David Hautzig's Match Report

Burnley 3, West Ham 0. Welcome To Our Current Crisis.

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I wish I could be more level headed about us. As Nigel has said to me more times than I can remember, it’s in our DNA. We have an uncanny ability to take better players and managers and instead of raising the whole club to their level, we somehow drag them down to ours. When a work issue came up for me yesterday, causing me to interrupt my Saturday with the family to become a wine delivery guy (at least it’s for my mate and fellow Hammer Alex, aka Poor Bastard), I secretly wished the warehouse people could only meet me in the morning. That would have given me a reason to just skip today altogether. Instead 1pm was offered, so that was that. Without a win in our last 6, another 90 minutes of angst was staring me in the face. And that angst did not even blink.

One of the many observations, or criticisms if you will, of our current system is the way Haller has been isolated up top. Long balls galore for him to win. But that isn’t his game. In the eighth minute Snodgrass did find the Frenchman with a decent pass but Haller couldn’t find his feet and the threat was over.

A minute later the long day I feared looked to have begun. Burnley won their second corner in quick succession when Roberto inexplicably decided to punch the ball away when he should have just caught it. Burnley won that corner, although replays show it should have been a goal kick. The set piece from McNeil flew over Rice, Tarkowski headed it to Barnes right in front of the goal, and that was that. With goalkeeping and defending like that, screaming about the corner that should not have been is slightly pointless.

Burnley 1
West Ham 0

The bulk of the action remained in the West Ham half, and if Cresswell hadn’t gotten his head on another McNeill delivery Barnes might very well have made it 2-0. An injury to Noble meant Yarmolenko was inserted, but everyone started to look the same to me in those purple kits. Burnley moved the ball around, made crunching tackles, and we looked powerless to do anything about it.

There was a moment in the 27th minute that kind of summed us up. Anderson ran with the ball on the left. He had space. But he tried to roll a low pass to Haller in the box, and just like that any semblance of an attack just vanished. Minutes later a burst of speed from Fredericks on the right forced Mee to put the ball out for a West Ham corner. That in and of itself was the only thing worth mentioning because Burnley cleared the ball easily.

Yarmolenko won another corner in the 34th minute. OK. Let’s move on.

I admit I had no idea who Dwight McNeill was before today. Now I will see him in my many West Ham nightmares. His delivery into the box over a sea of West Ham defenders that Wood headed past Roberto should have made it 2-0. But VAR ruled an armpit was ahead of the pass and the goal was disallowed. Regardless, the cross was world class.

It didn’t matter in the end because Balbuena made a shocking error in the 44th minute when he completely misplayed a ball from Roberto and allowed McNeill to make a much easier pass to Wood in the box and it was officially a second goal.

Halftime
Burnley 2
West Ham 0

The second half started brighter for West Ham in relative terms. We didn’t concede a third goal from the opening kick, Yarmolenko and Haller took actual shots on goal, and we passed the ball from player to player without looking ridiculous. My stream did start to act wonky, coming in and out, and time would tell if that was a good thing or a bad thing.

Turned out it was a good thing. My phone app told me that Burnley had scored again, and that Roberto was at fault. When the stream eventually caught up with reality, I saw a howler worthy of a million YouTube hits. So for the second time in two weeks, I quit before the final whistle.

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No more details, although Nigel told me Roberto made some wonderfully ironic classy saves near the end.

Final Score
Burnley 3
West Ham 0

So. Here we are again. In full blown crisis mode, a relegation battle at our doorstep. With an international break next weekend, dollars to donuts I can guarantee that stories will emerge about any number of people. Pellegrini, Husillos, Sullivan, you name it. And if anyone acts surprised, I have a bridge to sell you. That’s how our club has behaved ever since the current regime took over. That does not mean I’m laying the current meltdown at their doorstep. I truly don’t know where the majority of the blame lies.

I just know the supporters bear the brunt of the pain.

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Match Thread

Match Thread: Burnley v West Ham

Burnley v West Ham
FA Premier League
Turf Moor
KO 3pm
TV: None
Radio: WHUFC.com

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


Opposition Q & A

Opposition Q&A with Burnley

Well we’re in the doldrums again. Over the years we’ve had worse starts and ended up mid-table, but things are not currently looking good. This weekend we travel away to play against a Burnley team who are always up for a game. They lost to Sheffield United 3 – 0 last week and will be looking for a better result at home. We will be hoping to end our losing streak. Ahead of the game I spoke once again to Tony Scoles, editor of Uptheclarets to discuss everything Claret and Blue.

Hi Tony, good to talk again. In general are you satisfied with Burnley’s position when you consider that most of the past 45 years you’ve been in the lower leagues, or do you think ‘forget all that we’re in the Premier League and we’ve got to keep on improving.’?
You can never be blasé about Burnley being in the Premier League. I was brought up at a time when we were one of the country’s top teams but they were different days. Yes, we would love to keep improving and that is always the aim but we know we are probably the smallest club in the Premier League and I think any fair minded Burnley fan will think we are doing OK right now, a fourth successive season here and with that Europa League adventure last season.

How do you rate your recent purchases/loans and are any of them forging a permanent place in the Burnley line-up?
Only Erik Pieters of the summer signings has been able to win a regular place and that was due to a pre-season injury otherwise he would have had to wait like the others. Jay Rodriguez has been in for the last three games because of injuries but those two apart the team we’ve been turning out are players who have been here for three years and more.

Where if anywhere do you think you most need strengthening and will you be looking to buy in the winter transfer window?
I doubt we will be looking to do much, if any, business in January but if we do it will be the continuing theme of just strengthening the squad. We certainly won’t be pushing the boat out to bring in any expensive players, that’s just not our way.

Who have been the best three Burnley players for you over the past few years?
I think Steven Defour would have been top of this list had he not suffered with injuries almost constantly throughout his time with us. I’d certainly have Ben Mee in my top three. He’s been a constant performer in the centre of defence and I’d also include Ashley Barnes who has become a very good striker for us. It’s difficult picking players out but I’d probably add Tom Heaton who is now with Villa. He was our captain and a damn good goalkeeper for us.

Who have been the best three Premier League players you have seen at Turf Moor over this time period?
Undoubtedly we’ve seen some quality but it’s so difficult to pick out players from one performance so I’d be tempted to go with the obvious players such as Sergio Aguero who always seems to score against us. The ones that have stood out though in one game were Cesc Fabregas and Samuel Eto’o who probably turned in his one good Everton performance against us.

Give us the current feeling towards Sean Dyche if you wouldn’t mind. From the outside it looks as though you are a perfect fit.
He’s just completed seven years with us. When he arrived we were struggling in the Championship but he’s given us two promotions, with 93 points in each, and five seasons so far in the Premier League. That’s probably as perfect as it gets. There were some questioning him at this time last year when we were seriously struggling but I can’t think of anyone I would prefer managing us.

It looks as though once again Liverpool and Manchester City will fight between themselves for the league title, who do you pick to win it, and who will join these two in the Champions League positions?
It’s a toss of a coin almost for the title and should Liverpool win this weekend against Manchester City it would take them into a very healthy position. I think, right now, my money, if I were a betting man, would be on Liverpool.
Who else in the Championship League positions? Spurs seem to be blowing up, there are problems at Arsenal and Manchester United are simply just not good enough. That opens the door to the likes of Leicester who are looking good and I think they might just make it with Chelsea.

Where do you think Burnley will finish the season? I won’t ask where you think we’ll end up!
I think we’ll be OK and clear of the relegation back. We are good enough to get up into the top ten but that’s a big ask so I’ll say around 12th. I’ll let you decide on West Ham.

Who are your early picks for relegation? Your selections at a similar time last year proved prophetic!
Hopefully that meant I went for Cardiff, Fulham and Huddersfield a year ago at a time when we were right down there. I think, this season, I’ll have to be boring and go for the current bottom three. Norwich are a certainty for me given the number of goals they give away, something has gone seriously wrong at Watford and I think Southampton are a poor, poor side.

How are you enjoying the introduction of VAR into the Premier League this season?
I believe this is one of the worst changes ever introduced into the game. We’ve fallen victim to it more than once with two ridiculous decisions not to overturn poor decisions on penalties and then the pure farce of our equaliser being ruled out at Leicester when it wronged a previously correct decision. I decided I would give it a chance and not judge too soon but if I were making the decision as to what to do with it then I’d suspend it immediately. It’s destroying the game.

How are Burnley going to line up against West Ham on Saturday? Prediction for players and line-up please.
This is a difficult one in this particular week with Sean Dyche having suggested changes after our performance at Sheffield United last week. I do think there will be a couple, could be even more, but we will play 4-4-2 I think and the likely line up is Pope, Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor, Hendrick, Westwood, Cork, McNeil, Barnes, Wood.

I suppose you’ll look at our fixture and the next two against Palace and Watford as a chance to get some points on the board leading up to Christmas, but I suppose you might also have included Sheffield United in that list as well. Are you going to get back to winning ways against us? Prediction for score?
I very much hope we are going to get back to winning ways. Sheffield United was bitterly disappointing but tomorrow is another day and a repeat of last season’s 2-0 win will go down just fine.

Well many thanks to Tony again for his time and thoughts. There’s no way on earth that I’ll predict a West Ham win this week so the most I can hope for is a 1 – 1 draw! COYI

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Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Burnley v West Ham

Blast from the past

5th April 2005: Prime Minister Tony Blair asked the Queen for a dissolution of Parliament for a general election on 5th May, Tony Christie featuring Peter Kay was at the top of the charts with ‘(Is This The Way To) Amarillo’ and The Ring Two topped the UK box office. Meanwhile, West Ham United completed their second away victory in three days following a 2-0 weekend win at Wigan.

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In front of 12,209 at Turf Moor in this midweek encounter, Ade Akinbiyi wasted Burnley’s best chance of the first half after heading wide of the target. Hammers forward Teddy Sheringham fired just wide before a mistake let the Irons in to seal the three points with the game’s only goal. With seven minutes to go, a loose pass allowed Marlon Harewood to round the goalkeeper and square for Sheringham to calmly stroke home the winner three days after his 39th birthday. The veteran would be voted Hammer of the Year a few weeks later, with a teenaged Mark Noble runner-up. The goal from this match can be viewed in my video below – the referee that night, incidentally, was Kevin Friend, who will take charge of tomorrow’s encounter at Turf Moor too.

Burnley would close the season in 13th position, while the Hammers would finish in sixth place and be promoted via the Play-Offs; Sunderland won the Championship title, Chelsea won the Premier League and Arsenal won the FA Cup. Marlon Harewood was the Irons’ top scorer with 22 goals from 54 matches.

Burnley: Danny Coyne, Frank Sinclair (Tony Grant), John McGreal, Gary Cahill, Mo Camara, John Oster (Jean-Louis Valois), Micah Hyde, James O’Connor, Graham Branch (Michael Duff), Ade Akinbiyi, Dean Bowditch.

West Ham United: Jimmy Walker, Tomas Repka, Anton Ferdinand, Elliott Ward, Chris Powell, Shaun Newton, Hayden Mullins (Carl Fletcher), Nigel Reo-Coker, Mark Noble (Matthew Etherington), Marlon Harewood (Bobby Zamora), Teddy Sheringham.

Club Connections

Joe Hart welcomes his former club to Turf Moor. A small collection of players join him in having turned out for the Hammers and the Clarets. They include:

Goalkeepers: Tommy Hampson, Herman Conway and Frank Birchenough.

Defenders: Tyrone Mears, Joe Gallagher, David Unsworth, Tommy Dunn, Jack Tresadern, Jon Harley and Mitchell Thomas.

Midfielders: Junior Stanislas, Reg Attwell, Matt Taylor and Luke Chadwick.

Strikers: Bill Jenkinson, Sam Jennings, Walter Pollard, Ian Moore , Alan Taylor and Zavon Hines.

John Bond played for the Hammers and managed the Clarets.

Today’s focus is on a former England international striker who ended his career with Burnley having also represented West Ham United late in his distinguished 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 moved to George Graham’s Arsenal for a club record £2.5m in September 1991, having already 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.

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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.

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.

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Wright went on to have a loan spell with Nottingham Forest before departing the Hammers permanently for Celtic. He moved to Stan Ternent’s Burnley, then in the third tier, on Valentine’s Day 2000, teaming up with old friend and fellow former Hammer Mitchell Thomas. Wright made his Clarets debut in a 0-0 draw with Wigan at Turf Moor on 19th February 2000 – the only time he had failed to score on his debut for a new club. His first goal for Burnley was an 88th-minute equaliser at Gillingham on 14th March 2000 and he followed that up with his first goal at Turf Moor four days later in a 3-0 win over Reading. Wright scored the 90th-minute winner in a 2-1 home victory against Notts County on 8th April and bagged his final goal for the club in a 3-2 win at Brentford on 24th April 2000. After scoring four goals in 15 appearances for Burnley, culminating in promotion to Division One, Wright took the decision to hang up his boots and bring the curtain down on an illustrious playing career – he was awarded an MBE in 2000.

Wright, who turned 56 last Sunday, 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

Saturday’s referee is Kevin Friend, who also refereed the featured match at the top of this preview. The Leicester-based official has been involved in top-flight matches since 2009 and took charge of the Hammers in our historic 3-0 victory at Liverpool in August 2015. He sent off Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho and West Ham’s Mark Noble in that match at Anfield, with the latter’s dismissal rescinded on appeal. Friend most recently refereed the Hammers in our 1-1 home draw with Liverpool in February and also took charge of our 1-0 defeat at Brighton in October 2018.

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Friend is also remembered for the soft penalty he gifted Hull in our 1-0 defeat at the KC Stadium in September 2013 when Joey O’Brien was adjudged to have shoved Robbie Brady. He compounded the error by later denying the Irons a clear penalty when Jake Livermore handled in the area. Don’t expect much from Friend in the way of handball decisions – he also denied the Hammers a penalty in a match at Everton when Aaron Cresswell’s cross was handled by Seamus Coleman.

Possible line-ups

Burnley are without Danny Drinkwater and Johann Berg Gudmundsson but Chris Wood is likely to be available. Burnley have recorded only two home victories against the Hammers in the last 40 years. The Clarets have won just two of their last ten games against West Ham in all competitions.

West Ham United are without Lukasz Fabianski, Winston Reid and Michail Antonio, while Jack Wilshere is a doubt. The Hammers have won 14, drawn four and lost just three of their last 21 matches against Burnley home and away in all competitions, stretching back to 1979.

Possible Burnley XI: Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Hendrick, Cork, Westwood; McNeil; Barnes, Wood.

Possible West Ham United XI: Roberto; Fredericks, Balbuena, Diop, Cresswell; Rice, Noble, Snodgrass; Lanzini, Anderson; Haller.

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!


Nigel Kahn’s Column

Losing My Religion

Life is bigger
It’s bigger than you
And you are not me
The lengths that I will go to
The distance in your eyes
Oh no I’ve said too much
I set it up

Its been a while since last I wrote. There are various reasons for that of which some are personal and some I struggle to admit. Partly it’s that when the club gets itself into a rut like it has, trying to write something different from the rest can be a struggle for me. I sit sometimes on the sidelines reading the social media outpourings and at times I wonder how these West Ham fans would have coped years ago.

For me, John Lyall is the greatest ever manager we have had and yet he is the only manager to relegate the club twice and when considering our last five relegations since his first in 1978, he took the longest time in getting the club promoted back to the top flight. Three season from 1978-1981.

How would social media and those who like me, who set themselves up as commentators on the club, have treated him? It’s quite possible if he survived not being sacked in 78, he would have been in 79 after his failure to achieve an instant return.

I very much doubt Sullivan would have allowed him the chance to win the cup in 1980 as he would have succumbed to fans questioning his tactics, and possibly his personality just as many pile into our current manager after this current sticky spell.

That’s me in the corner
That’s me in the spotlight
Losing my religion
Trying to keep up with you
And I don’t know if I can do it
Oh no I’ve said too much
I haven’t said enough
I thought that I heard you laughing
I thought that I heard you sing
I think I thought I saw you try

I’ve just watched a video by Gonzo on Hammers Chat. He was posed a question: Have Gold Sullivan & Brady destroyed West Ham?

I like Kris. In fact, he’s the only vlogger I watch now. I’ve shared & enjoyed his company many a time and always look forward to meeting him, yet watching this video I was surprised to hear him admit he believed in the move, that he was willing to trade the authenticity of West Ham at Upton Park for the move to get success.

He then waxes lyrical how he feels the three amigos have, as the question says, destroyed West Ham as was.

I found it tough watching though, mainly because I spent so long trying to fight the move. When I hear people admit they were taken in by the owners it highlights the failure of what I, and those others that campaigned as best we could, achieved.

When I hear fans admit they once bought into the dream only to realise it was false, there is no satisfaction of us being right, it actually just guts me more and I suspect those that I stood alongside feel the same.

Every whisper
Of every waking hour, I’m
Choosing my confessions
Trying to keep an eye on you
Like a hurt lost and blinded fool
Oh no I’ve said too much
I set it up

The move has divided the fanbase like Brexit has divided the country. People on either side have no respect anymore for the other’s point of view. So many talk about uniting the fanbase. WHUISA was supposed to be an attempt to do that, yet that descended into a farce to the point where even though most of the committee were anti Board, I felt disenfranchised from those I was supposed to agree with. Three times elected onto the committee, yet three times I walked away, resigning, as my frustration at the ineptitude of some others on the committee left me nowhere to turn.

I look to Hammers United now, but they fail like many at WHUISA to grasp that if you want to set yourselves up as fan representatives, you have to deal with the people you despise the most. The owners. They claim the club refuses to engage but then fall into the trap the club set. They liaise with the club SLO by email, so the club can say they engage with them.

HU want to sit down with them, but on their terms. They fail to see it’s the club that sets the rules of engagement. HU now have complained to the FA, Premier League and even UEFA, trying to point a gun at the clubs head and say, talk to us.

The club will point out they have contact via the supporter liaison officer so they do talk to them. If they want to come in and meet, they have a forum set up, they just need to apply. How now will the club and HU ever have meaningful discussions after this stunt?

Who loses? Not the club, but the fans. HU would achieve far more from the inside, putting over members concerns, than they ever will emailing the S.L.O and complaining to the institutions that WHU are members of. They will never sanction WHU they will only side with them.

I attended the recent ticketing meeting, the outcome of which has led to the club announcing some changes. Away tickets that can’t be used will be able to be returned to the club, though refund will only happen if the ticket is then sold.

The ballot will not be a blanket 10% but be staggered, below 3,000 allocations it drops to 7%, then below 2,000, it goes to 5%. No ballot below 1500 allocation. I went into that meeting, I claimed to represent no one but myself, and yet the staggered ballot was put forward by me.

Whether you agree with it or not, just by being in the meeting, I’ve achieved more than HU have or WHUISA actually. Imagine what they could achieve for fans if they stopped acting like prima donnas and held their noses and went to the club.

Consider this
The hint of the century
Consider this
The slip that brought me
To my knees failed
What if all these fantasies
Come flailing around
Now I’ve said too much

West Ham to me feels like an addiction. It is my drug of choice. They say that addicts won’t start to kick the habit until they hit rock bottom, then they have to acknowledge that problem. I’m not sure I’m at that point yet. I didn’t attend the Sheffield United game. I now have work on Saturdays with my family. I could have made the game but decided not to and just five minutes into the game I was regretting not being there. Watching at home just didn’t feel right.

I had hoped I wouldn’t have missed it, but alas I’m still under this curse.

I do feel though, I am LOSING MY RELIGION.

As outlined above, the club is no longer resembling anything I thought the club ever stood for, wiped away on a gamble that while that in my belief will never pay off for the fans. The one thing that has grown far bigger than anything else to do with West Ham since we moved, is the share price. The true reason for this debacle.

I thought that I heard you laughing
I thought that I heard you sing
I think I thought I saw you try
But that was just a dream
That was just a dream
just a dream, just a dream
dream


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