Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Swansea City

Blast from the past

Tuesday 5th April 1983 – David Bowie was number one with ‘Let’s Dance’ and West Ham United were enjoying their second of seven wins from their final ten fixtures of 1982/83. Two midfielders in claret and blue grabbed a double apiece in a 5-1 victory over this weekend’s opponents Swansea City in front of 13,303 at the Vetch Field.

The Hammers were 2-1 up at the break through goals from Alan Devonshire and Geoff Pike with Ian Walsh replying for John Toshack’s Swans. Pike notched his second in the second half, his only two-goal salvo for the Irons in his 372 appearances. Alan Dickens (pictured) also bagged a second half brace to make it five goals in his first nine appearances for the club.

John Lyall’s Hammers would finish 8th in the First Division in 1982/83, while Swansea would end the campaign in 22nd and were relegated.

Swansea City: Chris Sander, Nigel Stevenson, Gary Richards, Ante Rajkovic, Dudley Lewis, Gary Stanley, Chris Marustik, Robbie James, James Loveridge, Ian Walsh (Darren Gale), Bob Latchford.

West Ham United: Phil Parkes, Ray Stewart, Billy Bonds, Alvin Martin, Frank Lampard, Alan Dickens, Neil Orr, Geoff Pike, Alan Devonshire, Paul Goddard, Francois van der Elst.

Club Connections

A small number of players have worn the shirts of both West Ham United and Swansea City. These include: Matthew Rush, Andy Melville, Frank Lampard Junior, Shaun Byrne, Frank Nouble and Noel Dwyer. John Bond also represented both clubs, playing for the Hammers and managing the Swans.

Today’s focus though is on a player who played for both clubs when in the twilight of his career. Lee Chapman began his career at Stoke but made his first league appearance while on loan at Plymouth in 1978. Chapman, a 6’3 striker, joined Arsenal for £500,000 after finishing 1980/81 and 1981/82 as Stoke’s top goalscorer. His spell at Highbury was brief and he departed for Sunderland but his time on Wearside was similarly short. A move to Howard Wilkinson’s Sheffield Wednesday in 1984 reignited Chapman’s career and he scored 63 goals in 149 appearances. When Wilkinson left for Leeds in 1988, Chapman followed him out of the Hillsborough exit door, joining Chamois Niortais in France. He was soon back in English football however, signing for Brian Clough at Nottingham Forest early in the 1988/89 season. Chapman won the League Cup and Full Members Cup in his first season as Forest finished third in the top flight. He was reunited with his former manager Wilkinson in January 1990 when signing for Second Division Leeds, helping the Elland Road side to promotion and the title in his first season. In their second season back in the First Division, Leeds won the last-ever league championship before the inception of the Premier League with Chapman scoring 16 goals. Despite top-scoring for Leeds the following season, he was allowed to drop down a division to join Portsmouth in August 1993.

Chapman quickly realised he had made a mistake and joined West Ham in a whirlwind of transfer activity in September 1993, as Julian Dicks left Upton Park and Chapman arrived at the same time as David Burrows and Mike Marsh. The flaxen-haired striker got off to a great start in claret and blue, scoring on his maiden start in an impressive 2-0 win at Blackburn and bagging a brace on his home debut in a 5-1 League Cup triumph over Chesterfield. Five more goals arrived before the turn of the year: a bullet header in a 3-1 home win under the lights against Manchester City; a left-foot volley in a 2-0 win at Southampton (4:40 of the video below); both goals in a 2-1 victory at Wimbledon; and the late equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Ipswich. Chapman began to receive negative attention from sections of the West Ham faithful but was a key player in the Hammers’ run to the 1994 FA Cup quarter-finals, scoring winning goals in the fourth-round replay against Notts County and the fifth-round tie at Kidderminster. He also scored the Hammers’ first in a matter of minutes as they reversed a 1-0 deficit in a barnstorming home encounter with Manchester United to lead the champions 2-1 in March 1994, only for Paul Ince to equalise in the dying stages. That was to prove Chapman’s last goal for West Ham and he departed for Ipswich in November 1994, having scored 11 goals in 51 appearances for the Hammers.

Two loan spells followed, one at Southend and the other back at Leeds where Chapman was sent off against West Ham at Elland Road for elbowing Marc Rieper in January 1996. He scored four goals in seven matches for Swansea before ending his career with a brief spell with Stromsgodset in Norway. Chapman, now 55, owns restaurants in London and Leeds with his wife, the actress Leslie Ash.


Saturday’s referee will be Mike Dean; 2014/15 is Dean’s fifteenth as a Premier League referee. Since West Ham United achieved promotion back to the top flight in 2012 Dean has refereed ten of our league matches, officiating in six wins for the Hammers, two draws and two defeats. Dean was the man in the middle for our 3-1 home loss to Southampton and our 1-0 home victory over Newcastle earlier this season.

Possible line-ups

Swansea City will be without injured Ecuadorian winger Jefferson Montero who is out for a month with a hamstring problem. Wayne Routledge is available after his red card at QPR was overturned but Jonjo Shelvey will serve the third game of a four-match ban. Wilfried Bony is on African Cup of Nations duty so Bafetimbi Gomis will start up front. Ki Sung-Yueng is away at the Asian Cup with South Korea so Tottenham loanee Tom Carroll, who scored in the Swans’ FA Cup win at Tranmere last week, should start.

Sam Allardyce will be without the injured Diafra Sakho while Alex Song is battling illness. Andy Carroll is expected to return after missing the midweek FA Cup tie at Everton with a slight ankle knock.

Possible Swansea City XI: Fabianski; Rangel, Williams, Fernandez, Taylor; Britton, Carroll; Routledge, Sigurdsson, Dyer; Gomis.

Possible West Ham United XI: Adrian; Jenkinson, Collins, Reid, Cresswell; Song, Noble, Amalfitano; Downing; Valencia, Carroll.

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!

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Player News

Oxford ready to commit his future

Reece Oxford is poised to commit his long term future to the club according to the Daily Mail. Oxford, who turned 16 last month, is viewed as one of best Hammers Academy talents in many years with many of the Premier League’s top clubs looking to poach him from us over the last year.

Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal have all shown interest in the teenager in the past, leading to fears from within West Ham that we could lose Oxford as new contract talks with him stalled last year.

As a 15 year old, Oxford was an unused substitute in the Capital One Cup defeat against Sheffield United in September The central defender has been likened to former Hammers academy graduate Rio Ferdinand, could have left for a nominal fee in the summer when his contract was due to expire. He also captained England’s U-17s in the summer

Chairman David Sullivan previously said last year when Oxford was 15 "It’s a joke that they can just come in and nick your best players for just £250,000. Our academy costs just under £4 million a year to run. Up until this season you could nick a 15-year-old for about £50,000. I think they are going to change it now and there is going to be some retrospective compensation. So you’ll probably get £250,000.“If you lose someone for a few hundred thousand quid its nothing when the academy costs £4 million to run.”

Official confirmation that he has put pen to paper is expected in January.

Talking Point

Early Season Ticket Renewal

After freezing season ticket prices last season, next season will see a season ticket price rise capped by 5% with the exception of Under U16 and Under 10’s season tickets which will remain frozen.

They also announced an earlier than expected renewal deadline. From Monday 16th February to 5pm on April 17th 2015, current Season Ticket Holders must renew their 2015/16 season by paying the full renewal price or paying a £75 non-refundable deposit. The £75 will be deducted from the price of the season ticket when you pay the balance.

Any season ticket holder who does not renew between February and April runs the serious risk of losing their seat for the final season. Any supporter paying the £75 non-refundable deposit will need to pay the balance by 4pm on 31st May 2015.

Season 2015/2016 renewals with 5% increase calculated
(Adult) (O65) (Y/Adult) (U16) (U10)
Band 1 £924 £462 £462 £285 £110
Band 2 £861 £431 £431 £255 £110
Band 3 £798 £405 £405 £240 £110
Band 4 £651 £326 £336 £200 £110
Restricted view £735 £363 £363 £230 £110
Disabled £435 £237 £237 £140 £110

West Ham claim the earlier then normal renewal deadline is to cope with demand for season tickets in the last season at The Boleyn ground. They are expected to reach the Boleyn Ground season ticket cap thought to be around 26,000.

The other reason given for the early renewal deadline is the massive logistics of arranging a personal session at the Strafford reservation centre with each and every season ticket holder to choose a seat in the Olympic Stadium should they decide to move at the end of next season.

These are only the prices for renewals and the price for new season tickets has yet to be published.

David Gold took to twitter to defend the price rise saying “In the last five years inflation has been 15.1%, season ticket prices, including this one have risen by only 9% in the same period. dg”

Player News

Senegal: West Ham Treated Us With Disrespect

According to “talkSport” Senegal are accusing West Ham of showing no respect to them and have reported West Ham to the FA and FIFA over Diafra Sakho’s injury. It has prevented him from playing in the African Nations Cup. Sam wouldn’t let Sakho get on a plane – not surprising considering Sakho has a back injury, which, let’s remember was caused by the Senegalese medical team. They are saying he can’t play for West Ham while the ACN is underway, even if he recovers.

Perhaps they should be reminded just who pays his wages.


Transfer Gossip

Zarate profit

The completion of a six month loan deal for Mauro Zarate to QPR yesterday was a good financial deal for West Ham. The Hammers received loan inquiries from more 14 clubs meaning they could charge a premium for his six month loan. I understand QPR will pay his full £40,000 per week wages plus an additional £500,000 loan fee. He is likely to make his debut against Burnley in the league this weekend.

Harry Redknapp told the QPR official website: “We’re really pleased to bring Mauro in. He’s a good footballer, someone with great ability who can play as a number 10.
I first saw him when he was on loan at Birmingham quite a few years back and I actually tried to take him to Portsmouth back then.He’s a more-than capable player, he’s already shown that, and hopefully he can come in here and do well for us.Zarate, who impressed in the Premier League during a loan spell at Birmingham City in 2008, is relishing the opportunity to prove his worth once again in the biggest and best league in the world.

Zarate added "I am happy,I need this, I need to play and Queens Park Rangers have given me this chance to show what I can do. The Premier League is the best in the world at this moment. Does my style suit the Premier League? Maybe. We will see! When I met the manager he told me he wanted to sign me for Portsmouth before, but in that moment I went to Lazio. But now I am here and will play for him.I will try to do different things with the ball, some skills to make the difference for the team, for me and for the other players. I am fit and I hope I can be involved on Saturday.”

Under the terms of the loan deal, Zarate will not be eligible to feature against West Ham when the two clubs meet in the Premier League at Loftus Road on Saturday 25th April. Zarate joined West Ham on a free transfer after personally buying himself out of his contract with Velez Sarsfield. He signed a three year contract with the Hammers with an option for a further year. Should he have a good loan spell with QPR this could increase his transfer value with a potential sale in the summer window. Should there be a change of West Ham manager at the end of the season he may still have a future at West Ham.

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