Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Bournemouth v West Ham

Blast from the past

In today’s preview, we travel back the short distance to 12th January 2016: Justin Bieber’s ‘Love Yourself’ topped the charts; Star Wars: The Force Awakens was in UK cinemas; David Bowie had died two days previously with Alan Rickman to pass away two days later; and West Ham United beat Bournemouth away from home for the first (and currently only) time ever.

Super Slav’s Hammers picked up a 3-1 win in front of 11,071 spectators for a Tuesday night encounter at the Vitality Stadium. Andy Carroll was forced off through injury after just 15 minutes, with Nikica Jelavic entering the fray in his stead. Within two minutes of the switch, the Irons were behind when Cherries midfielder Harry Arter, former Hammer Scott Parker’s brother-in-law, fired home from 25 yards to give his side their first goal in four league games. The hosts’ new signing, striker Benik Afobe, squandered two glorious chances to extend Bournemouth’s lead, heading over from six yards and being denied by Adrian after hesitating when clean through on goal.

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West Ham were much improved after the break and the equaliser arrived with 23 minutes left to play, a sublime free-kick from Frenchman Dimitri Payet, making his first start in over two months after recovering from an ankle injury. Just seven minutes later, the visitors were in front – substitute Carl Jenkinson’s quick throw-in found Payet who squirmed between two defenders before cutting back for Enner Valencia to slam the ball home. The Ecuadorian (pictured above) claimed his second in the 84th minute, cracking a stunning free-kick over the wall and beating Artur Boruc at his near post to claim his first Hammers brace.

The victory equalled a club-record eighth match unbeaten in the Premier League and took West Ham above Manchester United and into fifth, within a point of Tottenham in the final Champions League position. The Hammers would end the 2015/16 campaign in seventh place in the Premier League, while Bournemouth would finish 16th. Leicester won the Premier League, Manchester United won the FA Cup and Payet was named Hammer of the Year, with Michail Antonio runner-up.

Bournemouth: Artur Boruc, Adam Smith, Simon Francis, Steve Cook, Charlie Daniels, Dan Gosling, Andrew Surman, Harry Arter (Glenn Murray), Matt Ritchie (Juan Iturbe), Junior Stanislas, Benik Afobe (Lewis Grabban).

West Ham United: Adrian, James Tomkins (Carl Jenkinson), James Collins, Angelo Ogbonna, Aaron Cresswell, Pedro Obiang, Mark Noble, Michail Antonio, Dimitri Payet (Alex Song), Enner Valencia, Andy Carroll (Nikica Jelavic).

Club Connections

A decent number of players have turned out for both West Ham United and Bournemouth. Ex-Bournemouth loanee Jack Wilshere is now at West Ham; Jermain Defoe (currently on loan at Rangers) and Hammers Academy product Junior Stanislas are currently on Bournemouth’s books while Carl Fletcher played for both clubs and is currently youth team manager with the Cherries. Ex-Bournemouth midfielder Paul Mitchell, who made one league appearance for the Hammers in 1994, is back with the Cherries as a correspondent for Opta Sports. Other players to have appeared for both clubs include:

Goalkeepers: David James, Stephen Henderson and Marek Stech.

Defenders: Everald La Ronde, Bill Kitchener, Rio Ferdinand, Reg Parker, Keith Miller, Keith Rowland, Elliott Ward, Bobby Howe and Horace Glover.

Midfielders: Trevor Hartley, Ian Bishop, Bobby Barnes, Tommy Southren, Jimmy Neighbour, Emmanuel Omoyinmi, Tony Scott, Anthony Edgar, Scott Mean, Matty Holmes, Dale Gordon, Jack Collison and Patsy Holland.

Strikers: Nicky Morgan, John Arnott, Mark Watson, Zavon Hines, Steve Jones and Ted MacDougall.

Former Hammers player John Bond went on to manage Bournemouth, while Harry Redknapp played for and managed both clubs. Jimmy Quinn played for both clubs and also managed the Cherries.

Today’s focus is on a Hammers youth product who represented the Cherries with distinction. Phil Brignull (pictured) was born in Stratford on 2nd October 1960 and was an England schoolboy international. At the age of 18, he made his sole appearance for the Hammers as an 80th-minute substitute for John McDowell in a 0-0 Second Division draw at Cardiff on 11th May 1979, the penultimate match of the 1978/79 season. At the time, those 600 seconds at Ninian Park gave him the shortest-ever West Ham first team career, a record he held for 15 years until Paul Marquis’ two-minute appearance at Manchester City in February 1994 replaced him.

Brignull, a centre-half, moved to Fourth Division Bournemouth in August 1981. With his first-team opportunities having been extremely limited with the presence of Billy Bonds and Alvin Martin, he signed for the Cherries, then managed by his cousin, former Chelsea star David Webb. Bournemouth were promoted at the end of Brignull’s first season and consolidated their Third Division status in 1982/83 with a 14th-placed finish, Don Megson taking over as manager midway through the campaign. The Cherries struggled at the start of 1983/84 and former Hammer Harry Redknapp took over as manager in October 1983. Arguably Brignull’s most memorable moment as a Bournemouth player came in January 1984 when he was one of the cornerstones of Redknapp’s side which knocked holders Manchester United out of the FA Cup. He also played as Bournemouth won the inaugural Associate Members’ Cup (now the EFL Trophy) by beating Hull in the final.

Bournemouth finished 17th at the end of that season and 10th in 1984/85. Redknapp loaned Brignull to Wrexham for part of the 1985/86 season and the defender departed permanently for Cardiff that winter – he had made 129 league appearances for Bournemouth. He later made it a hat-trick of Welsh clubs by signing for Newport in 1987, before ending his career with a spell at Weymouth.

Phil, now 58, is the uncle of former Leicestershire cricketer David Brignull and still classes himself as a West Ham fan who “can’t stand Spurs”! Brignull now lives in Cheltenham and works in financial services, a career he began when injury cut short his playing career. He also held a voluntary post helping to manage Cardiff & Met Hockey Club – his son, Liam Brignull, played for Wales’ hockey team at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and also played for the Great Britain Under-21 team.

Referee

The referee on Saturday will be Stuart Attwell. The Birmingham-based official will take charge of a West Ham game for only the ninth time – he has sent off a Hammers striker in two of his other eight games officiating the Irons. He refereed our 1-0 victory at Wigan in March 2009 and our 3-1 win at Blackpool in February 2011. The 36-year-old sent off the Latics’ Lee Cattermole for a shocking challenge on Scott Parker, while the Hammers’ Carlton Cole also received his marching orders during the aforementioned win at Wigan. Even Latics boss Steve Bruce criticised the decision to dismiss the Irons striker. Attwell also issued a first-half red card to Andy Carroll in our 1-1 draw at Burnley in October 2017.

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Attwell also awarded an infamous ‘phantom’ goal for Reading in a Championship match against Watford in September 2008. He was the youngest-ever Premier League referee but was demoted from the Select Group in 2012. He refereed the Hammers in August 2018 in our 2-1 home defeat to Bournemouth, when he awarded the Irons a penalty which was converted by Marko Arnautovic, and in our 3-1 League Cup home defeat to Tottenham last October. Attwell awarded a dubious match-winning penalty to Manchester City at the Etihad in February. His most recent Hammers appointment was for our 3-0 home win over Southampton in May.

The VAR Official is Andrew Madley.

Possible line-ups

Bournemouth will be without the injured Adam Smith, Charlie Daniels, Dan Gosling, David Brooks and Junior Stanislas. Callum Wilson has scored six goals in his six league games against West Ham. Bournemouth’s 2-0 win over the Hammers in January’s corresponding fixture was only their fourth win in the 13 games they have played against West Ham in all competitions. However, all four of the Cherries’ wins against the Hammers have come in the Premier League, more than against any other side.

This weekend’s match will be only the sixth time Bournemouth and West Ham United have met on the south coast for a league fixture – the Hammers’ only win away to the Cherries, in 2016, is detailed above. Manuel Pellegrini continues to be without Winston Reid, Manuel Lanzini and Michail Antonio while Ryan Fredericks could be a doubt. The side scoring first has only won three of the eight Premier League meetings between Bournemouth and West Ham. With Manchester City not kicking off until 5.30pm, and Leicester and Arsenal playing on Sunday and Monday respectively, the Hammers could briefly move into second place with a win.

Possible Bournemouth XI: Ramsdale; Stacey, Steve Cook, Ake, Rico; Harry Wilson, Billing, Lerma, King; Solanke, Callum Wilson.

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

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!


Match Report

Match of the Day - Why Is It So Biased Against the Hammers?

I don’t know about you, but I always record Match of the Day, as I am afraid if I listen to Alan Shearer after ten at night, I will fall asleep and possibly imitate Rip Van Winkle. I imagine I would wake up in a hundred years and my first question would be ‘Did West Ham ever win anything?’ and ‘How much did Sullivan sell the club for?

Recording the programme also means one can fast forward through all the boring analysis from the overpaid, so-called experts. It is a disgrace that Gary Linekar is paid a king’s ransom for his negligible contribution, when the BBC proposes to charge pensioners for their TV licence. And he can’t even be bothered to get out of bed on a Sunday and present match of the Day 2.

The producers of Match of the Day also seem to have a bias against the Hammers, usually relegating their match to one of the last to be shown.

I thoroughly enjoyed the game against Man U. I have seen many boring games, but I was quite exhilarated by what I saw. West Ham were resolute in defence and closing down the opposition quickly.

So, it came as quite a shock to replay the game on Sunday to be told that the first 35 minutes were so boring, they were not going to show any highlights from that initial period. In addition, the commentator mentioned two or three times how boring the game was. I am not sure whether the commentaries are actually made at the game, or just added to the highlights afterwards.

I felt that the pundits completely belittled our performance. They couldn’t wait to get their teeth into Man U and Ole Gunnar Solskjær. It was akin to watching a blood sport. Alan Shearer has been described by the Daily Telegraph as large, imbecilic and dense.

The real analysis of the game is how at last, the West Ham team came together. Congratulations should particularly go to Cresswell, who seems to have benefited from his imposed rest and put in a performance reminiscent of a couple of years ago. And Yarmolenko, now fully recovered from his injury and good not only in attack but also in defence. He was described by a fellow sitting near me as a Venus Flytrap. Rice solid with a tremendous recovery in defence. Diop brilliant, as is Fabulanski. Noble, the director and Wilshere showing creativity when he came on. And we’re all pleased with Haller, holding the ball up and showing his skills. It’s a pity the match announcer still can’t pronounce his name correctly.

So, we were all elated by the performance and that was without the rapidly improving Lanzini and the injured Antonio. I am absolutely sure that the boost to the side’s confidence is going to see us compete for a top spot and the days of lackadaisical displays where we can barely pass the ball are behind up.

I wrote this before the Oxford game, so I now understand I have written a load of bollocks. I don’t get it, how millionaire players can let their fans down so badly. In Rome, one had decimation, where each tenth soldier was executed after a heavy defeat. I really do think every player who played against Oxford should be fined say one tenth of their monthly salary and the money given to good causes.


Nigel Kahn’s Column

Ticket to Ride

When asked, as generally, I am, to give one good thing about the move to Stratford, in my opinion, I can only point to the fact that more fans than before now can attend. I’ll hold my hands up as well as before the move I never believed West Ham would get 54,000 fans in the ground let alone 60,000.

Of course, the truth is we don’t get that many in the ground all at the same time but the club have sold that many tickets if people choose not to attend there’s not a lot the club can do about that.

That increase in fan base attendance though has created a problem elsewhere, away tickets.

Back in the good old days of Upton Park, West Ham had generally averaged 34,000 fans of which around 21,000 were season ticket holders. Away tickets were not as hard to come by, generally. The allocation sold out, but many a game would get to general sale, aside from the London derbies. To get to the FA cup semi-final in 2006 you needed only just 1 away ticket point to get hold of one of the 19,000 tickets West Ham were allocated. Then, for the final, every fan that bought a ticket to the semi was able to get a ticket for the final in Cardiff.

Fast forward 13 years and with the club increasing season ticket holders from the average around 21,000 up to the max of 26,000 at the Boleyn to the current tally of 57,000 at the OS. that rise in fan base naturally brings with it a demand for away tickets. Another factor as well is that away tickets are capped at £30 where before the cap was brought in you could pay up to £55 for Arsenal away.

The club’s system has been criticised by some as not being fair in the way they distribute away tickets, especially recently with the introduction of the 10% ballot. Every away game you attend, you are given 1 point. The club now also award points for attending home cup games. This is done to try to increase the attendance for generally unattractive home games in the early rounds of the cups.

It seems now, though, that getting an away ticket (from the club) is a closed shop, with fans that have managed to build up their points to a level possibly buying for games they know they can’t attend. They do this to accumulate the point knowing they can easily sell the ticket on. With many fans feeling locked out, most are either new or fans coming back to attending. Add into that the fact the large and growing international support that book trips over in the hope of attending as many games as possible while in the country for their visit, many are calling on the club to do something to distribute the tickets more fairly.

But what is fair? After all, in life, as one group of fans gain access so does another group possibly lose access.

The club currently has 700 away season tickets, then the 800 bondholders have first dibs on buying, a percentage is put aside for corporate fans as well before the point holders get a chance, With 10% put aside for the ballot, that leaves generally around 50% of the seats available to the point holders. Academy members have no chance let alone general sale buyers.

What is the answer? What do you think is the fairest way to distribute away tickets? Please tell me in the comments section.

On the 2nd of October, I have been invited to attend the ticketing subgroup of the OSAB, and I want to know what as many West Ham fans as possible think on this, and I will do my best to put that to the clubs representatives at the meeting. I’m not a member of the OSAB so I’m not constrained by it or the club.

One thing I will say, WHUISA and Hammers United are the two Independent fan groups looking to represent fans as a whole in dealings with the club. As a result of their insistence of talking to the club their way and not the club’s way, they won’t have anyone at the meeting to put across their members thoughts to the ticketing department. In my opinion, that is a mistake. Fan representation should be about getting your members’ voices heard by the club, by whatever means is open to you. I won’t darken WHUISAs doorstep ever again while the current charlatans are in charge, they are not interested in representing members, just themselves and their opinions.

The OSAB is not great but at the moment it is the only way to walk in the door, so I will do that. I will give my take on ticketing and more important use what I read below to put to the club as well.

I will naturally report back next week on the meeting outcome, unedited by the club that’s for sure.


Match Thread

Match Thread: Oxford United v West Ham

Oxford United v West Ham
Carabao Cup
Kassam Stadium
KO 7.45pm
TV: None
Radio: WHUFC.com

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


Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Oxford v West Ham

Blast from the past

West Ham United have met Oxford United in the League Cup on three previous occasions. The first of these meetings was in the fourth round in east London in front of 20,530 on the 18th November 1986, the day Ian Brady and Myra Hindley confessed to the murders of Pauline Reade and Keith Bennett over 20 years after their Moors Murders convictions. Berlin were number one with ‘Take My Breath Away’, Woody Allen and Michael Caine were in UK cinemas in Hannah and Her Sisters and four days later, the first-ever episode of ITV’s Beadle’s About was aired.

The Hammers emerged victorious against Maurice Evans’ Oxford in this all-First Division encounter with a 1-0 win. Indeed, Oxford were League Cup holders having won the competition in its last season as the Milk Cup before its rebranding as the Littlewoods Cup in this 1986/87 campaign. The visitors had the game’s first opportunity after just 32 seconds when former Hammer Ray Houghton scampered clear but clipped the outside of Phil Parkes’ left-hand upright. Alan Dickens and Frank McAvennie both fired wide for the hosts before the latter saw a fiercely-struck shot from distance well held by Oxford ‘keeper Steve Hardwick. McAvennie again shot wide when well-placed in the penalty area before Mark Ward’s cross created a mini-melee which neither McAvennie nor Tony Cottee could profit from.

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The second half began in similar fashion with McAvennie slicing a volley wide. A deft touch from Cottee (pictured above) was patted away by Hardwick before delightful build-up play involving Alan Devonshire, Kevin Keen, Ward and George Parris saw Ward flash a cross across the six-yard box which again eluded Cottee and McAvennie. The Hammers kept probing, with Keen denied by Hardwick, but calamitous defending by Paul Hilton, Parris and Tony Gale presented Dave Leworthy with a chance which was well-saved low down to his right by Parkes. The breakthrough finally came with ten minutes remaining – Ward found McAvennie who was brought down for a penalty which was converted by Cottee in the absence of regular spot-kick king Ray Stewart. TC would go on to be the Irons’ top scorer in 1986/87 with 29 goals from 54 matches. It wasn’t to be McAvennie’s night as his late back-post header was superbly clawed out by Hardwick. The highlights from this match can be viewed in my video below.

John Lyall’s Hammers progressed to the quarter-finals, where they were knocked out by Tottenham, losing the replay 5-0 at White Hart Lane after a 1-1 draw at Upton Park. Arsenal would win the 1987 League Cup, beating Liverpool 2-1 in the Final courtesy of a Charlie Nicholas brace. Billy Bonds was voted Hammer of the Year for the fourth time, with Mark Ward runner-up.

West Ham United: Phil Parkes, George Parris, Tony Gale, Paul Hilton, Steve Walford (Billy Bonds), Mark Ward, Alan Dickens, Alan Devonshire, Kevin Keen, Tony Cottee, Frank McAvennie.

Aside from this fourth round victory in 1986, West Ham’s remaining League Cup record against Oxford is as follows:
1990 – Oxford 2-1 West Ham (3rd round)
2010 – West Ham 1-0 Oxford (2nd round)

Club Connections

Robert Hall welcomes his former club to the Kassam Stadium. Others who have turned out for West Ham United and Oxford United include:

Goalkeeper – Tony Parks.

Defender – Andy Melville.

Midfielders – Ray Houghton, Marcus Browne, Josh Payne.

Strikers – Toni Martinez, David Connolly, Manny Omoyinmi.

Today’s focus though is on a player who joined West Ham United in the latter stages of his career before going on to finish his career at Oxford United. Rufus Brevett was born in Derby on the 24th September 1969 and started his career at Doncaster before joining QPR in 1991. After seven years at Loftus Road, Brevett moved to west London neighbours Fulham. A committed left-back standing at 5’8 tall, Brevett moved to relegation-threatened West Ham in January 2003 at the age of 33 on a two-and-a-half year contract. With Nigel Winterburn ruled out with a wrist injury, Brevett was signed by Glenn Roeder for an undisclosed fee on transfer deadline day, passing a medical at 5am and finalising his transfer at lunchtime so he could be registered in time to make his debut against Liverpool, which he did as a substitute in a 3-0 defeat at Upton Park on the 2nd February 2003. Brevett made the left-back position his own and the added experience offered by him and fellow January recruit and former QPR team-mate Les Ferdinand almost helped the Hammers pull off an incredible escape.

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As it was, the Irons were relegated but worse luck was to follow for Brevett. In just the second league game of 2003/04, at home against Sheffield United, an innocuous slip forced Brevett off after just 29 minutes – it was later revealed that he had broken a bone in his foot and he was initially ruled out for five months, although a further operation meant he would not play again that season.

Brevett made his long-awaited comeback on the opening day of the 2004/05 season at Leicester – Alan Pardew’s Hammers gained a point in a 0-0 draw but Brevett was sent off in the closing minutes for a second bookable offence. The left-back had received his first yellow card for an altercation with Dion Dublin in the 18th minute which resulted in the Leicester striker being dismissed. Happier times were round the corner for Brevett, however, as he scored his only Hammers goal on the 21st August 2004, the third goal in a 3-2 win at Crewe. Brevett’s strike from distance after 30 minutes took a deflection on its way in – the game also saw future Hammer Dean Ashton score twice for the hosts. Brevett’s final game in claret and blue came on the 2nd November 2004 in a 4-1 defeat at Cardiff. Following Stuart Pearce, Winterburn and Brevett, Chris Powell had become the latest veteran left-back to sign for West Ham and Brevett was finding first-team opportunities to be limited. After scoring one goal in 29 appearances, he moved on to Plymouth.

After a handful of appearances for Plymouth, Brevett moved to Leicester for a two-month loan spell. Thereafter he dropped into the Conference and moved to non-league Oxford, signing for Jim Smith’s newly-relegated side in September 2006. Brevett made 21 league appearances for Oxford as they finished second to Dagenham & Redbridge in the race for automatic promotion back to League Two, but lost to Exeter on penalties in the play-off semi-finals. Brevett opted to pull down the curtain on his playing career at the end of the campaign.

Since his retirement, Brevett was briefly sporting director at Swindon before a period as assistant manager at Bedfont. From November 2013 to December 2014 he was manager and director of football at Arlesey Town before being made first-team coach at Banbury United in February 2015. He returned to football management at Combined Counties League side Hanworth Villa between May 2016 and December 2018. Brevett turned 50 yesterday and currently teaches PE at an Oxfordshire school.

Referee

Wednesday’s referee will be Merseyside-based Robert Jones, who will take on his first ever senior Hammers appointment – his only other match involving West Ham was the 3-1 win for our Under-21 side at Bristol Rovers in the EFL Trophy in October 2017. Toni Martinez, a player with West Ham and Oxford connections, converted a penalty in that match.

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Jones has refereed seven matches so far in 2019/20 – five in the Championship and two in the League Cup. He has dished out 27 yellow cards in those seven games and awarded three penalties.

Possible line-ups

Oxford United manager Karl Robinson should have centre-back Elliott Moore available after the Leicester Academy product recovered from a back spasm. Former Hammer Robert Hall, an unused substitute in the 6-0 win at Lincoln at the weekend, could come into the side. Right-back Sam Long, midfielders George Thorne, Shandon Baptiste and Mark Sykes, and winger Anthony Forde are also in contention as Robinson looks to shuffle his squad and prioritise Saturday’s League One game against Gillingham. The club also have a 19-year-old centre-back on their books by the name of Sam Allardyce. Another 19-year-old, Welsh international Ben Woodburn, is on loan from Liverpool. Striker Jamie Mackie has played in the Premier League for QPR. Oxford are currently 12th in the third tier – they beat Peterborough 1-0 at home in the first round and secured this tie with the Hammers by beating Millwall on penalties at the Kassam Stadium in the second round. It’s 21 years since Oxford reached the fourth round of the League Cup.

West Ham United have Winston Reid and Michail Antonio on the injury list, while Ryan Fredericks and Manuel Lanzini are unlikely to be risked. Arthur Masuaku is available after suspension. It is five years since the Hammers were knocked out of the League Cup by a lower division side, when Sheffield United won on penalties at the Boleyn Ground in the second round in 2014.

Possible Oxford United XI: Eastwood; Long, Mousinho, Moore, Ruffels; Thorne, Baptiste, Sykes; Hall, Mackie, Forde.

Possible West Ham United XI: Roberto; Zabaleta, Balbuena, Diop, Masuaku; Sanchez, Wilshere; Snodgrass, Fornals, Holland; Ajeti.

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!


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