Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v West Brom

Blast from the past

West Ham United met West Bromwich Albion in the fourth round of the FA Cup at the Boleyn Ground in front of 37,222 on the 28th January 1933 – Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany two days later and writer of The Forsyte Saga (and winner of the 1932 Nobel Prize for Literature) John Galsworthy died the day after that.

West Ham had reached this fourth round tie following a 2-0 victory at amateur side Corinthian, the London club which inspired Real Madrid’s white strip; West Brom had beaten Liverpool 2-0. The newly-relegated second-tier Hammers emerged victorious against their top-flight opponents courtesy of a 2-0 win; the Irons’ goals in this fourth round match came courtesy of 35-year-old legendary centre-forward Vic Watson and 24-year-old Geordie inside-left Arthur Wilson.

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The Hammers progressed to the fifth round, where they beat Third Division South side Brighton 1-0 in a replay at Upton Park after a 2-2 draw on the South Coast. Watson, a scorer against the Baggies in the fourth round, is pictured above as the West Ham players took brine baths in Southend as part of their preparation for the fifth round tie against the Seagulls. First Division Birmingham were trounced 4-0 in the quarter-finals in east London to set up a Molineux semi-final against top flight Everton – the Irons’ cup run was brought to an end as the Merseysiders triumphed 2-1. The Toffees would go on to win the 1933 FA Cup, defeating Manchester City 3-0 in the Final at Wembley.

West Ham United: George Watson, Alf Chalkley, Albert Walker, Jimmy Collins, Jim Barrett, Albert Cadwell, Tommy Yews, Wally Pollard, Vic Watson, Arthur Wilson, Jackie Morton.

Aside from this fourth round victory in 1933, West Ham’s remaining FA Cup record against West Brom is as follows:
1913 – West Brom 1-1 West Ham (1st round)
1913 – West Ham 2-2 West Brom (1st round Replay)
1913 – West Brom 0-3 West Ham (1st round 2nd Replay)
1953 – West Ham 1-4 West Brom (4th round)
1980 – West Brom 1-1 West Ham (3rd round)
1980 – West Ham 2-1 West Brom (3rd round Replay)
1993 – West Brom 0-2 West Ham (3rd round)
2015 – West Brom 4-0 West Ham (5th round)

Club Connections

Grady Diangana is currently on loan at West Brom from West Ham. Former Hammers defender and manager Super Slaven Bilic returns to his old club. The Irons and the Baggies have shared a decent number of players over the years. These include:

Defenders: Danny Gabbidon, Peter McManus, David Burrows, Steve Walford, Gary Strodder, Tyrone Mears, Harry Kinsell.

Midfielders: Peter Butler, Alan Dickens, Franz Carr, Freddie Fenton, Morgan Amalfitano, Nigel Quashie.

Strikers: Geoff Hurst, Tudor Martin, David Speedie, Frank Nouble, John Hartson, Chippy Simmons, Vince Haynes, Tommy Green, David Cross.

Alan Pardew has managed both clubs. Archie Macauley played for West Ham and managed West Brom, while Sam Allardyce played for the Baggies and managed the Hammers. Bobby Gould played for both clubs and also spent a period as manager at The Hawthorns.

This week’s focus though is on a player who played for West Ham and had a loan spell at West Brom. Jeroen Boere was born in Arnhem on 18th November 1967. He started his career with Excelsior in 1985 before moving to De Graafschap two years later. An old-fashioned centre-forward in the target man mould, Boere moved to VVV-Venlo in 1988 but returned to De Graafschap in a loan deal – he scored an impressive 28 goals in 56 appearances during his two spells with De Graafschap. Boere was on the move again in 1990, signing for Roda JC but he returned to VVV-Venlo later that same year. He joined Go Ahead Eagles in 1991 before moving to England two years later.

The 25-year-old Boere joined Billy Bonds’ newly-promoted West Ham United for a fee of £250,000 in September 1993, hot on the heels of the arrivals of David Burrows, Mike Marsh and Lee Chapman. He suffered an ignominious debut on 25th September 1993, receiving a red card for an elbow on Kevin Scott in a 2-0 defeat at Newcastle shortly after entering the fray as a substitute. Boere scored his first goal for the Hammers in a 2-0 League Cup second round second leg win at Chesterfield on 5th October 1993. He made only three further appearances in claret and blue in 1993/94 and spent the final weeks of the campaign on loan at Portsmouth.

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Boere joined West Brom on loan in the early stages of the 1994/95 campaign, with Harry Redknapp now in the manager’s hotseat at Upton Park – he made five goalless appearances for the Baggies during his loan spell at The Hawthorns.. He returned to east London in November 1994 with the Irons entrenched in a relegation battle; he scored his first league goal for the club in his first Premier League start, in a 2-1 defeat at QPR on 4th December 1994. Boere followed this up with a brace of headers the following weekend in a 2-2 draw at Leeds, salvaging a point from Elland Road after the Hammers had been two goals down. Forging a promising strike partnership with Tony Cottee, Boere scored with another header against Tottenham at the Boleyn on 14th January 1995 but the Irons would lose 2-1 to a Spurs side inspired by goalscorers Jurgen Klinsmann and future Hammer Teddy Sheringham. Boere’s strike against Tottenham’s Ian Walker did, however, deny the goalkeeper a chance to break a consecutive clean sheets record held by Ray Clemence.

With the return from injury of Don Hutchison, Boere found his first team opportunities again restricted, although he did score in a 3-0 home win over Wimbledon on 13th April 1995 and bagged a vital late equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Ipswich four days later, which would transpire to be his final goal for the club. He made his final appearance in claret and blue as a substitute in a 1-1 home draw with Tottenham on 30th August 1995 before joining Crystal Palace the following month as part of the deal which brought Iain Dowie back to Upton Park for a second spell. Boere had scored seven goals in 29 appearances for West Ham United – all of these goals can be viewed in my video below.

After six months with the Eagles, Boere moved to Southend in March 1996 and spent two years at Roots Hall before moving to Japan to play for Saitama-based Omiya Ardija. In May 1999, after dinner with his wife at a restaurant in Tokyo, he was stabbed in his left eye and arm by two unknown men; his attacker was reported to be an Israeli criminal who was later found shot through the head in a Bangkok river. Boere lost his eye in the incident, forcing his retirement from football at the age of 31.

After his retirement, Boere owned The Half Moon pub in Epping High Street from 1999 until 2004. He moved to Spain in September 2004 to work as a real estate agent. Jeroen Boere tragically died at the age of just 39, on 16th August 2007. Reports regarding the circumstances of Boere’s death are conflicting; some outlets reported that the Dutchman died in a car crash, possibly on Ibiza, while other media reported that he was found dead at his home in Marbella. The Ilford Recorder stated that Boere had committed suicide. Boere left his wife and child, as well as two sons from a previous marriage.

Referee

The referee on Saturday will be Stuart Attwell. The Birmingham-based official will take charge of a West Ham game for the 11th time – he has sent off a Hammers striker in two of his other ten games officiating the Irons. He refereed our 1-0 victory at Wigan in March 2009 and our 3-1 win at Blackpool in February 2011. The 37-year-old sent off the Latics’ Lee Cattermole for a shocking challenge on Scott Parker, while the Hammers’ Carlton Cole also received his marching orders during the aforementioned win at Wigan. Even Latics boss Steve Bruce criticised the decision to dismiss the Irons striker. Attwell also issued a first-half red card to Andy Carroll in our 1-1 draw at Burnley in October 2017.

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Attwell also awarded an infamous ‘phantom’ goal for Reading in a Championship match against Watford in September 2008. He was the youngest-ever Premier League referee but was demoted from the Select Group in 2012. He refereed the Hammers in August 2018 in our 2-1 home defeat to Bournemouth, when he awarded the Irons a penalty which was converted by Marko Arnautovic, and in our 3-1 League Cup home defeat to Tottenham in October 2018. Attwell awarded a dubious match-winning penalty to Manchester City at the Etihad last February and also refereed our 3-0 home win over Southampton last May. His Hammers appointments this season were our 2-2 draw at Bournemouth in September and, most recently, our 3-2 home defeat to Newcastle in November.

The VAR Official is David Coote.

Possible line-ups

For West Ham United, Lukasz Fabianski, Ryan Fredericks, Jack Wilshere, Andriy Yarmolenko and Felipe Anderson are on the sidelines, while Robert Snodgrass is a doubt.

Grady Diangana is not eligible to play against his parent club due to FA rules, and has a hamstring injury anyway. Matheus Pereira begins a three-match suspension this weekend. Super Slaven Bilic makes his return to London Stadium, where he is sure to get a good reception. His Baggies side are top of the Championship table but have only won two of their last nine games. West Brom sold their entire near-5,000 away ticket allocation in under 48 hours.

Possible West Ham United XI: Randolph; Diop, Balbuena, Ogbonna; Zabaleta, Rice, Sanchez, Masuaku; Fornals; Lanzini, Haller.

Possible West Bromwich Albion XI: Bond; Fitzwater, Hegazi, O’Shea, Townsend; Brunt, Barry, Harper, Edwards; Austin, Zohore.

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!


Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Leicester v West Ham

Blast from the past

Back in 1985/86, West Ham United visited Leicester City on the 11th January 1986, beating the Foxes 1-0 at Filbert Street in front of 11,512. This away victory came on the day Countdown co-presenter Rachel Riley was born, the day after Lovejoy made its BBC debut and the day before Catchphrase first aired on ITV. Pet Shop Boys were number one with ‘West End Girls’ and National Lampoon’s European Vacation topped the UK box office.

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The only goal of the game came courtesy of 25-year-old Frank McAvennie (pictured above). Alan Dickens released Mark Ward down the right and his dinked cross was met by a looping McAvennie header which beat Ian Andrews in the Leicester goal. McAvennie would top the Hammers scoring charts with 28 goals from 51 matches in 1985/86. The goal can be viewed in my video below.

Liverpool clinched the 1985/86 championship while, in the final-game decider for the runners-up position, Everton beat the Hammers 3-1 at Goodison Park to leave the Irons in third place, still our highest ever League position. Unfortunately there was no prize of a European place in 1986/87 following the Heysel ban on English clubs in Europe. Liverpool would complete the Double by winning the FA Cup. Tony Cottee would be voted Hammer of the Year, with strike partner McAvennie runner-up.

Leicester City: Ian Andrews, John O’Neill, Russell Osman, Simon Morgan, Bobby Smith, Ali Mauchlen, Gary McAllister, Ian Banks, Andy Feeley, Steve Lynex, Mark Bright (Alan Smith).

West Ham United: Phil Parkes, Ray Stewart, Alvin Martin, Tony Gale, Steve Walford, Mark Ward, George Parris, Alan Dickens, Alan Devonshire, Frank McAvennie, Tony Cottee.

Club Connections

Players who have represented both the Hammers and the Foxes include:

Goalkeepers: George Hebden, Colin Mackleworth.

Defenders: Gary Charles, Chris Powell, Dickie Pudan, Rufus Brevett, Paul Konchesky, Dai Jones, Matthew Upson, Clive Clarke, Billy Oakes, Fred Milnes, John Paintsil.

Midfielders: Andy Impey, Shaun Newton, Nolberto Solano, Franz Carr, Sid Bishop.

Strikers: David Connolly, Albert Carnelly, Mike Newell, Brian Deane, Keith Robson, Paul Kitson, David Speedie, Bertie Lyon, Norman Proctor, Les Ferdinand, David Kelly, Tony Cottee, Jimmy Quinn.

Frank O’Farrell and Jimmy Bloomfield have played for the Hammers and managed the Foxes.

Today’s focus is on another who played for West Ham United and managed Leicester City. Martin Allen was born in Reading on the 14th August 1965 and started his professional career at QPR in 1984. Martin was born into the famous footballing Allen family – the son of Dennis Allen (who played for Reading, Charlton and Bournemouth), the nephew of Les and cousin of Paul, Bradley and Clive. He played in the 1986 League Cup Final during his time at Loftus Road before joining Lou Macari’s West Ham United in the summer of 1989 for a fee of £670,000. He scored on his Hammers debut in a 3-2 home win over Plymouth on 26th August 1989 and bagged another in his next appearance at Upton Park in a 1-1 draw against Swindon. Allen scored an impressive 11 goals in 48 appearances in his first season with the club and also picked up a red card in a League Cup quarter-final against Derby – it was Allen’s strike against Wimbledon that had booked the Hammers’ place in the last eight. He had gained a reputation as a midfielder with an eye for goal – his combative nature in the middle of the park also lived up to his nickname, ‘Mad Dog’.

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Billy Bonds had taken over from Lou Macari midway through the 1989/90 campaign – Allen’s goal at Middlesbrough had given Bonzo his first win as Hammer manager. 1990/91 would see Allen spend more time as a substitute than the previous season – he made 46 appearances but 12 of these were from the bench. He scored five goals in this promotion-winning campaign – four came in October 1990 with two in a League Cup second round second leg 2-2 draw at Stoke and another double in a 2-1 home win over Charlton. His final goal of the season was in the reverse match at Selhurst Park, Charlton’s temporary home, in a 1-1 draw.

The fateful First Division campaign of 1991/92 saw Allen spend a considerable amount of time on the sidelines with an Achilles injury – he scored two goals from 24 matches, both against Sunderland in a 3-2 FA Cup fifth round replay defeat at Upton Park on 26th February 1992. Allen was a key member of the 1992/93 promotion-winning side though, playing 44 matches as he teamed up with new signing Peter Butler in midfield – the pair provided a tough-tackling, no-nonsense approach which allowed wingers Kevin Keen and Mark Robson to create for free-scoring Trevor Morley and Clive Allen, Martin’s cousin who had joined from Chelsea towards the end of the previous campaign. ‘Mad Dog’ scored four goals – September strikes in a 2-1 home win over Watford and 3-1 triumph at Peterborough were followed by a goal in a 6-0 smashing of Sunderland at Upton Park and another in a 4-0 home victory over Brentford.

1993/94 saw ‘Mad Dog’ stamp his paws on the Premier League – he scored ten goals in 34 matches. Most of his game time in the early months of the season came from the bench and he only registered one goal before Christmas, in a 2-0 League Cup second round second leg win at Chesterfield. He won his place back in January 1994 and scored three goals in as many matches – against Watford in a 2-1 home win in the FA Cup third round, at Aston Villa in a 3-1 defeat and in a 3-3 home draw with Norwich – he kept his place in midfield for the rest of the season as the Hammers consolidated their top-flight status. A flurry of goals between March and May saw Allen bag six goals in nine matches, including a delightful lofted effort over future Hammer David James in a 2-1 home defeat to Liverpool and typical long-range efforts in a 2-1 home defeat to Blackburn and 2-0 win at Arsenal. Although Ken Monkou did score an own goal later in the 3-3 draw with Southampton on 7th May 1994, ‘Mad Dog’ holds the distinction of being the last West Ham player to score in front of the terraced North Bank having struck earlier in the second half of the game.

1994/95 saw Harry Redknapp take up the managerial reigns – Allen scored twice in 33 appearances that season, in a 2-1 win at Chelsea and 2-0 home win over Southampton, both in October 1994. Allen’s final goal in claret and blue came in a 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest on 26th August 1995. His last appearance for the club was four days later in a 1-1 draw with Tottenham at Upton Park. After the death of his father Dennis, who used to watch Martin from the West Stand at Upton Park, Allen decided it was too emotional to play at Upton Park and left the club for Portsmouth in August 1995. He had made 232 appearances for the club, scoring 35 goals. 33 of Mad Dog’s 35 goals can be seen in my video below.

After two years at Fratton Park, Allen moved to Southend where he ended his playing career in 1998. He began his managerial career as assistant to future Hammers boss Alan Pardew at his hometown club Reading and managed Barnet, Brentford and MK Dons before getting the Leicester job in May 2007. Due to a strained relationship with chairman Milan Mandaric, mainly revolving around player transfers, Allen was only in charge for four games before leaving the club on 29th August 2007. He won two, drew one and lost one of his matches with the Foxes.

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Now 54, Allen has since managed Cheltenham, Barnet (for four further spells), Notts County, Gillingham, Eastleigh and, most recently, Chesterfield.

Referee

The referee on Wednesday will be David Coote. The Nottingham-based official will take charge of a West Ham game for only the fifth time, with the Hammers yet to win a game he’s refereed. His only other Hammers appointments were for our 2-0 defeat at Burnley in December 2018, our 3-0 loss at Wolves last January, our 1-1 draw with Sheffield United in October and, most recently, our 2-1 home defeat to Leicester last month.

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Coote has refereed nine Premier League matches so far this season – he has issued 34 yellow cards, one red and awarded two penalties, one of which was saved by Lukasz Fabianski in the reverse fixture between the Irons and the Foxes.

Possible line-ups

Leicester City should have Wilfred Ndidi available but Daniel Amartey and Matty James will miss out. The Foxes have conceded 12 goals in their last six Premier League fixtures, one more than in their opening 17 matches.

For West Ham United, Lukasz Fabianski, Ryan Fredericks, Jack Wilshere, Andriy Yarmolenko, Michail Antonio and Felipe Anderson are definitely out. West Ham have won only twice in ten Premier League away meetings, drawing four and losing four. The Hammers have triumphed just three times in nine league games when going ahead, drawing three and losing three, and dropping 15 points across those matches.

Possible Leicester City XI: Schmeichel; Pereira, Soyuncu, Evans, Chilwell; Tielemans, Ndidi, Praet; Maddison; Vardy, Iheanacho.

Possible West Ham United XI: Randolph; Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Zabaleta, Rice, Noble, Masuaku; Snodgrass, Fornals; Haller.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!


Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v Everton

Blast from the past

28th August 1971: West Ham met Everton at the Boleyn Ground, Diana Ross was number one with ‘I’m Still Waiting’ and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was in UK cinemas.

Clyde Best (pictured below) scored the only goal of the game as the Hammers recorded their first win of the 1971/72 season at the fifth time of asking in front of 26,878. Best would end the campaign as the Irons’ top goalscorer with 23 goals from 56 appearances.

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Ron Greenwood’s Hammers went on to finish the 1971/72 season in 14th place, while Harry Catterick’s Everton ended up 15th. Trevor Brooking was voted Hammer of the Year for the first time with Bobby Ferguson runner-up. Derby won the First Division title and Leeds won the FA Cup.

West Ham United: Bobby Ferguson, John McDowell, Tommy Taylor, Bobby Moore, Frank Lampard, Johnny Ayris, Billy Bonds, Trevor Brooking, Bryan ‘Pop’ Robson, Clyde Best, Geoff Hurst.

Everton: Gordon West, Keith Newton, Mick Lyons, John Hurst, Peter Scott, Howard Kendall, Alan Ball, Colin Harvey, Johnny Morrissey, David Johnson, Jimmy Husband.

Club Connections

Former Hammer and Toffee David Unsworth is currently in charge of the Under-23s at Goodison Park. David Moyes welcomes his former club. They are joined in representing both clubs by:

Goalkeepers: George Kitchen, Richard Wright.

Defenders: William Wildman, Lars Jacobsen, David Burrows, George Eccles, Bob Young, Lucas Neill, John Russell, Alex McCartney, William Kelly.

Midfielders: Harry Dawson, Don Hutchison, Joe Blythe, Mark Ward, Ray Atteveld, Niclas Alexandersson, Danny Williamson, Ian Bishop, Thomas Hitzlsperger.

Strikers: Chas Crossley, Alex McDonald, Mike Newell, Enner Valencia, Tony Weldon, Nikica Jelavic.

Slaven Bilic played for both clubs and managed the Hammers, while Sam Allardyce managed both clubs.

Today’s focus falls on a player who is perhaps the most notable Hammer to have also represented the Toffees – legendary goalscorer Tony Cottee. Famously scoring on his debut at Upton Park against Tottenham as a 17-year-old prodigy on New Year’s Day 1983, Cottee scored five goals in nine appearances in his first half-season as a professional player. He scored 19 goals in 47 appearances in 1983/84, including four in the 10-0 League Cup second round second leg win over Bury at Upton Park on 25th October 1983 – he scored a further four hat-tricks in his first spell at the club. The Hammers finished ninth in the First Division that season; Cottee bagged 24 goals in 50 matches the following season as the Irons dropped to 16th. TC won the PFA Young Player of the Year Award as a 20-year-old in 1986 having helped the Hammers to their best-ever finish of third. He scored 20 league goals in the 1985/86 season, taking his tally to 57 in three-and-a-half years.

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Cottee improved his personal record in 1986/87, notching 22 league goals, but West Ham plummeted to a 15th-placed finish. He scored a further 13 in his final season and, at this stage in his Hammers career, Cottee had scored 118 goals in 256 games. My video below shows 52 of Cottee’s 118 goals in his first spell at the club.

West Ham avoided relegation in 1988 on goal difference; Everton, meanwhile, had finished fourth and they swooped for the Hammers’ home-grown goal machine in a £2.2m deal that summer – the move briefly made Cottee the most expensive player to be signed by a British club before the fee was eclipsed by Ian Rush’s return to Liverpool from Juventus later that month. He made his Everton debut on 27th August 1988, the opening day of the 1988/89 First Division campaign, in a 4-0 home win over Newcastle, in which he scored a hat-trick. He managed a further 12 goals that season, though Colin Harvey’s Everton were relatively disappointing in the league as they finished eighth, having twice been champions in the previous four seasons. However, they did reach the FA Cup Final with Cottee collecting a runners-up medal after a 3-2 extra-time defeat to neighbours Liverpool. Cottee had also been on the receiving end of another Wembley defeat earlier in the season, in a 4-3 loss against Nottingham Forest in the Final of the Full Members Cup, although TC did get on the scoresheet twice.

Cottee spent his first season at Goodison Park playing alongside Graeme Sharp, but manager Harvey changed the formation for the 1989/90 campaign and brought in future Hammer Mike Newell as Everton’s third striker. Cottee once again scored 15 goals as the Toffees finished sixth. The following season, 1990/91, was arguably Everton’s worst season in a decade – Harvey was sacked in October with Howard Kendall returning to lead the Toffees to a final placing of ninth. Cottee was Everton’s saviour in an FA Cup fifth round replay as he scored a late equaliser which forced a 4-4 draw against rivals Liverpool; they eventually won through in the tie but were knocked out by West Ham in the quarter-finals at Upton Park. Cottee scored 11 goals in the 1990/91 season.

1991/92 saw Peter Beardsley and Mo Johnston replace Sharp and Newell, with Cottee restricted to nine goals as Everton finished in mid-table – it was the first time that he had scored less than ten goals in a season since his debut season with the Hammers nine years earlier. 1992/93 was a better campaign as Cottee scored 13 goals, and he bagged 19 goals in 1993/94 as Everton narrowly avoided relegation under new manager Mike Walker.

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Following 99 goals in 241 matches for the Toffees, Cottee headed back to East London in September 1994 in a swap deal with David Burrows to join up with new Hammers manager Harry Redknapp. Cottee faced a mixed start on his return to the claret and blue – he was sent off on his second debut for the club after scything down Rob Jones in a 0-0 draw at Liverpool on 10th September 1994 but followed that up the following week by notching a late winner in his first match back at Upton Park, a typical poacher’s effort in a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa. Cottee hit a rich vein of form around Christmas, scoring six goals in five matches, including a hat-trick in a 3-0 home win over Manchester City.

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He grabbed his 100th Hammers league goal with a solo effort in a 2-1 win at Leicester in February 1995 before hitting a double in a 2-2 draw with former club Everton in his next match. TC’s 13 goals ensured he finished the campaign as West Ham’s top scorer and this contribution went a long way towards securing survival that season. His ten league goals the following year helped the Hammers to a first top ten finish since the Cottee-inspired 1985/86.

With the inception of ‘West Ham United Nations’ in 1996/97, Cottee was deemed surplus to requirements and left for Selangor of Malaysia. His last Hammers goal came in a 1-1 League Cup second round first leg draw at Barnet on 18th September 1996, while his final game for the club was a 2-1 home defeat to Liverpool 11 days later. His second spell had seen him play in 80 matches for the Irons, scoring 28 goals. This took his Hammers totals across both spells to 146 goals in 336 games. All 28 of Cottee’s goals from his second spell can be viewed in my video below.

After less than a year at the Shah Alam Stadium, he was back in the Premier League with Leicester, scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win at Old Trafford in January 1998. Cottee came off the bench to score twice against the Hammers as West Ham beat Leicester 4-3 on the final day of the 1997/98 season.

Cottee won his first major trophy two years later as Leicester beat Tranmere in the League Cup Final and he scored 34 goals in 99 matches in total for the Foxes. Alongside a loan spell at Birmingham, Cottee went on to play for Norwich and Millwall, with a short period as player-manager at Barnet sandwiched in between. He also won seven caps for England. Considering Sir Geoff Hurst was moved to a more attacking position later in his development by Ron Greenwood, it can be claimed that Cottee is the greatest ever striker to be produced by the West Ham United Academy. Now 54, Cottee works for Sky Sports and has been on the mend after suffering a brain haemorrhage last year.

Referee

The referee on Saturday will be Andre Marriner; the 49-year-old failed to send off Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero for an elbow on Winston Reid in August 2016, with the Hammers trailing 2-1 with 14 minutes remaining. The Argentine was retrospectively charged with violent conduct and suspended for three matches, a decision which did nothing to benefit West Ham. Marriner did, however, show leniency that day towards the visitors by failing to issue Arthur Masuaku with a second yellow card on more than one occasion.

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Since we achieved promotion back to the top flight in 2012 the Birmingham-based official has been far from a good omen for West Ham – he has refereed 19 of our league matches, officiating in only three wins for the Hammers, five draws and 11 defeats. He officiated the Irons for our 2-0 defeat at Wolves last month and, more recently, for our 2-1 defeat at Crystal Palace on Boxing Day.

Possible line-ups

For West Ham United, Lukasz Fabianski, Ryan Fredericks, Jack Wilshere and Andriy Yarmolenko are out, while Arthur Masuaku, Michail Antonio and Felipe Anderson are doubts. Everton have certainly been the Hammers’ bogey side in recent seasons – we have only beaten the Toffees three times in the league, home or away, since April 2007, drawing five and losing 13 in all competitions since then.

Carlo Ancelotti will be without the injured Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Andre Gomes and Alex Iwobi.

Possible West Ham United XI: Randolph; Balbuena, Diop, Ogbonna; Zabaleta, Rice, Noble, Cresswell; Lanzini, Fornals; Haller.

Possible Everton XI: Pickford; Sidibe, Keane, Holgate, Digne; Walcott, Davies, Sigurdsson, Bernard; Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!


Talking Point

My West Ham United Team of the Decade

Robert Green

Has to be Greeno for me. Lukasz Fabianski has made a tremendous start to life as a West Ham player, winning the Hammer of the Year prize in his debut season. Green made 108 appearances for the Hammers in this decade though, and was England’s number one goalkeeper for a spell. Alongside Scott Parker, he was a rare shining light in keeping us up in the first half-season of the decade and his performances in the Championship helped us to promotion, particularly his saves early on in the Play-Off Final. A great character who was loved by supporters.

Carl Jenkinson

Difficult choice, sadly not for good reasons. We haven’t really had a decent right-back in this decade, to be brutally honest. Lars Jacobsen was solid but unspectacular, as was Joey O’Brien. I never really rated Guy Demel. Julien Faubert came very close to being named in this side as he was good on the ball, decent going forward and helped swing the Play-Off Final in our favour when he was introduced as a second-half substitute. Zabaleta has never been the player he was at Man City for us and I’m not a huge Fredericks fan. Sam Byram could have been a decent player for us were it not for injuries, so it’s Carl Jenkinson who just gets the nod – solid enough defensively and came up with a couple of goals in Slav’s first season. James Tomkins nearly got the call but was always a centre-half really and I’d rather have an orthodox right-back in the side.

James Collins

Cult hero. Would put his body on the line, great leader, spirited – a proper, British centre-half. I was delighted when Sam Allardyce brought him back to the club following promotion and he proved to be a bargain signing. Difficult to leave the homegrown Tomkins out of the team as I was always a fan of his too but the ‘Ginger Pele’ gets the call.

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Winston Reid

If you’d have told me I’d have named Reidy in my Team of the Decade at the end of the 2010/11 season, I’d have laughed. One of Sam Allardyce’s real success stories, he transformed Reid into a bullish centre-half whose partnership with Tomkins was one of the cornerstones of our promotion in 2012 – another reason why it was so tough to leave Tomkins out. Came up with big goals against rivals Millwall and Tottenham and scored the last ever goal at the Boleyn to defeat Man Utd and round off the perfect script to that glorious night. Great to see him back on the bench to end the decade after a long spell out with injury.

Aaron Cresswell

I was always a big fan of the understated and underrated George McCartney, who did a fine job for us in our promotion season and establishing the club back in the Premier League – I remain stunned that no other club picked him up after his release in 2014. But it has to be Cressy for me – our first-choice left-back for over half the decade, capped by England, a great crosser of the ball and a scorer of the odd (often spectacular) goal.

Mark Noble

Skipper in my Team of the Decade, his true worth to the club will not be fully felt until after he retires. So unlucky not to win international recognition, particularly in that 2015/16 season when he was superb and, for me, at his best. One of my favourite ever Hammers and a penalty king, his place in this team was never in doubt.

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Scott Parker

What fantastic service Scotty gave us – a Football Writers’ Player of the Year despite finishing bottom of the league and relegated with his club, scored the goal that kept us up in the first half-season of the decade and was our best player by a country mile in 2010/11. Pretty much carried the club in the opening 18 months of the decade and even turned out hours after the death of his father to help us to a goalless draw at Tottenham. Easily won the first two Hammer of the Year awards in the first two years of the decade, Parker was a perfect picture of passion, perseverance and pirouettes – one of my all-time favourite Hammers.

Michail Antonio

A scorer of crucial goals, pace, power, good in the air and a great character. Plays on the right wing in this team to allow himself to get in on the back post and be an aerial threat.

Kevin Nolan

Just gets in the side ahead of the more technically-gifted Manuel Lanzini due to the role he played in the club’s promotion and establishment as a Premier League side. The club needed leadership and a stronger team spirit when he arrived in 2011 and he helped instil that when he joined as captain. His goals in February 2014 also helped keep us up that season.

Dimitri Payet

For me, our most gifted player of the Premier League era, even above Di Canio. For 18 months he was an absolute joy to watch. I absolutely loved Dimi – his fantastic free-kicks, his sublime skill, his delicious delivery. What a player! The way he left us was deplorable but I prefer to recall the moments of pure joy he gave us during his stint in claret and blue. Helped deliver the best season I’ve ever had the pleasure to witness in 2015/16, scored the best free-kick I’ve ever seen live and quite possibly the best solo goal too – his two assists in that final Boleyn match gave us a victory that will stay in the memory forever.

Marko Arnautovic

A really tough one to call this, and very much an ‘on his day’ selection. Carlton Cole was excellent in our promotion season but, for me, was at his best in 2008/09 so before this decade started – he struggled to live up to those heights in the 2010s. I was a huge Andy Carroll fan and he probably comes the closest to being selected in this side – Arnie’s extra touch of skill just sees him get the nod ahead of the big Geordie, who was no slouch on the deck himself. Demba Ba and Diafra Sakho both had some great goalscoring runs in their spells with the club too but I’m going for Arnautovic – strong, quick, a good finisher with a thunderous shot but perhaps not with a proper striker’s instinct. I’d like to think my inclusion of Kevin Nolan just behind him will ensure that he will get the tap-ins that Arnie wouldn’t.

Subs: Lukasz Fabianski, James Tomkins, George McCartney, Declan Rice, Manuel Lanzini, Diafra Sakho, Andy Carroll.

Manager: Super Slaven Bilic.


Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Sheff Utd v West Ham

Blast from the past

14th October 1989: Jive Bunny were number one with ‘That’s What I Like’; Oliver and Company (an animated Disney film based on Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist) topped the UK box office; and boxer Anthony Joshua was born the following day. Monty Python star Graham Chapman had died ten days previously. Meanwhile, West Ham United took on Sheffield United at Bramall Lane in front of 20,822.

Lou Macari’s Hammers went into the game on the back of two successive home league defeats, with 3-2 and 1-0 reverses against West Brom and Leeds either side of a 1-1 League Cup second round second leg draw with Birmingham, also at the Boleyn Ground. Dave Bassett’s Blades, meanwhile, went into this encounter sitting pretty at the top of the Second Division table as they welcomed their newly-relegated visitors.

West Ham had Gary Strodder back in the centre of defence, making his first appearance for six months and replacing the injured Tony Gale. The Hammers were awarded a penalty in the 33rd minute when Mark Ward’s chipped pass released Stuart Slater, who was brought down by Blades goalkeeper Simon Tracey – the spot-kick, however, was thundered against the crossbar by Hammers skipper Julian Dicks. The Irons did take the lead six minutes later though – excellent work down the left by Kevin Keen was rewarded when his cut-back was crashed into the net by the left foot of Ward.

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The Irons doubled their lead with 20 minutes remaining – Keen was again involved, sending a pass down the middle for Eamon Dolan to advance into the hosts’ penalty area where he was brought down by Tracey. Despite Dicks still being on the pitch, Ward assumed penalty duties and sent his strike straight down the middle and into the net. The action from this match can be viewed in my video below.

The Hammers would finish the 1989/90 Second Division season in seventh place, with Sheffield United being promoted in second position. Leeds topped the Second Division, Liverpool won the title and Manchester United won the FA Cup. Trevor Morley, signed along with Ian Bishop in exchange for Ward at Christmas 1989, was voted in third place of the Hammer of the Year running, with Slater runner-up and captain Dicks claiming the award for the first time. Dicks was also the club’s top scorer for this season, with 14 goals in 52 games.

West Ham United: Phil Parkes, Steve Potts, Alvin Martin, Colin Foster, Gary Strodder, Julian Dicks, George Parris, Kevin Keen, Mark Ward, Stuart Slater, Eamonn Dolan.

Club Connections

West Ham United and Sheffield United have shared a number of personnel over the years. Ravel Morrison could face his former club, while a run-through of others who have represented both clubs includes:

Goalkeepers: Ted Hufton, Tom McAlister, Bill Biggar, Richard Wright and Mervyn Day.

Defenders: Jon Harley, Matthew Kilgallon, David Unsworth, Jimmy Holmes, Wayne Quinn, Simon Webster and Fred Milnes.

Midfielders: Kyel Reid, George Ratcliffe, Joe Cockroft, Franz Carr, Herbert Winterhalder, Lou Raisbeck, and Jim Simmons.

Strikers: Billy Barnes, Henri Camara, David Kelly, Brian Deane, Peter Kyle, Dick Leafe and Kenny McKay.

Martin Peters played for West Ham and Sheffield United; he also managed the Blades.

This week’s focus though is on a player who had two spells at Upton Park. Don Hutchison was born in Gateshead on 9th May 1971 – he first caught the eye while playing for Paul Gascoigne’s former club, Redheugh Boys, but started his professional career at Hartlepool. The gangling ‘Hutch’ was used either as a striker or central defender before settling into an attacking midfield role. He played his last game for the club in November 1990 before signing for Liverpool after his talents were quickly spotted by bigger clubs. After almost four years at Anfield, and some controversial off-field antics which earned him a somewhat dubious reputation early on his career, Hutchison joined Harry Redknapp’s Hammers in a club-record £1.5m deal in August 1994.

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The 23-year-old Hutchison converted a penalty on his debut in a 3-1 defeat to Newcastle, the club he supported as a boy, at the Boleyn on 31st August 1994 and scored in successive home games in October, a 2-0 League Cup second round second leg win over Walsall and the only goal in a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace. He also scored the winner in a 1-0 League Cup third round win against Chelsea on 26th October 1994. Disciplinary and injury issues were never far away in Hutchison’s early days in east London though, and he was sent off after receiving two yellow cards in the first half of a home game against Leicester on 5th November – the Hammers’ ten men went on to win the match 1-0 but Hutchison wouldn’t return to the side until January 1995. He scored in a 2-1 home defeat to Chelsea the following month and bagged the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win at Arsenal on 5th March 1995. He also scored in a 1-1 draw at Southampton ten days later and was on the scoresheet again three days after that in a 2-0 win at Aston Villa.

With the Hammers in a relegation battle, ‘Deadly Don’ scored in a 2-0 home win over eventual champions Blackburn on 30th April 1995 and bagged a brace against former club Liverpool in a 3-0 win at Upton Park on 10th May, a victory which secured the club’s survival in the Premier League. Hutchison scored a thumping free-kick in a 1-1 home draw with Tottenham at the start of the 1995/96 season, on 30th August 1995, and also scored in a 3-1 home defeat to Chelsea on 11th September 1995. His final game of his first spell in claret and blue came in a 2-1 defeat at Manchester City on New Year’s Day 1996 – he had scored 13 goals in 39 appearances. He moved to First Division Sheffield United later that month for £1.2m.

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Hutchison made his Sheffield United debut in a 1-1 draw at Tranmere on 13th January 1996. He scored two goals in 19 matches before the end of the season and scored three goals in 41 matches in 1996/97 – the first in a 2-0 win at Oldham on 7th September 1996 and the other two in successive games in November 1996, a 4-2 win at Grimsby and 2-1 victory at West Brom. The Blades reached the Play-Off Final under Howard Kendall at the end of the 1996/97 season but were defeated by Crystal Palace. Hutchison even went in goal for the last half-hour of a 2-2 draw at Ipswich in November 1997, by which time Kendall had returned to Everton and Nigel Spackman had taken over as Blades boss. Hutchison scored his last goal for the Blades in a 1-0 home win over Ipswich in the FA Cup fourth round on 3rd February 1998 and played his last game for the club in the fifth round of the competition, in a 1-0 win over Reading on 13th February 1998. He had scored six goals in 91 appearances for Sheffield United.

Hutchison returned to the Premier League in February 1998, teaming up again with Kendall at Everton and joining a group of players to have played for both Merseyside clubs. He moved on to Sunderland in the summer of 2000 and returned to West Ham in August 2001, again setting a club-record fee, this time of £5m. By now, Glenn Roeder was Hammers manager and Hutchison was an international player for Scotland, having made his debut in 1999 – he would win 26 caps for Scotland, scoring six goals, including one against England at Wembley in a Euro 2000 Play-Off.

The 30-year-old ‘Hutch’ made his second debut for the Hammers in a goalless draw at Derby on 8th September 2001 and scored in a 3-0 home win over Newcastle on 23rd September 2001, the same side he’d scored his first ever Hammers goal against seven years earlier. Hutchison suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in February 2002 which would keep him out for ten months. The midfielder’s ten appearances in 2002/03 all came as a substitute and he was unable to prevent the Irons’ relegation to the First Division at the end of the campaign.

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Hutchison scored a late winner under caretaker manager Trevor Brooking in a 1-0 win at Derby on 4th October 2003 and preserved Brooking’s unbeaten home record in his last match as manager by bagging a late equaliser in a 2-2 draw with Burnley at Upton Park on 18th October 2003. His final goals for the Hammers came on 1st May 2004, scoring twice in a 4-0 home win over Watford under Alan Pardew. Hutchison’s last appearance for West Ham came in a 1-0 home defeat to Brighton on 13th November 2004 and he left the club at the end of the 2004/05 promotion campaign after his contract expired, signing for Millwall. He had made 71 appearances in his second spell, scoring five goals – this took his Hammers totals across both his spells to 18 goals in 110 appearances.

Hutchison moved to Coventry in January 2006 before joining Luton in the summer of 2007. He was released at the end of the 2007/08 season and announced his retirement. Now 48, Hutchison now works in the media.

Referee

The referee on Friday will be Michael Oliver. He has refereed 21 of our matches, officiating in five wins for the Hammers, five draws and 11 defeats. Oliver has refereed the Irons twice this season, in our 2-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace in October, when he awarded the visitors a match-levelling penalty and, most recently, for our 3-2 home defeat to Tottenham in November.

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Oliver also refereed our 1-1 draw at Leicester in October 2018, when he sent off Mark Noble. His only previous red card issued to a West Ham player came six seasons ago, when he sent off Kevin Nolan in our 4-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield in December 2013. Oliver also refereed our 3-1 home win over Manchester United last season.

Possible line-ups

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has doubts over both his back-up goalkeepers, Michael Verrips and Simon Moore – the latter is expected to be fit enough to take a place on the bench. Right wing-back George Baldock is the younger brother of former Hammers striker Sam Baldock. Ex-Hammer Ravel Morrison is unlikely to start against his former club but could feature from the bench. Sheffield United have been victorious in both of their previous Premier League home games against West Ham – 3-2 in March 1994 and 3-0 in April 2007. The Blades could fail to score in three successive league fixtures for the first time since September 2013.

For West Ham United, Aaron Cresswell and Mark Noble are available but David Martin, Ryan Fredericks, Jack Wilshere, Michail Antonio and Andriy Yarmolenko are all out. Noble is just two Premier League goals away from equalling Paolo Di Canio’s record of 47 for the club.

Possible Sheffield United XI: Henderson; O’Connell, Basham, Egan; Baldock, Fleck, Lundstram, Norwood, Stevens; McBurnie, McGoldrick.

Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Zabaleta, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Rice, Noble; Snodgrass, Anderson, Fornals; Haller.

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!


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