Talking Point

Suitors for a West Ham takeover

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Talks of a possible West Ham takeover are doing the rounds online this week with a suggestion we could see a move from an investor soon ready to test the owners resolve.

Below are some possible suitors for a takeover:

RedBall Acquisition Corp

The former Premier League boss Richard Scudamore has been appointed to the board of a US-listed company that has been set up to invest in European football, with a Premier League club understood to be top of its wish list.

The RedBall Acquisition Corp’s founders had been hoping to raise $500 million in an initial public offering (IPO) last week but high demand from investors meant underwriters sold another $75 million’s worth of shares, bringing the total to $575 million (almost £440 million).

The special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), which is registered in the Cayman Islands, started trading on the New York Stock Exchange this week, with a current share price just over the initial offer of $10.

Also known as blank-check companies, SPACs are publicly listed shell companies created to buy or merge with another company, with the money raised from an IPO.

Kapital Football Group

American investor Joseph DaGrosa Jr., chairman of Kapital Football Group (KFG), has already started ownership discussions with two Premier League clubs — although confidentiality agreements mean he can’t disclose who — and is poised to advance his plans with ownership platform KFG.
He calls the Premier League the “granddaddy of them all” when it comes to investing in football — “the league that people around the world look to for quality of play and that has the best recognition.”

Similar to Manchester City and City Football Group, KFG hopes to build a portfolio of clubs around the world, centered on an anchor club in one of Europe’s top leagues.
“We’re not overly concerned if a club is losing money, particularly in the Covid-19 environment,” DaGrosa tells CNN Sport.
“We understand the world has changed but we want to make sure that the club is positioned for on-field success which will ultimately lead to financial success.

Redbull GmbH

David Gold quashed reports of a potential takeover of the club from Red Bull earlier this year.
The global brand has been linked with a buyout of the Hammers in the past but nothing materialised.
Back in 2016, reports claimed David Sullivan and Gold turned down a £650m approach from Red Bull, but this was denied. In 2017, Red Bull’s global head of football Oliver Mintzlaff flatly rejected any suggestion they had made a takeover bid. “I should really know about this in my function because I’d be actively involved in it,” he said at the time.
Rumours resurfaced earlier this year online.

UAE investment group

The Daily Mail reported that there has been interest in the club from a high-powered and un yet United Arab Emirates group
The Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment (ADUG) is a United Arab Emirates (UAE) based private equity company owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan who is a member of the Abu Dhabi Royal Family and Minister of Presidential Affairs for the UAE.

The primary interest of the group is its 78% majority ownership of City Football Group which owns Manchester City
Premier League rules would forbid the ownership of a second Premier League club.

Tripp Smith Consortium

West Ham director Tripp Smith, who bought a 10 per cent stake in the club with personal funds three years ago, is putting together a US consortium with a view to buying a controlling interest it was claimed by the Daily Mail.

The consortium rumours started in 2017 and have persisted ever since without any real substance and credibility.
Tripp Smith is not a billionaire which every report claims, he is a multi-millionaire but does not make Forbes rich list, the US version of the rich. Smith is also no longer in charge of financial firm Blackstone which manages billions in assets as is often claimed, he stepped down in 2019.

Often linked as a potential investor to the potential consortium was Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen who sadly passed away last year. The Seattle Seahawks owner died aged 65 from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Todd Boehly

American billionaire Todd Boehly told Bloomberg back in September what he finds so appealing about the Premier League and discusses the chances of his buying one of its football clubs. He told how football is the biggest sport in the world and says the passion that the fans have for the sport and the teams is unparalleled. He goes on to say that the Premier League has no competition in the American Saturday morning TV sports schedule.

The businessman is no stranger to London as he studied at the London School of Economics. Chelsea and Spurs were both linked with potential takeovers by the American last summer with a $3billion bid for Chelsea turned down by their Russian owner.

Boehly is the chairman, chief executive officer and controlling member of Eldridge Industries, which is a private investment firm and the former president of Guggenheim Partners. He owns 20% of the LA Dodgers and part-owner of the LA sparks and is said to have a net worth of £4.72 billion. Boehly spent his early career at Credit Suisse First Boston which is where West Ham 10% shareholder Tripp Smith also worked prior to founding GSO Capital Partners.

Comolli led consortium

A report suggested ex-Liverpool technical director and former Spurs director of football Damien Comolli was looking to buy the Hammers.
Liverpool’s technical director is reportedly heading an American consortium looking to buy a Premier League club. The Frenchman was an influential figure in English football between 1996 and 2012 as he worked for Arsenal, Spurs and then Liverpool in various recruitment and strategic roles. But his last direct involvement with any Premier League club was at Liverpool. That spell ended after just two years.

Saudi Arabia consortium

The Saudi consortium headed up by mega-rich Mohammad Bin Salman has been linked with a potential takeover of West Ham in the past (Football Insider).
Amanda Staveley’s consortium is having trouble sealing a deal for Newcastle United which is backed the Saudi Arabian crown sovereign wealth fund, in conjunction with property magnates Simon and David Reuben

If they can’t conclude a deal for Newcastle it would be surprising that they could turn their attentions to West Ham.

Qatar Investment Fund

A report in the Daily Telegraph in 2019 claimed that the Qatari Royal family are looking at the possibility of buying an English club has increased speculation that West Ham could be a target. Qatar Sports Investments which owns PSG is chaired by Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who is also PSG’s president. The report claimed QSI was exploring whether it makes sense to buy a club in England to expand its portfolio to challenge in the Premier League

Uefa rules forbid two clubs in a European club competition, such as the Champions League or Europa League, being directly or indirectly controlled by the same entity however this would not be a problem if the Qataris used a different vehicle other than QSI. In 2016 a Daily Mail story suggested that West Ham are a target of a Qatari takeover however rumours were at that time denied.

CAA – Creative Artists Agency

Perhaps one of the most random suggestions is that CAA have their eyes on West Ham takeover.
It is an American talent and sports agency based in Los Angeles, California in the US and is regarded as the most dominant and influential company in the talent agency business and manages numerous clients.

They are rumoured to want to move into the sports team business and have the ambition to own a Premier League club.


Predictor League Competition

Predictor League Result - StepneyPhil is MatchDay One Leader

The Predictor League Results are in. Here’s how this season’s matches are scored…

Pick 11 players 44 (4 points each for each correct selection)
Pick 7 subs 14 (2 points each)
Half time West Ham goals 2
Half time opposition goals 2
Full time West Ham goals 5
Full time opposition goals 5
Win loss draw 5
First goalscorer in 1st half 5
First goalscorer in 2nd half 5
First substitute used 5
Second substitute used 4
Third substitute used 4

If you click HERE you can see the outcome of the Newcastle game. StepneyPhil scored 79 points and leads the field after matchday 1. If you click on anyone’s entry you can see what they predicted. I’m in an embarrassing 122nd position with 52 points. Mind you, Keithy, who brings up the rear in 166th place only managed a paltry 27 points.

On Tuesday night we play Charlton Athletic in the Caraboa Cup. The Predictor League is now open to receive your predictions HERE.

Even if you didn’t enter the first match, do still put a team in for these matches as everyone is bound to miss the odd game, and there is always a single match leaderboard as well as a cumulative one.

And remember, you need to sign up for the new site, before you can enter a prediction. You can do that HERE.


David Hautzig's Match Report

West Ham 0, Newcastle 2. The March Towards The Championship Begins.

I don’t need to start this with a complaint about the incompetence of our owners. Been there, done that. Won’t make any difference anyway. We are stuck with them apparently, so whatever. And despite my snarky title above, I don’t think relegation has been confirmed just yet. Instead I want to lodge an official complaint against my USA broadcaster, NBC, and their new Peacock app. Costs me $5 per month, which is fine. What’s not fine is that it does not permit me to play through my television with an HDMI cable. I tried mirroring with my older Apple TV but that was a bust. I had to settle for watching on my iPad at my desk while typing on the computer. A far cry from a 65 inch flat screen and a comfy couch. Yeah, boo f-ing hoo for me considering the current state of the world. Guess I’m just having a moan. Very West Ham of me.

It was interesting to hear the banter between Robbie Earle, Robbie Mustoe, and Rebecca Lowe on NBC. They collectively said that both West Ham and Newcastle are too big to constantly be near the bottom of the table. “They should be the Leicester and Wolves” said Lowe. Mustoe then wondered aloud if perhaps the ownership for West Ham was the problem.

Ya think?

Callum Wilson is our new Lukaku, in that he seemingly scores every time he plays against us. With his injury record I can’t blame Moyes or anyone else in Stratford for staying away. In the 4th minute, Wilson got on the end of a decent cross from Lewis but his header went wide. Moments later Shelvey started a counter attack that ended in a Newcastle corner when Diop sent a cross out behind the goal. The delivery went into the box, and chaos seemed to ensue. A shot went off Fabianski, but the flag went up so the fear we all felt was unnecessary. For the moment, at least.

West Ham had their first opportunity in the 14th minute after Hayden fouled Antonio, giving the home side a free kick 35 yards from goal. Noble floated a ball in to the box, and Ogbonna ran onto it and headed it off the bar.

For all of the talk about Cresswell needing to be replaced, Bournemouth attacked our right backs last week. And Newcastle did the same again in the 21st minute when Lewis sent a low cross to Wilson who got a toe to it but sent it wide. Two minutes later they won a free kick 25 yards out, but Shelvey’s attempt took a deflection and flew straight into Fabianski’s arms. Moments after that Newcastle attacked again, this time going at Cresswell, and Ogbonna put the delivery out for a corner. The set piece found Man Bun all alone in the box, but his header went over the bar.

The first 25 minutes could be summed up pretty neatly. West Ham were anemic. Slow. Plodding. We made Newcastle look like a top four side. And a draw felt like the best we could possibly hope for.

The Hammers showed a sign of life in the 29th minute when Fredericks put a quick cross into the box. Soucek rose above the crowd, and when he put his forehead through the delivery I thought I’d see the net ripple. Instead it went wide. A minute later Rice lost the ball and launched Newcastle on a counter. The ball went wide to Shelvey, who tried to beat Fabianski at the near post but hit the side netting instead. A moment later Man Bun did well to chest down a pass near the top of the 18 yard box and after one touch tried a volley that took a deflection and went out for a corner.

West Ham thought it had a shout for a penalty in the 34th minute when a poor Fredericks cross somehow found Fornals, whose shot went off the bar after what was thought to be a handball by Lascelles. VAR said no. Seconds later a truly horrific back-pass by the same young Spaniard set Saint Maximin on a run, with Fredericks in pursuit. Amazingly, Fredericks played defense like a defender, forced Saint Maximin off the ball, and eventually West Ham cleared.

Halftime
West Ham 0
Newcastle 0

In the final seconds of the opening forty five minutes, Declan Rice went in for a tackle near midfield. He did not get back up right away, so when he walked out onto the pitch for the second half there was a notable sense of relief.

The inevitable happened in the 56th minute when Manquillo broke down the right and sent a cross into the West Ham box. It took a slight deflection, and guess who was there to tap it in? Could Fabianski have done better? Who the hell knows, but he does look to have lost something since his injury last season.

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West Ham 0
Newcastle 1

Moyes made a double switch in the 67th minute, removing Noble and Fornals while inserting Haller and Yarmolenko. Seconds later, Antonio won a corner and Haller got on the end of it. His attempt on goal was blocked by what looked to be the arm of Hendrick. VAR had a look, and disagreed with Moyes, Haller, and everyone else in Claret & Blue.

West Ham pressed as well as they could for a leveler, but every attempt looked half baked. Rice ran into a crowd, a Cresswell delivery on a corner found nobody in the box, nor did a second corner from Yarmolenko. A header from Haller was weak and no trouble for Darlow. There was virtually no movement from anyone up front for The Hammers, who looked disjointed and out of sync, as if all of the optimism from our decent end to last season was undone. Only one shot on target all game was a testament to that.

Newcastle took full advantage of that, and in the 87th minute Hendrick put the match to bed with a shot from inside the box that Cresswell did absolutely nothing to prevent.

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Full Time
West Ham 0
Newcastle 2

Two teams that historically do very poorly on the opening day of the season got together, and unsurprisingly the team that had been in the papers for absurd levels of drama capitulated. It’s ridiculous to seriously say we will go down after one match. West Ham often pull some surprise wins out of the hat to counteract their more plentiful shock losses. But the West Ham players looked demoralized. Lost.

A lot like us supporters.

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Match Thread

Match Thread: West Ham v Newcastle United

West Ham v Newcastle United
FA Premier League
London Stadium
KO 8pm
TV: Sky Sports
Radio: BBC Five Live

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


Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v Newcastle

Blast from the past

Saturday 24th March 1979 – Gloria Gaynor was number one with ‘I Will Survive’, Every Which Way But Loose topped the UK box office and Porridge star Richard Beckinsale had passed away five days earlier at the tragically young age of 31. Meanwhile, Newcastle made the long trek south to take on the Hammers in front of 24,650 at the Boleyn Ground.

West Ham went into the game having failed to score in their previous three Second Division matches but took the lead after 20 minutes when John McDowell’s break through midfield saw the ball end up at the feet of winger Alan Devonshire, who brilliantly beat two men with nimble footwork and sublime close control before calmly slotting the ball past Steve Hardwick. It was 2-0 soon after when Trevor Brooking’s inch-perfect pass found Bryan ‘Pop’ Robson in the clear and the former Newcastle man finished with unerring ease.

The Irons had a third when Frank Lampard’s shot from distance was deflected in before the 27-year-old McDowell (pictured) made it 4-0 before half-time, finishing left-footed with a first-time strike from Pat Holland’s cross. Brooking’s afternoon ended early due to injury but McDowell scored his second, and the Hammers’ fifth, in the second half, snapping up a loose ball in midfield before cracking home a low left-footed strike into the far corner of Hardwick’s goal – it was his first (and only) two-goal haul for the club and proved to be his last ever goal in claret and blue before a move to Norwich later that year. By the time he transferred to Carrow Road he had made 303 appearances for West Ham United, scoring nine goals. All the goals from this game can be viewed in my video below.

Newcastle’s Kenny Wharton made his debut as a substitute in this match, replacing Nigel Walker – Gateshead-born Walker sadly passed away in 2014, from cancer at the age of 54.

John Lyall’s Hammers, who had been relegated at the end of the previous season, went on to finish in fifth place in the 1978/79 Division Two season, while Bill McGarry’s Newcastle ended up eighth. Crystal Palace topped the Second Division, Liverpool won the league title and Arsenal won the FA Cup.

West Ham United: Phil Parkes, Frank Lampard, Billy Bonds, Alvin Martin, Paul Brush, Pat Holland, John McDowell, Trevor Brooking (Geoff Pike), Alan Devonshire, David Cross, Bryan ‘Pop’ Robson.

Newcastle United: Steve Hardwick, Irving Nattrass, John Bird, Kenny Mitchell, John Brownlie, Terry Hibbitt, Nigel Walker (Kenny Wharton), Mick Martin, John Connolly, Alan Shoulder, Peter Withe.

Club Connections

West Ham United and Newcastle United have shared a multitude of personnel over the years. Stuart Pearce and Kevin Nolan played for both clubs and the pair are now on the Hammers’ coaching staff. Andy Carroll could play for the visitors against his old club. A brief run-through of others who have represented both clubs is best served by dividing them by playing position.

Goalkeepers: Shaka Hislop, Pavel Srnicek and Ike Tate.

Defenders: Tommy Bamlett, Abdoulaye Faye, Wayne Quinn, Dave Gardner, Dickie Pudan and James Jackson.

Midfielders: Scott Parker, Lee Bowyer, Rob Lee, Mohamed Diame, Nolberto Solano, Kieron Dyer and Franz Carr.

Strikers: James Loughlin, Paul Goddard, Les Ferdinand, John Dowsey, Bryan ‘Pop’ Robson, Justin Fashanu, Demba Ba, Marlon Harewood, David Kelly, Keith Robson, Vic Keeble, Craig Bellamy and Paul Kitson.

Chris Hughton also played for the Hammers and managed the Magpies while Sam Allardyce has managed both clubs. Glenn Roeder also played for Newcastle and managed both clubs.

This week’s focus though is on another man who has managed both clubs. Alan Pardew was born in Wimbledon on 18th July 1961 – a former glazier, Pardew signed for Crystal Palace from non-league Yeovil in 1987 at the age of 25 and remained at the club for four years. He signed for Charlton in 1991 and scored the winning goal against West Ham in August 1992. He had a brief loan spell at Tottenham in the summer of 1995, featuring for them in the InterToto Cup, before moving to Barnet.

Pardew moved into management with Reading, first as caretaker manager in March 1998 before landing the job permanently a year later after the departure of Tommy Burns. Having lost the 2001 Second Division Play-Off Final, Pardew took Reading up automatically the following season and followed that up with another play-off position finish in the First Division in 2003.

Following the sacking of Glenn Roeder in August 2003, West Ham courted Pardew’s services but were given short shrift by Reading chairman John Madejski who, when Pardew resigned his position, enforced a period of gardening leave on his former employee. With Trevor Brooking steering the ship capably in a caretaker role, the 42-year-old Pardew eventually became West Ham’s tenth permanent manager in October 2003. He drew his first game at home 1-1 against Nottingham Forest, with Jermain Defoe’s header equalising Andy Reid’s long-range effort. He had to wait until his eighth game in all competitions for his first win, which arrived on 29th November 2003 against Wigan who were thrashed 4-0. An impressive comeback from 2-0 down to win 3-2 against Sunderland a month later kept the Hammers’ promotion push alive.

Pardew lost Defoe to Tottenham in January 2004 but ensured Bobby Zamora came to the Boleyn as part of the deal. Zamora joined fellow Pardew signings Hayden Mullins, Brian Deane and Harewood in east London, while three new faces would arrive from Wimbledon in the shape of Nigel Reo-Coker, Adam Nowland and Jobi McAnuff. Andy Melville arrived from Premier League Fuham, with Ian Pearce moving to Craven Cottage. England goalkeeper David James departed for Manchester City.

Pardew’s men dumped Premier League Wolves out of the FA Cup at Molineux in the fourth round courtesy of goals from Deane, Harewood and David Connolly but would be defeated in a fifth round replay by Fulham. The Irons finished fourth in the First Division, 12 points behind the automatic promotion places, but would defeat Ipswich in the Play-Off Semi-Final second leg at a raucous, rocking, revitalised Upton Park – Matthew Etherington and Christian Dailly scoring the goals on a night few who were there will ever forget. Pardew’s interest in the psychology of the crowd played a part in building the atmosphere before kick-off. After such a wonderful display against Ipswich, the Play-Off Final was a damp squib, Crystal Palace defeating the Hammers 1-0 in Cardiff.

The Hammers started 2004/05 in the newly-named Championship with England international Teddy Sheringham added to their ranks but Michael Carrick was to move to Tottenham. Jimmy Walker, Malky Mackay, Chris Powell, Luke Chadwick, Shaun Newton, Carl Fletcher, Gavin Williams and Sergei Rebrov also joined the club that season. Pardew also put his faith in youth, handing a debut to a young Mark Noble and finishing the campaign with Academy products Anton Ferdinand and Elliott Ward as his first-choice centre-back pairing.

The Hammers endured a difficult campaign, although along the way they won at eventual title winners Sunderland through Harewood and Sheringham strikes and also tore up Ipswich’s unbeaten home record on New Year’s Day, Harewood again scoring alongside Etherington. Premier League Norwich were also knocked out of the FA Cup in the third round before Sheffield United defeated the Irons on penalties in the next round. West Ham sneaked into the Play-Offs with a final-day win at Watford, ending the season in sixth place just ahead of Pardew’s former club Reading. A Zamora-inspired 2-0 win at Ipswich in the second leg of the Play-Off Semi-Final ensured a 4-2 aggregate triumph and the Hammers weren’t to be denied a second time, securing promotion in Cardiff with a 1-0 win over Preston with Zamora notching the winner.

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A ninth-placed Premier League season followed, Pardew’s boys starting with a 3-1 comeback win at home against Blackburn before Aston Villa were downed by a Harewood hat-trick. New signings Roy Carroll, the returning Shaka Hislop, Danny Gabbidon, Paul Konchesky and Yossi Benayoun were settling in nicely, Benayoun rounding off the aforementioned win over Villa with the fourth goal in a 4-0 win. Pardew again showed his eye for a goalscorer by breaking the club’s transfer record to sign Dean Ashton in January 2006 and the Hammers enjoyed a run to the FA Cup Final for the first time in 26 years, beating Norwich, Blackburn, Bolton, Manchester City and Middlesbrough along the way before Liverpool agonisingly defeated the Hammers on penalties in Cardiff. League wins at Highbury and against Tottenham to deny Spurs a place in the Champions League (helped in some small part by a dodgy lasagne) made 2005/06 a season to remember. Pardew was mere minutes away from lifting the FA Cup which had also eluded him as a Crystal Palace player in 1990.

The summer of 2006 saw quantity but a lack of quality arrive at the club with Tyrone Mears, Jonathan Spector and John Paintsil all signed to contest the right-back spot. Rob Green was an inspired signing in goal, George McCartney and Carlton Cole would serve the club well and Lee Bowyer added experience in midfield. The astonishing signings of Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez, alongside a takeover of the club by Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson and Eggert Magnusson, destabilised the club however. The Hammers went seven games without a goal and 11 without a win in all competitions, being knocked out of the UEFA Cup by Palermo and the League Cup by lowly Chesterfield. The crowd showed their support for the manager by chanting ‘Alan Pardew’s Claret and Blue Army’ before a 2-1 win over Blackburn, while a late 1-0 win over Arsenal in November 2006 saw Pards and Arsene Wenger have a much-publicised spat on the touchline.

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Pardew was sacked during the week after a 4-0 defeat at Sam Allardyce’s Bolton on 9th December 2006. He was replaced by former Hammer Alan Curbishley. Pardew was appointed manager of former club Charlton on Christmas Eve but, despite a 4-0 win over Curbishley’s West Ham in February 2007, could not keep the Addicks in the top flight. He went on to manage Southampton before making a Premier League return at Newcastle in December 2010 at the age of 49, replacing former Hammer Chris Hughton. His new side beat Liverpool 3-1 at St James’ Park in his first game and, a month later, defeated the Hammers 5-0 on Tyneside. He led them to a 12th placed finish, while Avram Grant’s West Ham would be relegated. Pardew made impressive progress with the Magpies, securing a fifth-placed finish in 2011/12 and winning the Premier League Manager of the Season Award and the League Managers’ Association Manager of the Year Award.

Newcastle slumped to 16th the following season but improved to finish tenth in 2013/14. The Magpies made a difficult start to 2014/15 but, despite fan protests, Pardew led the club to six consecutive victories before deciding to move to former club Crystal Palace. Newcastle would be relegated the following season, while the Eagles were safe in 15th and made the FA Cup Final, which Pardew would again lose. He took over as manager at West Brom in November 2017 but could not halt the Baggies’ slide to the Championship and he left The Hawthorns in April 2018. Now 59, Pardew was most recently manager of Dutch club Den Haag for a spell last season.

Referee

The referee on Saturday will be Stuart Attwell. The Birmingham-based official will take charge of a West Ham game for the twelfth time – he has sent off a Hammers striker in two of his other 11 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 37-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 in October 2018. Attwell awarded a dubious match-winning penalty to Manchester City at the Etihad in February 2019 and also refereed our 3-0 home win over Southampton three months later. His Hammers appointments last season were our 2-2 draw at Bournemouth in September 2019, our 3-2 home defeat to today’s opponents Newcastle last November and, most recently, in our 1-0 FA Cup fourth round defeat to West Brom in January.

The VAR Official is Peter Bankes.

Possible line-ups

West Ham United are set to hand debuts to the grand total of zero new signings on the opening day of this new Premier League season. Manuel Lanzini is a doubt but Tomas Soucek has been passed fit. The Hammers have scored two or more goals in each of their past five Premier League games against the Magpies, although they failed to win either of last season’s meetings. Declan Rice is set to play his 100th Premier League match.

Newcastle United are without Martin Dubravka, Ciaran Clark, Fabian Schar, Paul Dummett, Matthew Longstaff and Dwight Gayle. Matt Ritchie, Jonjo Shelvey and Ryan Fraser are doubts. The Magpies could give debuts to new signings Jamal Lewis, Jeff Hendrick, the aforementioned Fraser and Callum Wilson – former Bournemouth striker Wilson has scored seven goals in eight top-flight matches against West Ham.

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

Possible Newcastle XI: Darlow; Manquillo, Lascelles, Fernandez, Lewis; Hayden, Shelvey; Almiron, Sean Longstaff, Saint-Maximin; Wilson.

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!


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