Dan Coker's Match Preview
Blast from the past
25th October 2014 – Megan Trainor was number one with ‘All About That Bass’, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles topped the UK box office, while Alvin Stardust had died two days earlier, and former Sheffield Wednesday and Sweden midfielder Klas Ingesson died at the age of 46 four days later. Meanwhile, West Ham United emerged victorious from a Premier League encounter against Manchester City almost exactly six years ago with a 2-1 win in front of 34,977.
Sam Allardyce’s Hammers came into this Saturday lunchtime game on the back of three wins from their previous four fixtures, including an impressive 3-1 win over Liverpool. Champions City arrived in east London with two future Hammers in their team, England goalkeeper Joe Hart and right-back Pablo Zabaleta, while future West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini was then-manager of Manchester City.
The hosts took the lead after 21 minutes when Mark Noble found Alex Song who played a sumptuous pass in behind the City defence for Enner Valencia. The Ecuadorian raced to the line before cutting a ball across goal for Morgan Amalfitano (pictured scoring below) to tuck home – the momentum of Valencia’s run took him into the City support behind Joe Hart’s goal.
Pellegrini’s City threw everything at West Ham in the second half – Aguero was denied by Adrian, with the Argentine seeing his follow-up blocked by James Collins. Aguero then hit the bar, with Yaya Toure’s shot held by Adrian on the line. The Hammers responded, Valencia finding Aaron Cresswell whose inch-perfect cross was met by the head of Diafra Sakho – the ball was correctly adjudged to have crossed the line before Hart’s intervention and the Irons had doubled their lead with 15 minutes remaining. Sakho would be the Irons’ top goalscorer in this 2014/15 season with 12 goals from 26 appearances; Cresswell would be voted Hammer of the Year, with Adrian runner-up for the second consecutive season.
That advantage was halved within two minutes when the brilliant David Silva beat Noble, Song and Stewart Downing before bending a beautiful shot around Winston Reid and beyond Adrian, the Spanish stopper finally beaten. Heroic defending from Reid and Collins thwarted Aguero twice more before Adrian’s superb save saw him tip over substitute Stevan Jovetic’s drive from distance in the dying moments to secure a famous win over the reigning champions.
West Ham would end the season in 12th place while Manchester City finished in second. Chelsea won the Premier League and Arsenal won the FA Cup.
West Ham United: Adrian, Carl Jenkinson, James Collins, Winston Reid, Aaron Cresswell, Alex Song, Mark Noble, Morgan Amalfitano (Cheikhou Kouyate), Stewart Downing, Diafra Sakho (Kevin Nolan), Enner Valencia (Carlton Cole).
Manchester City: Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany, Eliaquim Mangala, Gael Clichy (Aleksandar Kolarov), Jesus Navas, Fernando (James Milner), Yaya Toure, David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko (Stevan Jovetic).
A large group of players have represented West Ham United and Manchester City. Divided by playing position, they include:
Goalkeepers – Joe Hart, Perry Suckling, David James.
Defenders – Pablo Zabaleta, Tal Ben Haim, Tyrone Mears, Wayne Bridge.
Midfielders – Mark Ward, Samir Nasri, Marc-Vivien Foe, Kevin Horlock, Patrick Leonard, James Cumming, Eyal Berkovic, Steve Lomas, Frank Lampard Junior, John Payne, Michael Hughes, Ian Bishop, Trevor Sinclair.
Strikers – Paulo Wanchope, Bill Davidson, Carlos Tevez, Craig Bellamy, Phil Woosnam, Justin Fashanu, Trevor Morley, Lionel Watson, David Cross, George Webb.
Manuel Pellegrini has managed both clubs. Stuart Pearce played for both clubs and has managed Manchester City and is now back on the Hammers’ coaching staff. Malcolm Allison and John Bond were also West Ham players who went on to manage City.
Today’s focus though falls on a striker who played for Manchester City and later represented West Ham United. Clive Allen was born in east London on 20th May 1961, the son of former Chelsea, Tottenham and QPR forward Les Allen. Growing up in Hornchurch and a young star with Havering, Essex and London Schools teams, Clive began his career at QPR before becoming the youngest million-pound player when moving to Arsenal in 1980 at the age of 19, although he would not play a competitive match for the Gunners – soon after signing, he was involved in a swap move with Kenny Sansom and joined Terry Venables’ Crystal Palace. Allen returned to QPR (now managed by Venables) in 1981 for £700,000 before signing for Tottenham in 1984 for the same fee. He scored 49 goals in all competitions in 1986/87 and was voted PFA Player of the Year and the Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year for that campaign. He moved to France in March 1988, signing for Bordeaux for £1m. He also won five England caps between 1984 and 1988.
A clearly prolific goalscorer, the 28-year-old Allen was signed by manager Mel Machin for newly-promoted Manchester City for £1.1m in the summer of 1989. He made his City debut on 19th August 1989 in a 3-1 defeat at Liverpool, starting in a team which also featured future West Ham team-mates Ian Bishop and Trevor Morley. Allen’s first goal for the Sky Blues was the winner in a 1-0 victory against former club QPR at Maine Road on 9th September 1989. The arrival of Howard Kendall as manager in November 1989 changed the team’s style but Allen still went on to score 11 goals in 35 appearances in 1989/90 as City finished 14th. Shortly after Kendall’s arrival, Allen asked his new manager if he could be included in the move which saw Bishop and Morley move to West Ham in exchange for Mark Ward. The arrivals of Adrian Heath and Niall Quinn limited Allen’s game time and things didn’t get much better for him when Peter Reid took over as player-manager in November 1990; Allen scored seven goals in 28 matches in 1990/91 as the Sky Blues finished fifth in the First Division.
Ordered by Reid to train with the youth team for ten weeks in 1991, Allen was surprisingly called into the squad for a trip to Notts County’s Meadow Lane. A favourite amongst the Manchester City faithful, the Sky Blues supporters sang Allen’s name as he waited for his chance from the bench in the match on 6th October 1991 – Reid eventually put Allen on and he scored twice in a 3-1 victory. These would be his last league goals for the club. His final strike for the club came in a 3-0 League Cup second round second leg win at Chester two days later. He played his last game for the Sky Blues in a 2-1 League Cup fourth round defeat at Middlesbrough on 3rd December 1991. Allen scored 21 goals in 69 appearances for Manchester City. He joined Chelsea in December 1991 for a modest £250,000.
After three months at Stamford Bridge, the 30-year-old Allen joined Billy Bonds’ West Ham United on the eve of the transfer deadline in March 1992 in a £250,000 deal. Clive followed in the footsteps of cousins Paul and Martin in pulling on the famous claret and blue. He scored on his debut in a 2-1 defeat at, ironically, Chelsea on 4th April 1992 but his late arrival could not prevent the Hammers from suffering relegation at the end of that 1991/92 campaign.
Allen’s partnership with former City team-mate Morley played a large part in the promotion campaign of 1992/93. He scored the Hammers’ first goal of that season in a 1-0 win at Barnsley on 16th August 1992 – his knack of finding space and being in the right place at the right time saw him go on to score 18 goals in 36 appearances that season, despite a calf injury keeping him out from mid-January to early May. He bagged his first Hammers brace in a 5-1 win at Bristol City on 15th September 1992 and scored eight goals in six games between 21st November and 12th December, including two more doubles in a 2-0 home win over Reggiana in the Anglo-Italian Cup and a 3-1 home win over Birmingham.
Allen picked up a calf injury early on in a 2-0 home win over promotion rivals Portsmouth on 16th January 1993 and did not appear for the first team again until making his comeback from injury over three months later, at Swindon on 2nd May – he stepped off the bench to score the Hammers’ second in a crucial 3-1 victory. Six days later, he again appeared as a substitute in the final match of the season against Cambridge at the Boleyn – Allen was mobbed by pitch-invading supporters as his late tap-in from a Julian Dicks pass secured a 2-0 win and ensured the club’s automatic promotion to the Premier League by virtue of a single goal ahead of Portsmouth. It was also the final goal scored in front of the old South Bank at Upton Park.
Allen started West Ham’s first six games as a Premier League club, and scored his final goals for the Hammers when bagging a brace in a 2-0 home win over Sheffield Wednesday on 25th August 1993, securing the club’s first ever win in the newly-branded big time. A medial knee ligament injury sustained in a tackle with former Hammer Paul Ince at Old Trafford in early September kept Allen out for five months but he returned to play three games in February 1994, before making his last appearance in claret and blue as a substitute in a goalless draw with Luton in an FA Cup quarter-final at the Boleyn on 14th March 1994. Clive Allen had scored 21 goals in 50 appearances for West Ham United. All 21 of these goals can be viewed in my video below. He moved to his seventh London club, Millwall, for £75,000 on transfer deadline day in March 1994.
Allen ended his footballing career with Carlisle in 1995 and also had a spell as placekicker for the London Monarchs in NFL Europe in 1997. Now 59, Allen has worked in the media and been a coach at Tottenham, taking over caretaker manager duties for two spells in 2007 and 2008.
The referee on Saturday will be 42-year-old Anthony Taylor – his Irons appointments last season were for our 1-1 draw at Brighton in August 2019, our 2-0 home win over Manchester United in September, our 3-1 home win over Southampton last February and, most recently, our 2-0 home defeat to Wolves in June. He also refereed our 1-0 win at Tottenham in April 2019.
Controversy and incident are never far away when the Cheshire-based official is the referee for a West Ham United match. Taylor was in charge for our 2-1 opening-day defeat at Chelsea in August 2016, awarding the home side a penalty and later controversially failing to issue a second yellow card to Diego Costa for an awful lunge at Adrian – Costa remained on the pitch to score the 89th-minute winner. Taylor also awarded a controversial and ultimately match-winning penalty to Liverpool at Upton Park in April 2014, while there was also controversy surrounding Guy Demel’s equaliser for West Ham in that game. Taylor is also the referee who had not one, but two red cards rescinded from the same game after he had sent off Carlton Cole and Darron Gibson in the Hammers’ 2-1 home defeat to David Moyes’ Everton in December 2012. He sent off the home side’s Kevin Mirallas against the Hammers at Goodison Park in March 2016 and awarded the Toffees a penalty which Romelu Lukaku saw saved by Adrian.
The VAR Official is Peter Bankes.
West Ham United should have Michail Antonio and Sebastien Haller available. The Hammers have lost their five previous matches against Manchester City at London Stadium by an aggregate score of 22-1, Aaron Cresswell scoring the Irons’ goal.
Manchester City will be without Benjamin Mendy, Fernandinho and Gabriel Jesus. Pep Guardiola also has doubts over Nathan Ake, Aymeric Laporte and Kevin De Bruyne. City are the only visiting team to have won five times at London Stadium.
Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Coufal, Balbuena, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Masuaku; Bowen, Rice, Soucek, Fornals; Antonio.
Possible Manchester City XI: Ederson; Walker, Dias, Ake, Cancelo; Rodri, Gundogan; Mahrez, Foden, Sterling; Aguero.
Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!
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