Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Crystal Palace v West Ham

Blast from the past

Today’s blast from the past involves a trip back to 17th October 2015 when West Ham United enjoyed a 3-1 Premier League victory over Crystal Palace in front of 24,812. Former Everton player and manager Howard Kendall died on the day of the game, KDA featuring Tinie Tempah & Katy B were number one with ‘Turn The Music Louder (Rumble)’ and The Martian topped the UK box office.

The Hammers went into the game having won three and drawn one of their opening four away league games in 2015/16, including victories at Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City. The Irons took the lead after 22 minutes as two loanees combined with Victor Moses, playing against his former club, finding right-back Carl Jenkinson who finished low to record his second goal in successive games. The Eagles were level three minutes later when Jenkinson fouled Dwight Gayle to concede a penalty – Yohan Cabaye converted but was forced to re-take after encroachment from team-mates. The French international scored at the second attempt, although Adrian did get a hand to his fierce spot-kick. Palace striker Gayle was sent off a minute before the interval after collecting two yellow cards for fouls on Dimitri Payet and Cheikhou Kouyate.

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The Eagles held out with ten men until the 88th minute. Slaven Bilic’s three substitutes were all involved as Mauro Zarate stood a cross up for Andy Carroll to head back across goal for Nikica Jelavic. The Croatian couldn’t quite convert under pressure from desperate Palace defending but the ball broke for 22-year-old midfielder Manuel Lanzini to slam home from close range (pictured above). The Argentine then sent Payet through on goal deep into added time, with the Hammer of the Year-in-waiting remaining calm to leave Wayne Hennessey floored by a dummy before coolly lifting the ball over the Welsh international to secure the points and send the Irons into the Premier League’s top four. Payet would end the season as the Hammers’ top scorer with 12 goals from 38 matches.

Super Slav’s Hammers would finish seventh in the Premier League in 2015/16, while Alan Pardew’s Eagles would end the campaign in 15th place and reach the FA Cup Final. Leicester won the league title and Manchester United won the FA Cup.

Crystal Palace: Wayne Hennessey, Martin Kelly, Scott Dann, Brede Hangeland, Pape Souare, Yohan Cabaye (Joe Ledley), James McArthur (Mile Jedinak), Wilfried Zaha (Bakary Sako), Jason Puncheon, Yannick Bolasie, Dwight Gayle.

West Ham United: Adrian, Carl Jenkinson, James Collins, James Tomkins, Aaron Cresswell, Cheikhou Kouyate, Mark Noble (Andy Carroll), Victor Moses (Mauro Zarate), Manuel Lanzini, Dimitri Payet, Diafra Sakho (Nikica Jelavic).

Club Connections

James Tomkins and Cheikhou Kouyate welcome their former club to Selhurst Park. A large group of players have turned out for the Hammers and the Eagles. Divided here by position, they include:

Goalkeepers: Perry Suckling, Steve Mautone, Vincent Blore.

Defenders: Eddie Presland, Kenny Brown, Malcolm Pyke, Alf Noakes, Bill Roberts, Neil Ruddock, Paul Brush, Danny Gabbidon, Chris Powell, Alan Stephenson, Tony Gale, Matthew Upson, Darren Powell, Jose Fonte.

Midfielders: Jimmy Wood, Anton Otulakowski, Victor Moses, Hayden Mullins, Derek Jackman, Carl Fletcher, Harry Gunning, Jobi McAnuff, Fred Norris, Trevor Dawkins, Kyel Reid, Ray Houghton, Michael Hughes.

Strikers: Joe Johnson, Ron Williams, Ian Wright, Andy Smillie, Jeroen Boere, Johnny Cartwright, Johnny Byrne, Peter Simpson, Clive Allen, Dave Swindlehurst, Paul Kitson, Ron Brett, Dave Sexton, Marouane Chamakh, George Petchey.

Malcolm Allison and Jack Tresadern played for the Hammers and managed the Eagles, while Iain Dowie played for both clubs and also managed Palace. Alan Pardew played for the Eagles and managed both clubs. Sam Allardyce has also managed both clubs.

Today’s focus though is on a former Hammers striker who had a loan spell with the Eagles. Freddie Sears was born in Hornchurch on 27th November 1989. He had scored 24 goals in 25 games for the youth and reserve sides when he was pitched in for his senior debut by Alan Curbishley with 15 minutes remaining of the home game against Blackburn on 15th March 2008. With the game deadlocked at 1-1, a backheel from Dean Ashton found Sears inside the penalty area six minutes after entering the fray – the 18-year-old’s right-foot shot was saved by Brad Friedel but bounced up for the young striker to nod a diving header into the corner of the net and send Upton Park into raptures. With West Ham United’s footballing knights, Sir Geoff Hurst and Sir Trevor Brooking, watching from the stands, a star was born, the new Tony Cottee…

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It wasn’t to be. Sears was denied another winning goal by the post in the last minute of his next game at Goodison Park the following week. He would appear from the bench in four further matches before the end of the 2007/08 season and make his first start in the 2-1 win over Derby. With Gianfranco Zola taking over from Curbishley early in 2008/09, Sears would make a further 22 appearances for the Hammers in 2008/09, with seven of these being starts.

Zola sent Sears on loan to Neil Warnock’s Crystal Palace for the 2009/10 Championship campaign. He made his Eagles debut on 8th August 2009, starting in Palace’s 1-1 draw with Plymouth. Sears started again in Palace’s next match the following week against Bristol City at Ashton Gate and looked to have scored his first goal for the club – however, the match officials failed to see the ball cross the line and the goal was not awarded after Sears’ shot had flown into the back of the net, hit the stanchion at the back of the goal and bounced back out. Palace went on to lose 1-0 to a late goal from future Hammer Nicky Maynard.

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Warnock hoped that a goal against Macedonia for England Under-21s would help Sears, who was also capped by England at Under-19 and Under-20 levels, to break his duck at Crystal Palace. He returned to first-team action as a second-half substitute in the Eagles’ 4-0 defeat to Scunthorpe on 12th September 2009 but missed a penalty despite wrestling the ball from usual penalty taker Neil Danns. Sears injured his ankle late in the game and did not return to action until 17th October, as a substitute for another future Hammer, Victor Moses, in the Eagles’ 1-1 draw at Cardiff. Warnock confirmed that, following Crystal Palace’s game with Swansea on 28th December, Sears would return to the Hammers. After making 19 appearances in the league and League Cup, Sears completed his loan spell without making the scoresheet.

Sears made two substitute appearances for West Ham in January 2010, against Arsenal in the FA Cup and Blackburn in the Premier League, before returning to the Championship with Coventry the following month. He again failed to find the net and started the 2010/11 season with West Ham under new management in the form of Avram Grant – Sears came off the bench in a 3-1 home defeat to Bolton and started the 1-0 League Cup second round win over Oxford. He again returned to the Championship for a loan spell, this time with Scunthorpe, but again failed to score.

He returned to West Ham around Christmas 2010 and scored his first goal in almost three years in a 2-0 New Year’s Day win over Wolves, ramming home Tal Ben Haim’s cross from 15 yards to secure the points with 11 minutes remaining and take the Hammers out of the bottom three for the first time that season. He made his highest number of Hammers starts (13) in 2010/11 and scored his final goal for the club in a 5-1 FA Cup fifth round win over Burnley at Upton Park on 21st February 2011.

The Hammers were relegated but Sears was handed a start in new manager Sam Allardyce’s first game in charge of the club, the 1-0 Championship defeat to Cardiff at the Boleyn Ground. Sears would only start one more league match under Allardyce before going on loan to Colchester in February 2012, a move he would make permanent less than five months later on a free transfer. His final appearance in claret and blue was the 1-0 FA Cup third round defeat at Sheffield Wednesday on 8th January 2012 – in total Sears scored three goals in 58 appearances for West Ham United. All three can be viewed in my video below.

After two and a half years with Colchester, Sears moved back up the football ladder in January 2015 with a move to Championship side Ipswich. Now 29, Sears is still at Portman Road and has scored 30 goals in 175 matches for the Suffolk club. He has made 24 appearances this season in all competitions, scoring six goals.


Saturday’s referee will be Craig Pawson; 2018/19 is Pawson’s seventh as a Premier League referee. In 2014/15 he refereed West Ham’s 3-1 home win over Liverpool and sent off Adrian in our 0-0 draw at Southampton, a decision that was later overturned. His Hammers appointments in 2015/16 were both at the Boleyn Ground, for our 2-2 draw with Manchester City in January 2016 and the 3-3 draw with Arsenal three months later.

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Pawson did not referee the Hammers at all last season; his Irons games this season have been our 8-0 win over Macclesfield in September and, most recently, our 2-1 win at Southampton in December. His matches in charge of West Ham United in 2016/17 saw him send off Harry Arter as the Hammers defeated Bournemouth 1-0 in August 2016, while he also officiated in our 2-1 home win over Chelsea in the fourth round of the League Cup in two months later. He also refereed our 5-1 home defeat to Arsenal in December 2016. He awarded Watford a penalty and sent off Michail Antonio as the Irons drew 1-1 at Watford in February 2017.

Possible line-ups

Crystal Palace look set to be without injured left-back Pape Souare and former Hammer Cheikhou Kouyate. Roy Hodgson must make a decision on whether to start Michy Batshuayi. Wilfried Zaha has been banned for one further match but the suspension is not currently effective while the player considers his right of appeal.

Manuel Pellegrini is without Fabian Balbuena, Winston Reid, Carlos Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Manuel Lanzini, Samir Nasri and Andriy Yarmolenko. West Ham are unbeaten in their last four visits to Selhurst Park.

Possible Crystal Palace XI: Guaita; Wan-Bissaka, Tomkins, Sakho, van Aanholt; Townsend, Milivojevic, McArthur, Schlupp; Ayew, Benteke.

Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Rice, Noble, Snodgrass; Antonio, Chicharito, Anderson.

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!

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 (pictured). 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 77, Scott lives in Perth, Australia.

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 welcomes 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: Charles Cotton, David James.

Defenders: Alvaro Arbeloa, Rob Jones, David Burrows, Glen Johnson, Paul Konchesky, Rigobert Song, Julian Dicks, 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, 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 striker who played for Liverpool before spending a loan spell with the Hammers. Born in Dublin on 8th July 1980, Robbie Keane spent three years at Wolves before signing for Coventry for £6m, then a British record for a teenager. He was signed by Inter Milan in July 2000 but was loaned to Leeds the following winter, making the move to Elland Road permanent in the summer of 2001. He moved to Tottenham a year later and spent six years at White Hart Lane before signing for Rafa Benitez’s Liverpool for £19m in July 2008.

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The 28-year-old Keane made his debut for the Reds on 13th August 2008 in a 0-0 draw at Standard Liege in the first leg of the Champions League third qualifying round. Keane scored his first goal for Liverpool on 1st October 2008 in a 3-1 Champions League group stage win against PSV Eindhoven at Anfield; a second Champions League goal quickly followed with Keane scoring the opening goal in Liverpool’s 1-1 draw away to Atlético Madrid. Premier League goals were less forthcoming but he scored twice for Liverpool against West Bromwich Albion on 8th November 2008 and also scored in a 1-1 draw at Arsenal the following month. He scored twice in a 3-0 win against Bolton at Anfield on Boxing Day 2008 – these would be his final goals for Liverpool. His last appearance for the Reds came in a 1-1 draw at Wigan on 28th January 2009.

After seven goals in 28 games for Liverpool, Keane returned to Tottenham in February 2009, just over six months after leaving the club. He joined Celtic on loan a year later before another loan move materialised in late January 2011, this time to Avram Grant’s West Ham United. The Hammers were in the bottom three when Keane arrived and had an option to extend the deal by two years if they avoided relegation from the Premier League. The 30-year-old Keane made a goalscoring debut for the Irons on 2nd February 2011 in a 3-1 win at Blackpool, turning home a rebound after Victor Obinna had seen two efforts saved by Richard Kingson. His second and final goal for the Hammers came in a 2-1 home defeat to Aston Villa on 16th April 2011, with his final game for the club being a 3-2 defeat at Wigan on 15th May 2011 which confirmed the Hammers’ relegation to the Championship. Keane had missed two crucial chances in previous weeks, the first with the Hammers 1-0 down at Stamford Bridge in a game they eventually lost 3-0, and the other a gilt-edged late opportunity in front of an open goal which would have given the Irons a vital 2-1 win against Blackburn. After two goals in ten appearances in claret and blue, Keane returned to Tottenham.

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Keane joined LA Galaxy in the summer of 2011 and returned briefly to the Premier League with Aston Villa on loan between January and March 2012. After five years in the MLS, Keane moved to Indian side ATK in the summer of 2017, to play under former Tottenham team-mate and ex-Hammer Teddy Sheringham. He was briefly player-manager of the club before announcing his retirement in November of last year. Now 38, Keane is currently assistant coach of the Republic of Ireland, for whom he scored 68 goals in 146 appearances as a player – no player has won more caps or scored more goals for the Irish national team than Keane.


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. Friend’s Hammers appointments last season were in September 2017 for our 2-0 home win over Huddersfield, our 1-0 League Cup quarter-final defeat at Arsenal in December and our 1-1 draw at Chelsea in April.

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Friend most recently refereed the Hammers in our 1-0 defeat at Brighton in October. 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

Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed that Winston Reid is not expected back in action this season. West Ham United, defeated in their previous three games in all competitions, are also without the injured Fabian Balbuena, Carlos Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Manuel Lanzini, Samir Nasri and Andriy Yarmolenko. Late decisions will be made on Aaron Cresswell, Marko Arnautovic and Lucas Perez, while Lukasz Fabianski should be available to start. The Hammers failed to register a single shot on target against Wolves – the last time that happened in a Premier League match was against Arsenal in December 2017.

Liverpool are without Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The Reds have won their last four games against West Ham, winning two of those matches 4-0 and the other two 4-1. None of the last 13 Premier League meetings between West Ham and Liverpool in East London have ended level, with West Ham winning four and Liverpool claiming nine victories since a 1-1 draw in December 2001.

Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Zabaleta, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Rice, Noble, Obiang; Antonio, Chicharito, Anderson.

Possible Liverpool XI: Alisson; Milner, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Keita; Salah, Firmino, Mane.

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!

Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Wolves v West Ham

Blast from the past

Saturday 20th January 1968 – the Colour Television Licence had been introduced when a £5 ‘colour supplement’ was added to the £5 monochrome licence fee, Georgie Fame was number one with ‘The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde’, and Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor and Alec Guinness were in UK cinemas in The Comedians. West Ham United, meanwhile, were recording a 2-1 victory over tonight’s opponents Wolverhampton Wanderers in front of 32,273 at Molineux.

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The two Hammers goalscorers that day are pictured together, above, in more recent times – Brian Dear and Sir Geoff Hurst. 24-year-old Dear would score 16 goals in 30 matches in 1967/68, while Hurst was the Irons’ top goalscorer that season with 25 goals from 44 matches.

By the end of the 1967/68 season, Manchester United had recorded their first European Cup triumph, Manchester City won the First Division title and West Brom won the FA Cup. Ron Greenwood’s West Ham United claimed 12th place in the top flight, while Ronnie Allen’s Wolves finished 17th. Bobby Moore was voted Hammer of the Year, with Trevor Brooking runner-up.

West Ham United: Bobby Ferguson, Billy Bonds, Bobby Moore, John Cushley, Frank Lampard, Martin Peters, Ronnie Boyce, Trevor Brooking, Johnny Sissons, Brian Dear, Geoff Hurst.

Club Connections

West Ham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers have shared a number of players over the years. Those who have appeared for both clubs include:

Goalkeepers: Noel Dwyer, Jack Weare.

Defenders: Joe Gallagher, Jack Dowen, Gary Breen, Tommy Dunn, Roger Johnson.

Midfielders: Stan Burton, Bertie Lutton, Dick Richards, Kevin Keen, Ted Anderson, Paul Ince, Robbie Slater, Nigel Quashie, Matt Jarvis, Kyel Reid, Harry Hooper, Shaun Newton.

Strikers: Henri Camara, Jeremie Aliadiere, Robbie Keane, Frank Burrill, David Connolly, Bobby Gould, Carlton Cole, Frank Nouble, Mike Small, Tudor Martin, Bob Deacon, David Kelly, Marlon Harewood.

Today’s focus falls on a player who played for Wolves before later spending two seasons with the Hammers. George Eccles was born in Newcastle-under-Lyme in (it is believed) 1874 and played for Middleport before joining Burslem Port Vale in June 1893. He played six Second Division games in the 1893/94 campaign and made 27 league appearances in the 1894/95 season, also featuring once in the FA Cup. He scored one goal in a 4-4 draw with Newcastle at the Athletic Ground on 6th October 1894. On 26th February 1895, when heading for a match against Notts County at Trent Bridge, he misread the train timetables and selected a non-existent train that only ran on market days, thereby missing the game. He played 17 league and two FA Cup games in the 1895/96 season and broke his collarbone in February 1896. Eccles, a sturdy full-back, was sold to Wolves for a ‘considerable’ fee in May 1896 and finished tenth and third in the First Division in 1896/97 and 1897/98. Eccles scored one goal in 36 league games during his two years at Molineux before moving on to league rivals Everton.

Eccles spent three seasons at Goodison Park before switching to Preston. He did not feature in the Second Division for his new club in 1901/02, and instead transferred to Southern League West Ham United. Described as a player as being “a grand tackler and an untiring worker”, Eccles (pictured) made his debut in the opening fixture of the 1902/03 campaign, a 1-1 home draw against Reading in front of 7,000 at the Memorial Grounds on 6th September 1902. He made 26 appearances that season, helping the Hammers to a tenth-placed finish. Eccles made consistency his byword during his time with West Ham and was an ever-present the following season, making 38 appearances in 1903/04 with the Irons dropping to 12th. His final match for West Ham United, on the final day of the 1904/05 season in a 1-0 home defeat to Swindon on 30th April 1904, was the Hammers’ last-ever game at the Memorial Grounds before the move to the Boleyn Ground. His proud record could not save him from the ruthless purge on the playing staff which saw only five players retained and a major influx of new faces to coincide with the move to Upton Park. In total he made 64 appearances for the club, without scoring – he left to make a brief playing return to the Football League with Bolton, against doctors’ advice that the Lancastrian climate would not agree with his health.

Eccles married the trainer’s daughter and stayed at Bolton for 40 years as assistant and then trainer. Bolton’s directors had a special medal struck for Eccles in 1930 to commemorate his handling of three successful FA Cup teams, including the 1923 Final against West Ham. George Eccles died just before Christmas 1945, at the likely age of 71.


The referee on Tuesday will be David Coote. The Nottingham-based official will take charge of a West Ham game for only the second time – his only other Hammers appointment was for our 2-0 defeat at Burnley last month.

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Coote has refereed six Premier League matches so far this season – he has issued 17 yellow cards, no reds and awarded no penalties.

Possible line-ups

Wolverhampton Wanderers defender Willy Boly serves the final game of a three-match suspension. Wolves and West Ham have contested 59 league games over the last 99 years but a Wolves win would complete the double over the Hammers for the first time. Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have scored three stoppage-time winning goals in Premier League games this season (including the reverse fixture at London Stadium), more than any other club.

Manuel Pellegrini is without the injured Fabian Balbuena, Winston Reid, Carlos Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Manuel Lanzini, Andriy Yarmolenko and Lucas Perez but Marko Arnautovic should be available. West Ham are unbeaten in their last eight Premier League games played on a Tuesday, winning six and drawing two, with their last Tuesday league defeat coming at Arsenal in 2014.

Possible Wolverhampton Wanderers XI: Patricio; Doherty, Bennett, Coady, Saiss, Castro; Neves, Dendoncker, Moutinho; Diogo Jota; Jimenez.

Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Zabaleta, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Rice, Noble; Antonio, Nasri, Anderson; Arnautovic.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!

Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Wimbledon v West Ham

This evening’s match sees West Ham United take on AFC Wimbledon for just the second time. Today’s preview incorporates a focus on the widely-recognised previous incarnation of the club, as Wimbledon FC.

Blast from the past

West Ham United met ‘the old’ Wimbledon twice in the FA Cup. The Hammers drew the first of these matches 1-1 in the fifth round on 4th March 1985 before emerging victorious in the replay two days later with a 5-1 win at the Boleyn Ground on 6th March 1985.

Dead Or Alive were number one with ‘You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)’, the year-long Miners’ Strike had just ended and The Breakfast Club was in UK cinemas. 20,258 were in attendance at Upton Park as John Lyall’s First Division West Ham United took on Second Division Wimbledon, managed by Dave Bassett.

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A hat-trick from 19-year-old Tony Cottee (pictured above) and goals from Paul Allen and Alan Dickens settled the replay decisively in the Irons’ favour, with the east Londoners easing through to the last eight. The Hammers would go on to be beaten 4-2 at Manchester United three days later in the quarter-final. The Red Devils would march on to win the Final at Wembley, beating Everton 1-0. Paul Allen would go on to win the Hammer of the Year for 1984/85, with Cottee runner-up.

West Ham United: Tom McAlister, Ray Stewart, Paul Hilton, Alvin Martin, Paul Brush, Paul Allen, Neil Orr, Alan Dickens, Alan Devonshire, Tony Cottee, Paul Goddard (Dave Swindlehurst).

Club Connections

Players who have represented Wimbledon, in either of their forms, and West Ham United include:

Goalkeeper: Ian Feuer, Steve Banks.

Defenders: Callum McNaughton, Nigel Winterburn, Jon Harley.

Midfielders: Michael Hughes, Johnny Ayris, Nigel Reo-Coker, Jobi McAnuff, Adam Nowland.

Strikers: Johnny Cartwright, John Hartson, Dave Swindlehurst, David Connolly.

In addition, Bobby Gould played for the Hammers before going on to manage Wimbledon.

Today’s focus is on a former West Ham United midfielder who had a loan spell with Wimbledon. George Moncur was born on the 18th August 1993 in Swindon, where his family was based whilst his father John was playing for the Wiltshire club – John Moncur would join the Hammers a year later and would go on to make 203 appearances in claret and blue. Brought up in Loughton, Essex, George attended Roding Valley High School and began as a full-time scholar at the West Ham United Academy in 2009. Having already played and scored for the Under-16s, he scored his first goal for the Under-18s at the age of 15 on 22nd July 2009. He made his debut for the reserves seven months later and earned his first professional contract in September 2010, signing a three-year deal after becoming a regular in Tony Carr’s Under-18 team and breaking into Alex Dyer’s reserve team.

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Hammers boss Sam Allardyce allowed Moncur to join League Two club AFC Wimbledon on a one-month loan deal in January 2012. He made his professional debut for Wimbledon on 14th January 2012, starting in their 2-1 win at Port Vale. After making four appearances, including other wins at Gillingham and at home against Macclesfield, and with his loan expiring on 4th February, Moncur expressed a desire to extend his stay with the Kingsmeadow club. His loan was ultimately extended three times and he ended up spending the rest of the 2011/12 campaign with the Dons – he scored his first professional goal in a 4-0 home win over Burton on 24th March 2012 and scored his second and final goal in his last home appearance for the club, a 2-0 victory over Torquay on 21st April 2012. Moncur’s 20th and final appearance for Wimbledon came in a 4-0 defeat at Martin Allen’s Barnet a week later.

Prior to the end of Moncur’s loan, Wimbledon boss Terry Brown had hoped to bring the player back to the club for the 2012/13 season. Moncur stayed with the now-Premier League Hammers and made his debut in claret and blue ten days after his 19th birthday, as an 84th-minute substitute in a 2-0 League Cup second round win over Crewe at the Boleyn Ground on 28th August 2012. Speaking personally, it made me feel very old to see George Moncur and Dan Potts, the sons of two of my childhood heroes in John Moncur and Steve Potts, together in the same West Ham first team that night! Moncur was named Young Hammer of the Year at the end of the 2012/13 campaign and made his only start for the Irons on 5th January 2014 in the infamous 5-0 FA Cup third round defeat at Nottingham Forest – this was to prove to be his second and final appearance for West Ham United.

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Moncur, a devout Christian, went on loan to Scottish side Partick Thistle at the end of January 2014, staying north of the border until the end of the season. He joined Colchester in another loan deal in the summer of 2014, making the move permanent in November 2014 – he went on to score the decisive goal which would keep Colchester in League One at the end of the 2014/15 campaign. He signed for Barnsley in the summer of 2016, although a loan spell at Peterborough soon followed. George Moncur, now 25, signed for League One Luton just over a week ago, joining former Hammers Marek Stech, Dan Potts, Pelly Ruddock and Elliot Lee in the promotion-chasing Hatters’ squad.


The referee on Saturday will be Anthony Taylor – his most recent Irons appointment was for our 3-2 home win over Crystal Palace last month. He also refereed our 4-0 opening-day defeat at Liverpool. The Hammers were only allocated the 40-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

Wimbledon manager Wally Downes made over 200 appearances for the Dons and was a coach at West Ham between 2010 and 2012. 20-year-old goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale is on loan from Bournemouth, while 21-year-old right-back Tennai Watson is on loan from Reading. Captain and defender Deji Oshilaja came through the ranks at Cardiff. Centre-halves Paul Kalambayi and Terell Thomas are 19 and 21 respectively, although the more experienced Rod McDonald could return from an ankle injury. Striker Kwesi Appiah is also back in contention following a hamstring injury. Midfielder Anthony Hartigan is suspended for the League One side, while Steve Seddon is cup tied.

West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini could hand starts to Adrian, Arthur Masuaku, Pedro Obiang, Grady Diangana and Xande Silva. Ryan Fredericks could return from injury but Fabian Balbuena, Winston Reid, Carlos Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Manuel Lanzini and Andriy Yarmolenko are definitely ruled out through injury.

Possible Wimbledon XI: Ramsdale; Watson, Kalambayi, Thomas, Oshilaja; Nightingale, Wordsworth; Jervis, Pinnock, Barcham; Pigott.

Possible West Ham United XI: Adrian; Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Masuaku; Noble, Obiang, Snodgrass; Diangana, Chicharito, Xande Silva.

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!

Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Bournemouth v West Ham

Blast from the past

In today’s preview, we travel back the very short distance to 12th January 2016: Justin Bieber’s ‘Love Yourself’ topped the charts; Star Wars: The Force Awakens was in UK cinemas; David Bowie had died two days previously with Alan Rickman to pass away two days later; and West Ham United beat Bournemouth away from home for the first (and currently only) time ever.

Super Slav’s Hammers picked up a 3-1 win in front of 11,071 spectators for a Tuesday night encounter at the Vitality Stadium. Andy Carroll was forced off through injury after just 15 minutes, with Nikica Jelavic entering the fray in his stead. Within two minutes of the switch, the Irons were behind when Cherries midfielder Harry Arter, former Hammer Scott Parker’s brother-in-law, fired home from 25 yards to give his side their first goal in four league games. The hosts’ new signing, striker Benik Afobe, squandered two glorious chances to extend Bournemouth’s lead, heading over from six yards and being denied by Adrian after hesitating when clean through on goal.

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West Ham were much improved after the break and the equaliser arrived with 23 minutes left to play, a sublime free-kick from Frenchman Dimitri Payet, making his first start in over two months after recovering from an ankle injury. Just seven minutes later, the visitors were in front – substitute Carl Jenkinson’s quick throw-in found Payet who squirmed between two defenders before cutting back for Enner Valencia to slam the ball home. The Ecuadorian (pictured above) claimed his second in the 84th minute, cracking a stunning free-kick over the wall and beating Artur Boruc at his near post to claim his first Hammers brace.

The victory equalled a club-record eighth match unbeaten in the Premier League and took West Ham above Manchester United and into fifth, within a point of Tottenham in the final Champions League position. The Hammers would end the 2015/16 campaign in seventh place in the Premier League, while Bournemouth would finish 16th. Leicester won the Premier League, Manchester United won the FA Cup and Payet was named Hammer of the Year, with Michail Antonio runner-up.

Bournemouth: Artur Boruc, Adam Smith, Simon Francis, Steve Cook, Charlie Daniels, Dan Gosling, Andrew Surman, Harry Arter (Glenn Murray), Matt Ritchie (Juan Iturbe), Junior Stanislas, Benik Afobe (Lewis Grabban).

West Ham United: Adrian, James Tomkins (Carl Jenkinson), James Collins, Angelo Ogbonna, Aaron Cresswell, Pedro Obiang, Mark Noble, Michail Antonio, Dimitri Payet (Alex Song), Enner Valencia, Andy Carroll (Nikica Jelavic).

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 (currently on loan at Rangers) 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. Ex-Bournemouth midfielder Paul Mitchell, who made one league appearance for the Hammers in 1994, is back with the Cherries as a correspondent for Opta Sports. 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 Miller, Keith Rowland, Elliott Ward, Bobby Howe and Horace Glover.

Midfielders: 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.

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

Today’s focus is on a classy Hammers midfielder who also represented the Cherries. Ian Bishop was born in Liverpool on 29th May 1965 and began his career at Everton, joining straight from school and making one appearance for the Toffees. A loan spell with Crewe was followed by a permanent move to Carlisle, for whom he played for four years.

The 23-year-old Bishop was signed by manager Harry Redknapp for Second Division Bournemouth in 1988 for a fee of £35,000 and made his Cherries debut on 27th August 1988 in a 1-1 draw at Sunderland. He scored his first goal for the club in a 1-0 home win over Ipswich on 29th October 1988, with his second and final goal coming in a 3-0 home win over Bradford on 11th March 1989 – the Bantams had been interested in signing Bishop when he left Carlisle the previous summer. Bishop’s last game for Bournemouth was a goalless home draw with Plymouth on 13th May 1989. After scoring two goals in 54 appearances in his one and only season for the Cherries, Bishop signed for First Division Manchester City in the summer of 1989. When manager Mel Machin was sacked by chairman Peter Swales, his replacement Howard Kendall (who had sold Bishop to Carlisle when he was Everton manager) saw no place in his side for the midfielder.

Bishop joined Lou Macari’s West Ham United in December 1989 in a deal that saw Trevor Morley also move to Upton Park, with Mark Ward signing for Manchester City in part-exchange. Bishop, now 24, was valued at £650,000 in the deal. He made his debut, along with Morley, in a 1-0 defeat at Leicester on 30th December 1989 and scored his first goal for the Hammers on 4th April 1990 in a 3-1 win at West Brom, by which time Billy Bonds had taken over the managerial reigns. His first goal at Upton Park came seven days later in a 4-1 win over former club Bournemouth.

A creative midfielder easily distinguishable by his long hair, Bishop scored six goals from 49 appearances in all competitions in the 1990/91 season, captaining the Irons to promotion to the First Division and the FA Cup semi-finals having taken over the skipper’s armband from the injured Julian Dicks. His first goal of the season came in a 3-1 home win over Ipswich on 19th September 1990 and he bagged the only goal of the game in a home win over Blackburn the following month. A knee ligament injury kept him out for six weeks over Christmas but he returned with two Upton Park goals in the FA Cup, one in a 6-1 third round replay win over Aldershot and the other in a 5-0 fourth round replay victory over Luton, both in January 1991. He scored from the spot in a 1-1 Good Friday draw at Oldham on 29th March 1991 before notching the winner with a stunning strike from distance in a 1-0 triumph at Port Vale eight days later. ‘Bish’ also won an England ‘B’ cap against Switzerland at Walsall at the end of that campaign.

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It was around this time that ‘Bish’ played a particularly key role in my own history as a West Ham supporter. My Dad has been an ardent Hammer since the early 1960s but I had shown little interest in football until a chance moment in the summer of 1991, when I was eight years old. Gillingham is my local team and, whilst we were out driving one late afternoon, my Dad pulled up next to a car with huge logos on the side – this was in the days when footballers had their cars sponsored with their names often emblazoned across the vehicle (I remember giant goalkeeper Ludek Miklosko driving a tiny sponsored Skoda!). The car we pulled up next to contained Ian Bishop and Trevor Morley, who were lost on the way to Priestfield for a friendly against the Gills. My Dad gave them directions and, starstruck, I suggested we go to the game. Bishop and Morley also sent signed photographs to say thanks for the directions which took pride of place on my bedroom wall throughout my childhood! I seem to recall we lost that friendly heavily (possibly 4-1?) but, interest piqued, my first visit to the Boleyn Ground followed a matter of weeks later against another of Bishop’s former clubs, Manchester City, in September 1991. ‘Bish’ remained one of my favourite Hammers throughout his time at the club and was certainly a player who I modelled my own style of play on as a youngster.

Bishop scored two goals from 51 appearances in 1991/92 as the Hammers suffered an immediate relegation; he scored in a 2-1 Full Members Cup semi-final defeat at Southampton on 7th January 1992 and was also on the scoresheet in a 4-0 home win over Norwich on 11th April 1992. A 1-0 win at Luton on 18th January 1992 even saw Bishop manfully play on with broken ribs after both substitutes had already been used.

Redknapp, his former manager at Bournemouth, joined the club in the summer of 1992 as assistant to Bonds but Bishop experienced a more difficult season in 1992/93 as Peter Butler and Martin Allen claimed the central midfield spots for most of the campaign. Along with several other players, he was placed on the transfer list in December 1992 as the club tried to cut its wage bill in the wake of the ill-fated Bond scheme. Having maintained that he had no wish to leave, the likeable Scouser’s loyalty was rewarded when he returned to the side as West Ham gained promotion, this time to the Premier League. Bishop made 24 appearances in 1992/93; he only scored one goal in the campaign but it was a critical strike in the run-in, a late winner in a 2-1 triumph at Birmingham on 3rd April 1993.

Having been on the brink of joining Southampton, West Ham reacted by signing Bishop to a new three-year contract in September 1993. The Hammers would finish 13th in their first Premier League season and reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. Bishop – back to his stylish and graceful best – scored twice in 45 games, both in 3-2 away defeats in March 1994, at Luton (in the aforementioned FA Cup quarter-final) and Sheffield United.

With Redknapp taking over as manager in the summer of 1994, Bishop made 36 appearances in 1994/95, scoring once in a 3-1 home win over Nottingham Forest on New Year’s Eve 1994. Two goals in 41 appearances followed in 1995/96 as the Hammers made the top ten – Bishop scored both his goals in 3-0 wins, against Bristol Rovers at home in the League Cup second round second leg in October 1995, and at Bolton the following month. ‘Bish’ made 36 appearances in 1996/97, scoring his final goal for the club in a 1-1 home draw with Derby on 23rd November 1996.

The arrivals in 1997 of Steve Lomas and Eyal Berkovic resulted in reduced game time for Bishop and he played only four games in 1997/98. His final appearance in claret and blue was on 14th March 1998 in a 2-1 home win over Chelsea. In total, Bishop scored 17 goals in 304 appearances for West Ham United before returning to Manchester City at the age of 32 after just over eight years in east London. My video below contains 16 of Bishop’s 17 goals for the Hammers.

After three years back at City, he went on to play for Miami Fusion, Barry Town, Rochdale, Radcliffe Borough and New Orleans Shell Shockers. Now 53, Bishop currently lives in Florida and has served as the Technical Director for Evergreen FC, in Leesburg, Virginia.


Saturday’s referee will be Wiltshire-based Simon Hooper, who will take on only his third Hammers appointment – his only other matches involving West Ham were the 1-0 Championship home win over Coventry in January 2012 and, most recently, our 3-0 League Cup third round win over Bolton at London Stadium in September 2017.

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Hooper has refereed four Premier League matches so far in 2018/19 – he has dished out ten yellow cards in those four games and awarded two penalties.

Possible line-ups

Bournemouth will be without the injured Simon Francis, Lewis Cook and Dominic Solanke. Reported West Ham target Callum Wilson is a doubt; Wilson has scored five goals in his five league games against West Ham. Bournemouth’s 2-1 win over the Hammers in August’s reverse fixture was only their third win in the 12 games they have played against West Ham in all competitions. The side scoring first has only won two of the seven Premier League meetings between Bournemouth and West Ham.

This weekend’s match will be only the fifth time Bournemouth and West Ham United have met on the south coast for a league fixture – the Hammers’ only win away to the Cherries, in 2016, is detailed above. Manuel Pellegrini continues to be without Ryan Fredericks, Fabian Balbuena, Winston Reid, Carlos Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Manuel Lanzini and Andriy Yarmolenko but Marko Arnautovic and Chicharito are available.

Possible Bournemouth XI: Begovic; Clyne, Ake, Steve Cook, Rico; Ibe, Lerma, Brooks, Fraser; King, Wilson.

Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Zabaleta, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Rice, Noble; Antonio, Nasri, Anderson; Arnautovic.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!

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