Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v Bournemouth

Blast from the past

In today’s preview, we travel back to 11th April 1990; Margaret Thatcher was in her final months as Prime Minister, Madonna’s ‘Vogue’ topped the charts, John Travolta and Kirstie Alley were in UK cinemas in Look Who’s Talking and, at a time of Poll Tax Riots and the Strangeways Prison Riots, West Ham United ran riot as Bournemouth, competing at the opposite end of the Second Division, visited east London.

Billy Bonds’ Hammers ran out 4-1 winners in this Wednesday night encounter in front of 20,202 spectators at the Boleyn Ground. Jimmy Quinn’s strike was deflected in for an own goal by ex-Tottenham defender Paul Miller before Ian Bishop struck a beauty into the top corner from distance against his old club after 23 minutes. David Coleman, who had celebrated his 23rd birthday just three days previously, pulled one back before half-time for Harry Redknapp’s Bournemouth, lifting the ball over Ludek Miklosko after Luther Blissett had outmuscled Colin Foster. Coleman tragically died in 1997.

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In the second half, Quinn won a penalty which was dispatched with the usual aplomb by Julian Dicks, who would be voted Hammer of the Year a month later (the first of four occasions that he would win the prestigious prize). Dicks would also finish as top scorer with 14 goals from 52 matches. Northern Ireland striker Quinn was again involved for the fourth goal, heading Stuart Slater’s cross back across goal for ‘Mad Dog’ Martin Allen (pictured above) to nod home from close range. My video below shows the goals from this game.

The Hammers would end the 1989/90 campaign in seventh place in the Second Division, two points adrift of the play-offs despite finishing as the division’s joint highest scorers with 80 goals, while Bournemouth would finish 22nd out of 24 teams and were relegated. Leeds won the Second Division, Liverpool won the First Division title and Manchester United won the FA Cup.

West Ham United: Ludek Miklosko, George Parris (Steve Potts), Tony Gale, Colin Foster, Julian Dicks, Kevin Keen, Ian Bishop, Martin Allen, Stuart Slater, Jimmy Quinn, Trevor Morley (Frank McAvennie).

Club Connections

A decent number of players have turned out for both West Ham United and Bournemouth. Jermain Defoe and Hammers Academy product Junior Stanislas are currently on Bournemouth’s books while Carl Fletcher played for both clubs and is currently youth team manager with the Cherries. Ex-Bournemouth midfielder Paul Mitchell, who made one league appearance for the Hammers in 1994, is back with the Cherries as a correspondent for Opta Sports. Other players to have appeared for both clubs include:

Goalkeepers: David James, Stephen Henderson and Marek Stech.

Defenders: Everald La Ronde, Bill Kitchener, Rio Ferdinand, Phil Brignull, Reg Parker, Keith Rowland, Elliott Ward, Bobby Howe and Horace Glover.

Midfielders: Ian Bishop, Trevor Hartley, Bobby Barnes, Tommy Southren, Jimmy Neighbour, Emmanuel Omoyinmi, Tony Scott, Anthony Edgar, Scott Mean, Matty Holmes, Dale Gordon, Jack Collison and Patsy Holland.

Strikers: Nicky Morgan, John Arnott, Mark Watson, Zavon Hines, Steve Jones and Ted MacDougall.

Harry Redknapp played for and managed both clubs. Former Hammers player John Bond went on to manage Bournemouth, while Jimmy Quinn played for both clubs and also managed the Cherries.

Today’s preview focuses on a wing-half who experienced limited playing time at West Ham United before enjoying a lengthy career with Bournemouth. Keith Miller (pictured) was born in Lewisham on 26th January 1948. He joined the Hammers from Walthamstow Avenue and made his debut at the age of 20 as a substitute in a 2-2 draw against Ipswich at Portman Road on 23rd November 1968. He did not appear for the senior side again in 1968/69 but did appear once more from the bench early the following season, in a 1-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest on 30th August 1969. Miller’s only start for the Irons came in a 2-2 draw with Leeds at the Boleyn Ground on 2nd April 1970.

After three appearances for West Ham United, the 22-year-old Miller moved to John Bond’s Fourth Division Bournemouth in the summer of 1970 for a fee of £10,000. He played 103 consecutive games after arriving and won promotion to the Third Division in his first season with the Cherries under the management duo of former Hammers Bond and Ken Brown, playing alongside fellow ex-Irons Trevor Hartley, Tony Scott and Pat Holland (on loan). He almost won successive promotions the following season as Bournemouth finished third in the Third Division. Miller went on to captain the club and played 383 matches for Bournemouth, scoring 19 goals – he stands fifth in the Cherries’ all-time appearance charts, behind Steve Fletcher (628), Neil Young (430), Sean O’Driscoll (423) and Ray Bumstead (415). He was rewarded with a testimonial against Tottenham in 1980.

Miller, who turns 70 next Friday, settled in Dorset after retiring from playing and was interviewed at half-time in last season’s match between Bournemouth and West Ham on the south coast.


The referee on Saturday will be Martin Atkinson, who most recently refereed our 1-1 home draw with Leicester in November. He was also in charge of our 3-0 home defeat to Brighton in October and our 4-0 opening weekend defeat at Manchester United on 13th August. 2017/18 is Atkinson’s 13th as a Premier League referee. Since West Ham United achieved promotion back to the top flight in 2012 Atkinson has refereed 19 of our league matches, officiating in nine wins for the Hammers, two draws and eight defeats.

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Atkinson is pictured above refereeing our 3-1 win at Bournemouth in January 2016. He also refereed the Hammers’ FA Cup quarter-final at Old Trafford in March 2016, when he turned down appeals for a penalty after Marcos Rojo appeared to have tripped Dimitri Payet and failed to spot Bastian Schweinstieger’s block on Darren Randolph as Man Utd equalised late on. He refereed last September’s 4-2 home defeat to Watford and October’s 1-0 win at Crystal Palace, when he controversially sent off Aaron Cresswell for two very harsh yellow cards in quick succession. His other Hammers appointments last season were our 3-1 win at Middlesbrough in January and our 3-0 defeat to Arsenal in April.

Possible line-ups

The Hammers are without Jose Fonte, Edimilson Fernandes, Michail Antonio, Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho, while Winston Reid is a major doubt. Cheikhou Kouyate and Chicharito could return.

Bournemouth are set to be without the injured Tyrone Mings and Jermain Defoe. Junior Stanislas and Josh King could return from thigh injuries.

Possible West Ham United XI: Adrian; Zabaleta, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Masuaku; Kouyate, Noble, Obiang; Lanzini, Arnautovic.

Possible Bournemouth XI: Begovic; Smith, Francis, Ake, Steve Cook, Daniels; Lewis Cook, Gosling; Fraser, Ibe; Wilson.

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!

P.S. WHUISA are running a survey to garner your views on away ticketing, the results of which will be shared with the club. Please take the short survey and ensure your voice is heard by clicking here

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Guest Post

Worst West Ham manager of all time? Surely there can only be one man for this crown?

Up to David Moyes’ appointment as Hammers boss in November, only 15 managers had the privilege of occupying the hot seat on a permanent basis.

This month Blowing Bubbles has put them under the microscope to come up with definitive all-time rankings.

In their quest, no stone was left unturned to come up with decisive results and now, in their latest issue, the results are in their January issue.

Whilst competition at the top of the charts may be tough – Lyall or Redknapp? Greenwood or Bonds? – when it comes to the crown of worst manager in West Ham history, there is one stand-out candidate. Manager number unlucky 13 – Avram Grant.

Editor David Blackmore said: "When he was at Chelsea, Grant guided the Blues to the Champions League final, only for John Terry’s night in Moscow to famously end in tears.

“In his one season in charge of West Ham, 2010-11, there were no finals – but plenty to cry about. The Israeli’s year at the helm was painful to endure, with a team bereft of ideas or motivation finishing rock bottom of the table, suffering their second relegation in eight years.

“Fortunately, however, Grant was the exception to the rule, and most West Ham managers have produced some memorable moments in their time in charge.”

Find out who sits where in the pecking order, and who has been crowned the ultimate boss of bosses for West Ham, be sure to read the latest edition of Blowing Bubbles

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Guest Post

WHUISA Update, Away Ticketing Survey & Open Committee Meeting

Guest Post by WHUISA Committee

Committee Update

After launching and guiding WHUISA through its first year, our Chair Paul Christmas has asked to step down so he can concentrate on other projects such as his great work with the Hammers Supporters’ Club. He remains a Committee member.

As a result, vice-chair Mark Walker will become Acting Chair until the next Committee meeting.

Three people, Kim Perryman, Bill Edwards and Nigel Kahn have decided they wish to leave the Committee. Bill remains available to the Committee for advice on policing matters.

We thank all of them for their hard work in trying to get a better deal for West Ham United supporters.

We will be looking to bring three new Committee members on-board in due course.

WHUISA Meeting with West Ham

On 30th November, WHUISA met with West Ham United to discuss issues raised by our members. Tara Warren (Executive Director, Marketing and Communications) and Jake Heath (Supporter Services Manager) represented the club. Minutes of WHUISA’s meeting with West Ham United on 30th November can be found here.

Away Ticketing

WHUISA are running a survey to garner your views on away ticketing, the results of which will be shared with the club. Please take the short survey and ensure your voice is heard by clicking here

Open Committee Meeting

There will also be an open Committee meeting at the White Post Cafe in Schwartz Wharf (Building 4), 92 White Post Lane, London E9 5EN on Saturday 20th January (before our home game against Bournemouth) starting at 11am sharp. All are welcome to attend.

You can become a member of WHUISA by clicking here.

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Academy & Under 18s

Will Ajibola Alese Be The Next Defender To Come Through From The Academy?

In a week when West Ham youth players are grabbing the plaudits for their FA Cup exploits I thought it an apt time to have a look at a future prospect yet to break through.
Aji Alese turned 17 years old yesterday (at time of writing), three days after Declan Rice turned 19. Following birth dates may well simulate subsequent paths in to the first team for Aji in relation to Declan. Looking a very solid CB Aji has already been promoted from Steve Potts’ U18’s to the U23 Prem League 2 team where he’s played an 80 minute match against, reigning champions, Everton in August. After a long lay off he’s made further 2 full games versus Manchester United and Leicester U23’s. Tough fixtures all which makes the fact that Terry Westley’s team did not concede a single goal during Aji’s 260 minute time with them all the more impressive. So impressive that the U23 gaffer lauded his performance in the post Leicester match interview. You can view highlights of the game, and the manager’s summary, at the development fixtures page of the official site by clicking here.

To think young Aji is only 16. Second game back. He’s fully spent in the dressing room right now. He’s very, very tired but an outstanding performance for me. – Terry Westley

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As recently as last term he was in the U16’s. Playing part of the season with the U18 promotion squad he bagged the team’s second in the comeback 3-3 final game, of 2016-17, away to Arsenal. For a lad of sixteen to go up against seasoned professionals at U23, Premier League 2, level says a lot about the maturity and physicality of Aji – not to mention he likes to get forward for balls in to the box which was illustrated to good effect by his goal at Arsenal where he controlled and finished brilliantly from Joe Powell’s cross.
Naturally right footed but can play on Right or Left side of Central defence he has also been wearing the coveted number 6 on his back and is developing a good partnership with Akinola at the heart of defence.

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Having captained England at U15 level, with previous representation at U16’, Aji is rated as one of the best prospects in the Premier League. Both Citeh and Liverpool were chasing him last Summer but he’s signed a deal with West Ham until July 2019 thanks to Slaven Bilic’s foresight in beating the two, top four, sides to his signature. Should David Moyes remain beyond this term I suspect he’ll be keeping a close eye on Aji.

With Reece Burke grabbing the winning goal on Tuesday night things are certainly looking healthy for the defenders from the academy of late. Mr West Ham, in his understated and down to earth way, had some words of encouragement for him after the game as shown in the following video : -

With many stand out performances for West Ham in the Academy team Aji continues to go from strength to strength. West Ham seem to have assembled something of a Centre Back production line in recent years and Aji could well be the next to make a breakthrough. I, for one, certainly hope so.

COYI! West Ham 4 The Cup!

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The Blind Hammer Column

Give Me The Child And I Will Give You The …

Blind Hammer recalls some memories to support West Ham’s policy of attracting young supporters.

One of the criticisms following West Ham’s move into the London Stadium is their failure to fill every seat formally sold. A reason identified for this is the relatively high amount of cheap young supporter season tickets made available. West Ham offered £99 Season Tickets for children under 16 on entry into the new Stadium. This follows a tradition of cheap tickets for children. The ticket arrangements for the Shrewsbury game also offered the popular “kids for a quid” promotion. The problem is that this scheme is apparently one of the main reasons why not all season Tickets seats are filled routinely. This is especially the case for the ever increasing number of evening matches when it may be more difficult for children to attend. In practical terms a Child missing out on a game for which they have paid on average only £5 might not be considered financially too much of a problem for a family. They may be much more incentivised to fill a seat for which they have paid £50.

Despite this, probably unavoidable issue, I entirely support the club in this policy, even if it does mean that for some games seats are not always filled. The London Stadium is a venue which the young will have to inherit. Since the move into the Stadium West Ham have attracted 12,000 – 20,000 extra supporters a game compared to their tenure at Upton Park. In the longer term this is critical for the viability and health of the club. This is one of the real reasons why capacity is so important for our future.

We, as older supporters, can forget the life transforming aspects of attending even a single football match for a young supporter. 40 years ago I was a residential social worker at an Assessment unit in East London. This unit tried to rescue a future for difficult teenagers and plan for their future care. One story from that time illustrates the life transforming impact of Football. At this unit I had to look after a group of between 12-15 children and teenagers. It was probably the toughest and most difficult job of my life. Amongst this group were young 11 year old Adam, and his 12 year old brother Charlie (not real name). These brothers, despite their young age had instituted a crime wave of burglaries in their local housing estate. They were clearly beyond the control of their mother and were taken into care for assessment.

To be honest their difficult behaviour made my life hell as a young care worker. However one day the previously absent father turned up to see his sons. He had decided he now wanted to take on the care of 12 year old Charlie. The problem was that he decided he wanted nothing to do with 11 year old Adam. He blamed Adam for supposedly leading Charlie astray.

So, distressingly, it was decided that Charlie could
Be released to the care of his Father, but Adam had to remain behind in the unit. The results for Adam were an inevitably devastating traumatic experience. He not only had to cope with separation from his Mother, he had now lost the support of his Brother and was rejected by his Father.
The previously brash difficult 11 year old child was now a crying wreck, hiding in his bedroom, wrapping his head up in his window curtain so that I could not see his tear stained face. He would face a future in the short term of isolation insecurity and loneliness.

I had gone into his bedroom to try and console him but, of course, he would inconsolable. I tried to think what I could do to try and reduce the trauma. I went to the unit manager and said that I have noticed that there was a football game at Leyton orient that evening and I ask permission to distract Adam from his problems by taking him to the game. Receiving this permission I returned to see Adam and told him that he could go to the football. He was interested enough to stop crying and listen to my plan. I explain to Adam that although it would not cold at the moment it was going to be cold tonight so he needed to wrap up warm. Adam then reverted to his familiar difficult behaviour and refused point blank to entertain any thought of wearing anything warm. I was in a quandary. If I insisted on his wearing warm clothes it would have been a battle from which Adam which not have backed down, he would have missed the match, and he would have experienced even more disappointment on a day of disappointment.

In the end I decided to let him accompany me wearing only his shirt and thin jacket. Predictably by half time at Leyton orient I had a teeth chattering, shivering 11-year-old by my side, completely freezing cold. With a sigh I decided to take him to the Orient shop. There I bought him everything warm I could find. I bought him gloves, scarf, hat, and shirt. This improves matters so that he was not quite so cold for the second half.

Adam moved on to another children’s home but the moral of the story is that I discovered years later is that from this single visit I had created a passionate and lifelong Leyton Orient supporter.

I took other children from the Unit to see West Ham play in my own time, and this had a similar effect of creating affinity and support for the Hammers.
, however it is the memory of Adam and his visit to Leyton Orient that to this day remains most clearly with me.

The Jesuits said that “Give me the child of 7 and I will give you the man. We should support West Ham in their bid to invest in all our futures however this is not just for the benefit of West Ham.

Football with all its consequent emotion of support is I believe an important aspect of life in our society. It provides identity for us all. I am a West Ham supporter. Identity for a child who has been shorn of identity by separation is no small thing.
Thankfully only a minority of children will experience the trauma Adam had to endure but the emotional engagement of football is, I believe, valuable for all. Our lives are coloured by the motional triumph of victory but saddened by the disappointment of defeat. This is part of the inevitable rhythm of victory and loss for the vast majority of Football Supporters. It is a good lesson for life. Life will have lows as well as highs. The trick is to face the challenge of disappointment and move onto the hopeful joy of the next victory. Football is as good an emotional coping template as any.
David Griffith

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