Dan Coker's Match Preview
Blast from the past
Today’s blast from the past features a 2-1 victory on the 12th of September 1998, with West Ham United welcoming Liverpool to Upton Park in front of 26,029. Robbie Williams was number one with ‘Millennium’, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels topped the UK box office and The Royle Family made its TV debut two days later.
The Irons went into the game after throwing away a three-goal lead to lose 4-3 at home to Wimbledon three days previously. Liverpool, with a joint management team of Roy Evans and Gerard Houllier, arrived in east London with an unbeaten record from their first four games of the season. Neil Ruddock was in the West Ham starting eleven having signed from Liverpool that summer, while Paul Ince returned to his former club and Jamie Redknapp faced the team managed by his father.
The Hammers took the lead after just four minutes – Frank Lampard’s corner was met by a John Hartson header and the ball ended up in the net via a deflection off Jamie Carragher. The 23-year-old Welsh striker went close again soon after, sending his header over the bar after his own brilliant hold-up play had provided Trevor Sinclair with a chance to cross. Ian Pearce skied an effort over before Liverpool’s Michael Owen, fresh from his 1998 World Cup exploits, also fired too high.
The hosts doubled their lead six minutes into the second half – Israeli schemer Eyal Berkovic played a one-two with Hartson before sending a low shot beyond Brad Friedel. Neil Ruddock sent a shot over before Karl-Heinz Riedle headed home a Jason McAteer cross with two minutes remaining. The Irons held on to end Liverpool’s unbeaten record and defeat them at Upton Park for the second successive season. The action from this match can be viewed in my video below.
Harry Redknapp’s West Ham would end the season in fifth place while Liverpool finished in seventh. Shaka Hislop won the Hammer of the Year title, with Ian Pearce voted runner-up. Ian Wright was the Irons’ top goalscorer in 1998/99 with nine goals from 25 appearances. Manchester United won a Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League Treble.
West Ham United: Shaka Hislop, Ian Pearce, Steve Potts, Neil Ruddock, Trevor Sinclair, John Moncur, Frank Lampard Junior, Eyal Berkovic (Tim Breacker), Stan Lazaridis, Ian Wright, John Hartson (Marc Keller).
Liverpool: Brad Friedel, Vegard Heggem (Jason McAteer), Jamie Carragher, Phil Babb, Steve Staunton (Dominic Matteo), Steve Harkness (Karl-Heinz Riedle), Jamie Redknapp, Paul Ince, Patrik Berger, Steve McManaman, Michael Owen.
Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian returns to his former club. A whole host of players join the Spaniard 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: 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, Robbie Keane, Peter Kyle, Titi Camara, David Speedie, Andy Carroll, 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 full-back who played for Liverpool before ending his career with the Hammers. Alvaro Arbeloa was born on 17th January 1983 in Salamanca, Spain. He progressed from Real Madrid’s C team in 2002 to their B team (Castilla) in 2003 before making a couple of appearances for the first team in 2004/05. He joined Deportivo La Coruna in the summer of 2006 but moved to Liverpool in January 2007. He made his debut in a 2-1 defeat at Newcastle on 10th February 2007 and scored his first goal for the club in a 2-1 win at Reading on 7th April 2007. Mainly operating at right-back but also able to fill in on the left, Arbeloa was a Champions League runner-up with the Reds in 2007 and made his debut for Spain in 2008; he was in the winning Spain squad for the 2008 European Championships.
Arbeloa’s second and last goal for Liverpool was scored in a 3-0 win over West Brom at Anfield on 8th November 2008; he played his last game for the Reds in the reverse fixture against the Baggies in a 2-0 win at the Hawthorns on 17th May 2009. After two goals in 98 appearances for Liverpool, Arbeloa returned to Real Madrid in the summer of 2009 and won the World Cup with Spain in 2010. He won his second European Championships with his country in 2012 and won 56 caps for his country in total, without scoring. He also won the Champions League in 2014 and 2016, La Liga in 2012, the Copa del Rey in 2011 and 2014, the Supercopa de Espana in 2012, the FIFA Club World Cup in 2014 and the UEFA Super Cup in 2014.
Having been released by Real Madrid, the 33-year-old Arbeloa signed for West Ham United on a free transfer. Arbeloa made four appearances for the Hammers, making his debut in a 1-0 League Cup third round win over Accrington Stanley on 21st September 2016. He started the 3-0 home defeat to Southampton four days later He also made substitute appearances in a 1-1 home draw with Middlesbrough and in his final game, a 5-1 home defeat to Arsenal on 3rd December 2016. Now 37, Arbeloa retired in the summer of 2017.
The referee on Wednesday will be Jonathan Moss. The Yorkshire-based official has sent off a player in six of his last 15 appointments involving the Hammers – the 4-3 defeat to Bournemouth in August 2015 saw Carl Jenkinson sent off, while the 2-1 win over Chelsea in October 2015 saw Nemanja Matic dismissed (then-Blues manager Jose Mourinho was also sent to the stands). Moss issued a red card to Jordan Ayew of Aston Villa in February 2016 with the Hammers going on to win 2-0 while, going further back, Burnley’s Michael Duff was also sent off by Moss in our 1-0 home win over the Clarets in May 2015.
Moss also issued a red card to Cheikhou Kouyate in the 5-1 FA Cup fifth round win at Blackburn in February 2016, although this was later rescinded. Arguably the 49-year-old’s most controversial Hammers appointment was the 2-2 draw at Leicester in April 2016 when he sent off Jamie Vardy and awarded two penalties, the second arriving deep into stoppage time as the Foxes rescued a precious point. Moss’ matches in charge of the Hammers last season were our 1-0 home win over Arsenal in January and our 4-3 home win over Huddersfield in March. He most recently refereed our 1-0 win at Chelsea in November.
David Moyes has confirmed that Lukasz Fabianski and Robert Snodgrass are in contention for tonight’s match. West Ham United are though without the injured Ryan Fredericks, Jack Wilshere, Andriy Yarmolenko and Felipe Anderson, while Arthur Masuaku is a doubt. West Ham are winless in six Premier League matches against Liverpool, drawing two and losing four since winning 2-0 at Upton Park in January 2016 under Super Slaven Bilic. Michail Antonio has scored in four of his five Premier League appearances against Liverpool, netting four goals; the only players to have scored more top-flight goals against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane, with seven and five respectively.
Liverpool are without Nathaniel Clyne, James Milner and Sadio Mane, while Adam Lallana and Xherdan Shaqiri are doubts. Mohamed Salah scored in his first four Premier League games in London for the Reds but has since failed to find the net in his last nine matches in the capital.
Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Diop, Balbuena, Ogbonna; Zabaleta, Rice, Noble, Cresswell; Snodgrass, Antonio; Haller.
Possible Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, van Dijk, Matip, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Henderson; Salah, Firmino, Origi.
Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!