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Joe Cole Retires - All The Best Joey!

Former West Ham and England midfielder Joe Cole announced his retirement from playing earlier this week. After the initial reaction of this making me feel very old (!), I thought I’d piece together previous articles I’ve written on Joey from an England, Chelsea and Liverpool perspective. He was one of my favourite players when he broke through with the Hammers at the turn of this century – after sadly having to leave the club to win trophies, I was delighted when he returned to east London for a second spell earlier this decade. I wish Joey all the best in his retirement – who knows, maybe we’ll see him back for a third stint in some capacity in the future?!

Joe Cole was born in Paddington on the 8th November 1981 and was a prodigious young talent who was linked with a £10m move to Manchester United before he’d even made his professional debut. Likened to Paul Gascoigne, Cole made his debut at the age of 17 in January 1999 in a 1-1 FA Cup draw at home against Swansea; his league debut arrived eight days later in a 4-1 defeat at Old Trafford. Cole was a key figure in the Hammers’ FA Youth Cup winning team in 1999 and also played his part in the senior team’s InterToto Cup success later that summer. His first goal for the club came in a 3-2 League Cup win at Birmingham in November 1999 while his first league strike came in the 5-4 win over Bradford in February 2000.

Cole scored five goals in 2000/01, including one in the 3-0 win at Coventry and strikes in the 1-1 home draws with Bradford and Coventry. He also notched crucial goals in the 3-1 home win over Derby and 3-0 home victory over Southampton as the under-performing Hammers secured their survival in the top flight the weekend before Harry Redknapp’s departure.

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Cole made his England debut on 25th May 2001 in a 4-0 friendly win over Mexico at Derby’s Pride Park and scored his first goal under new Hammers manager Glenn Roeder in the 3-0 FA Cup third round win at Macclesfield in January 2002. The skilful midfielder was part of England’s 2002 World Cup squad and got his 2002/03 campaign off to a flyer, scoring from distance to give the Irons the lead against champions Arsenal only for the Gunners to eventually claim a 2-2 draw at Upton Park. The season was a turbulent one, with Cole one of the few players to emerge with credit from a campaign which would end in relegation. Joey also scored in the 2-1 home defeat to Birmingham, the 2-2 draw at Middlesbrough, the 3-2 FA Cup third round home win over Nottingham Forest and the 2-2 home draw with Newcastle. He was named captain by Roeder in January 2003 and was voted Hammer of the Year by the club’s supporters at the season’s end. Cole scored his first England goal in his tenth appearance for his country on 3rd June 2003 in a 2-1 friendly win over Serbia & Montenegro at Leicester’s Walkers Stadium.

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The 21-year-old Cole left West Ham United in the summer of 2003 to sign for Chelsea in a £6.6m deal, having scored 13 goals in 150 appearances for the Hammers. His second England goal came on 16th November 2003 in a 3-2 friendly defeat to Denmark at Old Trafford. Cole became a regular in Jose Mourinho’s 2004/05 Premier League title-winning team, scoring nine goals in all competitions. His third England goal was scored on 26th March 2005 in a 4-0 World Cup qualifying win over Northern Ireland at Old Trafford.

2005/06 saw Cole score a career-high 11 goals in a season in all competitions, earning himself a place in the PFA Team of the Year as Chelsea retained their Premier League title. He scored two goals for England during the season, the first being the winner in a 1-0 World Cup qualifying triumph at Wales’ Millennium Stadium on 3rd September 2005 and the other coming in a 2-1 friendly win over Uruguay at Old Trafford on 1st March 2006. Cole started all five of England’s matches at the 2006 World Cup, scoring a stunning, dipping volley in a 2-2 Group B draw against Sweden in Cologne on 20th June 2006.

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The following campaign was an injury-hit one for Cole but he did score for England at the end of the season, in a 3-0 European Championship qualifying win in Estonia on 6th June 2007. He was back to his best in 2007/08 – he reached double figures in the scoring charts again, won the Chelsea Player of the Year Award and played in the Champions League Final. Cole also scored home and away against West Ham that season, refusing to celebrate his strike in Chelsea’s 4-0 win at Upton Park in March 2008.

Cole scored a late equaliser against the Czech Republic at Wembley in a 2-2 friendly draw on 20th August 2008 and followed that up with a double in a 2-0 World Cup qualifying win in Andorra on 6th September 2008. A knee injury kept Cole out for the second half of the 2008/09 campaign and his final game for the Blues was the FA Cup Final against Portsmouth in May 2010, Chelsea winning the match 1-0. After seven years at Stamford Bridge in which he scored 40 goals in 281 appearances and won three Premier League titles, two FA Cups, one League Cup, one Community Shield and was a Champions League finalist, Cole joined Roy Hodgson’s Liverpool on a free transfer in the summer of 2010. Earlier that summer, Cole had won the last of his 56 England caps at his third World Cup – he had scored ten goals for his country.

Cole made his Liverpool debut in August 2010 against Rabotnicki in the Europa League, creating the opening goal for David Ngog in a 2-0 win. His league debut against Arsenal at Anfield lasted just 45 minutes though, as he was sent off for a challenge on Laurent Koscielny. Cole missed a penalty against Trabzonspor in the Europa League third qualifying round first leg but did score his first goal for the club against Steaua Bucharest in a Europa League match at Anfield the following month. He scored his first Premier League goal for Liverpool in a 2-1 win against Bolton in January 2011 and scored his first and only goal of Kenny Dalglish’s reign in a 5-0 win against Birmingham at Anfield in April.

Cole spent the 2011/12 season on loan at French side Lille but his Anfield career looked more promising after Brendan Rodgers took over – in November 2012, Cole was given a start against BSC Young Boys in the Europa League, providing a cross for Jonjo Shelvey to score the opener and then scoring Liverpool’s second himself in the 2-2 draw. On 9th December 2012, he scored Liverpool’s second at Upton Park as the Reds beat West Ham 3-2.

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31-year-old Joey returned to the Boleyn Ground in early January 2013, signing for Sam Allardyce’s Hammers on a free transfer. He set up both goals on his second debut for the club as James Collins scored twice in a 2-2 FA Cup third round draw with Manchester United and scored himself in the 1-1 home draw with Q.P.R. and the 3-2 home defeat to Tottenham.

Cole started the 2013/14 season with a bang, notching the Hammers’ first goal of the campaign in a 2-0 home win over Cardiff in August 2013 before scoring in the 3-0 win over Fulham in November. His final goal for the Hammers came in the 3-3 home draw with West Brom in late December 2013. Cole’s last appearance for West Ham came in the 2-0 defeat at Manchester City in May 2014 and he left the club later that summer after his contract expired, signing for Aston Villa. Cole had scored five goals in 37 appearances in his second spell in east London, taking his totals for the Hammers to 18 goals in 187 matches.

Following a spell with Coventry, Cole, now 37, most recently played for Tampa Bay Rowdies in the USL, the second tier of the American soccer pyramid. He announced his retirement on Tuesday.

All the best Joey – COYI..!


Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Huddersfield v West Ham

Blast from the past

13th January 2018 – West Ham United recorded a 4-1 win at Huddersfield, Ed Sheeran was number one with ‘Perfect’, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle topped the UK box office and, the following day, former West Brom, Coventry and England striker Cyrille Regis died after suffering a heart attack.

West Ham captain Mark Noble gave the Hammers the lead after 25 minutes at the John Smith’s Stadium in front of 24,105, setting the side on their way to only our third league win away to the Terriers by pouncing on a poor pass by Town goalkeeper Jonas Lossl, advancing into the penalty area and finishing with aplomb beyond the Danish international. The Terriers levelled with five minutes remaining of the first half when Joe Lolley cut inside from the left to curl a superb shot past Adrian.

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The Hammers regained the lead within seconds of the restart when Cheikhou Kouyate nodded on a long ball and Marko Arnautovic turned to fire a sizzling strike low into the net. The Irons ran away with the game and the points in the following 15 minutes, with Manuel Lanzini (pictured above) scoring twice. First, Arnautovic sent the Argentine clean through on goal to put the visitors 3-1 up on 56 minutes. Five minutes later, it was four, Lanzini finishing unerringly after Arnautovic’s strength had taken him into the penalty area. The victory ensured Hammers boss David Moyes became the fourth manager to win 200 Premier League matches.

The Hammers went on to finish the 2017/18 Premier League season in 13th place, while David Wagner’s Huddersfield ended up 16th. Arnautovic was the Irons’ top goalscorer with 11 goals from 35 appearances. Manchester City won the league and Chelsea won the FA Cup.

Huddersfield Town: Jonas Lossl, Tommy Smith (Terence Kongolo), Christopher Schindler, Zanka, Scott Malone, Jonathan Hogg, Aaron Mooy, Tom Ince, Joe Lolley (Alex Pritchard), Rajiv van La Parra, Laurent Depoitre.

West Ham United: Adrian, Pablo Zabaleta, James Collins, Angelo Ogbonna, Aaron Cresswell, Arthur Masuaku, Cheikhou Kouyate, Mark Noble, Pedro Obiang, Manuel Lanzini (Declan Rice), Marko Arnautovic (Andre Ayew).

Club Connections

A small number of players have worn the shirts of both West Ham United and Huddersfield Town. These include:

Defenders: Kenny Brown, Dickie Pudan, Archie Taylor, Simon Webster, Elliott Ward, David Unsworth, Steve Walford.

Midfielders: Peter Butler, Diego Poyet, Mark Ward.

Strikers: Dave Mangnall, Jack Foster.

Lou Macari managed both clubs, while Chris Powell played for West Ham and managed Huddersfield. Sam Allardyce played for the Terriers and managed the Hammers.

Today’s focus though falls on a former Hammers forward who had a brief spell at Huddersfield. George Crowther was born in 1892 in Bishop Middleham, County Durham and began his career with local club Shildon before joining Manchester United in 1911. After failing to make an official appearance for the Red Devils, Crowther signed for Huddersfield in 1912 and made two appearances in the Second Division. He left the club in 1913 and briefly turned out for Rotherham Town, Halifax and Hurst (now known as Ashton United).

World War One was to interrupt Crowther’s footballing career though – he had three years active service, serving as a Private in the 17th (Service) Battalion of the Duke of Cambridge’s Own (Middlesex Regiment). This infantry battalion was a ‘Pals battalion’ – a specially constituted battalion of the British Army comprising men who had enlisted together in local recruiting drives, with the promise that they would be able to serve alongside their friends, neighbours and colleagues (‘pals’), rather than being arbitrarily allocated to battalions. Crowther’s particular battalion was known as the ‘Football Battalion’.

During the First World War there had been an initial push by clubs for professional football to continue, in order to keep the public’s spirits up. This stance was not widely agreed with and public opinion turned against professional footballers. One soldier, serving in France, wrote to a British newspaper to complain that “hundreds of thousands of able-bodied young roughs were watching hirelings playing football” while others were serving their country. The suggestion was even made that King George V should cease being a patron of The Football Association. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, writer and creator of Sherlock Holmes, publicly objected and appealed for footballers to volunteer for service, saying “If a footballer has strength of limb, let them serve and march in the field of battle”.

Conservative MP for Brentford and future Home Secretary William Joynson-Hicks formed the battalion on 12th December 1914 at Fulham Town Hall after a suggestion by Secretary of State for War Lord Kitchener. England international Frank Buckley became the first player to join with a further 30 players who signed up at its formation. The formation was announced to the general public on 1st January 1915 and approximately 150 more enlisted over the next few months, the battalion’s ranks further swelled by numerous amateur players, officials and fans. Former West Ham goalkeepers Joe Webster and Tommy Lonsdale also signed up. Press complaints continued though, as there were some 1,800 eligible footballers – I have previously told the story of how George Hilsdon, formerly of West Ham and Chelsea, hid in a chicken run to avoid active service. Many footballers deliberately chose to avoid the battalion by joining other regiments, causing the War Office to initially have difficulties filling the ‘Football Battalion’.

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Crowther (pictured) survived the Great War and returned to football in 1919, playing for Bradford Park Avenue. He signed for West Ham United in 1920, making his debut at inside-left in a 1-0 home win over Wolves on 6th September 1920. He made two more appearances for the Second Division Hammers, both also in September 1920, in a 0-0 draw at Fulham and a 2-0 win over the same opposition in the reverse fixture at Upton Park.

Crowther left West Ham after these three appearances, moving to Hartlepools United in 1921. He found his goalscoring boots in the Third Division North, scoring ten goals in 25 games, before ending his career with Tranmere in 1922. George Crowther died in 1957 at the age of 64 or 65.

Referee

The referee on Saturday will be Christopher Kavanagh. The Manchester-born official has refereed the Hammers on three previous occasions, most recently for our 1-0 home defeat to Wolves in September. He was the man in the middle for our 2-0 win at Leicester in May and also issued Arthur Masuaku with a red card for spitting in January’s FA Cup fourth round defeat at Wigan.

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Kavanagh has been the man in the middle for seven Premier League matches so far in 2018/19, issuing 20 yellow cards in those games and awarding two penalties.

Possible line-ups

David Wagner is likely to be missing right-back Erik Durm and defensive midfielder Danny Williams through injury. Midfielder Philip Billing looked set to miss the match through suspension after seemingly picking up his fifth yellow card of the season against Fulham on Monday – it has since been confirmed that referee Anthony Taylor actually issued the booking to Isaac Mbenza for kicking the ball away, meaning Billing will be available for the match this weekend.

Manuel Pellegrini is without the injured Winston Reid, Carlos Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Manuel Lanzini, Andriy Yarmolenko and Andy Carroll, while Mark Noble completes his three-match ban. Robert Snodgrass remains one booking away from a one-match suspension.

Possible Huddersfield Town XI: Lossl; Hadergjonaj, Kongolo, Zanka, Schindler, Lowe; Billing, Mooy, Hogg; Pritchard; Mounie.

Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Zabaleta, Balbuena, Diop, Cresswell; Rice, Obiang, Snodgrass; Diangana, Anderson; Arnautovic.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!


Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v Burnley

Blast from the past

In today’s preview, we travel back to 8th October 1927: Mercedes Gleitzer had become the first British woman to swim the English Channel the day before, James Bond actor Sir Roger Moore was born six days later and West Ham United beat Burnley 2-0 in front of 27,467 at Upton Park.

The Hammers went into the match in second place in the First Division table having won five, drawn one and lost one of their opening seven fixtures. 26-year-old centre-forward Viv Gibbins (pictured) was the Irons’ two-goal hero – Gibbins was a schoolmaster who had appeared for the Hammers as an amateur since 1923 but decided to play permanently for West Ham United at the start of this 1927/28 season while still retaining his amateur status. He retired from his post as headmaster at Harold Road School in the early 1970s and remained an occasional visitor to Upton Park. Viv died in Herne Bay on 21st November 1979 at the age of 78.

The victory was West Ham’s sixth in their opening eight games and moved the club to the top of the First Division. Typically inconsistent, the Hammers would lose seven of their next eight matches, including a 7-0 loss at Everton, a 5-3 defeat at Tottenham and a 5-4 home defeat to Middlesbrough – both Tottenham and Middlesbrough would be relegated at the end of the season. In a topsy-turvy season, a brief recovery in early spring sent the Irons back into the top six by the end of March but the club would fail to win any of its final seven games.

Syd King’s West Ham would go on to finish 17th in a 1927/28 campaign that saw Jimmy Ruffell finish as the club’s top scorer with 19 goals from 41 appearances. Burnley finished level on points with, but two places below, the Irons – both clubs finished only one point clear of relegated Tottenham. Everton won the league and Blackburn won the FA Cup.

West Ham United: Ted Hufton, Billy Henderson, Jack Hebden, Jimmy Collins, Jim Barrett, Albert Cadwell, Tommy Yews, Stan Earle, Viv Gibbins, Jimmy Loughlin, Jimmy Ruffell.

Club Connections

Joe Hart returns to West Ham United for the first time since completing his loan spell last season. A small collection of players join him in having turned out for the Hammers and the Clarets. They include:

Goalkeepers: Tommy Hampson, Herman Conway and Frank Birchenough.

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

Midfielders: Junior Stanislas, Reg Attwell, Matt Taylor and Luke Chadwick.

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

John Bond played for the Hammers and managed the Clarets.

Today’s focus, though, falls on a player who spent a short spell at Burnley before ending his career with Thames Ironworks. Tommy Dunn was born in Falkirk, Scotland on 2nd June 1873 and began his career at First Division Wolves in 1891. He was a member of the Wolves team which was defeated 2-1 in the 1896 FA Cup Final by The Wednesday at Crystal Palace and was equally at home in either of the full-back berths. He signed for Burnley later in 1896 and made seven appearances for the club in the top flight, although the Clarets would be relegated at the end of the 1896/97 season. Dunn left Burnley, dropping down to the Southern League First Division to sign for Chatham Town.

Thames Ironworks signed the 25-year-old Dunn (pictured) in the 1898/99 season and he made his debut in a 4-1 home win over Wycombe in the Southern League Second Division on 14th January 1899. He played in the final 13 games of the 1898/99 campaign and was not on the losing side in any of these 13 matches – the unbeaten run included an 8-1 win against Chesham and a 10-0 victory over Maidenhead. The Irons would win the 1898/99 Southern League Second Division title by nine clear points. At the end of the season, test matches were held between the bottom two clubs in Division One and the top club in both the London Division Two and the South-West Division Two. Dunn played in Thames Ironworks’ Test Match against Sheppey United, which was drawn 1-1, leading to Sheppey remaining in Division One and Thames Ironworks joining them.

Dunn’s Football League experience and ability would no doubt have been crucial to the side and he made 29 appearances as the Irons embarked on their first Southern League First Division campaign. He missed only six Southern League games and was an ever-present in the club’s FA Cup run – the Irons disposed of Royal Engineers (6-0), Grays (4-0), Sheppey (4-2), Dartford (7-0) and New Brompton (now known as Gillingham, 2-0) before being beaten 2-1 by Millwall at the Memorial Grounds in the Fifth Qualifying Round. With Brighton United and Cowes both resigning from the Southern League midway through the season, Thames Ironworks’ 14th-placed finish out of the 15 remaining teams saw them enter another Test Match, this time against Fulham who had finished second in the Southern League Second Division. The match was played at a neutral venue, White Hart Lane, on 30th April 1900 – the Irons won 5-1 to retain their place in the Southern League First Division. It was to be Dunn’s 42nd and final appearance for Thames Ironworks; he left the club before the decision was taken to fully embrace professionalism and become West Ham United.

Dunn retired from football at the age of 26 and returned to his native Scotland where he became an undertaker. He died aged 65, on the 24th June 1938.

Referee

Saturday’s referee will be Roger East; the Wiltshire-based official has been taking charge of Premier League fixtures since 2012 but has only taken charge of five previous West Ham matches in the top flight, those being the 1-1 home draw with Stoke in April 2015, the 3-2 home defeat to Leicester in March 2017, the 0-0 draw with Everton the following month, our 1-0 home win over Swansea in September 2017 and, most recently, our 3-1 defeat at Brighton in February.

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The 53-year-old has also refereed the Hammers in the FA Cup, for the fourth round replay win over Liverpool in February 2016 and for the 2-1 quarter-final replay defeat to Manchester United in April of the same year. He also sent off Portsmouth’s Liam Lawrence and West Ham’s Frederic Piquionne in the Irons’ 4-3 home win over Pompey in September 2011.

Possible line-ups

West Ham United’s squad is again struggling with injuries – Winston Reid, Carlos Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Manuel Lanzini, Andriy Yarmolenko and Andy Carroll are in the treatment room, while Mark Noble sits out the second match of his three-game suspension.

Burnley are without Nick Pope, Ben Gibson and Stephen Ward but Jack Cork and Aaron Lennon should be available.

Looking ahead to our next match against Huddersfield, both centre-back Zanka and central midfielder Philip Billing are one yellow card away from missing our trip to the John Smith’s Stadium – the Terriers face Fulham at home on Monday. West Ham’s Robert Snodgrass is also a booking away from a one-match suspension.

Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Zabaleta, Balbuena, Diop, Masuaku; Rice, Obiang, Snodgrass; Diangana, Anderson; Arnautovic.

Possible Burnley XI: Hart; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Cork, Defour; Gudmundsson, Hendrick, Brady; Wood.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!


Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v Tottenham

Blast from the past

West Ham United currently lead Tottenham Hotspur on League Cup knock-outs by four to three. The Hammers prevailed in 1966, 1980, 2013 and 2017 while Spurs marched on in 1975, 1987 and 2003.

Today’s focus takes us back just over a year, to another League Cup fourth round tie on 25th October 2017. Post Malone featuring 21 Savage was number one with ‘Rockstar’, Oscar-winning costume designer John Mollo (who worked on the Star Wars films, Alien and Gandhi) died on the day of the game, and Blade Runner 2049 was at the top of the UK box office. The Hammers, meanwhile, travelled to north London for this League Cup fourth round tie having disposed of Cheltenham and Bolton in previous rounds.

Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham went ahead after five minutes at Wembley, Son Heung-min’s pass sending Moussa Sissoko clear to nudge the ball into the net beyond Adrian. The Spurs lead was doubled eight minutes before half-time when Dele Alli curled in a second from the edge of the box via a deflection off Declan Rice following neat build-up play again by Son.

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The Hammers came out transformed for the second half and were level by the hour mark after two Andre Ayew goals in five minutes. Ayew (pictured above) first converted in the 55th minute when Michel Vorm could only parry Edimilson Fernandes’ thunderous drive and the Ghanaian poked home his second following Manuel Lanzini’s cutback five minutes later. The Claret and Blue Army were in dreamland after 70 minutes as Super Slaven Bilic’s Irons fashioned their winner to complete a tremendous turnaround – Lanzini’s whipped corner from the left found Angelo Ogbonna who rose highest to flick a header into the corner of the net.

Tottenham: Michel Vorm, Kieran Trippier, Juan Foyth, Toby Alderweireld, Ben Davies, Danny Rose (Christian Eriksen), Eric Dier, Moussa Sissoko, Dele Alli, Son Heung-Min (Georges-Kevin N’Koudou), Fernando Llorente (Mousa Dembele).

West Ham United: Adrian, Sam Byram, Cheikhou Kouyate, Declan Rice, Angelo Ogbonna, Aaron Cresswell, Mark Noble, Edimilson Fernandes (Pedro Obiang), Manuel Lanzini (Marko Arnautovic), Andre Ayew, Andy Carroll.

The Hammers would lose their quarter-final tie 1-0 at Arsenal under new manager David Moyes. Manchester City went on to win the League Cup Final of 2018, beating the Gunners 3-0 in the Final at Wembley to secure the first part of a Premier League and League Cup double.

Aside from this fourth round win in 2017, West Ham’s remaining League Cup record against Tottenham is as follows:
1966 – West Ham 1-0 Tottenham (2nd round)
1975 – Tottenham 0-0 West Ham (4th round)
1975 – West Ham 0-2 Tottenham (4th round replay)
1980 – West Ham 1-0 Tottenham (Quarter-Final)
1987 – West Ham 1-1 Tottenham (Quarter-Final)
1987 – Tottenham 5-0 West Ham (Quarter-Final replay)
2003 – Tottenham 1-0 West Ham (3rd round)
2013 – Tottenham 1-2 West Ham (Quarter-Final)

Club Connections

Ryan Fredericks welcomes his old club, with a large group of players joining him in having turned out for West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur. Divided here by position, they include:

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

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

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

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

Jack Tresadern played for West Ham and managed Tottenham, while Trevor Hartley also played for the Hammers and managed Spurs on a caretaker basis. Alan Pardew played for Tottenham and managed the Hammers, while Harry Redknapp played for the Hammers and managed both clubs.

This week’s focus though is on a player who started his professional career with Tottenham before turning out for West Ham in the twilight of his career. Mark Bowen was born in Neath, Wales on 7th December 1963 and joined Tottenham Hotspur as an apprentice in 1980, signing his first professional contract in December 1981. He made his full debut at the age of 19 in a 1-1 home draw with Coventry on 29th August 1983. First-team opportunities were limited for him at White Hart Lane as he struggled to displace the big money signings ahead of him in the full-back positions.

Bowen was an unused substitute in the second leg of the 1984 UEFA Cup Final. He scored his first goal for the club in a 4-1 win at Leicester on 5th April 1986, with his last goal for Spurs coming in his final match for the club, a 2-2 draw at Wimbledon on 22nd April 1987. Bowen is pictured below with the Tottenham squad of 1986/87, the furthest player to the left in the middle row. He’s joined by fellow former Hammers Tony Parks, Mitchell Thomas, Neil Ruddock (all back row), Chris Hughton (middle row), Trevor Hartley, Clive Allen and Paul Allen (front row).

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Having scored two goals in 21 appearances for Tottenham, the 23-year-old Bowen signed for former Hammers player, and then-Norwich manager, Ken Brown in the summer of 1987 for a fee of £90,000. He remained with the Canaries for nine years and was a virtual ever-present. An attacking left-back standing at 5’8 who made vital interceptions and clearances, he was dubbed ‘Mr Versatile’ by Martin O’Neill in the latter stages of his Canaries career as he played in both full-back positions, sweeper, all positions across midfield and as a forward for club and country. Bowen even played in goal when Bryan Gunn was sent off at Coventry in April 1989.

Whilst with Norwich, Bowen became a regular in the Welsh national team that nearly qualified for the 1994 World Cup – he won 43 caps for his country in total, scoring three goals. Norwich were relegated in 1994/95 and, after criticising his former team-mate and then-manager Gary Megson’s tactics in a local newspaper, Bowen was dropped from the first team when he was just one game short of 400 appearances for the Canaries. Norwich’s financial problems in 1996 saw them release Bowen on a free transfer and, despite interest from Leeds and Coventry, he joined West Ham ahead of the 1996/97 season. Bowen was voted into the Greatest Norwich City team of all time in 2008.

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The 32-year-old Bowen made his debut for the Hammers on the 21st August 1996 in the 1-1 home draw with Coventry. He scored his only goal for the club in a 2-0 win at Nottingham Forest on the 21st September 1996, stealing in at the back post to give the Hammers the lead with a close-range header just before half-time (this goal can be viewed in my video below). His final appearance for West Ham came on the 1st March 1997 in a 1-0 defeat at Leeds – later that month he was on the move to join former Spurs team-mate Ossie Ardiles’ Japanese side Shimizu S-Pulse for a reported fee of £1m. Bowen had scored one goal in 20 matches in claret and blue.

Bowen returned to England and spent two years with Charlton before brief spells with Wigan and Reading. Since retiring in 1999, he has worked as assistant to former international team-mate Mark Hughes with Wales, Blackburn, Manchester City, Fulham, Q.P.R. and Stoke. Now 54, Bowen is currently Hughes’ assistant manager at Southampton.

Referee

The referee on Wednesday will be Stuart Attwell. The Birmingham-based official will take charge of a West Ham game for only the sixth time – he has sent off a Hammers striker in two of his other five 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 last October.

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Attwell also awarded an infamous ‘phantom’ goal for Reading in a Championship match against Watford in September 2008. He was the youngest-ever Premier League referee but was demoted from the Select Group in 2012. He refereed the Hammers in February in our 4-1 defeat at Liverpool and, most recently, in our 2-1 home defeat to Bournemouth in August when he awarded the Irons a penalty which was converted by Marko Arnautovic.

Possible line-ups

Manuel Pellegrini is likely to hand a start to Adrian but Winston Reid, Carlos Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Manuel Lanzini, Andriy Yarmolenko and Andy Carroll are out. Marko Arnautovic (virus) and Lucas Perez (foot) are both doubts, while Mark Noble begins a three-match suspension. Pedro Obiang could make a return. Obiang has already picked up a yellow card in the League Cup and, under new rules, is therefore one booking away from missing a potential quarter-final.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is likely to rest most of his starting line-up from Monday night’s game against Manchester City. Argentine centre-half Juan Foyth could make a rare start. Jan Vertonghen and Vincent Janssen are both out injured, while Danny Rose is a doubt.

Possible West Ham United XI: Adrian; Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Rice, Obiang, Snodgrass; Diangana, Antonio, Anderson.

Possible Tottenham Hotspur XI: Gazzaniga; Aurier, Foyth, Alderweireld, Davies; Wanyama, Winks; Eriksen, Alli, Son; Lucas Moura.

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!


Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Leicester v West Ham

Blast from the past

Back in 1967/68, West Ham United visited Leicester City on the 30th December 1967, beating the Foxes 4-2 at Filbert Street in front of 24,589. This away victory came just four days after a Boxing Day win by the same scoreline at Upton Park. Harold Wilson was Prime Minister, The Beatles were number one with ‘Hello, Goodbye’ and Half A Sixpence was in UK cinemas.

The Hammers took the lead when Martin Peters found Trevor Brooking who struck left-footed beyond 18-year-old future England goalkeeper Peter Shilton. The Foxes would turn the game on its head by half-time though, with Bobby Svarc and the late Frank Large scoring for the hosts.

24-year-old Brian Dear (pictured) followed up his hat-trick in the Boxing Day fixture against the same opposition by scoring twice in the second half – his first, the equaliser, was a header from a right-wing Geoff Hurst cross. Johnny Sissons gave the Irons the lead for the second time, scoring direct from a left-wing corner to embarrass Shilton. Dear’s second was a thumping left-foot strike with three minutes to go which sealed the points and moved the Hammers into 14th place. The goals from this match can be seen in the video below.

By the end of the 1967/68 season, Manchester United had recorded their first European Cup triumph, Manchester City won the First Division title, West Brom won the FA Cup and West Ham United claimed 12th place in the top flight. Bobby Moore was voted Hammer of the Year, with Brooking runner-up. Hurst was the Irons’ top goalscorer with 25 goals from 44 matches.

Leicester City: Peter Shilton, Peter Rodrigues, John Sjoberg, David Nish, Willie Bell, Alan Tewley, Bobby Roberts, Len Glover, Bobby Svarc, Frank Large, Davie Gibson (Alan Woollett).

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

Club Connections

Players who have represented both the Hammers and the Foxes include:

Goalkeepers: George Hebden, Colin Mackleworth.

Defenders: Gary Charles, Chris Powell, Dickie Pudan, Rufus Brevett, Paul Konchesky, Dai Jones, Matthew Upson, Clive Clarke, Billy Oakes, Fred Milnes, John Paintsil.

Midfielders: Andy Impey, Nolberto Solano, Franz Carr, Sid Bishop.

Strikers: David Connolly, Albert Carnelly, Mike Newell, Brian Deane, Keith Robson, Paul Kitson, David Speedie, Bertie Lyon, Norman Proctor, Les Ferdinand, David Kelly, Tony Cottee, Jimmy Quinn.

Martin Allen, Frank O’Farrell and Jimmy Bloomfield have played for the Hammers and managed the Foxes.

Another ex-Hammers player to represent Leicester is Shaun Newton. Born in Camberwell on the 20th August 1975, Newton started his career with Alan Curbishley’s Charlton in 1993. He won promotion to the Premier League twice with the Addicks, in 1998 and 2000, before joining Wolves in 2001. He was again part of a promotion-winning side in 2003 but the Molineux side were relegated straight back to the second tier at the end of 2003/04.

A powerful, enterprising right-winger with a high work rate and standing at 5’8, the 29-year-old Newton signed for Alan Pardew’s West Ham United on a short-term contract in March 2005 for an initial nominal fee of £10,000. He made his debut in a 3-1 defeat at Reading on 12th March 2005 and made 14 appearances over the remaining weeks of 2004/05, winning his fourth promotion to the Premier League as the Hammers beat Preston in the Play-Off Final. This victory saw Newton’s transfer fee rise to £125,000 and he was rewarded with a two-year contract.

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The signing of Yossi Benayoun meant that two-thirds of Newton’s 30 appearances in 2005/06 were as a substitute. He scored his only goal for the club in a 1-0 home win over Manchester City on 15th April 2006. Newton played the full 90 minutes of the Hammers’ 2-1 FA Cup third round win at Norwich and he appeared from the bench in the 1-0 semi-final victory over Middlesbrough at Villa Park. He would not, however, make the squad for the Final against Liverpool.

In July 2006, Newton was suspended for seven months after testing positive for cocaine. The 30-year-old provided the positive test following the aforementioned FA Cup semi-final against Middlesbrough in April, with the FA dating the suspension from 20th May. Newton made his return as a substitute in the 6-0 defeat at Reading on New Year’s Day 2007, by which time his former Charlton boss Curbishley had taken over as manager from Pardew. He made five appearances under Curbs, with his final outing for the Hammers coming in a 4-0 defeat at former club Charlton on 24th February 2007. Newton made 49 appearances for West Ham United, scoring one goal. His only strike for the club can be seen in my video below.

Newton joined Rob Kelly’s Leicester on loan in March 2007, making the move permanent on a free transfer at the end of the 2006/07 campaign. He scored his only goal for the club after Nigel Worthington had taken caretaker control of the club, in a 2-1 home defeat to Birmingham on 17th April 2007.

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Former Hammer Martin Allen assumed the managerial reigns at the start of the 2007/08 season but Gary Megson took over after ‘Mad Dog’ had left before the end of August. Megson’s reign was similarly short-lived, with Ian Holloway being named manager of the Foxes in November 2007. Amongst this chaos, the 32-year-old Newton was released by the club in January 2008, having made 19 appearances for the Foxes and scoring one goal. Leicester were relegated to League One four months later.

A spell on trial at Yeovil in the summer of 2008 failed to yield a contract and Newton’s professional football career was over. Newton was found guilty of nine counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice through a fines scam in 2008 and was found guilty of burglary in July 2017, committed when he was “drunk and under the influence of cocaine”. Now 43, he was sentenced to 100 hours’ community service having initially failed to appear in court and being posted in a “police gallery of most wanted suspects”. The judge and jury claimed they had “concerns over Newton’s mental health”.

Referee

The referee on Saturday will be Michael Oliver. Since West Ham United achieved promotion back to the top flight in 2012 Oliver has refereed 13 of our league matches, officiating in three wins for the Hammers, two draws and eight defeats. He most recently refereed the Irons in our 3-1 home win over Manchester United last month.

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Oliver was the man in the middle for the Irons’ 2-0 reverse at Chelsea four seasons ago and also sent off Kevin Nolan at Anfield five seasons ago. His only Hammers appointments in 2015/16 were for the 2-1 home victory over Southampton in December and the 4-1 home defeat to Swansea in May. His only games in charge of the Irons in 2016/17 were our 5-0 home defeat to Manchester City in the FA Cup third round and the 2-2 home draw with West Brom in February. He refereed our 1-1 home draw with Stoke in April and, prior to that, our 4-0 defeat at Everton last December and 3-2 home defeat to Tottenham in September 2017, sending off Spurs’ Serge Aurier but failing to award the Hammers a penalty in the dying minutes for a push on Andy Carroll.

Possible line-ups

Leicester City should have Demarai Gray and Jamie Vardy available but Wes Morgan is suspended and Matty James is missing through injury.

For West Ham United, Winston Reid, Carlos Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Pedro Obiang, Manuel Lanzini, Andriy Yarmolenko and Andy Carroll are definitely out.

Looking ahead to our match against Burnley, Robert Snodgrass is one yellow card away from a one-match suspension. A change to the rules for this season means that the totting up of yellow cards apply only to the competition in which they are received so Snodgrass would be available for the League Cup tie against Tottenham if he was to be booked against Leicester. The rules regarding red cards remain unchanged and affect all domestic competitions.

Possible Leicester City XI: Schmeichel; Pereira, Maguire, Evans, Chilwell; Mendy, Ndidi; Ghezzal, Iheanacho, Maddison; Vardy.

Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Zabaleta, Balbuena, Diop, Cresswell; Rice, Noble, Snodgrass; Diangana, Anderson; Arnautovic.

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!


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