Dan Coker's Match Preview

West Ham's Swiss Connections

With England playing Switzerland in the Nations League Third-Place Play-Off tomorrow, here’s my look at the Hammers’ Swiss Connections…

Valon Behrami

Valon Behrami was born in Mitrovica, Yugoslavia (now Kosovo) on 19th April 1985 but moved to an Italian-speaking village in Switzerland when he was five. He began his career with Lugano in 2002 before moving to Italy a year later, signing for Genoa. An all-action midfielder who could also play at right-back, he spent the 2004/05 season on loan at Verona before joining Lazio permanently in 2005, initially in a co-ownership deal which was made outright in January 2006. Behrami also made his first appearance for Switzerland in 2005.

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In July 2008, the 23-year-old Behrami was signed in a £5m deal by Alan Curbishley as West Ham’s main summer purchase. He made his debut at right-back in a 2-1 home win against Wigan on 16th August 2008, the opening day of the 2008/09 season. Curbishley left the club just four matches into the campaign and was replaced by Gianfranco Zola – Behrami, now a fixture in midfield, scored his first goal under the Italian’s tutelage in a 1-0 win at Sunderland on 23rd November 2008. His only other goal in his first campaign came in a 2-0 FA Cup fourth round win at Hartlepool on 24th January 2009. His season was ended in March 2009 when he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in a home match against Manchester City – the injury would keep him out for six months.

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The Hammers struggled against relegation in 2009/10 with Behrami scoring just one goal, a crucial early strike in a 3-0 home win over Hull on 20th February 2010. Behrami was part of the Switzerland squad which exited the 2010 World Cup in South Africa at the group stage – he was sent off in a 1-0 defeat to Chile. He made just eight appearances in the first half of the 2010/11 season under Avram Grant but scored two goals – the first in a 2-2 draw at Birmingham on 6th November 2010, with his final goal for the club coming three weeks later in a 3-1 home win over Wigan. Behrami made his last appearance in claret and blue in a 5-0 defeat at Newcastle on 5th January 2011 – he had scored five goals in 60 appearances for West Ham United. These five goals can be viewed in my video below.

Behrami left West Ham for Fiorentina in late January 2011 but departed for Napoli the following year. He moved to Germany, joining Hamburg in 2014, before returning to the Premier League with Watford in 2015. He returned to Italian football in 2017, signing for Udinese – now 34, Behrami is captain of the Serie A side. He has won 83 caps for his country, scoring twice.

Fabio Daprela

Fabio Daprela was born in Zurich on 19th February 1991. He started his career with Grasshopper, coming through the youth ranks before making his senior debut in 2007. A left-back, the 18-year-old Daprela moved to Gianfranco Zola’s West Ham United in 2009 – he had already represented Switzerland at Under-17 and Under-19 levels. He made his debut on 3rd January 2010 in a 2-1 home defeat to Arsenal in the FA Cup third round and made three consecutive starts in March 2010 – the Hammers lost all three matches against Chelsea (4-1), Arsenal (2-0) and Wolves (3-1). Daprela made three substitute appearances in April 2010, including crucial home victories over Sunderland (1-0) and Wigan (3-2), the latter securing survival in the Premier League. His eighth and final appearance in claret and blue came on the final day of the 2009/10 campaign as Daprela played the full 90 minutes in a 1-1 home draw with Manchester City on 9th May 2010, a game which would also be Zola’s last as manager at the club.

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Daprela joined Italian side Brescia in August 2010 and spent three years with the Lombardy-based club before moving to Palermo. Daprela had represented the Swiss Olympic team at London 2012, and would win the Serie B title with his Sicilian club. He joined Carpi midway through the club’s debut season in Serie A in January 2016 but could not halt the club’s slide towards relegation. He signed for Chievo Verona later that year but swiftly joined Bari on loan. Daprela returned to Switzerland in 2017, signing for Lugano – now 28, he is still with the club.

Edimilson Fernandes

Edimilson Fernandes was born in Sion on 15th April 1996. He started his career with Sion, coming through the youth system and making his debut in 2013. He played every minute of Sion’s Europa League campaign in 2015/16 before the club were knocked out by Braga in the last 32; he also made his debut for the Swiss Under-21 side during this season. He signed for Slaven Bilic’s West Ham United in the summer of 2016 for a £5m fee at the age of 20.

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The cousin of both Gelson and Manuel Fernandes, Edimilson made his debut in a 1-0 League Cup third round win over Accrington Stanley on 21st September 2016. His only goal for the club came in the next round of the competition, and proved to be the winner in a 2-1 triumph over Chelsea on 26th October 2016 at London Stadium. The goal can be viewed in my video below.

Fernandes made 32 appearances in 2016/17, 12 of which were starts. He made his debut for the senior Switzerland side in November 2016. Mainly at home in a central or attacking midfield position, Fernandes also played on both flanks during his time in claret and blue – the 2017/18 campaign saw him make 16 appearances, 11 of which were starts. He played particularly well at Wembley as the Hammers defeated Tottenham 3-2 in the League Cup fourth round.

Fernandes spent the 2018/19 season on loan at Fiorentina in Italy’s Serie A and signed permanently for German club Mainz last week. He had made 48 appearances for West Ham United, scoring one goal. Now 23, he is currently a member of Switzerland’s Nations League squad.

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Dan Coker's Match Preview

Crossed Hammers & Three Lions: Sir Geoff Hurst

Welcome to the latest in a series of articles designed for international matchdays – a look back at former Hammers players who wore the Three Lions of England.

Today, as England prepare to face the Netherlands in the Nations League Semi-Finals, we look back at a bona fide all-time Hammers legend. Sir Geoff Hurst was born in Ashton-under-Lyne on 8th December 1941. His family moved to Chelmsford when he was six years old and he became a West Ham apprentice at the age of 15, making his first appearance under Ted Fenton in the Southern Floodlit Cup on 15th December 1958 at the age of 17 – the Hammers beat Fulham 3-1. He made his First Division debut in a 3-1 defeat at Nottingham Forest in February 1960; however, he was torn between cricket and football, playing regularly for the Essex Second XI between 1962 and 1964 and missing pre-season training due to his cricketing commitments led to regular early-season fitness issues. He scored his first goal in claret and blue in a 4-2 home win over Wolves on 18th December 1961. Hurst, who began his career at left-half, was switched to a striking role by Ron Greenwood in September 1962, a move that was to totally change the course of his career. Forming a successful partnership with John ‘Budgie’ Byrne, Hurst would prove a key figure in the Hammers’ unprecedented success in the mid-1960s.

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The 1962/63 season saw Hurst score 15 goals in 29 games and he bagged 26 goals in 50 appearances during a successful 1963/64 campaign, including 11 goals in just seven matches in January/February 1964. Greenwood named the same 11 players in each of the Hammers’ FA Cup matches as the club embarked on a run which took them all the way to Wembley in 1964. Hurst scored one goal in a 3-0 win over Charlton in the third round and then two in a 3-0 fourth round replay against Leyton Orient before notching another in a 3-1 win at Swindon in the fifth round. Hurst grabbed the match-clinching third in the 3-1 semi-final win over Manchester United in the Hillsborough mudbath and scored the second equaliser in the Final against Preston with a header that bounced off the crossbar and over the line – an incident that would be repeated on international duty at the same venue two years later. The Hammers would go on to win the Final 3-2. Hurst was also part of the side that won the European Cup Winners’ Cup at Wembley in 1965, scoring 20 goals in 54 matches in 1964/65.

Having scored 40 goals in 59 appearances in 1965/66, including his first hat-trick in a 4-3 win over Newcastle on 11th December 1965, Hurst won his first England cap in a 1-0 friendly win over West Germany at Wembley on 23rd February 1966. His first goal for the Three Lions came in his next international appearance, the opener in a 4-3 win against Scotland at Hampden Park. He was named in the England squad for the 1966 World Cup Finals but only broke into the side for the quarter-final against Argentina when future club team-mate Jimmy Greaves was injured – Hurst scored the winning goal to send England through to a semi-final with Portugal. Alf Ramsey stuck with Hurst for the Final against West Germany despite Greaves’ return to fitness and the Hammers man repaid the faith with a hat-trick; Upton Park team-mate Martin Peters also scored, with Bobby Moore completing the holy trinity by lifting the Jules Rimet trophy as captain.

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Hurst was then the subject of a £200,000 bid from Manchester United’s Matt Busby. The offer would have smashed the British transfer record, almost doubling the standing record of the £115,000 the Red Devils had paid Torino for Denis Law four years previously. Greenwood rejected the offer. Hurst went on to score an incredible 41 goals in 49 games in 1966/67, including four against Fulham in a 6-1 home win and a hat-trick in his next match against the (at the time) mighty Leeds in a 7-0 League Cup triumph. This was the start of a run which saw Hurst score 14 goals in seven games in November/December 1966. 25 goals in 44 appearances in 1967/68 (including all four in a 4-1 League Cup third round win over Bolton at the Boleyn) was followed a goal in England’s Euro ’68 Third-Place Play-Off match against the Soviet Union in Rome’s Stadio Olimpico, a match England won 2-0. Hurst scored 31 goals in 48 matches in 1968/69 on the way to an eighth-placed Hammers finish, including an astonishing double hat-trick against Sunderland in October 1968. Hurst also scored a hat-trick in England’s 5-0 friendly win over France at Wembley on 12th March 1969.

Hurst scored 18 goals in 42 games in 1969/70, a season which would see his great friend Martin Peters depart for Tottenham as the Irons finished 17th. He scored once at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, in a 1-0 group stage win over Romania. The Hammers would finish one place clear of relegation in 20th spot in 1970/71, with Hurst scoring 16 goals in 41 appearances. He scored his final goal for England in a 2-0 European Championship qualification match in Athens against Greece on 1st December 1971.

One of Hurst’s final acts as a Hammer was his biggest disappointment, however – having already scored a penalty in the 1971/72 League Cup semi-final first leg at Stoke, Hurst saw his powerful late spot-kick in the second leg brilliantly turned over the bar by England team-mate Gordon Banks in front of a stunned North Bank. The Hammers would miss out on a Wembley trip following two replays as the epic saga continued to unfold. Hurst scored his last goal for West Ham in a 3-1 defeat at Manchester City on 8th April 1972, with his last appearance for the club being a 2-0 home defeat to Liverpool seven days later. He had scored 16 goals in 48 matches in 1971/72. He won his 49th and final England cap later that month, in a 3-1 Wembley defeat to West Germany on 29th April 1972 – the same nation he had made his debut against and against whom he had enjoyed his finest hour.

Sir Geoff Hurst is, without doubt, West Ham United’s greatest post-war striker. He scored 249 goals for the club in 503 appearances in all competitions, placing him second behind Vic Watson in the list of the Hammers’ all-time highest goalscorers. During his twelve years as a professional in claret and blue he won all of his 49 England caps, scoring 24 international goals. He remains the only player to have scored a hat-trick on the biggest stage of them all, the World Cup Final. He also shares the record for the most League Cup goals in a career (49, with Ian Rush). He scored three goals in a game for the Hammers on six separate occasions, four goals on two occasions and six goals once. 37 of Sir Geoff’s 249 Hammers goals can be viewed in my video below.

Hurst left West Ham for Stoke in August 1972 for £80,000 and enjoyed a successful spell with the Potters, helping them to successive fifth-placed finishes in 1974 and 1975, higher than Hurst had ever finished with the Hammers. He signed for Johnny Giles’ West Bromwich Albion in the summer of 1975 for £20,000, scoring twice in ten Second Division matches before deciding to join Seattle Sounders in America, via Cork Celtic in Ireland. Hurst retired from playing in 1976. 21 of his 24 England goals can be viewed in my video below.

After calling time on a magnificent playing career Hurst went into management, first as assistant to Danny Blanchflower at Chelsea before being handed the top job at Stamford Bridge in 1979. An inconsistent time with the Blues ended with Hurst being sacked in April 1981 having failed to maintain a promotion push from the Second Division in either of his two seasons with the club. Hurst also assisted his former West Ham manager Ron Greenwood with England campaigns at the European Championships in 1980 and the World Cup in 1982. He went into the insurance trade after leaving Chelsea, taking two years out to manage in Kuwait between 1982 and 1984.

Hurst received an MBE in 1975 and was knighted in 1998. He is one of only five living footballing knights (the others being Sir Trevor Brooking, Sir Bobby Charlton, Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Kenny Dalglish). He now lives in Cheltenham and celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary with his wife, Judith, in 2014. He was presented with West Ham United’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.

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Netherlands v England

England face the Netherlands this evening in the semi-finals of the 2019 Nations League – it will be the 22nd meeting between the two nations. The pair have met on three previous occasions at a major tournament, with the Three Lions emerging victorious just once, in the group stages at Euro ‘96 with a 4-1 win. The match was played in front of 76,798 at Wembley on 18th June 1996. Fugees were number one with ‘Killing Me Softly’, The Passion of Darkly Noon topped the UK box office and, four days previously, Top of the Pops moved from its traditional Thursday evening slot to Fridays after 32 years (excluding six months in 1973).

The Dutch were dealt a blow after 23 minutes when former West Ham midfielder Paul Ince was brought down for a penalty which was converted by Alan Shearer. Terry Venables’ England doubled their lead six minutes after the interval courtesy of a header from future Hammer Teddy Sheringham. Shearer made it three after excellent build-up play from Paul Gascoigne and Sheringham before, not to be outdone, Sheringham bagged his own brace just after the hour-mark, converting the rebound after Darren Anderton’s shot had been saved by Edwin van der Sar.

Guus Hiddink’s Netherlands side pulled one back with twelve minutes remaining courtesy of a goal from substitute Patrick Kluivert which eliminated Scotland from the tournament.

England: David Seaman (Arsenal), Gary Neville (Man Utd), Gareth Southgate (Aston Villa), Tony Adams (captain, Arsenal), Stuart Pearce (Nottingham Forest), Darren Anderton (Tottenham), Paul Ince (Inter Milan), Paul Gascoigne (Rangers), Steve McManaman (Liverpool), Teddy Sheringham (Tottenham), Alan Shearer (Blackburn).

Subs: David Platt (Arsenal) for Ince, Nick Barmby (Middlesbrough) for Sheringham, Robbie Fowler (Liverpool) for Shearer.

Netherlands: Edwin van der Sar (Ajax), Michael Reiziger (Ajax), Winston Bogarde (Ajax), Danny Blind (captain, Ajax), Jordi Cruyff (Barcelona), Clarence Seedorf (Sampdoria), Ronald de Boer (Ajax), Aron Winter (Lazio), Richard Witschge (Bordeaux), Peter Hoekstra (Ajax), Dennis Bergkamp (Arsenal).

Subs: Johan De Kock (Roda JC) for Witschge; Phillip Cocu (PSV) for Hoekstra, Patrick Kluivert (Ajax) for de Boer.

The previous articles in the series are:

Vic Watson
Jack Tresadern
Billy Moore
Ken Brown
Johnny ‘Budgie’ Byrne
Bobby Moore
Martin Peters
Frank Lampard Senior
Sir Trevor Brooking
Alan Devonshire
Alvin Martin
Paul Goddard
Rio Ferdinand
Stuart Pearce
Frank Lampard Junior
Joe Cole
David James
Robert Green
Stewart Downing


Dan Coker's Match Preview

West Ham's Dutch Connections

With England playing the Netherlands in the Nations League Semi-Finals tomorrow, here’s my look at the Hammers’ Dutch Connections…

Ray Atteveld

Ray Atteveld was born in Amsterdam on 8th September 1966 and began his career with Haarlem in 1985 before signing for Everton in 1989. A tough-tackling midfielder who could also deputise at right-back, he made 68 appearances for the Toffees, scoring two goals.

In February 1992, the 25-year-old Atteveld was signed on a month’s loan by Billy Bonds as West Ham battled against relegation from the First Division. Atteveld actually made more appearances in the FA Cup for the Hammers than he did in the league, making his debut by starting the fifth round tie at Sunderland’s Roker Park which ended in a 1-1 draw on 15th February 1992; he was again selected for the replay back at Upton Park 11 days later. John Byrne’s double put the Second Division Wearsiders in control before two wonder strikes from Martin Allen put the Irons back on terms. David Rush grabbed the winner as Sunderland progressed all the way to the Final that year. Atteveld’s only league appearance for West Ham was sandwiched in between the two cup ties, at Hillsborough in a 2-1 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday.

Atteveld left Everton for Bristol City in the summer of 1992 but departed for Belgium’s Waregem the following year. He returned to the Netherlands with Roda and went on to have spells with fellow Dutch sides Vitesse, Groningen and Den Haag before retiring in 2002. Atteveld has since managed Roda and Den Haag in his native country as well as AEL Limassol in Cyprus. He later worked as a consultant academy coach at FC Banants Yerevan in Armenia before moving to Kazakhstan in 2013 where he worked as Academy Director at FC Kairat Almaty. Atteveld is currently Assistant Performance Director at Israeli club Maccabi Tel-Aviv, a post he has held since 2016 – he is responsible for the development of the Under-11 to Under-16 age groups at the club.

Jeroen Boere

Jeroen Boere was born in Arnhem on 18th November 1967. He started his career with Excelsior in 1985 before moving to De Graafschap two years later. An old-fashioned centre-forward in the target man mould, Boere moved to VVV-Venlo in 1988 but returned to De Graafschap in a loan deal – he scored an impressive 28 goals in 56 appearances during his two spells with De Graafschap. Boere was on the move again in 1990, signing for Roda JC but he returned to VVV-Venlo later that same year. He joined Go Ahead Eagles in 1991 before moving to England two years later.

The 25-year-old Boere joined Billy Bonds’ newly-promoted West Ham United for a fee of £250,000 in September 1993, hot on the heels of the arrivals of David Burrows, Mike Marsh and Lee Chapman. He suffered an ignominious debut on 25th September 1993, receiving a red card for an elbow on Kevin Scott in a 2-0 defeat at Newcastle shortly after entering the fray as a substitute. Boere scored his first goal for the Hammers in a 2-0 League Cup second round second leg win at Chesterfield on 5th October 1993. He made only three further appearances in claret and blue in 1993/94 and spent the final weeks of the campaign on loan at Portsmouth.

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Boere joined West Brom on loan in the early stages of the 1994/95 campaign, with Harry Redknapp now in the manager’s hotseat at Upton Park. He returned to east London in November 1994 with the Irons entrenched in a relegation battle; he scored his first league goal for the club in his first Premier League start, in a 2-1 defeat at QPR on 4th December 1994. Boere followed this up with a brace of headers the following weekend in a 2-2 draw at Leeds, salvaging a point from Elland Road after the Hammers had been two goals down. Forging a promising strike partnership with Tony Cottee, Boere scored with another header against Tottenham at the Boleyn on 14th January 1995 but the Irons would lose 2-1 to a Spurs side inspired by goalscorers Jurgen Klinsmann and future Hammer Teddy Sheringham. Boere’s strike against Tottenham’s Ian Walker did, however, deny the goalkeeper a chance to break a consecutive clean sheets record held by Ray Clemence.

With the return from injury of Don Hutchison, Boere found his first team opportunities again restricted, although he did score in a 3-0 home win over Wimbledon on 13th April 1995 and bagged a vital late equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Ipswich four days later, which would transpire to be his final goal for the club. He made his final appearance in claret and blue as a substitute in a 1-1 home draw with Tottenham on 30th August 1995 before joining Crystal Palace the following month as part of the deal which brought Iain Dowie back to Upton Park for a second spell. Boere had scored seven goals in 29 appearances for West Ham United – all of these goals can be viewed in my video below.

After six months with the Eagles, Boere moved to Southend in March 1996 and spent two years at Roots Hall before moving to Japan to play for Saitama-based Omiya Ardija. In May 1999, after dinner with his wife at a restaurant in Tokyo, he was stabbed in his left eye and arm by two unknown men; his attacker was reported to be an Israeli criminal who was later found shot through the head in a Bangkok river. Boere lost his eye in the incident, forcing his retirement from football at the age of 31.

After his retirement, Boere owned The Half Moon pub in Epping High Street from 1999 until 2004. He moved to Spain in September 2004 to work as a real estate agent. Jeroen Boere tragically died at the age of just 39, on 16th August 2007. Reports regarding the circumstances of Boere’s death are conflicting; some outlets reported that the Dutchman died in a car crash, possibly on Ibiza, while other media reported that he was found dead at his home in Marbella. The Ilford Recorder stated that Boere had committed suicide. Boere left his wife and child, as well as two sons from a previous marriage.

Marco Boogers

Marco Boogers was born in Dordrecht on 12th January 1967. He started his career with second tier Dordrecht in 1986 before moving to top flight side Utrecht in 1988. He signed for RKC Waalwijk in 1990 but was soon on the move again, this time to Fortuna Sittard in 1991. Boogers joined Sparta Rotterdam in 1992 and finally settled, staying at the club for three seasons and helping the club to secure finishes in the lower-to-mid-table region of the Eredivisie in each of his campaigns with the club.

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The 28-year-old Boogers moved to England in the summer of 1995, signing for Harry Redknapp’s West Ham United in a deal worth around £1m. The centre-forward made his debut as a second-half substitute in a 2-1 home defeat to Leeds on 19th August 1995, the opening day of the 1995/96 season. Boogers is infamously remembered for his second appearance in claret and blue four days later, again as a substitute and this time at Old Trafford in a 2-1 defeat to Manchester United. The Dutchman was sent off after scything down Gary Neville and was struck with a four-match ban for reckless behaviour. The incident can be viewed in my video below.

The myth endures that Boogers then went AWOL to a caravan in the Netherlands. As with many a myth, this is far from the truth. West Ham’s former PA announcer, Bill Prosser, takes up the tale in a 2005 letter to The Guardian:

“Here’s a stitch-up of a work colleague, albeit an accidental one. In the 1990s I was the PA announcer at Upton Park. I also handled all of the club’s travel arrangements. You will remember that Marco Boogers famously went a bit doolally shortly after joining the club and was reported to be living in a caravan in Holland… Unfortunately it is untrue and it is my fault. Marco was depressed after being sent off in his second appearance for West Ham at Old Trafford and disappeared for a few days. West Ham’s Clubcall reporter phoned me and said he was trying to find Boogers for an interview but could not reach him. He asked if I had booked any flights for him. I told him I hadn’t, but added: ‘If he has gone back to Holland, he’s probably gone by car again.’ The reporter misheard me and stated on Clubcall that I had said: ‘If he’s gone back to Holland, he’s probably gone to his caravan.’ As you know, journalists often listen to Clubcall. Which explains why, the following day, the back page headline in The Sun was: ‘Barmy Boogers Living In A Caravan’. The legend endures … I feel a bit responsible for his misfortune.”

Boogers returned to first team action in east London in November 1995, making his third appearance for the club, again as a substitute, in a 4-1 home defeat to Aston Villa on 4th November 1995. He started, and scored, in Alvin Martin’s second testimonial, against Chelsea, a week later but could not repeat this form in league matches. He made his fourth and final appearance in claret and blue, yet again as a substitute, in a 4-2 defeat at Blackburn on 2nd December 1995. Writing in his 2014 autobiography, Harry Redknapp said of Boogers:

“Some of the risks were extreme. After being asked what I thought was a ridiculous amount by Bristol Rovers for a striker called Marcus Stewart in 1995, we went with Marco Boogers of Sparta Rotterdam, having only watched him on video. Other managers had bought on taped evidence but that had never been my way. Yet we were running out of time, the season was about to start, Boogers looked good, and would cost half of what Rovers wanted for Stewart. What the tapes never show, however, is what a player is like as a trainer, or a person. Boogers was hard work. The players didn’t like him, and he was a lazy worker. He got one kick in our second game of the season at Old Trafford, but it was on Gary Neville, and he was shown a red card. This caused him to become depressed, he claimed, and he returned to Holland. Very soon, we made that arrangement permanent.

Boogers joined Groningen on loan in February 1996. He was blighted by knee problems and returned to former club RKC Waalwijk a year later. He joined Volendam later in 1997 and ended his career back where it began, at Dordrecht, with a four-year spell between 1999 and 2003. He remained with his hometown club as technical director after retiring as a player and was briefly caretaker manager in 2005. Boogers is pictured on the left in the image below; he left the club in August 2017.

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Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Watford v West Ham

Hello and welcome to my 43rd and final match preview of an ultimately decent season for West Ham United, one which closes with the chance of a top-half finish. If I may, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish my parents a Happy 40th Wedding Anniversary for tomorrow (Sunday). I’m also delighted to announce that my wife and I are expecting our first baby, due before the start of the new season.

Blast from the past

Harry Redknapp’s West Ham United arrived at Vicarage Road, the home of this weekend’s opponents Watford, for a Premier League fixture on 4th March 2000 in front of 18,619 while en route to a ninth-place finish. Madonna was number one with ‘American Pie’, Toy Story 2 topped the UK box office and the UK had just deported Augusto Pinochet to Chile to face trial.

The Hammers took the lead on three minutes when Paulo Wanchope embarked on a run deep into Watford territory before playing the ball into the penalty area for Frank Lampard to cushion a pass into the path of the on-rushing Steve Lomas who struck his only league goal of the season (his other goal in 1999/2000 had been in a 3-2 League Cup win at Birmingham).

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The Hornets fell further behind 32 minutes later when 26-year-old captain Lomas’ lofted ball forward found Costa Rican striker Wanchope who used his strength to shield the bouncing ball before hooking into Alec Chamberlain’s net. The Irons had their advantage halved 16 minutes after half-time when Icelandic forward Heidar Helguson slotted home a rebound after Nordin Wooter’s effort was blocked by Scott Minto. The goals from this match can be viewed in my video below.

Harry Redknapp’s West Ham would end the season in ninth position, while Graham Taylor’s Watford would finish bottom and be relegated. Manchester United won the league title, Chelsea won the FA Cup and Paolo Di Canio was voted Hammer of the Year, with Trevor Sinclair runner-up.

Watford: Alec Chamberlain, Nigel Gibbs (Paul Robinson), Steve Palmer, Mark Williams (Neil Cox), Robert Page, Alex Bonnot (Richard Johnson), Micah Hyde, Peter Kennedy, Heidar Helguson, Allan Smart, Nordin Wooter.

West Ham United: Craig Forrest, Rio Ferdinand, Igor Stimac, Stuart Pearce, Steve Lomas, Marc-Vivien Foe, Frank Lampard Junior, John Moncur, Scott Minto, Trevor Sinclair, Paulo Wanchope.

Club Connections

Former Hammer Domingos Quina is now on Watford’s books. Others to have represented both clubs, divided by position, include:

Goalkeepers: Billy Biggar, Ted Hufton, Perry Suckling, Manuel Almunia, Joe Webster, Jack Rutherford.

Defenders: Jon Harley, Calum Davenport, Lucas Neill, James McCrae, Chris Powell, Colin Foster.

Midfielders: Henri Lansbury, Alan Devonshire, Alessandro Diamanti, Stuart Slater, Jobi McAnuff, Jimmy Lindsay, Joe Blythe, David Noble, Jimmy Carr, Mark Robson, Valon Behrami, Carl Fletcher.

Strikers: James Reid, David Connolly, Mauro Zarate, Jack Foster, Roger Hugo, Billy Jennings, Peter Kyle, Bertie Lyon.

Len Goulden played for West Ham and managed Watford, while Malky Mackay played for both clubs and went on to manage the Vicarage Road club. Glenn Roeder played for the Hornets and managed both clubs; Gianfranco Zola has managed both the Hammers and the Hornets.

This week’s focus though is on an England international goalkeeper who represented both clubs. David James was born in Welwyn Garden City on 1st August 1970 and grew up as a Luton supporter. He signed for Watford though and, after helping the Hornets win the FA Youth Cup, made his full debut on 25th August 1990 at the age of 20 in a 2-1 home defeat to Millwall. His strong physique and impressive athletic abilities helped him settle into senior football; he won the club’s Player of the Year award in his debut season as the Hornets finished 20th in Division Two. James’ 98th and final appearance for Watford came in a 5-2 home win over Bristol City on 2nd May 1992, with Watford ending the 1991/92 campaign in tenth place – he also earned ten caps for England Under-21s before moving to Liverpool for £1.25m in the summer of 1992. James was inducted into the Watford Hall of Fame in 2008.

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James won the League Cup in 1995 and received an FA Cup runners-up medal the following year before making his England debut under Glenn Hoddle in a friendly against Mexico on 29th March 1997. He signed for Aston Villa in the summer of 1999 and was once again on the losing side in an FA Cup Final, this time in 2000, the last Final to be played at the old Wembley.

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

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

After two and a half years with City, James returned south to join Portsmouth in the summer of 2006. While with Pompey, he won the FA Cup in 2008 and broke the Premier League record for clean sheets and consecutive appearances. He stands fourth in the all-time Premier League appearances list with 572 games played – only Ryan Giggs, Gareth Barry and ex-Hammer Frank Lampard have played more. James moved to Bristol City in the summer of 2010 having captained Portsmouth in the FA Cup Final, James again picking up a runners-up medal after defeat at Wembley to Chelsea. The goalkeeper also played three of England’s four matches at the 2010 World Cup, having lost his place to Paul Robinson during qualification for the 2006 World Cup – former Hammer James replaced then-Irons custodian Rob Green in the tournament held in South Africa after Green’s unfortunate error against the USA, while future Hammer Joe Hart was the third goalkeeper in the squad.

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The 42-year-old James was released by Bristol City in the summer of 2012 and signed for Bournemouth in September of that year. His final appearance for Bournemouth, and in English football, was against Walsall in a 3-1 defeat at the Bescot Stadium on 19th January 2013. James went on to play in Iceland for IBV, teaming up with former team-mate Hermann Hreidarsson in order to gain coaching experience.

James was also player-manager of Indian Super League side Kerala Blasters, owned by Sachin Tendulkar, in 2014, helping the side to runners-up position in the inaugural campaign of the ISL. James played 956 matches during his career and later returned to Kerala Blasters as manager in January 2018 – he was sacked last December. Now 48, James has also been a regular pundit on BT Sports.

Referee

The referee tomorrow will be Christopher Kavanagh. The Manchester-born official has refereed the Hammers on seven previous occasions, most recently for our 2-0 defeat at Chelsea last month. Prior to that, Kavanagh officiated our 2-0 home win over Newcastle in March, a game in which he awarded the Hammers a penalty for a foul on Chicharito which was converted by Mark Noble. He had previously been in charge for our 2-2 home draw with Brighton in January, our 1-1 draw at Huddersfield in November and our 1-0 home defeat to Wolves in September.

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Kavanagh was the man in the middle for our 2-0 win at Leicester last May and also issued Arthur Masuaku with a red card for spitting in an FA Cup fourth round defeat at Wigan in January 2018. He has been the man in the middle for 23 Premier League matches so far in 2018/19, issuing 74 yellow cards in those games and one red, and awarding four penalties.

Possible line-ups

Sebastian Prodl and ex-Hammer Domingos Quina are out injured for FA Cup Finalists Watford but Miguel Britos and Etienne Capoue are expected to be fit – a booking for Capoue would mean he equals the Premier League record of 14 yellow cards in a season. Hornets boss Javi Gracia has stated he will resist the temptation to rest players ahead of the Wembley showpiece six days later. Watford could do the league double over West Ham for the first time since the 1911/12 season.

For Manuel Pellegrini’s Hammers, Aaron Cresswell, Declan Rice, Robert Snodgrass, Felipe Anderson and Samir Nasri are available but Winston Reid, Andriy Yarmolenko and Andy Carroll remain out. West Ham have lost only two of their last 14 league matches at Watford. The Irons could win three consecutive Premier League games without conceding for the first time since February 2014.

Possible Watford XI: Foster; Femenia, Mariappa, Cathcart, Holebas; Hughes, Capoue, Doucoure, Pereyra; Deulofeu, Deeney.

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

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!


Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v Southampton

Blast from the past

5th December 1987 – Doctor Who and Avengers star Karen Gillan had been born the week before, T’Pau were number one with ‘China In Your Hand’ and Dennis Quaid, Martin Short and Meg Ryan were in UK cinemas in Innerspace.

John Lyall’s mid-table West Ham United took on Chris Nicholl’s Southampton in front of 14,975 at The Boleyn Ground – there was a club connection in the visitors’ line-up with Kevin Bond, son of former Hammer John Bond, captaining the Saints.

The hosts took the lead after 13 minutes when Tony Cottee nodded on for 20-year-old Kevin Keen to smash home his first league goal for the Hammers – Keen had already scored in both the FA Cup and the League Cup before this First Division strike against Southampton. The Saints were soon level when Stewart Robson’s poor backpass was intercepted by Andy Townsend – Tom McAlister could only palm Townsend’s cross into the path of Danny Wallace, who hooked home the equaliser.

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Cottee was twice denied by excellent saves by Southampton goalkeeper John Burridge, with Keen also having an effort stopped and Robson flashing wide. The Hammers claimed their winner when George Parris’ pass found Alan Dickens (pictured above) and he tickled a low shot beyond the grasp of Burridge and into the far corner of the net. Mark Ward was sent off for the second time in his West Ham career. The goals from this match can be viewed in my video below.

West Ham went on to finish the 1987/88 season in 16th position. Cottee was the club’s top goalscorer with 15 goals from 44 matches; Robson was voted Hammer of the Year, with Billy Bonds runner-up. Southampton finished 12th, Liverpool won the league and Wimbledon won the FA Cup.

West Ham United: Tom McAlister, Ray Stewart, Gary Strodder, Billy Bonds, George Parris, Mark Ward, Alan Dickens, Paul Ince, Stewart Robson, Kevin Keen, Tony Cottee.

Southampton: John Burridge, Gerry Forrest, Kevin Moore, Kevin Bond, Derek Statham, Jimmy Case, Glenn Cockerill, Graham Baker, Andy Townsend, Danny Wallace, Colin Clarke.

Club Connections

Michail Antonio welcomes his former club. An array of West Ham United’s good, bad and ugly have also turned out for Southampton:

Goalkeepers: Richard Wright, George Kitchen.

Defenders: Richard Hall, Christian Dailly, Joe Kirkup, Wayne Bridge, Neil Ruddock, Jose Fonte, Ian Pearce, Bill Adams, Darren Powell, Albie Roles, Horace Glover, Calum Davenport.

Midfielders: Bobby Weale, Luis Boa Morte, Nigel Quashie, Eyal Berkovic, Robbie Slater, Peter Cowper, Paul Allen.

Strikers: Vic Watson, Justin Fashanu, David Speedie, David Connolly, Viv Gibbins, Iain Dowie, Ted MacDougall, Henri Camara, Alex McDonald, Frank Costello, Fred Harrison, Walter Pollard, Arthur Wilson, Jimmy Harris, Jack Foster, Jack Farrell.

In addition, George Kay played for the Hammers and managed the Saints while Harry Redknapp and Alan Pardew have managed both clubs.

Today’s focus though is on a player who turned out for West Ham before representing Southampton later in his career. Jimmy Carr was an outside-left who was born on 19th December 1893 in Maryhill, Glasgow. He joined Watford in 1908 at the age of 14 and made his Southern League debut as a 16-year-old. The 20-year-old Carr moved to West Ham United in 1914 and made his debut in a 1-1 home draw with Swindon on 26th September 1914. With the perfect build for a winger at 5’7 in height and weighing in at 10st, he scored his only Hammers goal in his sixth appearance, a 2-0 win over Plymouth at Upton Park on 5th December 1914 (73 years to the day before this preview’s featured match, above). His ninth and final appearance for the Irons was on the 30th January 1915, in a 1-1 draw at Swindon, the same opposition and result as his debut.

During World War One, Carr was enlisted into the Army as a Private and played as a guest for Portsmouth and Kilmarnock in the Wartime Leagues. After the cessation of hostilities, Carr joined Reading in 1919, spending four years in Berkshire and making over 100 appearances for the club before moving to Southampton at the age of 29 in June 1923, where he teamed up with former Reading team-mate Jimmy Andrews (Carr is pictured during his Reading days).

Having played in every match from the start of the 1923/24 campaign, a serious knee injury in January required an operation and put Carr out for the rest of the season. He returned for the start of 1924/25 but his season was again disrupted by injuries – he did, however, play a significant part in the Saints’ run to the FA Cup Semi-Finals in 1925, where they were defeated 2-0 by Sheffield United at Stamford Bridge. After three years at The Dell, the 32-year-old Carr was released and switched to Swansea Town, as they were then known, in May 1926. He had scored ten goals in 86 league games for Southampton.

Carr scored one goal in seven appearances for the Swans but, with the end of his career approaching, he took the unprecedented step of placing an advertisement in the Athletic News, stating that he would ‘assist a club outside the League in exchange for a business’. Carr was soon playing for Southall and running The Red Lion Hotel in the town. Jimmy Carr passed away in Harrow on 26th June 1980, at the age of 86.

Referee

The referee on Saturday will be Stuart Attwell. The Birmingham-based official will take charge of a West Ham game for only the eighth time – he has sent off a Hammers striker in two of his other seven games officiating the Irons. He refereed our 1-0 victory at Wigan in March 2009 and our 3-1 win at Blackpool in February 2011. The 36-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 in October 2017.

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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 refereed the Hammers in August in our 2-1 home defeat to Bournemouth, when he awarded the Irons a penalty which was converted by Marko Arnautovic, and in our 3-1 League Cup home defeat to Tottenham in October. Attwell’s most recent Hammers appointment saw him award a dubious match-winning penalty to Manchester City at the Etihad in February.

Possible line-ups

Manuel Pellegrini is without Winston Reid, Andriy Yarmolenko and Andy Carroll. Carlos Sanchez made an appearance for the Development Squad on Monday, while Aaron Cresswell, Manuel Lanzini and Samir Nasri are all available. There has still been no news on Robert Snodgrass’ suspension appeal.

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl is likely to be without Alex McCarthy, Jannik Vestergaard, Maya Yoshida and Michael Obafemi.

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

Possible Southampton XI: Gunn; Valery, Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand; Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Hojbjerg; Long, Ings, Redmond.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!


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