Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v Bolton

Blast from the past

West Ham United have met Bolton Wanderers in the League Cup on five previous occasions. The first of these meetings was also in the third round in east London in front of 20,510 on the 11th October 1967, two days after the execution of Che Guevara. The Bee Gees were number one with ‘Massachusetts’ and Richard Burton was in UK cinemas in Doctor Faustus as the First Division Hammers emerged victorious against Bill Ridding’s Second Division Trotters with a 4-1 win – England striker Geoff Hurst (pictured below) bagged all four goals for the hosts at the Boleyn Ground.

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Ron Greenwood’s Hammers progressed to the fourth round, where they were knocked out by Second Division Huddersfield, losing 2-0 at Leeds Road. Leeds United would win the 1968 League Cup, beating Arsenal 1-0 in the Final courtesy of a Terry Cooper goal. Bobby Moore was voted Hammer of the Year, with Trevor Brooking runner-up.

West Ham United: Bobby Ferguson, Billy Bonds, John Cushley, Bobby Moore, John Charles, Harry Redknapp, Ronnie Boyce, Martin Peters, John Sissons, Peter Brabrook, Geoff Hurst.

Aside from this third round victory in 1967, West Ham’s remaining League Cup record against Bolton is as follows:

1968 – West Ham 7-2 Bolton (2nd round)
1994 – West Ham 1-3 Bolton (4th round)
2005 – Bolton 1-0 West Ham (3rd round)
2009 – Bolton 3-1 West Ham (3rd round, after extra-time)

Club Connections

Reece Burke and Josh Cullen are currently on loan at Bolton from West Ham. Joey O’Brien has also played for both clubs and is currently training with Wanderers in the hope of landing a permanent deal after being released by the Hammers 15 months ago – O’Brien played for Bolton’s Under-23 side against Bristol City last night. Others who have turned out for West Ham United and Bolton Wanderers include:

Goalkeepers – Steve Banks, Joseph Hughes, Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Defenders – Abdoulaye Faye, George Kay, Tyrone Mears, Harry Kinsell, Archie Taylor, Tommy McAteer, George Eccles.

Midfielders – Robert Hall, Kevin Nolan, Nigel Reo-Coker, Franz Carr, Matthew Taylor.

Strikers – David Cross, Les Ferdinand, Ricardo Vaz Te, Billy Yenson, Bill Joyce.

Sam Allardyce played for and managed Bolton before managing West Ham.

Today’s focus though is on an Israeli international who excelled with the Trotters before spending a loan spell with the Hammers. Tal Ben Haim was born on 31st March 1982 in Rishon LeZion and began his career with Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2001, winning a league title in 2003 and being named club captain before moving to Sam Allardyce’s Bolton at the age of 22 for £150,000 in the summer of 2004.

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Ben Haim made 27 appearances in his first season with Wanderers and scored his only goal for the club in a 3-1 win over Tottenham on 1st February 2005. Ben Haim attracted interest from West Ham, Tottenham, Chelsea and Allardyce’s new club Newcastle in 2007 – he moved to Stamford Bridge in the summer of that year on a Bosman free transfer. Ben Haim had scored one goal in 88 appearances for the Trotters.

The centre-back spent one season in west London before moving to Manchester City for £5m the following summer – he spent the second half of his only season with the Sky Blues on loan at Sunderland. After just one season on City’s books, Ben Haim was on the move again, this time to Portsmouth on Summer Transfer Deadline Day 2009. Again, just a year later, relegated Pompey’s administrator Andrew Andronikou wanted Ben Haim’s crippling salary off the club’s wage bill – the Israeli teamed up with former Chelsea and Portsmouth boss Avram Grant at West Ham in a loan deal with a view to a permanent move.

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The 28-year-old Ben Haim made his Hammers debut in a 1-0 League Cup second round win over Oxford at the Boleyn Ground on 24th August 2010. He made eight Premier League and four League Cup appearances for the Irons, including the famous 4-0 quarter-final victory over Manchester United (in which Ben Haim is pictured above). Ben Haim played across the back four during his time in east London and appeared in a 3-1 Boxing Day win at Fulham and set up Freddie Sears’ goal in a 2-0 New Year’s Day win over Wolves at Upton Park. His final appearance in claret and blue came in a 5-0 defeat at Newcastle on 5th January 2011 – after 12 appearances for the club, he returned to Fratton Park.

Ben Haim has since had spells at QPR, Standard Liege in Belgium and Charlton. Now 35, he is back where his career started at Maccabi Tel Aviv. Ben Haim has also won 92 international caps for Israel, scoring two goals.

Referee

Tuesday’s referee will be Wiltshire-based Simon Hooper, who will take on his second ever Hammers appointment – his only other match involving West Ham was the 1-0 home win over Coventry in January 2012.

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Hooper has refereed eight matches so far in 2017/18 – six in the Championship and two in the League Cup. He has dished out 21 yellow cards and one red card in those eight games and awarded two penalties.

Possible line-ups

West Ham United have James Collins, Edimilson Fernandes and Manuel Lanzini on the injury list. Mark Noble is available again, while youngsters Declan Rice, Domingos Quina, Sead Haksabanovic and Nathan Holland are all in the squad. Andy Carroll will be rested. It is unlikely that Pablo Zabaleta will play, but the Argentine is one yellow card away from a ban. The Hammers have progressed into the next round in five of the last six games against lower league opposition. The Irons are unbeaten at London Stadium in the League Cup, having secured a 1-0 win against Accrington and a 2-1 victory against Chelsea in last season’s competition.

Bolton Wanderers manager Phil Parkinson will be without Reece Burke and Josh Cullen, who are ineligible to play against their parent club. Strikers Adam Armstrong, Adam Le Fondre and Aaron Wilbraham could figure after coming off the bench at Ipswich on Saturday. Centre-back Dorian Dervite and central midfielder Darren Pratley are also in contention as Parkinson looks to shuffle his squad. The Trotters have lost three of their last four League Cup encounters with Premier League opponents – each of those three defeats have come in London. Wanderers are currently bottom of the Championship having gained promotion back to the second tier last season. Bolton won 2-1 at Crewe in the first round and secured this tie with the Hammers by beating Sheffield Wednesday 3-2 at the Macron Stadium in the second round.

Possible West Ham United XI: Adrian; Rice, Reid, Ogbonna; Byram, Noble, Obiang, Masuaku; Ayew, Sakho, Arnautovic.

Possible Bolton Wanderers XI: Alnwick; Osede, Dervite, Beevers; Darby, Little, Karacan, Robinson; Buckley, Armstrong, Wilbraham.

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!

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Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Brom v West Ham

Blast from the past

West Ham United arrived at the home of West Bromwich Albion for a Premier League fixture on Tuesday the 2nd December 2014 having lost only two of their previous ten matches. Take That were number one with ‘These Days’, Paddington topped the UK box office and former Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe died on this day as victory in front of 23,975 at The Hawthorns pushed the Hammers into the top five.

Craig Dawson ended Albion’s 323-minute Premier League goal drought after just ten minutes when he glanced in Graham Dorrans’ free-kick but Kevin Nolan nodded in to equalise in the 35th minute after Ben Foster had pushed out Andy Carroll’s spectacular overhead kick. Academy product James Tomkins increased the pressure on Baggies boss Alan Irvine by heading in Stewart Downing’s corner in first-half stoppage time for his first goal in over two years.

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Sam Allardyce’s West Ham would move up to third five days later but would end the 2014/15 season in 12th position. West Brom would finish three points behind the Hammers in 13th place. Diafra Sakho was the Irons’ top goalscorer with 12 goals from 26 appearances. Aaron Cresswell was voted Hammer of the Year in his first season with the club, with Adrian runner-up for a second consecutive campaign. Chelsea secured the title and Arsenal won the 2015 FA Cup.

West Bromwich Albion: Ben Foster, Andre Wisdom, Craig Dawson, Joleon Lescott, Chris Baird (Brown Ideye), Graham Dorrans, Craig Gardner (Silvestre Varela), Chris Brunt (Youssouf Mulumbu), Saido Berahino, Stephane Sessegnon, Victor Anichebe.

West Ham United: Adrian, Carl Jenkinson, James Tomkins, Winston Reid, Aaron Cresswell, Kevin Nolan, Cheikhou Kouyate, Morgan Amalfitano (James Collins), Mauro Zarate (Carlton Cole), Stewart Downing, Andy Carroll (Enner Valencia).

Club Connections

West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion have shared a decent number of players over the years. These include:

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

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

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

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.

Today’s focus though is on a player who played for both clubs in the 1990s. Peter Butler was born in Halifax on the 27th August 1966. He started out at Huddersfield in 1984 and spent two years with the Terriers, including a loan spell with Cambridge. He moved to Bury but stayed for a matter of months before making a permanent switch back to Cambridge. Butler signed for Southend in 1988 and spent four years with the Shrimpers, which included a loan spell back at Huddersfield.

The 25-year-old Butler, a 5’9 tenacious, tough-tackling midfielder, joined Billy Bonds’ West Ham United in the summer of 1992 in a £175,000 move and made his debut on the 16th August 1992 in a 1-0 win at Barnsley. He became a fixture in the side alongside Martin Allen in a central midfield brimming with steel and grit, making 44 appearances in all competitions in his first season, and scored his first goal for the club in a 2-1 home win over Peterborough on 9th February 1993. His second goal of the campaign came in a 4-0 triumph over Brentford, again at Upton Park, on 17th April 1993. Butler was part of the team which clinched promotion to the Premier League on the final day of the 1992/93 season against his former club Cambridge – the match was the last played in front of the old South Bank.

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‘Butts’ played in over half of the Hammers’ matches back in the big time as he savoured his first taste of top-flight football. He scored his only Premier League goal against Coventry in a 3-2 home victory on 11th December 1993 and was Man of the Match in a game watched by legendary Hungarian player Ferenc Puskas. Butler picked up a knee injury and missed the final month of 1993/94 but had more than played his part in establishing the Hammers as a Premier League side.

Butler made five appearances for new manager Harry Redknapp at the start of the following campaign, with his final match in claret and blue coming in a 1-0 home victory over Aston Villa on 17th September 1994. Butler has since stated on this very website that he “loved every minute” of his time with West Ham and “felt honoured to have put that claret and blue shirt on my back every game”. He departed for Notts County for a fee of £350,000 in October 1994. His mother was terminally ill at the time and passed away suddenly – Butler wanted to move nearer to home to be near his father who was also not well. Butler’s three goals for the Hammers can be viewed in my video below.

After three goals in 78 appearances for West Ham United, Butler spent two years at Meadow Lane, taking in loan spells at Grimsby and West Brom. He made his move to The Hawthorns permanent in 1996, making 65 appearances for the club in total. He enjoyed two-and-a-half good seasons with West Brom before being offered a coaching position at hometown team Halifax.

He left Halifax in 2000 and was offered a three-year appointment on a sporting visa in Australia, joining Sorrento in the northern suburbs of Perth, West Australia as Director of Youth Development. Butler played for the club too, hanging up his boots in 2002. From there, he took a Technical Director position at the East Malaysian FA before moving to Bali. He moved on again, this time to Singapore where he coached the Singapore Armed Forces side for eight months in 2004/05. Three months of consultancy work back with the East Malaysian FA was followed by a move to Indonesia in 2006 to coach Persiba Balikpapan. Butler, who can speak Malaysian and Indonesian, moved on to Kelantan in Malaysia in 2008 before becoming Technical Director of Burmese club Yangon United a year later.

Since 2010, Butler has managed Thai club BEC Tero Sasana, returned to Kelantan and Persiba Balikpapan for second spells and managed Malaysian outfits Terengganu and T-Team. He was manager of the Botswana national team from 2014 until earlier this year. Butler, now 51, left his job as manager of South African club Platinum Stars last week.

Referee

Saturday’s referee is Paul Tierney. The Lancashire-based official has been the man in the middle for one Championship and two League Two matches so far this season. The 36-year-old has refereed the Hammers once before, in the 1-1 draw with Everton in November 2015 which saw James McCarthy’s tackle on Dimitri Payet put the Frenchman out of action for two months.

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Possible line-ups

West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis has a doubt over Nacer Chadli while Gareth McAuley is lacking match fitness. Oliver Burke and James McClean should be available.

Slaven Bilic is without Mark Noble, Edimilson Fernandes and Manuel Lanzini. Andre Ayew claimed a goal and an assist from the bench against Huddersfield on Monday and is pushing for a return to the starting line-up. Marko Arnautovic is available after suspension.

Possible West Bromwich Albion XI: Foster; Dawson, Hegazy, Evans, Nyom; Krychowiak; Phillips, Barry, Livermore, Rodriguez; Rondon.

Possible West Ham United XI: Hart; Fonte, Reid, Collins; Zabaleta, Kouyate, Obiang, Cresswell; Antonio, Carroll, Ayew.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!

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Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v Huddersfield

Blast from the past

4th March 1972 – Chicory Tip were number one with ‘Son of My Father’ (an important theme for this match preview!), the seven-week miners’ strike had just ended and Dirty Harry had just been released in UK cinemas as West Ham United completed a 3-0 win over Huddersfield.

Just a week earlier, Town had beaten the Hammers 4-2 to knock them out of the FA Cup at Leeds Road. The Londoners sought revenge and got it at Upton Park as Clyde Best (pictured below) bagged a brace and ‘Pop’ Robson the other in front of 18,521, Ron Greenwood’s Hammers easing to victory in our last league meeting with the Terriers.

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The Hammers went on to finish the 1971/72 season in 14th place, while Ian Greaves’ Huddersfield ended up bottom and were relegated. Best was the Irons’ top goalscorer with 23 goals from 56 appearances, while 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, Harry Redknapp, Billy Bonds, Trevor Brooking, Geoff Hurst, ‘Pop’ Robson, Clyde Best.

Club Connections

A small number of players have worn the shirts of both West Ham United and Huddersfield Town. 2008 Hammer of the Year Robert Green has recently joined the Terriers. Others who have represented both clubs include:

Defenders: Dickie Pudan, Archie Taylor, Simon Webster, Elliott Ward, Steve Walford, David Unsworth.

Midfielders: Peter Butler, Diego Poyet, Mark Ward.

Strikers: Dave Mangnall, Jack Foster, George Crowther.

Lou Macari managed both clubs, while Chris Powell played for West Ham and managed Huddersfield. Sam Allardyce played for the Terriers and managed the Hammers.

Today’s focus though is on a full-back who played for West Ham in the 1990s and had a loan spell with Huddersfield. Kenny Brown was born on 11th July 1967 in Barking – his father Ken made 474 appearances for the Hammers between 1953 and 1967, winning the FA Cup in 1964 and the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1965. Kenny began his career with Norwich under his father’s management in 1986 before moving to Plymouth in 1988. He made over 100 appearances for the Pilgrims before moving to First Division West Ham United in August 1991, initially on loan. The Browns would be the third father-and-son pairing to play for West Ham after Jim Barrett Senior and Junior, and Bill Lansdowne and Billy Lansdowne. They have since been joined by Frank Lampard Senior and Junior, Steve and Dan Potts, John and George Moncur, and Rob and Elliot Lee.

The 24-year-old Kenny made his debut in a 0-0 opening day draw with Luton at Upton Park on 17th August 1991 and scored his first goal for the club in his fourth appearance in a 3-1 win over Aston Villa at Upton Park 11 days later. His move was made permanent for what would become an eventual fee of £235,000. His second goal for Billy Bonds’ men was the first West Ham goal I ever saw, in a 2-1 home defeat to Manchester City on 21st September 1991. Kenny had to wait seven months for his next goal but it was one that went down in Hammers folklore – the winner in a 1-0 triumph over Manchester United which helped deny the Red Devils the title and handed it on a plate to Leeds. The Irons’ relegation would be confirmed just three days later. Kenny made 33 appearances in all competitions in 1991/92.

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Predominantly a right-back but happy to fill in at left-back or in midfield, Kenny made 19 appearances the following season and scored two crucial goals in the promotion run-in. His late long-range strike at Birmingham on 3rd April 1993 sparked a dramatic comeback from 1-0 down to an eventual 2-1 win and he bagged the third in a 3-1 win at Swindon on 2nd May on the penultimate weekend of the season – the Hammers were promoted by virtue of scoring one more goal than nearest rivals Portsmouth.

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Kenny found game time hard to come by in the following two seasons, making 12 appearances in each of the 1993/94 and 1994/95 campaigns. Harry Redknapp had taken over from Bonds by the time Kenny scored his last goal in claret and blue, in a 2-0 FA Cup third round win at Wycombe on 7th January 1995 (he is pictured above, celebrating with Alvin Martin). A flurry of loan spells followed – Kenny made five appearances for this evening’s opponents Huddersfield in 1995 and also spent time at Reading, Southend, Crystal Palace, Reading again and Birmingham before signing permanently for the Blues in a £75,000 move in January 1997. Kenny’s final appearance for West Ham had been in a 1-0 home win over Nottingham Forest on 3rd February 1996. He had made 79 appearances for the Hammers in all competitions, scoring six goals. My video below is a compilation of Kenny’s six strikes in claret and blue.

The 29-year-old Kenny quickly realised he had made a mistake in moving to St Andrew’s, the club then being owned by David Sullivan and David Gold – he teamed up again with Bonds at Millwall just four months later. His last action in the Football League came at Gillingham, where he spent the final months of the 1998/99 season. Kenny signed for non-league Kingstonian before moving to Ireland with Portadown, then on to Wales with Barry Town. Kenny became player-coach and later manager at Barry, winning the Welsh League and Cup double in consecutive seasons. He resigned after a turbulent change of ownership which saw the club unable to pay its players. Kenny returned to England, signing for Tilbury, and ended his playing days in Spain with Torrevieja, an hour south of Benidorm.

In May 2006, Kenny was appointed Director of Football at Javea, near Alicante, and ran a summer school there with Julian Dicks. Kenny was appointed Dicks’ assistant at Grays in September 2009 and was named assistant manager at Concord Rangers in June 2012. Just a month later though, he was appointed Lead Development Coach at Barnet. After a season with the Bees, Kenny moved to Chelmsford to be assistant manager to Dean Holdsworth but departed before Christmas 2013 when Holdsworth left the club. Kenny joined Dagenham and Redbridge as Academy Manager in the summer of 2014, working with the Under-12s to Under-16s. Now aged 50, he is currently Academy Head of Coaching at Millwall.

Referee

Monday’s referee is Kevin Friend. The Leicester-based official has been involved in top-flight matches since 2009 and took charge of the Hammers in our historic 3-0 victory at Liverpool in August 2015. He sent off Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho and West Ham’s Mark Noble in that match at Anfield, with the latter’s dismissal rescinded on appeal.

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Friend last took charge of the Hammers in April for our 1-0 home win over Swansea. He is also remembered for the soft penalty he gifted Hull in our 1-0 defeat at the KC Stadium in September 2013 when Joey O’Brien was adjudged to have shoved Robbie Brady. Friend compounded the error by later denying the Irons a clear penalty when Jake Livermore handled in the area. Don’t expect much from Friend in the way of handball decisions – he also denied the Hammers a penalty in a match at Everton when Aaron Cresswell’s cross was handled by Seamus Coleman.

Possible line-ups

Super Slaven Bilic will be hoping to celebrate his 49th birthday today with three points from this fixture (Happy Birthday Slav). The manager should have Winston Reid, Andre Ayew and Andy Carroll available but Edimilson Fernandes and Manuel Lanzini are injured, while Marko Arnautovic completes his three-match suspension. England’s Number One Joe Hart has failed to keep a clean sheet in his last 22 league appearances – a run stretching back to 8th January.

David Wagner could hand debuts to two new signings – right-back Florent Hadergjonaj and attacking midfielder Abdelhamid Sabiri – but forward Collin Quaner has a knee problem and will be assessed. Centre-half Martin Cranie and central midfielder Jonathan Hogg are both likely to miss out through injury. Centre-half Jon Stankovic is a long-term absentee but left winger Rajiv van La Parra should be available.

Possible West Ham United XI: Hart; Zabaleta, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Kouyate, Obiang, Noble; Antonio, Chicharito, Ayew.

Possible Huddersfield XI: Lossl; Smith, Zanka, Schindler, Lowe; Mooy, Billing; Kachunga, Ince, van La Parra; Mounie.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!

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Guest Post

WHUISA Update

Guest Post by WHUISA Committee

The newly-elected WHUISA Committee has been working hard on a number of early-season issues on behalf of WHUISA members and all West Ham United supporters. Here is an update of recent activity.

Cheltenham & 4 Away Games in 13 Days

In the light of four away games to start the season, and particularly the switching of the Cheltenham home League Cup tie to an away fixture at Whaddon Road, WHUISA sought a gesture from the club to repay the Claret & Blue Army who had spent time and money in travelling to four away games in 13 days. WHUISA requested that the club considered a gesture towards the travelling fans who went to Cheltenham, particularly seeing as Cheltenham had been compensated in lost revenue through gate receipts.

Jake Heath, West Ham United’s Supporter Liaison Officer (SLO), told WHUISA that the club could not make a gesture to those who travelled by coach as this would not be fair on those that did not. WHUISA’s initial request was for a ticket refund which would have been fair to all fans.

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WHUISA then sought a gesture from the club in any format to show that they recognised and appreciated the extra effort our fans have made at the start of the season with four away matches. That gesture could have come in the form of a reduction in cost of ticket, a ‘pie and a pint’ voucher or reduced coach travel. It was not compensation but a gesture would have been welcomed. This was also rejected by the club.

WHUISA remain disappointed at the club’s stance but undeterred. In extraordinary, and hopefully unique, circumstances our travelling fans have got on with the job of supporting our team. WHUISA set out to get these loyal supporters a little thank you from the club in the form of maybe a (partial) refund of the ticket or indeed whatever the club could come up with.

A number of our members and fans have noted how other clubs take time out to respect and acknowledge their away fans’ endeavours with gestures from time to time during the season. We are sorry our club has not taken that opportunity this time but are hopeful for the future.

Met Police Meeting

WHUISA was invited to, and attended, a meeting on 30th August at Lambeth HQ with MPS (Met Police) prior to our upcoming match versus Tottenham.

In attendance was Sergeant Dave Hine along with three Dedicated Football Officers (DFOs) – PC Andy Sheldon and PC Rob Glozier for West Ham and PC Noel Deady for Tottenham (MPS Football Unit), Jake Heath (West Ham SLO), David Sadler (Head of Safety & Security LS185), his deputy Graham Harris, Katrina Law (Tottenham Supporters Trust), Kevin Fitzgerald (Tottenham Supporters Trust), Paul Christmas (WHUISA), Mark Gower (WHUISA) and Bill Edwards (WHUISA).

Discussions lasted just over two hours and were conducted openly and frankly. WHUISA asked a number of questions put forward by our members. The salient points from the meeting are detailed below.

Terrorism

A number of WHUISA members asked what measures the Police are taking. WHUISA directly asked Sergeant Hine this question. He responded:

1. MPS take the threat of terrorism with the utmost seriousness.

2. An immense amount of work goes into policing major sporting events in London and West Ham home matches are no exception.

3. Pre-match investigation/intelligence gathering is ongoing.

4. MPS work very closely with the Stadium operators.

5. Advice is given by MPS to all stakeholders involved in the London Stadium.

6. All PCs will explain what and why they intend to do if you are stopped

7. All PCs are Counter Terrorism Aware.

8. CCTV will be in operation in/outside the stadium.

9. Stadium security has the ability to monitor outside beyond the ground.

10. Officers will be in Full Protective Kit.

11. Police dogs will be present.

12. Vehicles will be subject to checks and will be prohibited to move along walkways where people are.

13. City of London Police will be assisting their colleagues from the MPS.

14. MPS will tweet any issues/concerns on the day before and on the morning of the match. Please follow @MPSFootballUnit

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Tottenham Home Match

1. This is a Category C match (code for a high-risk fixture).

2. Police will be present in full protective kit and the majority will have body cams.

3. Gates at the stadium open at 11am.

4. Alcohol will be served in the ground to home fans.

5. No pubs in the surrounding areas have been asked by MPS to close – it is up to individual licensees.

6. There will be controlled drinking areas in the streets around the pubs in Stratford.

7. Westfield will be fully open pre-match, the gates will close from around 75 minutes before kick-off. The closure is carried out dynamically on the day and could be nearer to kick-off time.

8. The gates will be closed at Westfield post-match.

9. West Ham will be operating up to 18 disability buses from Stratford and Stratford International pre and post-match.

10. MPS will tweet any issues/concerns on the day before and on the morning of the match. Please follow @MPSFootballUnit

11. People are advised to get to the ground as early as they can with a provisional estimate that a 45-minute arrival prior to KO should see you into the ground in good time.

12. Fans are advised to NOT bring bags unless essential as this slows down the search process.

13. Tottenham fans will NOT be held back post-match as this is a very rare occurrence. This will only change if there is a desperate escalation of circumstances outside/in the ground. The MPS do not expect this to occur.

14. Post-match, West Ham fans will disperse through Bridge 1 and 5 as usual to Stratford Station. Spurs fans will leave along the Loop Road to the station. Sufficient Police Officers will be in position if/when opposing fans eventually come together.

15. Ticket checking will go on in the stadium at any given place but more so in the Lower and Upper Tier blocks nearest the away fans. If you are in these sections please expect to produce your season card/ticket on more than one occasion.

16. Tailgating at the turnstiles is high on the agenda – please do not have two people go in on one ticket.

17. With body cams in operation please be polite to Police/Stewards as you can expect to be filmed (MPS wouldn’t expect the body cams to be used unless the circumstances dictate i.e. Disorder or officers dealing with issues, whereby the officer will activate them).

Over the first twelve months the stadium has been operating with West Ham as tenant, the working relationships between all parties has grown and strengthened. Sergeant Hine was happy to state that he had full confidence in LS185.

Changes which the Stadium Management will be implementing this season

1. One gate shall remain open at each turnstile to allow latecomers to enter their usual turnstile without having to go on a route march around the ground as was the case last season.

2. The searching process has been refined and people are encouraged to NOT bring bags to the match as this slows down entry procedure.

3. Further changes to searching are being planned and may be announced shortly.

4. Stewarding has undergone a massive change and this is expected to be seen from the first match.

5. Ticket checking and tailgating are in operation/being monitored.

6. The management of the Stadium has evolved and stadium sectorised with each sector having its own manager.

7. Exit doors will be constantly monitored & controlled from the Event Control Room in the stadium to monitor crowd activity. Additionally, stewarding staff will man the gates. They have the ability to open gates when directed to by appropriate management.

Contact

WHUISA is currently investigating a number of issues and concerns raised by members on behalf of both our members and the wider support base. If you have something that you would like WHUISA to look into, or any questions or suggestions, please email enquiries@whuisa.org

You can become a member of WHUISA by clicking here.

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Dan Coker's Match Preview

Crossed Hammers & Three Lions: David James

Welcome to the fourth in a series of articles designed for international weekends – a look back at former Hammers players who wore the Three Lions of England. Today, as England prepare to face Slovakia at Wembley, we look back at a former Hammers and England goalkeeper – David James.

David James was born in Welwyn Garden City on 1st August 1970 and grew up as a Luton supporter. He signed for Watford though and, after helping the Hornets win the FA Youth Cup, made his full debut in August 1990 at the age of 20. He earned 10 caps for England Under-21s before moving to Liverpool in the summer of 1992. He won the League Cup in 1995 and received an FA Cup runners-up medal the following year before making his England debut under Glenn Hoddle in a friendly against Mexico on 29th March 1997. He signed for Aston Villa in the summer of 1999 and was once again on the losing side in an FA Cup Final, this time in 2000, the last Final to be played at the old Wembley.

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James signed for Glenn Roeder’s West Ham United in July 2001 for £3.5m but a serious knee injury picked up in a collision with Martin Keown whilst playing for England against the Netherlands at White Hart Lane would keep him out until late autumn. The 31-year-old finally made his Hammers debut in a 1-0 home defeat to Tottenham on 24th November 2001 – he went on to keep ten clean sheets in 29 appearances in his first season, a campaign which saw no other Premier League team win more matches at home than the Hammers. The club finished seventh but were to nosedive the following season, culminating in relegation. James was an ever-present in 2002/03, keeping nine clean sheets in 42 appearances during a season in which he became England’s first-choice goalkeeper, replacing David Seaman.

James remained with the club for the first half of the First Division campaign of 2003/04, seeing many of his team-mates depart in a fire sale and playing under three managers – Roeder, caretaker boss Trevor Brooking and Alan Pardew – as the Hammers adjusted to life in the second tier. ‘Jamo’ kept ten clean sheets in 31 games before returning to the Premier League with Manchester City in a £2m deal in January 2004. He had made 102 appearances for West Ham in all competitions, his final match being a 2-1 home defeat to Preston on 10th January 2004. James had retained his position as Sven-Goran Eriksson’s England number one but his return to the top flight all but secured his place as England’s goalkeeper at the upcoming Euro 2004 tournament in Portugal.

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After two and a half years with City, James returned south to join Portsmouth in the summer of 2006. While with Pompey, he broke the Premier League record for clean sheets and consecutive appearances. He stands fourth in the all-time Premier League appearances list with 572 games played – only Ryan Giggs, Gareth Barry and ex-Hammer Frank Lampard have played more. James moved to Bristol City in the summer of 2010 having captained Portsmouth in the FA Cup Final, James again picking up a runners-up medal after defeat at Wembley to Chelsea. The goalkeeper also played three of England’s four matches at the 2010 World Cup, having lost his place to Paul Robinson during qualification for the 2006 World Cup – former Hammer James replaced then-Hammers custodian Rob Green in the tournament held in South Africa after Green’s unfortunate error against the USA.

The 42-year-old James was released by Bristol City in the summer of 2012 and signed for Bournemouth in September of that year. His final appearance for Bournemouth, and in English football, was against Walsall in a 3-1 defeat at the Bescot Stadium on 19th January 2013.

James went on to play in Iceland for IBV, teaming up with former team-mate Hermann Hreidarsson in order to gain coaching experience. James was also player-manager of Indian Super League side Kerala Blasters, owned by Sachin Tendulkar, in 2014, helping the side to runners-up position in the inaugural campaign of the ISL. James played 956 matches during his career and, now 47, he is a regular pundit on BT Sports. My video below is a compilation of some of his saves in a West Ham shirt.

England v Slovakia

England face Slovakia on Monday in a World Cup 2018 qualifier – it will be the sixth meeting between the two nations. James played in the only previous competitive match between the two on these shores – a 2-1 win for England in a Euro 2004 qualifier in front of 35,000 at the Riverside Stadium on 11th June 2003, a month to the day after the Hammers were relegated. Evanesence were number one with ‘Bring Me To Life’, The Matrix Reloaded topped the UK box office and, the day after, American actor Gregory Peck passed away.

Former Hammer Frank Lampard and future Iron Matthew Upson joined James in Sven-Goran Eriksson’s starting line-up. Slovakia had Vladimir Labant at left-back – Labant had spent a short spell with the Hammers between January and August 2002, making 15 appearances in claret and blue before returning from whence he came to Sparta Prague.

James was forced into a fine block on 14 minutes after Slovan Bratislava’s Robert Vittek had been allowed far too much space behind England’s backline to fire in a volley. The visitors did score the opening goal just after the half-hour mark – Austria Vienna’s Vladimir Janocko curled in an angled free-kick which eluded everyone and spun into the far corner of the net.

With just over an hour played, England skipper Michael Owen was brought down in the penalty area and converted the resulting spot-kick himself. The Liverpool double act of Owen and Steven Gerrard combined to provide England’s winner, Gerrard crossing for Owen to head home on 72 minutes for his 22nd goal in his 50th international appearance.

England: David James (West Ham), Danny Mills (Leeds), Gareth Southgate (Middlesbrough), Matthew Upson (Birmingham), Ashley Cole (Arsenal), Phil Neville (Man Utd), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Paul Scholes (Man Utd), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Wayne Rooney (Everton), Michael Owen (captain, Liverpool).

Subs: Owen Hargreaves (Bayern Munich) for Mills, Darius Vassell (Aston Villa) for Rooney.

Slovakia: Miroslav Konig (FC Zurich), Michal Hanek (Dinamo Moscow), Marian Zeman (Vitesse Arnhem), Martin Petras (Sparta Prague), Vladimir Labant (Sparta Prague), Vladimir Janocko (Austria Vienna), Igor Demo (captain, Borussia Monchengladbach), Radoslav Zabavnik (MSK Zilina), Rastilav Michalik (Sparta Prague), Robert Vittek (Slovan Bratislava), Szilard Nemeth (Middlesbrough).

Subs: Ondrej Debnar (Artmedia Petrzalka) for Labant; Marek Mintal (MSK Zilina) for Demo, Lubomir Reiter (Sigma Olomouc) for Nemeth.


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