Match Preview

Opposition Q&A With Everton

West Ham travel to the City of Doom to play Everton in the midweek game on Wednesday, where we will be hoping that David Moyes can return to his former club and claim his first victory for us. Goodison is not a ground where we have had much return – 6 away wins in the past 50 years. (Particularly galling for me as my wife’s family are Evertonians) However we do have the recent memory of that comeback from 2 – 0 down to win 2 – 3 courtesy of a last minute goal from Dmitri Payet following a header from Andy Carroll and that flick from Diafra Sakho: as clear a memory to me as if it happened last night!
Ahead of the game I spoke to food blogger and hardcore Everton fan James Coke aka The DIsabled Chef to discuss everything West Ham and Everton.

This week’s game sees us both sited near the bottom of the table, where I imagine that pre-season we would have both been hoping for top half positions? Both teams have recently sacked their managers, were you one of those that was calling for Koeman’s head?
Well I always thought you boys would struggle. Signing a lot of Premiership OAP’s after a big pay day was madness so I reckon I’ve been partly vindicated on that one, but I got it totally wrong on Everton, who I’d tipped for Top 5 vertigo. What a shambles we’ve been! In fact we’ve done the same as you – signing Grandad Rooney and sticking with the likes of Williams & Jags, like you’ve done with Noble & sick note Andy. Sadly they have all become liabilities and we both pay them a King’s ransom – it’s a joke. As for Koeman – Don’t get me onto him! I’ve never forgiven him for hauling down Platty and then flipping Seaman in that World Cup qualifier in 1993. My mate who is a big Saint, warned me abut his arrogance and ability to wind players up. He’s done a great job doing that with the likes of Ross Barkley and by the end seemed incapable of motivating the team, so he had to go. Believe me I was more than happy to see him and his bro, run out of town but I can’t say things have been hunky dory since his departure.

Be honest do you wish that Everton had appointed David Moyes to be back in charge at Everton and not West Ham?
I loved Moysey. When he left, it felt like the end of an eleven year marriage and I found it difficult to adjust to my new Spanish flame. You knew what you were getting with Davy boy. Ok, it was often dour but I had some great times following him and his Blue army. However I didn’t want him back once he’d told luvvie Blll he wanted out, it was like the bar coming down in a game of bar billiards – it was over!. When I’d heard he signed up with you boys I did have a little chortle. Me and my mate had been in the lower bullens for Moysey’s farewell, ironically against West Ham. There was some great banter that day between the fans. West Ham had been singing ’You’ve got no Manager’ with the Gladys Street endresponding immediately: You’ve got Sam Alladyce’, which had everyone in the ground creasing up, including big Sam. It would have been very ironic then if we’d ended up with a managerial flip flop on Wednesday night. As they say – be careful what you wish for.

I understand that some Everton fans were asking for David ‘Rhino’ (as the Everton fans call him, although West Ham fans would consider him to be a bit ‘hen-pecked’) Unsworth to be put in charge, immediately after Koeman’s sacking. Were you one of those, and if so what do you think about him now?
Steady dude – I thought he enjoyed his time in Canning Town before getting lost on the M6 on transit to Villa. Have to admit I was right up for ‘Rhino’. He’s done a great job with the U23’s, winning the title last season and it seemed like a natural step up – especially as he is one of our own. However the last six games have been chastising for him. He looked like he’d had a little cry after the weekends humiliation at St Mary’s and appears to be out of his league. It’s a shame as he’d blooded some of the young lads and him and Big Dunc might have sorted out some of those egos and what it means to pull on that royal blue shirt. It’s a brutal game though and we’ve got to stay up, so I’m with Joey Barton on that (well not the fat-ism bit, which is a bit rich coming from him) and having Rhino returned to the pastures he’s comfortable with and the protected status that he should be afforded.

I understand that Everton will be announcing their new manager this week, any thoughts on that?
Hmmm……..yes, it’s been playing on my mind. What gets me is why we hadn’t had someone lined up as soon as Ronnie boy was shown the door. To be honest I have lost faith in Steve Walsh (our signings in the summer say it all), and the board for that matter anymore. Their recent dealings have been amateurish, lacking a plan of action. In my dreams, I’d love the idea of Diego Simone, prised from Athletico Madrid, turning up to Finch farm with a dagger between his teeth, but we’ll probably end up with Tony Pullis and a dogfight for survival. At least it won’t be ‘dodgy’ Sam who crazily ruled himself out from this dream job – or has he?. At this moment in time what fool would turn down the opportunity to manage Everton FC and judging by reports this morning Sam is back in the mix – it’s every Evertonians nightmare scenario.?

Where do you think Everton will end up at the end of the season?
I had such high hopes at the start of the season. Yes, we’d lost Rom, our goal machine, but we’d had acquired a host of ageing No 10’s, some young English defenders and other guys who’d never played in the Premiership for £150 million – What could possibly go wrong? So far it’s been a disaster! Every game I find myself clawing my face pleading with higher beings to make things better, but it gets worse, week by week. Gallows humour about fear of the drop helps, but the ongoing storm has forced me back to my bunker, fearing the worst. However as a life long Evertonian I always live with hope – 12th.

Is David Moyes the right man for West Ham, and where do you think he will lead us come the season’s end?
I hope he is. He was great with us bringing some real passion and stability to the club, but I worry whether that left him somewhat, when he exited Goodison. He hasn’t had it easy in his last three jobs and he’ll need time to get things going with West Ham and time is often something you don’t get in the Premiership. Hopefully you Irons will warm to him and I’m sure he’ll find a way to keep you up, but I’m not sure he is your long term option – 15th

Of course West Ham fans will remember that famous 2 – 3 victory at Goodison two seasons ago mentioned above. Do you have any particular memories of West Ham/Everton games of the past?
Well I won’t forget Frank Lampard dancing round the corner flag at Elland road in 1980 either, but happier memories include, a late Tony Cottee winner in ‘94 and going bonkers in the Bobby Moore stand, Yaks winner in the League cup quarter final and a few other beatings we’ve handed out to you over the years. I checked out the Olympic stadium for our bore-draw last season and thought it was soulless. Even some of the stewards from the old Boleyn ground I was chatting too, thought the club had sold out and the new stadium lacked the atmosphere of the old. We could learn a lot from your experience when we move to Bramley Moore. Both of us are community clubs and even with the changing climate of the game and the billions being poured into it , we should never lose that identity. The fans are the ones that have shaped our clubs, laid its foundations, we are the
custodians if you want and that should never be forgotten.

If you could have any current West Ham player in your first team who would you choose and why?
Is that a trick question? Are you having a bubble with me? No offence but no-one is jumping out at me. Cresswell could do a job on saying that and Antonio has drifted in and out of my fantasy team this season But the ‘Ammers’ have been as bad as the ’Toffee’s’. It could be swap shop time on Wednesday though if the managers situation is anything to go by. I’m sure Moysey will come knocking on the door in January for Mirallas, Bainsey & Jags; and Sam if appointed, will be dipping into the West Ham reserves. The whole situation should fill us both with dread – let’s move onto the next question.

Which Everton player(s) will be key to your hopes this season?
I had hoped to provide a plethora of names but I’m struggling from what I’ve witnessed this season. The defence is so dire (be worried they are coming to you) that a lot rests on Pickford. Other than him we need to sort out the No 10 and build around Sigurdsson and hope Bolaisie & Coleman have recovered fully. Barkley needs to be brought back into the fold but I fear he’ll leave. Other than that I reckon I could put in a better performance confined to my wheelchair than some of the donkeys we have masquerading as players.

How do you expect Everton to setup against West Ham on Wednesday/team/formation prediction?
Both teams need a win but we’ll be missing Keane & Baines, so our defence should be even more shaky than normal. I hope we play with Lookman to test your pace and I wouldn’t mind seeing Sandro getting a run out. He scored a cracker in our 1-5 thrashing by Atalanta but I stick reckon he has something to offer. I reckon we’ll go with a 3-5-2 Pickford, Jags, Williams, Martina, Kenny, Besic, Gueye, Davis, Lookman, Gylfi & Sandro

All Hammers fans will be thanking whichever higher power they recognise that Romelu Lukaku is no longer playing for Everton. Since his departure you are struggling to score goals, are you feeling confident that you can beat us? Prediction for score?
Rom had a hex on you guys, guaranteed to score in every game so his absence will boost you. However, it’ll be a bear bit and a night game which will motivate us. We’ve had some right clangers overs the years but I expect this to be a cagey affair. It reminds me of Mike Walkers penultimate game in ‘94 which I listened to on Capital Gold with Jonathan Pearce sounding like a screaming banshee. We narrowly beat you 1-0 nil that night and I’m predicting the same score-line Wednesday with Sandro to bag the winner. Whatever happens I’m going to miss out! It’s my birthday and my missus is taking me to the theatre which is a complete cock up on my part. I’’ll have my phone on silent but will be dreading any messages from my West Ham buddy whose sure to let me know if you score. Hopefully when I leave the theatre my inbox will be clear, Everton will have won and I’ll be wording my text asking how it all went. God, football is a cruel mistress!!

Thanks to Jim for his time, his musings on food can be found at The Disabled Chef
For my part I think that we can get the 7th away victory of my lifetime at Goodison: 1 – 2 to West Ham. Come on you Irons!

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Guest Post

WHUISA Meeting West Ham United

Guest Post by WHUISA Committee

Following on from the issues raised by WHUISA at the recent SAB meeting, West Ham United has agreed to meet with the WHUISA Committee on Thursday 30th November.

We want to know what is important to you. Please tell us what you want us to raise at this meeting.

We are aware of a number of issues:
- Experience of home supporters inside and outside the stadium
- Away supporters’ ticket allocation/Priority Points/Travel
- Champions Place stones
- Club communication
- Home game ticketing
- Club Memberships
- Stewarding at home games
- Food and catering
- Disability access and treatment of disabled supporters

We can’t promise to raise every single member’s question or concern but we will do our best to raise the issues that are most important to our 800-strong membership.

We look forward to hearing from you, either in the comments section below or by emailing

Always West Ham United
WHUISA Committee

You can become a member of WHUISA by clicking here.

The HamburgHammer Column

There will always be a West Ham and anyway, we will stay up this season!

At least not another embarrassing defeat. In previous seasons, under normal circumstances, a 1:1 draw at home against Leicester would not have yielded the kind of enthusiastic support and raucous noise from the West Ham home crowd. But from what I could gather from the comfort of my sofa the atmosphere at the London Stadium last Friday was fantastic, a proper defiant reaction from our fanbase, displaying a fierce in the trenches corral mentality.

The current circumstances at West Ham are anything but normal, but at least the fans did their bit and it seemed to rub off on the team who gave a much more spirited performance. They looked like they actually gave a monkey’s.
The effort was certainly there, the running was a lot better, the pressing too and while there was still a clear lack of creative quality in our side this should come back in due course once the new gaffer has settled in properly and the team begin playing with more confidence and according to a clearly defined gameplan.

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There has been a lot of talk in recent days about former members of the ICF taking things into their own hands in terms of letting the board know that most of our supporters are anything but happy (and why that is the case), so those guys will try and compile a list of the most pressing issues and tell the owners accordingly. It is then up to the board to act upon the suggestions from the fanbase or face significant backlash in the shape of various fan protests over the coming weeks and months.

I applaud those guys for their efforts and wish them every success, alas I am less than hopeful it will have the desired effect. The board will follow their financial roadmap to the letter, cashing in their interest payments for another three or four years until they can sell the club without the shackles of having to share a portion of their profit with the LLDC/taxpayer. Then – and only then – will they seriously consider getting out of the club.

I take a degree of comfort though from the thought that there will still be a West Ham worth rooting for in some shape or form once the current lot are gone and hopefully the latest initiative from the “Real West Ham Fans” group will help in uniting our fanbase again, making sure that as much of our club’s soul as possible can be preserved, despite the actions of the current owners.

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I am confident that there are still plenty of sons and daughters out there who will follow in the footsteps of their parents, uncles, aunties and grandparents and grow up to be staunch West Ham supporters. West Ham are more than just a football club and it still has a place in the hearts of thousands of people all over the globe. That must count for something.

I have no doubt that our team is good enough to see out the season with a modicum of professional pride and reach the beckoning shore of Premier League safety.
It will probably not quite be another Great Escape a la Tevez, we look far too minimalistic on the pitch for that, so it’ll be more like a Late Escape than a great one, but escape we will. Of that I have no doubt.

The upcoming Everton game should be a thrilling encounter as surely Everton too are nowhere near where they expected to be in the table at the start of the season.
The pressure on them should be even bigger than on us which might work in our favour on the night. We should also have players returning back into the fold, like Hernandez and Antonio, giving us a few more options in terms of how to approach the game.

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It looks to me like a switch has finally been flicked and I have no doubt that both results and performances will continue to improve as long as the players persist with showing better effort and application as that alone can and will trigger the kind of support from the Hammers faithful that is paramount if we want to maintain our league status.

In other, local German news I told you in a previous column about the agreement of the local Regionalliga Southwest to play the Chinese U20 side in a series of friendly games, not affecting the league table, but giving the lower league clubs some much needed financial boost while affording the Chinese players the opportunity to play some competitive games to get themselves ready for the Olympic Games.

There was a lot of criticism even before a ball was kicked, now the experiment has been stopped until further notice due to some football fans deciding to make a political statement by taking Tibetan flags to the first game of the Chinese team which obviously didn’t go down with their players, officials and the football authorities back home.
On the one hand of course you could argue that sporting events like these should not be overshadowed by political campaigning.

On the other hand there is the right of free speech in Western Europe, so taking a flag to football should not be a reason to eject supporters from the venue or abandon the game. Then again West Ham fans have learned in recent weeks that you don’t have to take a Tibetan flag to the stadium to get yourself in a spot of bother.
I never thought the idea with the Chinese U20 team playing in Germany was a brilliant one to pursue and if a Tibetan flag in the crowd is all it takes to rile up the visitors then maybe they should get their Olympic preparations done elsewhere.

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To quickly update you on Reece Oxford and his exploits at a team from Germany (Borussia Moenchengladbach) his loan club surprisingly managed to deal the mighty Bayern Munich its first defeat in what felt like five years or so, beating them 2:1. Moenchengladbach are now only five points behind the league leaders from Munich and The Foals Eleven (as they are affectionately known in the country of the sausage munchers) are well on course to secure Champions league football coming to the Rhineland next season.

It’s not ideal for Reece Oxford on the face of it as Moenchengladbach have no reason whatsoever to play him as things are going very well as they are at the moment, without Oxford getting any significant gametime. On the other hand they are known for developing and bringing through youngsters in a very strategic and patient manner, so his time may come, but Moenchengladbach may take their time in watching his progress and maybe even decide to buy him if they are convinced he is right for them.
They certainly won’t be playing him just to do West Ham any favours.

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As for the quick Concordia update (haters, please skip this section accordingly), the trip to Buchholz in Lower Saxony (representing the longest away trip of the season with their ground being 30 miles away from my flat) yielded mixed results. On the pitch it was an unmitigated disaster, with Cordi losing 0:4 to a side fighting relegation.
Concordia this season are certainly not pulling their weight and at this rate can forget any ambitions of going up one level at the end of the season. Not good.
Talking of weight though, for a food aficionado like me Buchholz offer a unique selling point to the carnivorous groundhopper: Grilled sausages made from horsemeat.
In the Oberliga Hamburg no other club serves these, but Lower Saxony is horse country, hence their unusual (and very tasty) offer on the matchday menu.

Before you kill me, I don’t have a special bond with horses. I never spent any holidays on a ranch as a kid, I have never ridden a horse in my life, I don’t bet on horses and I also eat pork, veal, beef or chicken. And besides, Cordi only play away at Buchholz once a season, so please forgive me if I treat myself to a horsemeat based snack once a year. And believe me, right now I am particularly grateful for any treat I can get.

Which brings me to a bit of a parish notice, closing out my column for this week. In the upcoming weeks my column may be a lot shorter than usual. There may even be certain weeks where I won’t feel like penning an article at all. This is due to personal circumstances/family reasons. Quite simply, I may be absent-minded when it comes to West Ham in the next few weeks/months (although I will still come over for the Chelsea and Arsenal games), so please accept my apologies should my column not go up quite as regularly as you have been accustomed to.


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Dawud Marsh's Photo Diary

Just Like My Dreams They Fade And Die - Part 1

I was unable to attend the Friday night match against Leicester this week so I thought it would be great to post some photos I had of our last season at Upton Park. Hopefully the images will bring back some memories of our home and provide some relief from our current season so far. Part 1 is about the journey from Upton Park tube station down to the ground itself, picking up some of the colour and character of the match day experience. Part 2 will be inside the ground with some images of the matches and crowd in the ground. I have some photos of the last match at home, but my photography was a little less developed back then. I’ll try and edit them as best I can. Included some black and white images as I know some of you prefer those.

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Match Thread

Match Thread: West Ham v Leicester City

West Ham v Leicester City
FA Premier League
London Stadium
KO 8pm
TV: Sky Sports
Radio: BBC 5 Live

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

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