Your existing log in details from this site will NOT be carried over.You have to SIGN UP before you can LOG IN. To be clear, the new site will not recognise your login details for this site.
So please register your current on screen user name, and follow the instructions. You will receive an email asking you to verify. Your account will then be ready to use. If you don’t receive an email, I will verify it for you, but please do let me know if you don’t. Check your Spam/Junk folder too. Each day I will look through the signups and manually approve anyone who appears genuine! Remember, without a verified account you will not be able to comment or take part in the Predictor League.
Once you are verified, you will be taken to the Predictor League page for the Newcastle game. You will see it’s a little different to the old one with a few extra fields to fill in. Each match will score you a maximum of 100 points.
Whenever something new is launched there are inevitably one or two glitches, so please do email me email@example.com or leave a comment here if you notice anything going wrong.
We’re now working on completing the rest of the site, but this was the most complex bit so had to come first. So for the time being, both sites will be operated in parallel.
NOTE: Please only comment on this thread if it relates to the new site. If you want to comment on West Ham related issues please use the post below from Dan Coker.
UPDATE: If you are getting an Error 404 response, it is almost certainly because you haven’t obeyed the above instructions. To repeat, you have to create a NEW account. You cannot sign in with your existing username and password.
Stan Earle was born on this day 123 years ago, on the 6th September 1897, in Stratford and played for England Schoolboys before signing as an amateur with Clapton. He played there with future Hammers team-mate Viv Gibbins but also turned out for Arsenal, still as an amateur, between 1922 and 1924. He played four games for Arsenal in two years, scoring three goals. Despite such limited playing time with his club, Earle made his international debut for England against France on 17th May 1924. He continued to play for Clapton, winning the 1924 FA Amateur Cup.
Three months after his England debut, Earle signed for West Ham United and scored six goals in 18 games in his first season. He played in 37 of the 42 league games the following season, 1925/26, as the Hammers developed a fine forward line of Earle, Vic Watson and Jimmy Ruffell, the trio notching 41 goals between them that season. Earle impressed sufficiently to earn his second England cap on 22nd October 1927, against Northern Ireland. After eight seasons at the Boleyn Ground, Earle departed at the end of the 1931/32 campaign having scored 58 goals in 273 appearances in all competitions. He ended his career back at Clapton before coaching amateur club Walthamstow Avenue and managing Leyton FC. Earle died in Colchester on the 26th September 1971 at the age of 74.
Happy 53rd Birthday Igor Stimac
Igor Stimac was born 53 years ago today in Metkovic, on 6th September 1967, and began his professional career with Hajduk Split in the mid-1980s. He also had a loan spell at Dinamo Vinkovci. After 64 appearances for Hajduk, the central defender moved to Spanish club Cadiz in 1992.
Stimac returned to Hajduk two years later before signing for Derby in October 1995 for £1.5m, helping the Rams to promotion to the Premier League in his first season. Stimac won 53 caps for Croatia, scoring two goals and appearing for his country at Euro ’96 and the 1998 World Cup.
After four years in the east Midlands, Stimac joined West Ham in late August 1999 for £600,000. With the Hammers experiencing a defensive injury crisis, the 32-year-old made his debut in a 1-0 home win over Watford on 11th September 1999. Stimac scored his only goal for the Irons in a 2-2 draw at Newcastle on 3rd January 2000, a match which also saw him captain the team – this goal can be seen in my video below. He was sent off twice for the Hammers – once in a goalless home draw with Chelsea on 18th March 2000 and again in a 1-0 home defeat to Leicester on 23rd August 2000. His final appearance for the club came in a 3-0 home win over Southampton on 5th May 2001. Having made 52 appearances for West Ham, scoring one goal, Stimac returned to his home country for a third spell at Hajduk Split in the summer of 2001.
Stimac became manager of Hajduk Split in 2005 before becoming boss of fellow Croatian side Cibalia the following year. He was named manager of NK Zagreb in 2009, spending a year with the club. Stimac replaced Bilic as Croatia manager in 2012 but, a year later, he tendered his resignation to Davor Suker, his former West Ham and Croatia team-mate and president of the Croatian FA.
Stimac was named manager of Croatian club side Zadar in 2015 but quit after six months. He became head coach of Iranian club Sepahan in November 2015 but resigned in April 2016. He was manager of Qatari club Al-Shahania, joining the side in 2016 before leaving the following year. 53 today, Stimac is currently manager of the Indian national team, a post he has held since May 2019.
Wow. When I found out our friendly today against Bournemouth was televised on ESPN3 (so many ESPN’s I cannot keep track) I had this whole plan to write a report with some funny comments about writers needing match fitness too. And then, almost as if on cue, West Ham took what should have been an utterly innocuous few days and turned it into one the larger s*#t storms in the board’s infamous and relatively failed career in football. And that’s saying something. The bar for such things is pretty high in their world.
While many may disagree with some of this, in my opinion so much of what we have all experienced the past few days is more about what it represents than the actual events. Let’s start with the match that lit the current wild fire, the sale of one Grady Diangana. On it’s face, with zero emotion or history as a factor, one could make the argument that it had merit. He went out on loan to gain time as a first team footballer. In that time, he played very well for West Brom and became a fan favorite. But he also missed a sizable part of the season with a hamstring injury, an injury that has a better than small chance of recurring if The History Of Hamstrings is a textbook you own. West Ham have a cupboard full of only one type of player, and that’s midfielder. Despite his good performance this pre-season, particularly linking up with Haller, that’s still a small sample size on which to make a decision. So some of the evidence points to making the deal with West Brom.
But we all know it’s not that simple. If we hadn’t been told that the move to Stratford would result in changing those hiding fortunes of the club, would there be such an uproar? We were told the move would bring in world class players, yet now the owners say we have no money and that it’s all the fault of the previous manager and his hand picked DOF, who were in charge for less than two seasons. Can we blame Pellegrini for the 170 million spent on strikers over ten years, only to sell those same strikers for 70 million? There’s your 100 million pound debt right there. Or as one person on Twitter said, although I haven’t done the research and math to confirm it, they have taken more out of the club in dividend payments than they have spent on fullbacks since they purchased their initial share in 2010. The list goes on and on. You don’t break up with your partner because they forgot to refill the toilet paper or they ate all the leftover Chinese food that you wanted for lunch. Those transgressions are usually an example of what has been wrong for many, many years.
The same can be said for Mark Noble’s outburst on Twitter yesterday, and the reactions by Rice, Wilshire, and Haller on that platform later. As I said on Twitter last night to my good friend Dan Silver, “I’m 55. I’m no dummy. It doesn’t take rocket science to see through that comment. His saying he’s “angry” was his diplomatic way of saying F-Off to them. It was as good as saying GSB out.” It goes without saying that Mark Noble is West Ham through and through. There is virtually no chance he has not held back comments and feelings during the reign of incompetence we have been witness to. But everyone has a breaking point. That moment where years of anger and hurt just overflow, like a pressure cooker, and they blow. If someone bought my company and over years turned it from one of the most respected wine and spirit distributors in New York into a gimmicky member of the trade that is never spoken about in the same breath as other respected suppliers, I’d likely go ballistic at some point as well. I’d probably quit to be honest. I may not have been able to predict this would be The Captain’s breaking point, but I was neither shocked nor critical of him for doing it. Some have said it was unprofessional and he could be punished for it. OK. He can afford a fine, but I don’t know if he could afford the self loathing he might feel not putting West Ham ahead of those that currently own it.
They need to go. They won’t anytime soon because they possess the dangerous combination of arrogance and stupidity that always leads to doom and destruction.
And we played a meaningless friendly today that might not be so meaningless. The squad looks unsettled now. When you perform as poorly as we did one week before the season opener, conceding five goals to a relegated club, it shines a pretty big spotlight on the issues we all know already exist. And because of the firestorm created in the past 48 hours a normally annoying pre-season result will absolutely turn into a large gas tank poured on the flames.
3rd September 1921, 99 years ago today – east London was very much in the news as the Poplar Rates Revolt caught the public’s imagination. Faced with a massive increase in the rate and with 86,500 unemployed, Poplar Council refused to cut the level of relief to the poor and withheld £270,000 in contributions required by the London County Council (LCC) until the wealthy West End boroughs (who themselves, by comparison, had only 4,500 unemployed) took a fairer share. The council ignored a court order to pay and the majority, led by the Mayor of Poplar and future Labour leader George Lansbury, marched to court backed by thousands of supporters. The councillors, including Nellie Cressall who was six months pregnant, were duly sent to prison.
Two days after this, West Ham United triumphed 3-0 over Stoke City, in front of 20,000 spectators at Upton Park. Faced with a threatened rent strike and enormous popular support for the councillors, the LCC and the Government eventually succumbed and the High Court released them the following month. A mural to the councillors involved in the strike has been in place on the wall of the depot of Tower Hamlets Parks Department on Hale Street, E14, since 1990. Lansbury’s nephew’s grandson is Malcolm Turnbull, the former Prime Minister of Australia.
The Hammers’ goals in that match against the Potters came courtesy of right-half Percy Allen and legendary inside-right Syd Puddefoot, while inside-forward Thomas Jackson made a goalscoring debut for the club. Sunderland-born Jackson (pictured) was to only make two more appearances in claret and blue, in a defeat at Bradford Park Avenue two days later and in a home draw with Leeds in January 1922, without finding the net again.
West Ham would finish the 1921/22 Division Two season in 4th place, while Stoke would end the campaign promoted in second position. Liverpool won the First Division title and Huddersfield won the FA Cup.
West Ham United: Ted Hufton, Jack Hebden, William Cope, Percy Allen, George Kay, Syd Bishop, William Thirlaway, Thomas Jackson, Syd Puddefoot, Stephen Smith, William James.
West Ham 1-0 Liverpool, 3rd September 1962
Our next blast from the past features a 1-0 victory 58 years ago, on the 3rd of September 1962, with West Ham United welcoming the previous campaign’s Second Division title-winners, Liverpool. American poet E. E. Cummings died on this day at the age of 67, Frank Ifield was number one with ‘I Remember You’ and William Holden and Trevor Howard were starring in The Lion in UK cinemas.
The Irons went into the game third bottom of the table after five games – a 3-1 defeat at Aston Villa had been followed by successive heavy home defeats to Wolves (4-1) and Tottenham (6-1) before a 0-0 draw at Wolves in the reverse fixture arrested the slump. A 2-0 defeat at Leyton Orient immediately prior to the visit of Liverpool piled the pressure back on though.
The Hammers scored the only goal of this Monday evening encounter courtesy of 21-year-old Tony Scott. This was the Huntingdon-born right winger’s seventh goal of 19 in his West Ham career, which spanned from 1960 to 1965. The 1962/63 season turned out to be Scott’s best for West Ham as he went on to score ten goals in 34 appearances, this strike against the Reds being the first of them. Scott made 97 appearances in claret and blue before departing for Aston Villa. He went on to play for Torquay, where he played under former Hammer Frank O’Farrell and was reunited with former team-mate John Bond. He followed Bond to Bournemouth, where he also teamed up with another former team-mate in Ken Brown, before finishing his playing days at Exeter. Now 79, Scott lives in Perth, Australia. He is pictured below, on the right, alongside defender Eddie Presland and fellow winger Harry Redknapp.
Ron Greenwood’s West Ham would end the season in 12th place while Bill Shankly’s Liverpool finished in 8th. Bobby Moore won the second of his four Hammer of the Year titles, with Jim Standen voted runner-up. Geoff Hurst was the Irons’ top goalscorer in 1962/63 with 15 goals from 29 appearances. Everton won the First Division title and Manchester United won the FA Cup.
West Ham United: Lawrie Leslie, John Bond, Bobby Moore, Ken Brown, Jack Burkett, Martin Peters, Tony Scott, Phil Woosnam, Johnny Byrne, Geoff Hurst, Malcolm Musgrove.
Liverpool: Jim Furnell, Gerry Byrne, Ron Yeats, Phil Ferns, Ronnie Moran, Gordon Milne, Jimmy Melia, Ian Callaghan, Roger Hunt, Ian St John, Alan A’Court.
Newcastle 2-3 West Ham, 3rd September 1977
West Ham United had opened the 1977/78 campaign with three defeats from their first three games and been knocked out of the League Cup by Nottingham Forest in a 5-0 defeat when they travelled to Newcastle United 43 years ago today, on 3rd September 1977 – Elvis Presley had died just over two weeks previously but was number one with ‘Way Down’, Roger Moore’s James Bond was in UK cinemas in The Spy Who Loved Me and the Hammers bagged maximum points with a 3-2 First Division victory over the Magpies in front of 26,983 at St James’ Park.
The Irons went into the fixture 41 years ago with a major injury crisis (what’s new?!) and were without both Billy Bonds and Trevor Brooking. The visitors found themselves 2-0 down as Newcastle took control through goals from striker Micky Burns and a long-range stunner by Northern Ireland international midfielder Tommy Cassidy. The Hammers pulled one back before half-time, Billy Jennings rifling home a ‘Pop’ Robson cross after expertly controlling on his chest.
West Ham were level within four minutes of the restart when Pat Holland’s low cross was turned in by Alan Taylor. The comeback was complete when Frank Lampard’s free-kick was headed home by Robson (pictured above), returning to his former club. All the goals from this match, plus an interview with John Lyall, can be seen in my video below.
Lyall’s Hammers would end the 1977/78 Division One season in 20th position and were relegated after finishing a solitary point behind QPR, while Newcastle would also suffer the drop as they finished one place and ten points behind the Irons. Robson would be the Hammers’ top scorer with 11 goals from 41 appearances, while Brooking would be voted Hammer of the Year for the fourth time. Nottingham Forest won the league title and Ipswich won the FA Cup.
Newcastle United: Mick Mahoney, Ray Blackhall, John Bird, Kenny Mitchell (Irving Nattrass), Aiden McCaffrey, Alan Kennedy, Graham Oates, Tommy Cassidy, David McLean, Tommy Craig, Micky Burns.
West Ham United: Mervyn Day, Frank Lampard, Kevin Lock, Tommy Taylor, Paul Brush, Alan Curbishley, Pat Holland, Alan Devonshire, Billy Jennings, Alan Taylor, Bryan ‘Pop’ Robson.
Tottenham 0-2 West Ham, 3rd September 1983
Our final match today sees us travel back exactly 37 years, to the 3rd September 1983 – UB40 were number one with ‘Red Red Wine’, Blue Thunder topped the UK box office and, two days later, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe made its debut on British television. Meanwhile, West Ham United secured a 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in front of 38,042 at White Hart Lane.
The Hammers went into this match with a 100% record from their opening two matches of 1983/84 having beaten Birmingham 4-0 on the opening day at the Boleyn Ground before winning 1-0 at Everton. Top of the fledgling First Division table, the Irons made it three wins from three games with Steve Whitton opening the scoring, flashing in a shot on the turn after Alvin Martin had nodded down an Alan Devonshire corner from the left. It was Whitton’s first goal for the club after joining from Coventry – he would score eight goals in 46 appearances for the club before moving to Birmingham in 1986.
27-year-old centre-forward Dave Swindlehurst (pictured above) bagged the second after a flowing move involving Geoff Pike and Ray Stewart ended in Tony Cottee holding off Gary Stevens before digging out a cross which Swindlehurst fired home low beyond Ray Clemence. Both left-backs on display in this game represented both clubs in their careers – 24-year-old Chris Hughton went on to play for West Ham, while 25-year-old Steve Walford had started his career at Tottenham. The goals from this game can be viewed in my video below.
The Hammers remained top of the league until mid-October, winning six of their opening eight matches. The Irons held a top four place until the end of March 1984 but only one win from the final 12 games resulted in a ninth-placed finish. Tottenham finished one place and one point above the Hammers in eighth position and also won the UEFA Cup. Cottee would end the season as the club’s top scorer with 19 goals from 47 appearances and was voted runner-up to Trevor Brooking as Hammer of the Year. Liverpool won the league and Everton won the FA Cup.
Tottenham Hotspur: Ray Clemence, Danny Thomas, Graham Roberts, Gary Stevens, Chris Hughton, Glenn Hoddle (Paul Miller), Gary Mabbutt, Steve Perryman, Tony Galvin, Garth Crooks, Mark Falco.
West Ham United: Phil Parkes, Ray Stewart, Alvin Martin, Billy Bonds, Steve Walford, Steve Whitton, Geoff Pike, Trevor Brooking, Alan Devonshire, Tony Cottee, Dave Swindlehurst.
Happy 56th Birthday Alan Dickens
Alan Dickens was born in Plaistow on 3rd September 1964 and was a member of West Ham United’s FA Youth Cup-winning side in 1981. He gained four England caps at youth level and played for the Under-21s. Dickens became a West Ham apprentice on the 14th July 1981 and signed pro forms on 2nd August 1982. He made his first competitive appearance under John Lyall on 18th December 1982 at the age of 18, scoring on his debut in a 2-1 win at Notts County. The central midfielder scored five more goals before the end of 1982/83 – in a 2-1 home win over Brighton on 5th March 1983, a 1-1 draw at Norwich on 26th March, a double in a 5-1 win at Swansea on 5th April and in a 2-1 home win over Sunderland four days later.
Goals and, indeed, appearances were harder to come by in 1983/84 but Dickens became more of a feature the following campaign, scoring four goals – two in the league, in a 3-2 win at Southampton in September 1984 and a 1-1 home draw with Tottenham in April 1985, and his first two goals in the FA Cup, in a 4-1 third round home win over Port Vale and a 5-1 fifth round replay home win over Wimbledon.
Dickens made 51 appearances in the glorious season of 1985/86, scoring in a 3-1 home win over QPR, a 4-2 win over Nottingham Forest, a 3-1 defeat at Liverpool and a 2-1 home win over Ipswich as the Hammers finished third in the First Division, their highest ever league placing. The following season brought five goals, including strikes in successive games in a 2-2 draw at Watford and a 4-1 home League Cup second round second leg win over Preston. ‘Dicko’ also scored in the next round in a 3-2 win at Watford and followed that with the winner in a 1-0 victory over Everton at Upton Park. He also scored in a 4-1 win over Leicester on New Year’s Day 1987.
1986/87 saw four goals from the Hammers’ midfield maestro – he scored again at Vicarage Road as the Hammers won 2-1 at Watford before notching in a 2-1 home defeat to Millwall in the first round of the Full Members’ Cup. Further strikes followed in a 2-1 home win over Southampton in December 1987 and a 1-0 win at QPR in January 1988.
Dickens hit his highest goals total in 1988/89 but it was to be a nightmare season for the Irons as they were relegated in a season which culminated in the sacking of John Lyall. Dickens scored in a 4-1 home defeat to Arsenal in October 1988, a 2-1 League Cup second round second leg win over Sunderland, a 2-0 home win over Newcastle, a 2-2 home draw with Arsenal in the FA Cup third round, a 3-0 home win over Millwall in April 1989 and two strikes in May 1989, in a 1-0 home win over Luton and 2-0 win at Sheffield Wednesday as the Hammers tried desperately to save themselves from the dreaded drop.
Relegation saw Dickens leave the club – he signed for Chelsea for £600,000 in June 1989. He had scored 30 goals in 234 appearances for his local club. 18 of those 30 goals can be viewed in my video below.
He had a three-match loan spell at West Brom in the 1992/93 season before another loan spell with Brentford. He went on to play for Colchester but his senior playing career was over at the age of 30. He went on to appear for Chesham, Hayes, Collier Row, Billericay and Purfleet before retiring in 1998. 56 today, Dickens worked as a black cab driver and was assistant manager at Barking from November 2008 until April 2012, when he was appointed manager before leaving the job in November that year.
What does it say about the finances of West Ham United that we have apparently agreed a knock down fee for our brightest prospect? As I write it is being reported that a £12 million fee has been agreed with West Bromwich Albion for Grady Diangana. The fee could rise to £18 million with add ons. Or it might not. We were told that he wouldn’t be sold for less than £25 million. OK, the transfer market is not what it was, but Diangana has been our best player in pre-season and it is utter madness to let him go, especially on the cheap.
A front line of Diangana on the left, Bowen on the right, with Antonio and/or Haller playing through the middle was something I was really looking forward to.
It really comes to something when we can’t hold onto a bright young prospect and he actually wants to go to a club which most people think are dead certs for relegation.
I get the need to sell players, but you sell players who haven’t performed as expected. It would have been far better to have sold Lanzini, Anderson or even Fornals. Maybe they think they’re not going to get any offers for those players, but if we’re so desperate for £12 million to fund another central defender I think we might well have been able to get it from elsewhere, rather than selling a player, who, in twelve months time, could be worth a multiple of that.