Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Burnley v West Ham

Hello and welcome to the 46th and final match preview of an often challenging but nonetheless significant season in the history of West Ham United, one that began researching obscure Slovenian opposition back in July and closes with the Hammers comfortably safe in the Premier League.

Blast from the past

In today’s preview, we travel back to 19th February 1980: Kenny Rogers was number one with ‘Coward Of The County’, Star Trek: The Motion Picture was in UK cinemas and, in the week which saw the broadcast of the first ever episode of Yes Minister, West Ham United beat Burnley away from home by one goal to nil.

Alan Devonshire (pictured above) scored the only goal of the game in front of 10,610 spectators for a Tuesday night encounter at Turf Moor. It was Dev’s second of six goals from 49 matches that season. David ‘Psycho’ Cross would be the Irons’ top goalscorer with 18 goals in 53 matches in 1979/80.

The victory was the Hammers’ fifth consecutive triumph in all competitions in a six-match winning run but, after this streak, they would not win in the league again for another seven games, until 5th April. West Ham would go on to finish 7th in a 1979/80 campaign that saw them win the FA Cup with a 1-0 triumph over Arsenal at Wembley. 21-year-old centre-back Alvin Martin was voted Hammer of the Year with 20-year-old right-back Ray Stewart runner-up. Burnley finished 21st and were relegated alongside Charlton and Fulham.

West Ham United: Phil Parkes, Frank Lampard, Ray Stewart, Alvin Martin, Paul Brush, Jimmy Neighbour, Paul Allen, Geoff Pike, Trevor Brooking, Alan Devonshire, David Cross.

Club Connections

A small collection of players have turned out for the Hammers and the Clarets. They include:

Goalkeepers: Tommy Hampson, Herman Conway and Frank Birchenough.

Defenders: Tyrone Mears, Joe Gallagher, David Unsworth, Jack Tresadern, Jon Harley and Mitchell Thomas.

Midfielders: Junior Stanislas, Reg Attwell and Matt Taylor.

Strikers: Alan Taylor, Sam Jennings, Walter Pollard, Ian Wright, Ian Moore and Zavon Hines.

John Bond played for the Hammers and managed the Clarets.

Today’s focus, though, falls on a player who enjoyed spells at both clubs in the 2000s. Luke Chadwick began his career at Manchester United, scoring two goals in 25 appearances for the Red Devils, while also spending loan periods with Antwerp and Reading.

With David Beckham blocking his route to the Manchester United first team, Chadwick joined Lancastrian neighbours Burnley on loan for the 2003/04 campaign – he failed to have much of an impact at Turf Moor as the Clarets spent the season at the wrong end of the First Division and only just avoided relegation to England’s third tier. The winger made a total of 40 appearances for Burnley, scoring six goals.

The 23-year-old Chadwick signed for Alan Pardew’s West Ham on a free transfer at the start of the 2004/05 season and made his debut as a substitute in a 1-0 home win against Reading on 10th August 2004, setting up Teddy Sheringham for the late winner. He played the majority of games before Christmas on the right wing and scored his only goal for the club in a 1-1 draw with Leeds in a televised Friday night match, opening the scoring by bundling home after a Marlon Harewood header had been blocked (this goal can be seen in my video below). Leeds ruined Chadwick’s night however, equalising through an injury-time penalty by David Healy after the Northern Ireland striker had blatantly dived to win the spot-kick. Injury disrupted the rest of Chadwick’s season as the Hammers won promotion back to the top flight by beating Preston in the play-off final in Cardiff. His final appearance for the Hammers was as a substitute in a 1-0 win at Stoke on 19th April 2005.

After 36 appearances and one goal for West Ham, Chadwick joined Stoke, initially on loan at the start of the 2005/06 season. Following impressive performances, this move was made permanent the following January for a fee of £100,000. Chadwick won many admirers amongst the Stoke faithful but fitness issues again caught up with him, fainting due to dehydration against Southend on the opening day of the 2006/07 season. Chadwick’s former assistant manager at Upton Park, Peter Grant, took the winger to Norwich as Stoke more than doubled their money on the England Under-21 international.

After leaving Norwich in 2008, Chadwick made 210 appearances for MK Dons, scoring 17 goals, before getting his dream move to boyhood club Cambridge United in the spring of 2014. Discussing his debut for Cambridge against Welling in March that year, Chadwick told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire:

“I remember coming on in a Champions League quarter-final against Munich. That was quite a nerve-wracking and an incredible experience. But this is the biggest one now. The missus buys me the Cambridge kit every Christmas or my birthday. I’ve had it the last 10 to 15 years, so to wear one in a proper game was a great feeling. I still think I’ve got years left in me. My body will tell me when it is time to stop. Ideally, I’ve got three, four, five or six years left. You never know in this game, I just want to be successful here.”

Chadwick helped Cambridge win promotion back into the Football League in May 2014 after a nine-year exile for the club and played for them in League Two in the 2014/15 season. After leaving Cambridge, Chadwick signed for Isthmian League Division One North side Soham Town Rangers in November 2015 and spent one season at Soham. Now 36, Chadwick is a full-time coach at the Cambridge United Academy.

Referee

The referee on Saturday will be Bobby Madley. The Yorkshire-based official will take charge of a West Ham game for the seventh time in the Premier League, having also refereed our 2-1 victory at Manchester City in September 2015 and our 2-0 home win over Liverpool in January 2016. Madley’s most controversial appointment with the Irons saw him award Chelsea a last-minute penalty at Stamford Bridge last season which saw the Blues salvage a 2-2 draw – replays showed that Michail Antonio’s foul on Reuben Loftus-Cheek had occurred outside the penalty area.

The 31-year-old has refereed three Hammers matches this season, these being the 1-0 home wins against Sunderland in October and Burnley in December, as well as the 3-2 defeat at Bournemouth in March, when he awarded the home side two penalties which were both missed. Madley has been the man in the middle on a previous occasion when the Hammers travelled to Burnley – Matt Taylor and Jack Collison converted one spot-kick each in a 2-0 League Cup fourth round win at Turf Moor in October 2013, while Keith Treacy was sent off for the hosts for his involvement in the second penalty incident.

Possible line-ups

Burnley centre-backs Ben Mee and Michael Keane face late fitness tests, while Dean Marney is a long-term absentee. The Clarets have won just twice in 15 league and cup games since January, losing eight times. Burnley’s only home victory against the Hammers in the last 39 years was a 2-1 win in February 2010.

West Ham United’s squad is beset by injuries – Winston Reid joins Cheikhou Kouyate, Mark Noble, Pedro Obiang, Michail Antonio, Gokhan Tore, Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho in the treatment room. Arthur Masuaku faces a late fitness test on a foot injury while Under-23 captain Declan Rice travels with the squad and could make his first team debut. The Hammers have dropped 22 points from winning positions this term, more than any other Premier League side.

Possible Burnley XI: Heaton; Lowton, Long, Tarkowski, Ward; Boyd, Hendrick, Westwood, Arfield; Barnes, Vokes.

Possible West Ham United XI: Adrian; Fonte, Rice, Collins; Byram, Nordtveit, Fernandes, Cresswell; Lanzini, Ayew; Calleri.

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!

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Talking Point

Slaven Bilic's Pre-Burnley Press Conference

Slaven Bilic has completed his pre-Burnley press conference. Here are the highlights:

“Winston Reid is good. He had an operation and will be out for ten weeks, so he’ll be ready for the start of next season.”

“Declan Rice is one who may play – he’s in the squad. He’s great. He’s done very well for the Under-23s. He has a bright future.”

“It’s important to finish with a win. Still we can improve our position. We will give everything to try to win the game.”

“If we strengthen, settle down in the new Stadium and learn from this season, we will improve next season.”

“I spoke to Reece Oxford two days ago. It’s a shame he didn’t play at Reading. He needs a season playing week-in, week-out.”

“With Adrian, we had an option to extend his contract which we have done. He is our player and we’re very happy.”

So… should Under-23s skipper Declan Rice make his first-team debut at Turf Moor? Or will the Hammers revert to four at the back against the Clarets, with vice-captain Winston Reid ruled out?

With Mark Noble, Reid and presumably Andy Carroll out, who will captain the Hammers? For me, it has to be James Collins (by the way, thanks Ginge for giving my cousin’s ten-year-old son your boots during the lap of appreciation last week – shame a woman nicked one from out of his hands but he was still chuffed!).

It appears Reece Oxford is set for a season-long loan in the Championship next season. Personally, I agree with Slav in that the lad needs to be playing week in, week out and I think it could be exactly what he needs in his development – the key is ensuring he goes to the right club. Josh Cullen and Reece Burke, in my opinion, have had such successful loan spells at Bradford over the last two campaigns partly due to the fact that they have been playing in a successful winning side. A play-off chasing team is the least we should be sending Oxford to, rather than replicating Reece Burke’s experience this season at relegation-battling Wigan. Hopefully Oxford will get more game time next season than he has enjoyed in his stint at Play-Off Finalists Reading in recent months.

Finally, in my opinion, it’s tremendous news that Adrian has extended his stay at the club. He made the Spain squad at the start of this season, which is no mean feat, and is coming into the prime years of his career. I would still like to see the club sign improved competition for him though, and would not be unhappy to see Darren Randolph sold.

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Development Squad

The Kids Are Alright! Magnificent Martinez Mauls Magpies

West Ham United’s Under-23s have won their promotion play-off final at the home of Newcastle United this evening by two goals to one, ensuring a place at the top table of Premier League 2 football in 2017/18.

Terry Westley’s young Hammers had finished the regular season in fifth place, meaning they would not be able to play at home in the play-offs at either the semi-final or final stage. The Academy kids staged a late comeback in the semi-final at Wolves but faced a testing trip to the North East to face the Magpies, who had knocked the Irons out of the Premier League Cup earlier this year.

That test got even harder for West Ham when Newcastle striker Tom Heardman gave the hosts the lead on 19 minutes, tapping home after a corner had been headed back across goal.

But the visiting comeback kings weren’t about to give up without a fight – Spanish striker Toni Martinez, back from both injury and a loan spell at Oxford, fired home after being found in the penalty area by George Dobson, himself freshly-returned from League One football at Walsall where he has spent the season.

Injuries either side of the break to Noha Sylvestre and Nathan Holland did little to knock the Hammers out of their stride and they took the lead eight minutes into the second half when that man Martinez found the net with a brilliant strike from 25 yards. The Irons survived a 75th-minute goalmouth scramble before the final whistle sounded and promotion was secured.

West Ham United: Raphael Spiegel; Kyle Knoyle, Tunji Akinola, Declan Rice (captain), Noha Sylvestre (Stephen Hendrie, 45); George Dobson, Moses Makasi; Dan Kemp, Martin Samuelsen, Nathan Holland (Grady Diangana, 51); Toni Martinez (Joe Powell, 81).

The Academy kids will now be testing themselves against the best in their age group, competing against the likes of Everton, Man City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Man Utd in Division One next season. As I wrote back on 25th April when our play-off place was secured, exposure to playing against the best in their age group will be of great importance to the development of West Ham United’s young players, both now and in the future, and the significance of tonight’s victory cannot be underestimated.

Promotion and the subsequent place at the top table at Under-23 level will provide an extra key stepping stone for our current Under-23s to use towards hopefully developing into first-team Premier League players at our club, while paving the way for the current Under-18s (the future Under-23 team) to maintain their own progress by continuing to play against the best the country has to offer.

Well done to Terry Westley and all the kids who have played their part in what has ultimately proved to be a successful season.


Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v Liverpool

Blast from the past

Today’s blast from the past features a 1-0 victory on the 3rd of September 1962, with West Ham United welcoming the previous campaign’s Second Division title-winners, Liverpool. American poet E. E. Cummings died on this day at the age of 67, Frank Ifield was number one with ‘I Remember You’ and William Holden and Trevor Howard were starring in The Lion in UK cinemas.

The Irons went into the game third bottom of the table after five games – a 3-1 defeat at Aston Villa had been followed by successive heavy home defeats to Wolves (4-1) and Tottenham (6-1) before a 0-0 draw at Wolves in the reverse fixture arrested the slump. A 2-0 defeat at Leyton Orient immediately prior to the visit of Liverpool piled the pressure back on though.

The Hammers scored the only goal of this Monday evening encounter courtesy of 21-year-old Tony Scott. This was the Huntingdon-born right winger’s seventh goal of 19 in his West Ham career, which spanned from 1960 to 1965. The 1962/63 season turned out to be Scott’s best for West Ham as he went on to score ten goals in 34 appearances, this strike against the Reds being the first of them. Scott made 97 appearances in claret and blue before departing for Aston Villa. He went on to play for Torquay, where he played under former Hammer Frank O’Farrell and was reunited with former team-mate John Bond. He followed Bond to Bournemouth, where he also teamed up with another former team-mate in Ken Brown, before finishing his playing days at Exeter. Now 76, Scott lives in Perth, Australia. He is pictured below, on the right, alongside defender Eddie Presland and fellow winger Harry Redknapp.

Ron Greenwood’s West Ham would end the season in 12th place while Bill Shankly’s Liverpool finished in 8th. Bobby Moore won the second of his four Hammer of the Year titles, with Jim Standen voted runner-up. Geoff Hurst was the Irons’ top goalscorer in 1962/63 with 15 goals from 29 appearances. Everton won the First Division title and Manchester United won the FA Cup.

West Ham United: Lawrie Leslie, John Bond, Bobby Moore, Ken Brown, Jack Burkett, Martin Peters, Tony Scott, Phil Woosnam, Johnny Byrne, Geoff Hurst, Malcolm Musgrove.

Liverpool: Jim Furnell, Gerry Byrne, Ron Yeats, Phil Ferns, Ronnie Moran, Gordon Milne, Jimmy Melia, Ian Callaghan, Roger Hunt, Ian St John, Alan A’Court.

Club Connections

Andy Carroll and Alvaro Arbeloa both welcome their former club, although neither will play. Julian Dicks played for both clubs and is now First Team Coaching Assistant with the Hammers. A whole host of players join the trio in having turned out for both West Ham United and Liverpool, particularly over the last twenty years. These include:

Goalkeepers: Charles Cotton, David James.

Defenders: Rob Jones, David Burrows, Glen Johnson, Paul Konchesky, 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, Titi Camara, Robbie Keane, Neil Mellor, 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 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 player who played for Liverpool at the turn of the century before signing for West Ham United. Rigobert Song was born in Nkenglicock, Cameroon on 1st July 1976 – his father had died when he was young and Song has dedicated all his subsequent success to his late father. He began his career in France with Metz in 1994 and, in the same year at the age of 17, became the youngest player to be sent off in a World Cup. After four years with Metz, Song moved to Italy with Salernitana in 1998, a year in which he became the first player to be sent off in two consecutive World Cups. He was swiftly on the move again, this time to England to sign for Gerard Houllier’s Liverpool in January 1999 for a fee of £2.7m.

Song made his Liverpool debut against Coventry in a 2-1 defeat at Highfield Road on 30th January 1999. Predominantly a centre-half but often used at right-back, the Liverpool fans appreciated his strength, skill and bravery but his lack of discipline and tendency to be caught out of position did not fully endear him to the club’s management. His only full season at Liverpool, in 1999/2000, was mixed as he missed three months of the season due to international matches, captaining Cameroon to victory in the 2000 African Cup of Nations and scoring the decisive penalty in the Final against Nigeria. Song was not able to secure a starting spot in the early stages of the 2000/01 season and played just four games – his last appearance for Liverpool was a 1-1 draw with Sunderland at Anfield on 23rd September 2000. He made a total of 38 appearances for the Reds, without scoring, before departing for Harry Redknapp’s West Ham United on 28th November 2000 in a deal worth £2.5m that also saw Liverpool capture young £1m-rated Finnish forward Daniel Sjolund.

Signed as an immediate (and cost-effective) replacement for Rio Ferdinand who had just left for Leeds, Song made his Hammers debut in a 2-1 home defeat to Sheffield Wednesday in the fourth round of the League Cup on 29th November 2000. He made 20 starts in his first season at West Ham and one substitute appearance, in a 3-0 defeat to his former club at Anfield. Song started the 2001/02 season as a regular under new manager Glenn Roeder – he is pictured below in the 2-1 defeat at Liverpool on the opening day of that season. He started six of the first seven matches of the campaign – the last of these was a 5-0 defeat at Everton on 29th September 2001, which transpired to be Song’s final appearance for the club. Song joined Cologne on loan in November 2001 and left permanently for French club Lens the following summer.

After two years back in France, Song signed for Turkish giants Galatasaray in 2004 and later became club captain. He moved to Trabzonspor in 2008, where he would also captain the side, and retired in 2010. Song appeared in the 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2010 World Cups for Cameroon and won the 2000 and 2002 African Cup of Nations with his country. He was on the pitch when team-mate and fellow former Hammer Marc-Vivien Foe collapsed and later died in the 2003 Confederations Cup. Song remains Cameroon’s most-capped player of all-time with 137 appearances and five goals for his country.

Song was appointed manager of the Cameroon ‘A’ team in February 2016, a national team composed only of players based in Cameroon. He is also a national ambassador for his country and uncle of fellow former Hammer Alex Song. Rigobert suffered a stroke on 3rd October 2016 and spent two days in a coma at a hospital in Yaounde, Cameroon before being flown to France for further treatment – the Cameroon government reportedly spent £78,000 on Song’s treatment, a measure of the esteem in which he is held in his home country. Song is pictured here in December, two months after his stroke – I’m sure all readers will join me in wishing Rigobert all the best in his continued recovery.

Referee

Sunday’s referee will be Neil Swarbrick. The Lancashire-based official took charge of two of West Ham United’s highlights from 2013/14, the 0-0 draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and the 2-1 League Cup quarter-final victory against Tottenham at White Hart Lane. He also officiated in two league matches involving the Hammers in 2012/13, those being the 4-1 home win over Southampton and the 3-0 defeat at Sunderland. He was the man in the middle for the controversy-laden 2-1 home defeat to Arsenal in December 2014, disallowing Alex Song’s volley from distance for offside, awarding the Gunners a penalty for a Winston Reid foul on Santi Cazorla and failing to award the Hammers an injury-time penalty for a clear tug on Morgan Amalfitano. Swarbrick was also the referee for the FA Cup penalty-shoot-out triumph over Everton in January 2015, sending off Aiden McGeady in the process.

Swarbrick’s only appointments involving the Hammers last season were for our two trips to the North East; our 2-2 draw at Sunderland in October 2015, when he sent off Jeremain Lens, and the 2-1 defeat at Newcastle in January 2016. His only two Hammers matches this season have seen our best two goals of the season – Dimitri Payet’s stunning solo effort in the 1-1 home draw with Middlesbrough in October and Andy Carroll’s scintillating scissor kick in the 3-0 home win over Crystal Palace in January.

Possible line-ups

West Ham United, unbeaten in five games after losing the previous five, are without Angelo Ogbonna, Cheikhou Kouyate, Pedro Obiang, Mark Noble, Gokhan Tore, Michail Antonio, Diafra Sakho and Andy Carroll. Arthur Masuaku is a doubt. None of the last 11 Premier League meetings against Liverpool in East London have ended level, with West Ham winning four and Liverpool claiming seven victories since a 1-1 draw in December 2001.

Liverpool and England players Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge could claim a place in the starting line-up for the trip to East London. Adam Bogdan, Jordan Henderson, Sadio Mane and Danny Ings are out while Lucas and Roberto Firmino face late fitness tests. The Reds have won their last three away games in the Premier League, at Watford, West Brom and Stoke.

Possible West Ham United XI: Adrian; Fonte, Reid, Collins; Byram, Nordtveit, Fernandes, Cresswell; Ayew, Lanzini; Calleri.

Possible Liverpool XI: Mignolet; Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Milner; Wijnaldum, Can; Lallana, Coutinho, Firmino; Sturridge.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!

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Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v Tottenham

Blast from the past

Today’s focus sees us travel back almost 20 years, to the 13th August 1997 – Men In Black topped the UK box office, Will Smith was number one with the theme song from the same film and Tamagotchis took the UK by storm as West Ham United secured a 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in front of 25,354 at Upton Park.

West Ham took the lead after just four minutes, Stan ‘Skippy’ Lazaridis dispossessing Stephen Carr on halfway and carrying the ball into the Tottenham penalty area before squaring for Super Johnny Hartson (pictured below) to sidefoot home. Hartson’s strike partner Paul Kitson had a powerful header tipped over by Ian Walker and home debutant Eyal Berkovic sent a shot skimming wide of the upright before half-time.

The Hammers doubled their lead with twenty minutes remaining – Lazaridis was again the creator, providing the pass for Berkovic who shifted inside Ramon Vega before lifting the ball over Walker. In doing so Berkovic, who turned down Spurs to sign for the Irons, scored the first of his 12 goals in claret and blue. Tottenham grabbed what turned out to be no more than a consolation with seven minutes remaining, Andy Sinton released down the left by a quickly-taken throw-in and future Hammer Les Ferdinand sliding the ball in from the cross. There was still time for substitute Frank Lampard to rattle the crossbar for the Hammers before Vega forced a stunning tip-over from Ludek Miklosko with practically the last kick of an absorbing encounter.

Harry Redknapp’s Hammers would end the 1997/98 Premier League season in eighth position, while Tottenham would finish 14th. Rio Ferdinand was voted Hammer of the Year with Steve Lomas runner-up and Arsenal won a league and FA Cup Double.

West Ham United: Ludek Miklosko, Steve Potts, Marc Rieper, Rio Ferdinand, Tim Breacker, John Moncur (Frank Lampard), Steve Lomas, Eyal Berkovic, Stan Lazaridis, Paul Kitson (Michael Hughes), John Hartson (Iain Dowie).

Tottenham Hotspur: Ian Walker, Stephen Carr, Ramon Vega, John Scales, Sol Campbell (Stephen Clemence), Justin Edinburgh, Allan Nielsen (Andy Sinton), David Howells, David Ginola, Steffen Iversen, Les Ferdinand.

Club Connections

A large group of players have turned out for Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United. Divided here by position, they include:

Goalkeepers: Bill Kaine, Charlie Ambler, Tony Parks, Fred Griffiths.

Defenders: Calum Davenport, Paul Konchesky, Mark Bowen, Mauricio Tarrico, Steve Walford, Simon Webster, Chris Hughton, Percy Mapley, Fred Milnes, Mitchell Thomas, Neil Ruddock.

Midfielders: Paul Allen, Scott Parker, Jimmy Neighbour, Matthew Etherington, Mark Robson, David Bentley, Charlie Whitchurch, Chris Carrick, Ilie Dumitrescu, Martin Peters, John Smith, John Moncur.

Strikers: Mido, Frederic Kanoute, Peter Kyle, Sergei Rebrov, Kenny McKay, George Foreman, Dave Dunmore, Teddy Sheringham, Les Bennett, Jermain Defoe, Bill Joyce, Robbie Keane, Fred Massey, Jimmy Reid, Clive Allen, Bobby Zamora, Les Ferdinand, Jimmy Greaves, Harry Bradshaw.

Jack Tresadern played for West Ham and managed Tottenham, while Harry Redknapp played for the Hammers and managed both clubs.

Today’s focus is on an England international midfielder who began his career with West Ham United before signing for Tottenham. Michael Carrick was born on the 28th July 1981 in Wallsend, Tyne and Wear and was part of West Ham’s FA Youth Cup winning side in 1999, scoring twice in the second leg of the Final as the Hammers beat Coventry 6-0 on the night and 9-0 on aggregate. He made his first-team debut four days before his 18th birthday, on 24th July 1999 in a 1-1 draw away at Jokerit of Finland in the second leg of the Intertoto Cup third round. Carrick had a month-long loan spell at Swindon before a similar stint at Birmingham. He returned to Upton Park to score his first goal for Harry Redknapp’s Hammers in a 5-0 win over Coventry on the 22nd April 2000.

Carrick became a regular in the centre of midfield in 2000/01, scoring his only goal of the season in a 1-1 home draw against Aston Villa. A tall, elegant, cultured midfielder with a fine range of passing, Carrick made his England debut in May 2001 as a substitute in a 4-0 friendly win over Mexico – to date, he has won 34 caps for his country, without scoring. He has been part of the squad for both the 2006 and 2010 World Cups but has only played one game at a major tournament.

With Glenn Roeder now in charge, Carrick was on the scoresheet twice in 2001/02, scoring the Hammers’ consolation in a 7-1 defeat at Blackburn and, more positively, in a 2-1 home win over Chelsea. Despite the joy of scoring in a 2-0 home win over Tottenham in March 2003, Carrick and the Hammers experienced the agony of relegation in 2002/03.

The 22-year-old stayed with the Hammers for their first season in the second tier as Alan Pardew eventually took over the managerial reigns – he was voted by supporters as runner-up to Matthew Etherington for the 2003/04 Hammer of the Year award and was also named in the PFA First Division Team of the Year. His last goal for the club came on the 17th January 2004 in a 3-3 draw at Sheffield United and his final appearance for the Hammers came in the 1-0 Play-Off Final defeat to Crystal Palace in Cardiff on 29th May 2004. Too good for the Championship and with a lack of top-level football threatening to curtail his impressive development, Carrick returned to the Premier League in August 2004 – Arsenal, Everton, West Brom, Crystal Palace and Portsmouth all showed interest before Tottenham eventually won the race for his signature, paying around £3m for his services. Carrick had scored six goals in 159 appearances for West Ham United.

Carrick made his Tottenham debut on 18th October 2004 as a substitute in a 1–0 defeat at Portsmouth. He was often overlooked by manager Jacques Santini before emerging as a regular starter after the appointment of Martin Jol. His first full start for Tottenham was also Jol’s first game in charge of the club away to Burnley in the League Cup on 9th November 2004.

Carrick scored his first Tottenham goal on 3rd December 2005, netting the winner in a 3-2 home win over Sunderland. He scored his second and final goal for the club on 8th April 2006 in a 2-1 home win over Manchester City. Carrick was one of ten Tottenham players who fell ill at a hotel just before their final game of the season away to West Ham on 7th May 2006 as the players suffered from apparent food poisoning after a dodgy lasagne. He managed to play in the game but lasted just 63 minutes in the 2-1 defeat to his former club which saw North London rivals Arsenal beat them to fourth place in the league and the final qualification spot for the Champions League. It turned out to be Carrick’s final appearance for Tottenham – after two goals and 75 appearances for Spurs, he moved to Manchester United in July 2006 for an initial fee of £14m, potentially rising to £18.6m. Now 35 and out of contract at the end of the current campaign, Carrick is currently vice-captain of Manchester United.

Referee

The referee on Friday will be Anthony Taylor – the Hammers were allocated the 38-year-old on five occasions last season 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. This season, Taylor took charge of our 2-0 defeat at Everton in October and our 2-1 defeat at Chelsea in August, 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. His most recent Hammers appointment was our 1-0 defeat at Leicester on New Year’s Eve.

Indeed, controversy and incident are never far away when the Cheshire-based official is the referee for a West Ham United match. Taylor is 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

West Ham United, who have kept three clean sheets in the last four Premier League matches, will be without Angelo Ogbonna, Pedro Obiang, Gokhan Tore, Michail Antonio and Diafra Sakho. Arthur Masuaku and Andy Carroll are both doubts for the London derby, with Aaron Cresswell set to make a return to the starting line-up. The Hammers have won only four of the last 19 Premier League games against Tottenham.

Tottenham Hotspur, who will close to within a single point of Premier League leaders Chelsea if they win tonight, are without Danny Rose, Harry Winks and Erik Lamela. Spurs have the opportunity to win a tenth successive league match, a feat they have not achieved since 1960, 57 years ago. There have been three red cards in the last three encounters between these two sides in East London.

Possible West Ham United XI: Adrian; Byram, Fonte, Reid, Collins, Cresswell; Kouyate, Noble; Snodgrass, Lanzini; Carroll.

Possible Tottenham Hotspur XI: Lloris; Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies; Eriksen, Wanyama, Dembele, Alli; Son, Kane.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!

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