box to punch the ball away, and Palace were out of danger.

I rarely if ever question the substitutions of Mr. Charming, but when Wilshere came on for Yarmolenko I couldn’t see it. By most metrics, Yarmolenko has been our best player the past few matches. He makes things happen. Would the final 12 minutes prove him right?

In the 85th minute, Wilshere was fed into the area by a lovely rolling pass from Anderson. A good touch to his right and he tried to reach Haller at the top of the box. He did, but Van Aanholt made a great interception. A few moments later, VAR did its dirty work against us when Ayew put the ball into the back of the net after a fine ball in from Townsend. The flag went up, but the replay showed the flag was wrong.

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West Ham 1
Crystal Palace 2

The Hammers tried to push forward in the six minutes of added time, but there was no final product. Anderson tried to feed Haller in the box a few times, and Zabaleta was fouled outside the box in the 94th minute. The delivery went to the far post and was played back to Diop, but he couldn’t get any power on his header and Guaita he no problem with it.

Final Score

West Ham 1
Crystal Palace 2

A match at home against a London rival vying for the heights of the EPL table. That kind of match, as opposed to similar matches against similar opponents vying to stay in the damned league, is what we have wanted for so many years. Most pundits put us down for a win. Those same pundits probably haven’t even noticed how well Palace has done under Hodgson. Today adds a lot of perspective as to how hard, how very hard, it is to become a top football club in this league.


Match Thread

Match Thread: West Ham v Crystal Palace

West Ham v Crystal Palace
FA Premier League
London Stadium
KO 5.30pm
TV: Sky Sports
Radio: talkSport

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


Opposition Q & A

Opposition Q&A with Crystal Palace

This weekend West Ham return to the London Stadium, where we entertain our South London neighbours Crystal Palace. Ahead of the game I spoke to Jay Crame of The Eagles Beak blog to discuss the game and the season.
Hi Jay, after such a strong start to the season, including beating Manchester United away, you must be hoping that you will not have to suffer the worries of a relegation battle this season?*
Let’s not speak too soon eh? In all seriousness, it makes a change to start the season with a bit of form even if the points have not come as we would have expected. As a football fan, we kind of get used to that but as notoriously slow starters, and after a difficult summer transfer window, it is nice to have double figure points after just seven games. It is something to build on rather than to start panicking about picking up points. It’s all about getting to the 40 point barrier, or securing 10 wins and seeing at what stage of the season that is before you start looking ahead any further.

Roy Hodgson seems to have brought a bit of stability to the club, but are Crystal Palace fans totally behind him? How long can Roy keep going for, he makes our own 66 year old Manuel Pelligrini seem like a spring chicken?
There still seems to be some mixed emotions when it comes to Roy but for the most part, the fans are behind him. Personally, I he has brought stability to the club at a stage when it was much needed after Pulis, Pardew and Allardyce and de Boer (remember him?). He has been a perfect fit and most fans believed he would return to Croydon at some point. He is a hugely experienced and talented coach and we knew he could do a job after seeing what he did at Fulham and West Brom (not so much with Liverpool and England!). It will be interesting to see how much longer he can go on but I fully expect him to take a higher role at the club at some point, maybe one more season after this one but then you question who would we want to come in – let’s have more of this stability first before we start thinking about that!

Talking of Manuel Pelligrini, how do you rate the job he is doing at West Ham?
He has really steadied the ship after what has been a volatile period for the club what with the upheaval of the move to the London Stadium and everything that brought with it. There has been some sensible recruitment in areas that were needed but there is a sense that it remains a work in progress as there seem to be some short term solutions rather than longer term ones but it is coming along, particularly from the outside looking in this season.

And to continue the manager theme: we’ve both had Big Sam (BFS) and Alan Pardew as our mangers. (I suppose the biggest surprise is that you never had Harry Rednapp in charge!) How do you compare the job that both of those guys did for you?
We could still have Harry Redknapp to pretty much complete the set of old school managers that have taken charge at Selhurst Park! Those two had very different roles in terms of aims while at the club and they are completely different managers. Pardew was always given more time than most after his playing days at the club but his time in charge has tainted that somewhat. Having said that, he did take us to an FA Cup final and very almost carried it off and I will always be thankful for that. As for Big Sam, I enjoyed his tenure as he joined us at a very difficult time and did the job he was asked. I was fully expecting a full season out of him after that but he walked away which was a shame but after the England debacle, we did him a favour with a route back into the game and he did us a favour by keeping us up. It was probably never destined to be anything different.

Separated by one point, towards the top end of the table, we have both had better starts than we usually accomplish, is this a sign of the times or just a temporary blip at the start of the season? Where are you hoping Crystal Palace will finish up at the end of the season? And where do you think West Ham will finish?
We will probably not be too different come the end of the season, the two squads are very similar while the managers are wiley old foxes! It has been a very good start for us considering what we are normally used to but it must be something to build on to push for a good finish. It is early days of course and anything can happen, but there is hope after a difficult summer. West Ham have a real chance of finishing in the top ten this season which I hope Palace can strive to achieve as well.

You might as well give us your predictions for the top four come May: can another team shift one of the usual top six this year?
It would be great to see a side sneak up and take one of the top four spots and I would say that Brendan Rogers is doing a great job at Leicester at the moment and they could be that team. Having said that, I think City will pip Liverpool again and be some way from the third placed team who I think will be Arsenal with Chelsea fourth as I believe Spurs and United will have tough seasons.

Early days yet, but who do you think will go down?
The quality in the Premier League is slightly better than last season and it could be tight at the bottom end but I will name Norwich City, Newcastle United and Brighton as the sides we will say goodbye to.

What is the Wilfred Zaha situation: how do you reconcile the fact he has asked to leave again, with him continuing to play? It’s not exactly the same situation that West Ham found themselves in with Dmitri Payet and Marko Arnautovic, but never a easy situation to deal with?

Wilf was going to leave at some point, most of us thought it would be a couple of summers ago but here we are, in the 2019/20 season with him still wearing our number eleven shirt. We are not kidding ourselves, we will not be here next season so we will enjoy every second he plays for us but he has to prove he is worth a club shelling out the money we want for him and that can only be a good thing for Palace. There was a concern about his mindset by the time the season started and while he has been a slow burner after returning from the AFCON late he was excellent against Wolves and last weekend played his best game of the season. He loves the club, the fans love him in return, but he has to challenge himself at the very highest level and while it will be wrench to see him go, it will be with our best wishes.

How about Christian Benteke, he seemed such a strong player whilst at Villa, will he ever come good again?
It is easy to forget he scored 15+ goals for us in his first season and was that striker we had been searching for. Since then he has struggled and a shadow of his former self. He had been carrying an injury which he had sorted and looked strong and lively on his return but his luck in front of goal has been horrendous. His confidence is through the floor, the chance he had against Wolves to seal all three points just proves the point, he did everything right and the ball still would not hit the back of the net. Many are willing him on at every opportunity but it is getting to the point where we have to consider our options as it cannot go on.

Which, if any, West Ham players would you like to join your other ex-Hammers in Cheikhou Kouyaté and James Tomkins? And if any why?
That’s enough, thanks! Seriously though, with our problems up front I like what Haller has done for you so far. Not blazing a trail or anything but showing enough to suggest he could be the man to get you 15+ goals a season which will prove the money was worth spending. It’s not just goal scoring, it is all round game from what I have seen so far and in his time at Frankfurt.

What is the latest news of the development of Selhurst Park?
It has gone fairly quiet but they are exciting times as the ground is in desperate need of a makeover, as us Palace fans can all testify, almost as much as the away fans that visit us. Anyway, visiting teams and fans should not be made to feel comfortable at opposition grounds, right? Or is that too old school? It is an old school ground that has been dragged kicking and screaming into this day and age but it is not wearing well so the sooner the main stand gets its makeover the better. It will really give us something of a legacy from our time in the Premier League which has hit its’ 7th consecutive season, a club record.

Have you paid a trip to the London Stadium yet, and if so what is your take on it?
Yes, for the Foo Fighters, so not for football. It is difficult for me to pass judgement having not been there for a game but it looks to lack something when watching a live game on television let alone being there. I’ve heard plenty of less than complimentary views from fellow Palace fans from our visits there which probably says a lot. Nice venue, just not for football.

Any fond memories of West Ham/Palace games of the past?
Play Off Final at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff. Neil Shipperley’s shin and we’re back in the big time! (Sorry, not sorry!)

Yes that was a terrible day! How will Crystal Palace line us against us this weekend? Team/formation?
Not too much different than from recent games but Luka Milivojevic is suspended after reaching five bookings.
Guita – Ward, Kelly, Cahill, van Aanholt – Schlupp, Kouyate, McArthur, McCarthy, Zaha – Ayew

Are you feeling confident for this game? Prediction for result?
With the injury to Fabianski being a big blow, I fancy Palace to take at least a point (1-1)

Many thanks to Jay for his time. I am of course duty bound to disagree with his prediction: I think we are due a productive game for both Sebastien Haller and Felipe Anderson, and think we could serve up a 3 – 1 beating. COYI

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Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v Crystal Palace

Blast from the past

Today’s blast from the past features a 3-0 victory at Upton Park against this weekend’s opponents, Crystal Palace; it arrived just over 16 years ago, on the 1st of October 2003 in front of 31,861 spectators. The Black Eyed Peas were number one with ‘Where Is The Love?’ and Calendar Girls topped the UK box office while, two evenings previously, Leslie Grantham’s character Den Watts returned to EastEnders, 14 years after he had been supposedly killed off.

The Eagles arrived in east London with former Hammer Michael Hughes in their starting eleven; Hayden Mullins and Darren Powell, who would both go on to represent the Hammers, also played for the visitors in this evening encounter under the lights at the Boleyn Ground. Jermain Defoe opened the scoring with his eighth strike of the season in the 19th minute – a poor backpass by Hughes let the 20-year-old striker in and he slotted into the net after dummying his way round goalkeeper Cedric Berthelin. Despite leaving the club for Tottenham in January 2004, Defoe finished the season as West Ham’s top scorer with 15 goals in 22 appearances in all competitions.

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Neil Mellor (pictured above with Defoe and Kevin Horlock) had an effort saved moments later before opening his Hammers account after 32 minutes. Robert Lee sprayed a pass out to Matthew Etherington on the left wing, and he hung up a cross for Mellor to head beyond Berthelin. Mellor, on loan from Liverpool, made it three when he converted Wayne Quinn’s low cross from the left on 56 minutes. These would prove to be Mellor’s only goals for the Irons in his 21 appearances between August 2003 and February 2004. The win was Trevor Brooking’s sixth victory in the eighth game of his second spell as caretaker manager. The defeat left Palace with just two points from seven matches and put further pressure on boss Steve Kember – he was eventually replaced by former Hammer Iain Dowie, who would oversee a remarkable upturn in form. The goals from this game can be viewed in my video below.

The Hammers ended the 2003/04 season in fourth place in the First Division while Crystal Palace ended up sneaking into the Play-Offs in sixth place, only due to a late Brian Deane goal for West Ham at Wigan ousting the Latics from the top six. The Irons would, of course, go on to lose 1-0 to the Eagles in the Play-Off Final in Cardiff. Norwich topped the division, Arsenal won the league title and Manchester United won the FA Cup. Etherington was voted Hammer of the Year, with Michael Carrick runner-up.

West Ham United: David James, Tomas Repka, Christian Dailly, Ian Pearce, Wayne Quinn (Matthew Kilgallon), Robert Lee (Anton Ferdinand), Kevin Horlock, Matthew Etherington, Neil Mellor (Niclas Alexandersson), David Connolly, Jermain Defoe.

Crystal Palace: Cedric Berthelin, Jamie Smith (Gary Borrowdale), Darren Powell (Curtis Fleming), Hayden Mullins, Danny Butterfield, Aki Riihilahti, Michael Hughes, Shaun Derry, Andy Johnson, Dougie Freedman, Neil Shipperley (Wayne Routledge).

Club Connections

West Ham United Academy product and 2012 Hammer of the Year runner-up James Tomkins could feature for Crystal Palace, as could fellow former Hammer Cheikhou Kouyate. A large group of players have turned out for the Hammers and the Eagles. Divided here by position, they include:

Goalkeepers: Perry Suckling, Steve Mautone, Vincent Blore.

Defenders: Eddie Presland, Kenny Brown, Matthew Upson, Malcolm Pyke, Alf Noakes, Bill Roberts, Neil Ruddock, Paul Brush, Danny Gabbidon, Jose Fonte, Chris Powell, Alan Stephenson, Tony Gale, Darren Powell.

Midfielders: Victor Moses, Jimmy Wood, Anton Otulakowski, Hayden Mullins, Derek Jackman, Carl Fletcher, Harry Gunning, Jobi McAnuff, Fred Norris, Trevor Dawkins, Kyel Reid, Ray Houghton, Michael Hughes.

Strikers: Joe Johnson, Ron Williams, Freddie Sears, Andy Smillie, Jeroen Boere, Johnny Cartwright, Johnny Byrne, Peter Simpson, Clive Allen, Dave Swindlehurst, Paul Kitson, Ron Brett, Dave Sexton, Marouane Chamakh, George Petchey.

Malcolm Allison and Jack Tresadern played for the Hammers and managed the Eagles, while Iain Dowie played for both clubs and also managed Palace. Alan Pardew played for the Eagles and managed both clubs. Sam Allardyce has also managed both clubs.

Today’s focus is on a former England international striker who enjoyed success with Crystal Palace before moving to West Ham United late in his career. Ian Wright was born on the 3rd November 1963 in Woolwich and began his professional career with Steve Coppell’s Crystal Palace, joining from Greenwich Borough at the age of 21 in the summer of 1985. He scored nine goals in 36 appearances in the Second Division of 1985/86 and scored the same amount of goals the following season. The arrival of Mark Bright from Leicester in 1986 led to a fruitful partnership and Wright scored 23 goals in 1987/88. It was largely the Wright and Bright double act which took Palace back to the top flight via the play-offs in 1989 – Wright was particularly instrumental that season, scoring 24 goals in the Second Division and 33 in all competitions as the Eagles swapped places with West Ham, John Lyall’s side being relegated at the end of 1988/89.

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13 goals followed in an injury-hit 1989/90 campaign but he made a dramatic appearance in the 1990 FA Cup Final against Manchester United, equalising for Palace a few minutes after coming onto the field to force extra time before later putting them ahead. The Red Devils levelled the game at 3-3, with the Eagles losing the replay 1-0. Wright scored 25 goals in 52 appearances in 1990/91 as the club finished in their highest-ever league position of third place in the top flight; he also scored twice as Palace beat Everton to win the Full Members Cup at Wembley. Wright scored 117 goals in 277 appearances during just over six seasons for Crystal Palace in all competitions, making him the club’s record post-war goalscorer and third on the all-time list. In 2005, he was voted into the Eagles’ Centenary XI and was named as their Player of The Century. He moved to George Graham’s Arsenal for a club record £2.5m in September 1991, winning the Golden Boot in his first season – he scored 29 league goals in 1991/92, five of which had been scored for Palace, and 31 in all competitions. He had made his England debut in February 1991 while still at Selhurst Park but, despite his goalscoring exploits, was left out of England’s Euro ’92 squad by Graham Taylor.

Wright went on to be Arsenal’s top scorer for six consecutive seasons, playing a major part in the club’s success during the 1990s, winning an FA Cup and League Cup double in 1993 and scoring in both the FA Cup Final and replay against Sheffield Wednesday. He also helped Arsenal reach the 1993/94 Cup Winners’ Cup Final, although he was suspended for the Final in which Arsenal beat Parma 1–0. He scored five goals in England’s qualification campaign for the 1994 World Cup, the first a key equaliser in a 1-1 draw in Poland and four in a 7-1 victory in San Marino, but the Three Lions failed to qualify for the tournament. Wright also made one start and three substitute appearances in Terry Venables’ first five games as England manager but thereafter never played under Venables again.

Wright scored a total of 185 goals for Arsenal before moving to the Hammers in July 1998 at the age of 34 for £500,000 and scored the winner on his debut in a 1-0 win at Sheffield Wednesday on 15th August 1998. He followed that up with two goals on his home debut but the Irons threw away a 3-0 lead to lose 4-3 to Wimbledon. He scored the winner in a 1-0 home win over Southampton, a goal made famous for its celebration as Wright and Neil Ruddock parodied Paolo Di Canio’s push on referee Paul Alcock – Di Canio was to join them as a team-mate four months later! A brace followed in a 3-0 Hallowe’en win at Newcastle and Wright closed 1998 with a goal in a 2-0 home win over Coventry. Injury kept Wright on the sidelines for three months at the start of 1999 but he scored as a substitute in his second game back, a 5-1 triumph over Derby on 17th April, before scoring the opener a week later in a fine 2-1 win at Tottenham. Wright was sent off the following week in a 5-1 home defeat to Leeds and vandalised the referee’s room on his way to an early bath – the Hammers finished with eight men as Shaka Hislop and Steve Lomas were also dismissed by Rob Harris.

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Wright also won his final two England caps while playing for West Ham, in a Euro 2000 qualifier in Luxembourg and a home friendly against the Czech Republic. He won 33 caps for England, scoring nine goals – only Mick Channon has played more times for England without being taken to a major tournament. Wright’s final appearance for the Hammers came as a substitute in the 1-0 InterToto Cup third round first leg win over Jokerit of Finland at Upton Park on 17th July 1999. He scored nine goals in 26 appearances for West Ham United – all nine of these goals can be viewed on the West Ham Till I Die social media pages.

Wright went on to have a loan spell with Nottingham Forest before departing the Hammers permanently for Celtic and ending his career at Burnley. He was awarded an MBE in 2000. Now 55, he has since been Director of Football at Ashford Town and first-team coach at MK Dons. He is now a regular pundit on Match of the Day and ITV’s coverage of England internationals.

Referee

The referee on Saturday will be Michael Oliver. Oliver has refereed 19 of our matches, officiating in five wins for the Hammers, five draws and nine defeats.

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Oliver most recently refereed the Irons in our 1-1 draw at Leicester last October, when he sent off Mark Noble. His only previous red card issued to a West Ham player came six seasons ago, when he sent off Kevin Nolan in our 4-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield in December 2013. Oliver also refereed our 3-1 home win over Manchester United last season.

Possible line-ups

West Ham United are without Lukasz Fabianski, Winston Reid and Michail Antonio. Roberto is in line to make his home debut for the Hammers. West Ham are unbeaten in their last eight Premier League matches against Crystal Palace, winning four and drawing four.

Crystal Palace will be without the suspended Luka Milivojevic, while Mamadou Sakho is a doubt.

Possible West Ham United XI: Roberto; Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Rice; Yarmolenko, Noble, Fornals, Anderson; Haller.

Possible Crystal Palace XI: Guaita; Ward, Cahill, Sakho, van Aanholt; Zaha, McArthur, Kouyate, McCarthy, Schlupp; Ayew.

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!


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