Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v Bournemouth

Blast from the past

In today’s preview, we travel back to 21st August 2016; Major Lazer’s ‘Cold Water’ featuring Justin Bieber and MO topped the charts, Finding Dory topped the UK box office and Team GB finished competing at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, finishing second in the medal table with 27 golds, 23 silvers and 17 bronze medals, their best Olympic result in over a century.

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Slaven Bilic’s Hammers ran out 1-0 winners against Bournemouth in the first Premier League encounter at London Stadium in front of a club record 56,977. Cherries goalkeeper Artur Boruc saved well from Enner Valencia in the first half, while Adrian denied Joshua King. Bournemouth’s Harry Arter was sent off for a second bookable offence after 77 minutes, his first yellow card for dissent towards the assistant referee and second for dragging back Cheikhou Kouyate – eight minutes later, Michail Antonio rose highest at the back post to head in Gokhan Tore’s left-wing cross to score the Hammers’ first goal at their new stadium and claim all three points.

The Hammers would end the 2016/17 campaign in 11th place in the Premier League, one point and two places below Bournemouth. Chelsea won the title and Arsenal won the FA Cup. Antonio was voted Hammer of the Year and ended the campaign as the club’s leading scorer with nine goals from 37 appearances.

West Ham United: Adrian, Sam Byram, James Collins, Winston Reid, Arthur Masuaku, Cheikhou Kouyate, Havard Nordtveit (Ashley Fletcher), Michail Antonio, Mark Noble, Gokhan Tore (Pedro Obiang), Enner Valencia (Jonathan Calleri).

Bournemouth: Artur Boruc, Adam Smith, Simon Francis, Steve Cook, Charlie Daniels, Jordon Ibe (Nathan Ake), Harry Arter, Andrew Surman, Ryan Fraser (Dan Gosling), Josh King, Callum Wilson (Lewis Grabban).

Club Connections

A decent number of players have turned out for both West Ham United and Bournemouth. Ex-Bournemouth loanee Jack Wilshere is now at West Ham. Jermain Defoe and Hammers Academy product Junior Stanislas are currently on Bournemouth’s books while Carl Fletcher played for both clubs and is currently youth team manager with the Cherries. Other players to have appeared for both clubs include:

Goalkeepers: David James, Stephen Henderson and Marek Stech.

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

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

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

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

Today’s preview focuses on a midfielder who experienced limited playing time at West Ham United in between spells with Bournemouth. Paul Mitchell was born in Bournemouth on 20th October 1971. A pupil at the England School of Excellence at Lilleshall with plenty of England Youth caps to his name, Mitchell could play at right-back or in midfield. He made 16 appearances for Bournemouth between 1990 and 1993; he was given his debut by Harry Redknapp, but had undergone five operations by the time he was 20 – injuries were to play a significant part in Mitchell’s career.

After a difference of opinion with Tony Pulis, Redknapp’s replacement at Bournemouth, Mitchell (pictured) joined Billy Bonds’ West Ham United in the summer of 1993 in a joint deal with fellow Cherry Keith Rowland for a combined fee of £150,000 – Mitchell was valued at £40,000 in the deal. Redknapp, Bonds’ assistant, had previously had both players under his wing when he was manager at Dean Court. The 22-year-old Mitchell’s only appearance for the Irons came as an 84th-minute substitute for fellow former Cherry Matty Holmes in a 2-1 home defeat to Blackburn at the Boleyn Ground on 27th April 1994 – future Hammer Ian Pearce scored Rovers’ winner that night.

After one appearance for West Ham United, the 24-year-old Mitchell returned to the South Coast, signing for Mel Machin’s third tier Bournemouth in March 1996 on a free transfer. He played four consecutive games after arriving but moved to Torquay in the summer of 1996, where he enjoyed the most productive spell of his career during a two-and-a-half year stay before a hernia problem restricted him. Mitchell scored his only goal in league football while at Torquay in a 2-0 win over Macclesfield on 10th January 1998. After 41 appearances for Torquay, Mitchell moved to Barry Town in March 1998.

Mitchell played Champions League football while with Barry Town, playing home and away against a Dynamo Kiev side containing Oleg Luzhny, Andriy Shevchenko and future Hammer Sergei Rebrov. Spells at Salisbury and Wimborne followed and Mitchell has since turned out for West Ham at the ex-pros’ Masters tournaments, making more appearances for them than he made for the Hammers in the Premier League! Mitchell, now 46, is back at Bournemouth as a correspondent for Opta Sports.


The referee on Saturday will be Stuart Attwell. The Birmingham-based official will take charge of a West Ham game for only the fifth time – he has sent off a Hammers striker in two of his other four games officiating the Hammers. He refereed our 1-0 victory at Wigan in March 2009 and our 3-1 win at Blackpool in February 2011. The 35-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 last October.

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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 most recently refereed the Hammers in February in our 4-1 defeat at Liverpool.

Possible line-ups

The Hammers are without Winston Reid, Manuel Lanzini and Andy Carroll, while Carlos Sanchez and Lucas Perez will only make the bench at best. Aaron Cresswell could return at left-back.

Bournemouth are set to be without the suspended Diego Rico and the injured Jefferson Lerma and Junior Stanislas.

Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Fredericks, Balbuena, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Rice, Noble; Antonio, Wilshere, Anderson; Arnautovic.

Possible Bournemouth XI: Begovic; Smith, Steve Cook, Ake, Daniels; Brooks, Surman, Gosling, Fraser; King, Wilson.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!

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50 Greatest Hammers - You Decide The Top Ten

The West Ham United official website has recently been running a countdown of the 50 Greatest Hammers. The club are asking supporters to vote on the top ten after a panel of supporters and players ranked club legends. Players positioned from 50 to 11 are as follows:

50. Bobby Zamora
49. Ted Hufton
48. Trevor Sinclair
47. Clyde Best
46. Ian Bishop
45. Brian Dear
44. Steve Lomas
43. Michael Carrick
42. Geoff Pike
41. Scott Parker
40. Noel Cantwell
39. Frank Lampard Junior
38. Alan Sealey
37. Pat Holland
36. Carlos Tevez
35. Tony Gale
34. Dimitri Payet
33. John Bond
32. Steve Potts
31. Jim Barrett Senior
30. Joe Cole
29. Vic Keeble
28. David Cross
27. Rio Ferdinand
26. Johnny ‘Budgie’ Byrne
25. Ernie Gregory
24. Len Goulden
23. Ronnie Boyce
22. Ludek Miklosko
21. Jimmy Ruffell
20. Syd Puddefoot
19. Bryan ‘Pop’ Robson
18. Ken Brown
17. Ray Stewart
16. Frank McAvennie
15. Mark Noble
14. Tony Cottee
13. John Dick
12. Julian Dicks
11. Paolo Di Canio

The top ten, to be judged by a wider supporter vote, consists of (in alphabetical order):

Billy Bonds
Sir Trevor Brooking
Alan Devonshire
Sir Geoff Hurst
Frank Lampard Senior
Alvin Martin
Bobby Moore
Phil Parkes
Martin Peters
Vic Watson

To cast your vote and put the top ten into your rank order, click here.

Speaking personally, I think I’d have found a spot in my top 50 for Danny Shea, who scored 186 goals in 290 appearances for the club between 1907 and 1913, possibly in place of Brian Dear, while Robert Green would replace Steve Lomas in my list. Scott Parker and Johnny ‘Budgie’ Byrne would also feature higher in my top 50.

How would you rank order the top ten? Would any player in the club’s top 50 not make your list and, if so, who would you replace them with?

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Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Liverpool v West Ham

Blast from the past

Since our first game at the home of Liverpool in 1914, we have only ever won there on four occasions – the most recent was in 2015, 52 years after our previous victory there in 1963; prior to that was a win in 1954 and our first victory was back in 1928. Needless to say, Anfield is not the happiest of Hammers hunting grounds!

That first victory came on 4th February 1928 in a First Division match in front of 23,897 spectators – Leon Trotsky had been exiled to Alma-Ata four days previously while, four days later, John Logie Baird broadcasted a transatlantic television signal from London to New York. Hammers legends Jimmy Ruffell (pictured) and Vic Watson were on the scoresheet, Ruffell scoring twice and Watson once in a 3-1 victory. Dick Edmed struck the hosts’ consolation from the penalty spot. Outside-left Ruffell, ranked 21st in the club’s 50 Greatest Hammers countdown this week, would end the season as the Irons’ top goalscorer with 19 goals in 41 matches.

The Hammers went on to finish in 17th place in 1927/28, level on 39 points with six other teams and one point clear of relegated Tottenham. Liverpool were one of these sides, the Reds finishing one place above the Hammers while their Merseyside rivals, Everton, won the title. Blackburn won the FA Cup.

Liverpool: Arthur Riley, Tom Lucas, David McMullan, Tom Bromilow, Fred Hopkin, Dick Edmed, Harry Chambers, Tommy Reid, John Clarke, Don MacKinlay, Jimmy Jackson.

West Ham United: Ted Hufton, Billy Henderson, Alfred Earl, Jimmy Collins, Bill Cox, Albert Cadwell, Tommy Yews, Stan Earle, Vic Watson, Billy Moore, Jimmy Ruffell.

Club Connections

Andy Carroll is unavailable for the trip to his former club. A whole host of players join the striker in having turned out for both West Ham United and Liverpool, particularly over the last 25 years. These include:

Goalkeepers: David James, Charles Cotton.

Defenders: Alvaro Arbeloa, Rob Jones, David Burrows, Paul Konchesky, Julian Dicks, Rigobert Song, Neil Ruddock, Thomas Stanley.

Midfielders: Don Hutchison, Yossi Benayoun, Joe Cole, Victor Moses, Paul Ince, Ray Houghton, Javier Mascherano, Stewart Downing, Mike Marsh.

Strikers: Craig Bellamy, Peter Kyle, Titi Camara, Robbie Keane, David Speedie, Neil Mellor, Charlie Satterthwaite, Danny Shone, Tom Bradshaw.

George Kay made 237 league appearances for the Hammers between 1919 and 1926, becoming the first-ever player to play more than 200 league matches for the club. Kay was also the West Ham captain in the 1923 FA Cup Final. He went on to manage Liverpool between 1936 and 1951, winning the First Division title in 1947.

Today’s focus falls on a former England right-back who first appeared in the top flight for West Ham before later playing for Liverpool. Glen Johnson was born in Greenwich on 23rd August 1984 and grew up in Dartford. Known as Glen Stephens at the time of his birth, he took his mother’s surname following the separation of his parents. At one stage of his childhood, he lived in a hostel as his mother had nowhere to live but he joined West Ham at the age of nine. He made regular appearances for the reserve team in the 2001/02 season and spent a loan spell at Millwall in the autumn of 2002, with whom he made his Football League debut.

Johnson was recalled from his loan spell by manager Glenn Roeder with the previous season’s Hammer of the Year, Sebastien Schemmel, struggling for form and the Hammers deep in relegation trouble. Schemmel, who had problems in his personal life, fell out with Roeder and on one occasion had to be escorted out of Upton Park by security staff, played his final game for the club in early January 2003 in an FA Cup third round win over Nottingham Forest – Steve Lomas initially filled in at right-back before the 18-year-old Johnson made his West Ham debut as a 63rd-minute substitute for Edouard Cisse in a 4-2 defeat at Charlton on 22nd January 2003, a game which saw future Hammer Scott Parker score twice for the Addicks. Johnson again appeared from the bench four days later, this time for the final ten minutes of a 6-0 defeat at Manchester United in the FA Cup fourth round.

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Johnson made his first start for the Irons in a 2-1 home win over Blackburn on 29th January 2003 – it was the club’s first home win in the league in 2002/03. An immediate hit with the supporters due to his precocious talent, he kept his place and started every game thereafter until the end of the season, including the final three matches under the control of caretaker manager Trevor Brooking. Johnson signed a new four-year contract in March 2003 and made 14 starts after breaking into the starting XI as the Hammers launched an ultimately unsuccessful bid for survival – from Johnson’s 14 starts, West Ham won seven matches, drew four and lost only three. His final appearance for the club came in a 2-2 draw at Birmingham on 11th May 2003, the day the Hammers were relegated to the First Division after a ten-year stay in the Premier League.

After England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson told the new Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich that Johnson and Joe Cole were the two best young players in England, the Russian signed both players for manager Claudio Ranieri. Johnson was the first purchase of the Abramovich era at Chelsea, for a fee of £6m in July 2003, having made 16 appearances for West Ham United. He made his England debut against Denmark in November 2003 – he played 14 matches for England Under-21s and went on to win 54 full caps for his country, scoring one goal in a 3-1 friendly win over Mexico in May 2010. After three seasons at Stamford Bridge, Johnson signed for Portsmouth on a season-long loan for the 2006/07 campaign. He returned to Chelsea, playing two matches in August 2007 before signing permanently for Portsmouth later that month.

The 24-year-old Johnson signed for Rafa Benitez’s Liverpool in the summer of 2009 for a reported £17.5m. He made his Premier League debut on 16th August 2009 in a 2-1 defeat at Tottenham and scored his first goal for the Reds on his home debut three days later in a 4-0 win over Stoke. He scored in both matches against former club West Ham in 2010/11, in a 3-0 Liverpool win at Anfield on 20th November 2010 and the consolation in a 3-1 Hammers win on 27th February 2011 at the Boleyn Ground.

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Johnson scored against another former club, Chelsea, in a 2-1 win for the Reds at Stamford Bridge in November 2011 and again scored against the Irons as Liverpool triumphed 3-2 at Upton Park in December 2012. His final goal for Liverpool was the winner in a 1-0 victory over Stoke at Anfield on 29th November 2014, with his final appearance for the club coming in a 1-1 draw at Chelsea on 10th May 2015. Having played under Benitez, Roy Hodgson, Kenny Dalglish and Brendan Rodgers during his six years at Anfield, experiencing Champions League and Europa League football along the way, the 30-year-old Johnson joined Stoke on a free transfer in the summer of 2015. He was a League Cup winner with the Reds in 2012 and had scored nine goals in 200 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool.

Johnson, who turns 34 in a couple of weeks, is currently without a club after his three seasons with Stoke ended in relegation in May.


The referee on Sunday will be Anthony Taylor – the Hammers were only allocated the 39-year-old once last season, for our 1-0 home win over Chelsea in December 2017. In 2016/17, Taylor took charge of our 2-0 defeat at Everton in October 2016 and 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. He also refereed our 1-0 defeat at Leicester on New Year’s Eve 2016 and our 1-0 win over Tottenham in May 2017. Taylor officiated the Irons on five occasions in 2015/16 as he took charge of our defeat at Tottenham, as well as our home win over Newcastle which came just three games after he had controversially sent off Adrian against Leicester. He was also the man in the middle for our FA Cup third round win over Wolves and our 3-2 win at Everton in March 2016.

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Indeed, 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 when the Hammers took on Liverpool at Upton Park in April 2014, awarding a controversial and ultimately match-winning penalty to the Reds. 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 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.

Possible line-ups

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is without Simon Mignolet, Ragnar Klavan, Dejan Lovren and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, while Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and James Milner are doubts. Goalkeeper Alisson, midfielder Naby Keita and forward Xherdan Shaqiri could all make their competitive Liverpool debuts. The Reds were unbeaten at Anfield in the Premier League and Champions League last season, with their only home defeat coming in the FA Cup against West Brom. Liverpool have won the last three meetings against West Ham, scoring four goals on each occasion.

New West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini is without the injured Winston Reid, Edimilson Fernandes, Manuel Lanzini and Andy Carroll. New signing Andriy Yarmolenko is available after a pre-season injury and could make his Hammers debut, as could fellow new boys Lukasz Fabianski, Ryan Fredericks, Issa Diop, Fabian Balbuena, Carlos Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Felipe Anderson and Lucas Perez. Pellegrini must make a decision between Adrian and Fabianski in goal, Fredericks and Pablo Zabaleta at right-back, and Balbuena and Diop at centre-back. The game may come too soon for Aaron Cresswell, who had a limited pre-season due to injury. The Hammers have lost their season-opening Premier League game on 11 occasions, more than any other side.

Possible Liverpool XI: Alisson; Clyne, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Lallana, Wijnaldum, Keita; Salah, Firmino, Mane.

Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Fredericks, Balbuena, Ogbonna, Masuaku; Rice, Noble, Wilshere; Antonio, Arnautovic, Anderson.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!

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Join the WestHamTillIDie Fantasy League 2018/19

WestHamTillIDie are again running a league for the upcoming season’s Premier League Fantasy Football. We invite you to take part and submit a team!

If you participated last year, you will automatically be part of the league. All you need to do is complete your team for the new season.

If you didn’t take part last year and are new to the WHTID League, firstly click here. When you’ve registered your details, follow the instructions to select your team.

When you’ve selected your team, you need to join The Official WHTID League by clicking on the ‘Create and join leagues’ tab on the right side of the screen (this will only appear after you have picked your team). Then click on ‘Join a league’ and then ‘Join private league’ before typing this code 1351625-306262 into the relevant box. You need to register before the season starts on Friday 10th August.

Special thanks to Ray The Hammer for setting up the league.

Talking Point

Meet Ruben, Enzo and Xavi - Pellegrini's Coaching Team

Ruben Cousillas

Born in Roque Perez, Argentina, the 61-year-old was a goalkeeper who came through the youth system at San Lorenzo, playing for the Buenos-Aires-based club between 1977 and 1987. He moved to Millonarios in Bogota, with whom he won three Colombian titles, before returning to Argentina with Mandiyu. He played for Velez Sarsfield in 1989/90 and Argentinos Juniors in 1990/91 before closing his playing career in Chile with Huachipato.

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Cousillas began his career as a coach for Talleres de Cordoba, before returning to former club Argentinos Juniors. Cousillas returned to another former club, San Lorenzo, in 1998 to become assistant to Oscar Ruggeri. When Ruggeri was replaced by Manuel Pellegrini, Cousillas began a working partnership with the Chilean which saw him follow the new Hammers boss to River Plate, before moving to Spain where they teamed up at Villareal, Real Madrid and Malaga. Pellegrini and Cousillas won the Argentine Primera Division Clausura and the Copa Mercosur with San Lorenzo in 2001. They again won the Argentine Primera Division Clausura in 2003 with River Plate and also came runner-up in the Copa Sudamericana in the same year. They won the InterToto Cup with Villarreal.

In June 2013, Cousillas joined Pellegrini at Manchester City as co-assistant, alongside Brian Kidd. He won the Premier League in 2014 and the League Cup in 2014 and 2016. When Pellegrini left the Etihad in June 2016 on the expiry of his contract, Cousillas also left along with the remainder of Pellegrini’s staff. Pellegrini and Cousillas teamed up again at Hebei China Fortune before joining the Hammers earlier this summer. Cousillas’ title at West Ham United is that of Assistant Coach.

Enzo Maresca

Enzo Maresca is Pellegrini’s Second Assistant Coach. He is a 38-year-old former midfielder who won 15 caps for Italy Under-21, and also played for his country at Under-15, Under-16, Under-17, Under-18 and Under-20 levels. He was born in Salerno and started his professional career at West Brom, making his debut in September 1998 and playing 47 matches in the second tier of English football before moving back to his homeland with a switch to Juventus in January 2000. The fee of £4.3m was the Baggies’ record sale at the time.

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Maresca spent season-long loan spells with Bologna and Piacenza before a permanent move to Fiorentina in the summer of 2004. A hard-working and creative midfielder, Maresca joined Sevilla a year later and spent four seasons in Spain, winning five major trophies – two UEFA Cups, the Copa del Rey, the UEFA Super Cup and the Supercopa de Espana. He scored twice in the 2006 UEFA Cup Final victory over Middlesbrough where he was made Man of the Match, donating the €10k prize money to the San Juan de Dios hospital in Seville.

Maresca moved to Greek football with Olympiakos in 2009. He returned to Spain in January 2011, signing for Manuel Pellegrini’s Malaga. He helped Malaga qualify for the Champions League in his only full season with the club, 2011/12, before returning to Italy where he signed for Sampdoria and played alongside Pedro Obiang. He dropped down a division to Serie B, signing for Palermo in January 2014. He moved to Verona in 2016 and retired from playing on 10th February 2017, his 37th birthday.

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His coaching career began as assistant coach at Ascoli in the summer of 2017 but he left before the year was out to become assistant manager to Vincenzo Montella at former club Sevilla in December 2017 (Maresca is pictured above, on the left, with Montella). The club would win only five league matches in Montella’s four months in charge but would reach the Copa del Rey Final, where they were thrashed 5-0 by Barcelona. They also knocked Manchester United out of the Champions League before being defeated by Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals. Maresca left Sevilla to join Pellegrini at West Ham earlier this summer.

Xavi Valero

Castellon-born Valero is West Ham’s new Goalkeeping Coach – he started his playing career at Castellon in 1995 before moving to Mallorca in 1996. He played one game for the club before moving to Logrones in 1997 and experiencing more regular second-tier football before the club were relegated to the fourth tier for not paying its players at the end of the 1999/2000 season. The goalkeeper returned to third-tier Castellon in 2000.

Valero moved to second-tier Murcia in 2002 – the club won promotion to La Liga in 2002/03 but Valero made only three appearances during the season. He signed for Cordoba, again in the second tier, but only made four appearances for the club. He returned to Murcia in 2004 but didn’t play a game. Valero signed for a short spell with Wrexham in 2005 to improve his English, which he learnt at the University of Castellon – he played four matches in League One for the Welsh club. He returned to Spain, playing two games each for Recreativo de Huelva and Gramenet before retiring from playing in 2007.

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Rafael Benítez appointed Valero as Goalkeeping Coach at Liverpool in July 2007. Valero was praised by former Liverpool striker Fernando Torres who stated that, during training, Valero instructed the players on how goalkeepers they would meet in upcoming games react to one-on-one situations. Valero teamed up with Benitez again at Inter Milan in June 2010 but left the club after Benitez was sacked six months later. He also worked with Benitez at Napoli (2013-15) and Real Madrid (June 2015-January 2016). The 45-year-old joined Pellegrini’s West Ham earlier this summer.

Welcome to all three, and good luck.

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