Nostalgia

The West Ham Team of the 1990s

Ludek Miklosko: Hammers hero

It’s just a bit of fun, but I thought I would spend an hour dreaming up my West Ham team of the 1990s. I first had a season ticket in 1992, so I saw most of the players we had in the 1990s. It’s funny how we all remember certain players who we thought could have really become big stars if only they had been given the chance or seized the opportunity when it came along. There were quite a few in the 1990s. Matthew Rush is one that immediately springs to mind. He had everything – an athletic build, loads of skill, the ability to score spectacular goals and speed. But he lacked application and mental will to drive himself on. He ended up spending a few seasons in the lower leagues before becoming a PE teacher. He won’t make my team of the 1990s, but he could have. So, here we go. To qualify for the team, a player must have played at least one game during the 1990s, starting the the 1990-91 season and finishing with the 1998-99 season.

Goalkeeper

Can we really look beyond Ludek Miklosko? No, of course not. In my view neither Craig Forrest nor Shaka Hislop were in the same league as Ludo.

Left Back

Similarly, Julian Dicks had a bit of competition from David Burrows, David Unsworth and Stuart Pearce, bur clearly Dicksy gets the nod.

Steve Potts: Loyal Servant

Right Back

Right back was a tricky position once Tim Breacker left and Steve Potts retired. Breacker was a fantastic player for West Ham, but my nod goes to Steve Potts who wasn’t just an excellent right back, but was brilliant in central defence.

Central Defenders

Here’s where it gets difficult. How on earth do you pick two from Alvin Martin, Tony Gale, Marc Rieper, Slaven Bilic and Rio Ferdinand. I can’t believe I am leaving out Alvin Martin, but I am going to plump for Slaven Bilic, who may have been a mercenary, but he was a brilliant, brilliant defender. And Rio Ferdinand looked the real deal from the moment he made his first team debut.

John Moncur Central Midfield

If anything, this was our weakest position in the 1990s. If you think about it, few of the likes of Don Hutchinson, John Moncur, Martin Allen, Ian Bishop, Danny Williamson, Steve Lomas or Frank Lampard in his early days, were likely to strike fear into the hearts of the opposition. Eyal Berkovic, on the other hand, was a different kettle of fish. Playing behind the front two, he was a brilliant playmaker, and formed a superb understanding with John Hartson (apart from when Hartson was kicking him in the head). So it’s Eyal Berkovic and John Moncur for me. Moncur was a tenacious midfielder with a good tackle and a powerful shot. I’d like to have gone for Ian Bishop, but if it’s 4-4-2 with two wingers you need a tackling midfielder in there, putting it about a bit.

Tricky Trevor Sinclair

Wingers

We also had a nice line in tricky wingers. Stuart Slater, Mark Robson, Kevin Keen, Matty Holmes, Michael Hughes, Stan Laziridis, Hugo Porfirio, Trevor Sinclair and Joe Cole are the leading candidates. Laziridis was always a favourite of mine, possibly because he was the first footballer I ever interviewed. In the end I’ll go for Trevor Sinclair on the right and Joe Cole on the left. Hugo Porfirio was another one of those players who came, made an impact, thought he was better than us and left for oblivion. If he had stayed I believe he could have become a great player for us.

John Hartson

Strikers

Despite a rich vein of goalscorers including Tony Cottee, Trevor Morley, Jimmy Quinn, Clive Allen and Paul Kitson, the two obvious picks for me are Paolo di Canio and John Hartson. Hartson, together with Kitson, saved us from relegation and Di Canio remains the greatest player I have ever seen in a West Ham shirt.

So here’s my team: Miklosko, Potts, Dicks, Ferdinand, Bilic, Cole, Sinclair, Moncur, Berkovic, Hartson, Di Canio. And on the subs bench: Hislop, Rieper, Morley, Cottee, Bishop.

Feel free to disagree!


Transfer Gossip

Come Back Carlton Cole

Carlton Cole: Missed

It is now clear that we are going to struggle to sign a marquee striker before deadline, unless we can shift out the likes of Taylor, Vaz Te or McCartney, or even all three. There is, of course another option, albeit an unlikely one. Bring back Carlton Cole. Ok, Ok, I know, but bear with me.

As I understand it, Carlton was offered a new contract but didn’t accept it. He felt he’d be better of pursuing other options. Well, so far that hasn’t quite worked for him. There have been suggestions that he might go to France, Turkey or the USA, or even to Crystal Palace. Now he might be playing a very skilful game of poker, who knows? But if we get to 31 August and Carlton hasn’t found a new home, I wonder whether Sam Allardyce might offer him a way back. Yes, he’d have to eat a bit of humble pie, and the deal may not be the one that was of offer in May, but what do you think he’d rather do, languish in the Championship or come back to a club that he has a real affinity with.

Carlton Cole may not be a prolific goalscorer, and last season didn’t have the best of times, but we all know he would give his all, and be a great understudy to a player who is notoriously injury prone. We could do far worse,


Video

David Gold: We Need Another Striker

This is David Gold’s interview with Sky Sports News last night. He is clear that we need another striker, but equally clear we’d have to sell a couple of players first. Ecxpect lots of last minute action!


Parish Notice

Site Update & Your Feedback

The site has now been live for 40 hours now and I’d like to thank everyone for the constructive feedback so far. The positivity has been excellent to observe and everyone who has reported problems has done it politely and without too much frustration. Many of the initial issues were resolved quite quickly, but there are still some issues remaining, so I thought I’d address some of them now and let you know what is happening.

MOBILE OPTIMISATION & TABLETS

As I have explained several times, the site is not yet optimised for most mobile phones. Those of you who use mobile phones have found it difficult to access or leave comments. This will be addressed as soon as possible, but it’s not an easy job. On iPads it works very well if you have the latest software update. Some say they find they can’t scroll through the comments properly on an iPad but that is because you have to wait for them to load properly before scrolling.

It is also not possible to edit your profile on iPads. That’s not our fault. It’s down to iPad technology, I’m afraid. Mobile devices don’t have upload picker fields, so I’m told!

SEEN ELSEWHERE

Do feel free to recommend interesting articles you have seen elsewhere for me to include in the sidebar. This innovation seems to be fairly popular. I will keep it as up to date as I can, but I can’t keep track of everything that appears on other sites.

COMMENTS

Some of you don’t like the fact that the original post isn’t viewbable on the Comments page any longer. I suspect this is partly because it’s not what you’re used to, but at some point we’ll offer the option.

We are now only allowing one level of nested comments. On the previous site it was unlimited. We felt it didn’t add anything and was difficult to follow, so we do not intend to restore this.

We will also be adding a LIKE button to each comment.

SWEARING

We will be introducing an optional swearing filter, although this is not yet active. We’re all adults and I swear like anyone else, but one of the assets of this site is that it hasn’t stooped to the depths of some others. However, rather than have an outright ban, we’ll give you the option of reading some swear words or not. If you choose not to they’ll be &%$£*() hidden like that! As I say, that’s to come shortly.

WHTID TWITTER FEED

For some reason the Twitter band underneath the banner was responsible for the site crashing intermittantly so we have removed it while we find another option. We’ll be making much more use of the Twitter feed, so if you don’t already follow it, do so @iaindalewestham.

OLD POSTS

We’ll be importing all the posts from the old site soon, but we don’t think we will be able to import the comments, although we’re going to try. There will be an Archive in the sidebar.

USER PROFILES

You will soon be able to add your favourite players and favourite First Elevens. There will be a few other fields to tell users about yourself and where you live, and how you came to support the Hammers.

COMMENT PAGE: WHY IS THE SPACE ON THE RIGHT NOT USED?

We have plans. Just saying. Some have asked for the comment boxes to be made bigger and stretched across the screen. We’re not going to do that as it would look ghastly. I won’t tell you what we have planned for this space yet as it probably won’t happen very quickly.

PICTURES

As you will have seen, we now intend to use pictures on the sites within posts. However, we have to be very careful not to breach copyrights. If you have any West Ham related pictures you think we might use which are copyright free, please do email them to me.

NEW WRITERS

I’m keen to recruit a couple of new writers to our team. I want this site to step up a gear now, and it’s just not possible for SJ Chandos and I to do it all by ourselves anymore. So if you fancy writing for us, do get in touch via the Contact button at the top of the page, ideally explainign what you think you’d be good at covering, and also maybe enclose a sample article.

CONCLUSION

And that’s it! Please do keep your feedback coming. We’ll be making lots of improvements and tweaks over the next few weeks, as time allows. We’re always very happy to entertain new ideas.


Player Performance Results

Joe Cole Wins WHTID Man of the Match v Cardiff

Well done to Joe Cole, and indeed Stewart Downing. Downing was only on the pitch for 20 minutes, but what an impact he made!


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