Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Southampton v West Ham

Blast from the past

20th December 1952 – actress Jenny Agutter was born on this day, Al Martino was number one with ‘Here In My Heart’, John Wayne was in UK cinemas in Big Jim McLain and, five days later on Christmas Day, the Queen made her first Christmas speech to the Commonwealth. West Ham United, meanwhile, were defeating Southampton 2-1 in front of 12,284 at The Dell.

The Hammers came up against a side containing future Chelsea and England right-back Peter Sillett, while fellow full-back Bill Ellerington had already been capped by the Three Lions. Meanwhile, Southampton legend Ted Bates made his final appearance for the club – he played centre-forward for the Saints from 1937 to 1952, managed them for a club-record 18 years from 1955 to 1973 and was assistant manager to Lawrie McMenemy when Southampton won the FA Cup in 1976. He later joined the Saints’ board where he would serve as a director for another 20 years before being appointed the club’s President. He received the freedom of the city of Southampton in 1998 and was honoured with an MBE in the 2001 New Year Honours for services to the club. Bates died at the age of 85 in November 2003.

The Hammers won this fixture 2-1 in 2018/19 and travel to St Mary’s this weekend looking for a second successive victory away to Southampton; they last won consecutive away league games against the Saints in this featured match in December 1952, which followed another 2-1 win in December 1951. West Ham’s goals in this victory almost exactly 67 years ago, in December 1952, came courtesy of 25-year-old Irish centre-forward Fred Kearns (pictured) and 33-year-old East Ham-born outside-right Terry Woodgate. Kearns would finish as the Hammers’ top scorer in 1952/53 with 12 goals in 23 matches. Southampton’s goal was scored by outside-left John Hoskins.

Likeable Irishman Kearns had signed for the Hammers from Shamrock Rovers as a full-back but found brief fame and international recognition (he won one cap in 1954 against Luxembourg) when switched to centre-forward. He had made his Hammers debut on 8th October 1949 in a 1-1 home draw with Chesterfield and scored 16 goals in 48 appearances in the claret and blue, making his final appearance in a 2-1 home win over Doncaster on 20th March 1954 before transferring to Norwich in the summer of that year. He went on to play for Tonbridge, Margate and Deal Town, and was assistant manager of Ramsgate in 1980. Fred Kearns died in Margate, aged 59, on 7th January 1987.

West Ham United would finish the 1952/53 Second Division season in 14th position, while Southampton would end up in 21st and relegated in a campaign which saw Sheffield United top Division Two. Arsenal won the title and Blackpool won the FA Cup.

Southampton: John Christie, Peter Sillett, Bill Ellerington, Henry Horton, Bryn Elliott, Alex Simpson, Eric Day, Frank Dudley, Ted Bates, Tom McGarrity, John Hoskins.

West Ham United: Ernie Gregory, George Wright, Harry Kinsell, Derek Parker, Malcolm Allison, Frank O’Farrell, Terry Woodgate, John Gregory, Fred Kearns, Albert Foan, Ken Tucker.

Club Connections

Michail Antonio travels to the home of 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, Bill Adams, Ian Pearce, Darren Powell, Albie Roles, Jose Fonte, Horace Glover, Calum Davenport.

Midfielders: Jimmy Carr, Bobby Weale, Luis Boa Morte, 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, Harry Redknapp played for West Ham and managed both clubs. Alan Pardew also managed both clubs, while George Kay played for the Hammers and managed the Saints.

Today’s focus though falls on a Scotland international midfielder who had a spell with Southampton before later playing for West Ham. Nigel Quashie was born on the 20th July 1978 in Southwark and started his professional career at QPR in 1995, with whom he was relegated in 1996. He joined Nottingham Forest in 1998 for a fee of £2.5m and suffered another relegation in 1999 before signing for Portsmouth in 2000, winning promotion to the Premier League in 2003. He won the first of his 14 caps for Scotland in 2004, with his final international appearance coming in 2006. Quashie had previously played for England Under-21 and England ‘B’ but qualified to play for Scotland through his grandfather.

Quashie joined Harry Redknapp’s Southampton in January 2005 for a fee of £2.1m and made his debut in a 2-2 home draw with Everton on 6th February 2005. His first goal for the club was the winner in a 1-0 victory over Tottenham at St Mary’s on 5th March 2005 but he could not save the club from relegation to the Championship at the end of the 2004/05 campaign. Quashie scored in successive league games in August 2005, in a 1-0 win over Norwich and a 2-0 triumph over Crewe, both at St Mary’s. He bagged a brace in a 4-3 home defeat to Leeds on 19th November 2005, while his final goal for the club came under new manager George Burley in a 4-3 home win over MK Dons in the FA Cup third round on 7th January 2006. Quashie’s last game for the Saints was a 2-0 home defeat to Ipswich on 21st January 2006. After scoring six goals in 38 appearances for Southampton, he returned to the Premier League with West Brom in late January 2006. Quashie suffered a fourth career relegation with the Baggies at the end of the 2005/06 campaign.

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After a year in the West Midlands, Quashie returned to the Premier League to sign for Alan Curbishley’s West Ham United in January 2007 for an initial fee of £1.5m, rising to £1.75m after the Hammers successfully avoided relegation at the end of the 2006/07 season. He made his debut in a 3-3 draw with Fulham at the Boleyn Ground on 13th January 2007. Quashie made eight appearances for the Irons, without scoring, and never experienced victory in a claret and blue shirt, drawing two and losing six of his games for the club. His final game for West Ham was the 4-3 home defeat to Tottenham on 4th March 2007. The Hammers went on to win seven of the nine remaining matches in 2006/07 without Quashie to complete the Great Escape.

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A persistent foot injury meant that Quashie did not play a single competitive match during 2007/08, while the signings of Scott Parker and Valon Behrami, coupled with the emergence of Jack Collison, made a first team return difficult to achieve. He spent three months on loan at Championship side Birmingham in 2008/09 before spending the second half of that campaign on loan at Wolves, also in the second tier. Quashie dropped down to League One in a loan spell with MK Dons which lasted from November 2009 to January 2010. He was released by West Ham in January 2010 and rejoined his first club, QPR, in the Championship but was released at the end of the 2009/10 season. He signed for Icelandic club IR in April 2012 and even became player-manager at the end of that season. Quashie ended his professional career after a spell at BI/Bolungarvik, also in Iceland, between 2013 and 2015. Now 41, Quashie runs a youth football facility in Halesowen.

Referee

The referee on Saturday will be Martin Atkinson. 2019/20 is Atkinson’s 15th as a Premier League referee. Since West Ham United achieved promotion back to the top flight in 2012 Atkinson has refereed 23 of our league matches, officiating in ten wins for the Hammers, three draws and ten defeats.

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His Hammers appointments last season were our 3-1 win at Everton in September 2018 and, most recently, our 1-0 home defeat to Tottenham in October last year.

Possible line-ups

Southampton winger Sofiane Boufal is likely to miss out, while Yan Valery has a viral infection. Stuart Armstrong should be available. Summer signing Che Adams is looking for his first Saints goal. Southampton’s Danny Ings has ended on the winning side in just nine of the 28 Premier League games he’s scored in (32%), the lowest win ratio of any player to have scored in at least 20 matches in the competition.

West Ham United travel to Southampton having won just one of their last ten league matches and should have Aaron Cresswell and Andriy Yarmolenko available. Lukasz Fabianski and Manuel Lanzini are out, while Winston Reid and Jack Wilshere are not yet ready for a first team return. Ryan Fredericks and Cresswell are both one yellow card away from one-match bans. West Ham have lost just one of their seven Premier League games with Lukasz Fabianski starting in goal this season (winning three and drawing three), and have lost seven of nine when he hasn’t started (winning one and drawing one).

Possible Southampton XI: McCarthy; Soares, Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand; Djenepo, Ward-Prowse, Hojbjerg, Redmond; Adams, Ings.

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

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!

Follow @dan_coker on twitter.


Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v Arsenal

Blast from the past

27th September 1924 – Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald led a minority Labour government and, the following day, US Army pilots John Harding and Erik Nelson completed the first aerial circumnavigation, which took them 175 days and 74 stops before their return to Seattle.

Meanwhile, 35,000 at the Boleyn Ground saw the Hammers defeat Arsenal 1-0 courtesy of a goal from a former Gunner, 27-year-old inside-right Stan Earle. Born in Stratford on the 6th September 1897, Earle played for England Schoolboys before signing as an amateur with Clapton. He played there with future Hammers team-mate Viv Gibbins but also turned out for Arsenal, still as an amateur, between 1922 and 1924. He played four games for Arsenal in two years, scoring three goals. Despite such limited playing time with his club, Earle had made his international debut for England against France on 17th May 1924. He continued to play for Clapton, winning the 1924 FA Amateur Cup.

Three months after his England debut, and the month before this featured match, Earle (pictured) signed for West Ham United and scored six goals in 18 games in his first season – this was his second goal for the Irons, and his first at Upton Park. He played in 37 of the 42 league games the following season, 1925/26, as the Hammers developed a fine forward line of Earle, Vic Watson and Jimmy Ruffell, the trio notching 41 goals between them that season. Earle impressed sufficiently to earn his second England cap on 22nd October 1927, against Northern Ireland. After eight seasons at the Boleyn Ground, Earle departed at the end of the 1931/32 campaign having scored 58 goals in 273 appearances in all competitions. He ended his career back at Clapton before coaching amateur club Walthamstow Avenue and managing Leyton FC. Earle died in Colchester on the 26th September 1971 at the age of 74.

Syd King’s Hammers finished in 13th place in the 1924/25 Division One season while Leslie Knighton’s Gunners ended up 20th, seven points and one place clear of relegation. Vic Watson would be top scorer with 23 goals in 47 appearances. Huddersfield won the league title and Sheffield United won the FA Cup.

West Ham United: Tommy Hampson, Billy Henderson, George Horler, George Carter, George Kay, Albert Cadwell, Tommy Yews, Stan Earle, Vic Watson, Billy Moore, Jimmy Ruffell.

Arsenal: Jock Robson, Alf Baker, Andy Kennedy, Bob John, Jack Butler, Billy Milne, John Clark, James Ramsay, Harry Woods, Andy Neil, Billy Blyth.

Club Connections

A large group of players have turned out for West Ham United and Arsenal. Lukasz Fabianski and Jack Wilshere welcome their former club. Other players to have represented both clubs include:

Goalkeepers: Charles Ambler, Richard Wright, Manuel Almunia, Jim Standen.

Defenders: James Jackson, Matthew Upson, Nigel Winterburn, Carl Jenkinson, Steve Walford, Bob Stevenson.

Midfielders: Samir Nasri, Stewart Robson, Liam Brady, Yossi Benayoun, Archie Macauley, David Bentley, James Bigden, Roddy McEachrane, Alex Song, Henri Lansbury, Luis Boa Morte, Fred Kemp.

Strikers: Harry Lewis, Bobby Gould, Jeremie Aliadiere, Dick Burgess, John Blackwood, Fergie Hunt, Dr Jimmy Marshall, Kaba Diawara, Jimmy Bloomfield, Charlie Satterthwaite, Marouane Chamakh, Billy Linward, Lee Chapman, Tommy Lee, Ian Wright, Peter Kyle, John Hartson, Lucas Perez, Stan Earle, John Radford, Davor Suker.

Ron Greenwood was also assistant manager at Arsenal before becoming manager of West Ham.

Today’s focus though falls on the man who will be in the opposition dugout this evening. Freddie Ljungberg was born on 16th April 1977 in Vittsjo, Sweden. The Ljungbergs moved to Halmstad when Freddie was five; he would later attend Sannarpsgymnasiet, the same school fellow former Hammer Niclas Alexandersson attended. Ljungberg began his career with local club Halmstads in 1994 at the age of 17, winning the Swedish Cup in 1995 and the Swedish league title in 1997.

The 21-year-old Ljungberg moved to Arsenal in 1998 for £3m – he scored on his debut for the club, a 3-0 win over Manchester United at Highbury on 20th September 1998. Ljungberg’s best season in north London was arguably the Double-winning campaign of 2001/02 when he scored 17 goals in 39 matches – his six goals in five games in April 2002 (including one in a 2-0 win over West Ham at Highbury, pictured below) helped maintain Arsenal’s winning league run which stretched from February until the end of the season.

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Ljungberg scored a hat-trick in a 4-0 final-day win at Sunderland in May 2003 and won the 2003 FA Cup a week later. He was a key member of the Invincibles side which won the Premier League in 2004, contributing ten goals in 43 matches in 2003/04 as the Gunners won the title without losing a single league match. He bettered that tally in 2004/05, scoring 14 goals in 38 games and again ended the season with silverware, winning the FA Cup for a third time. He reached the Champions League Final with Arsenal in 2006, although they would be defeated by Barcelona. His final season with Arsenal was the first campaign at the Emirates – his last goal for the club was his only strike in the 2006/07 campaign and came in a 3-1 FA Cup fourth round replay win at Bolton on Valentine’s Day 2007. His last game for Arsenal was a 2-2 North London derby draw with Tottenham at White Hart Lane on 21st April 2007. Ljungberg had scored 72 goals in 325 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners before moving across London to West Ham United.

Alan Curbishley signed the 30-year-old Ljungberg on a four-year deal for a fee approaching £3m, although then-chairman Eggert Magnusson negotiated the fee and Ljungberg’s contract. Ljungberg made 28 appearances for the Hammers, making his debut as captain in a 2-0 home defeat to Manchester City on 11th August 2007. He scored his first goal for the club on 9th February 2008 in a 1-1 home draw with Birmingham, with his second and final goal for the Hammers coming in a 2-1 defeat at Sunderland on 29th March 2008. His final game was a 2-2 home draw with Newcastle on 26th April 2008, a game which saw him break his ribs when Magpies defender Steven Taylor landed on him accidentally.

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Ljungberg won 75 caps for Sweden, scoring 14 goals. He was a member of the Swedish squad at Euro 2004 and Euro 2008, as well as at two World Cups in 2002 and 2006. After Euro 2008, Ljungberg agreed to terminate his West Ham contract just a year into his four-year deal for a sum of £6m. Ljungberg stated, "I gave my all at West Ham and enjoyed my time there but the decision is the best for the both of us. Now, I will take my time to consider my football future”. His two goals for the Irons can be seen in my video below.

Ljungberg signed for Seattle Sounders in 2009 and joined Chicago Fire a year later. He signed for Celtic in 2011 before moving to Japan later that year to join Shimizu S-Pulse. He announced his retirement from football in August 2012 but announced a comeback in July 2014, signing for Mumbai City to promote the launch of the Indian Super League. He played just four matches before moving back to London where he became coach of Arsenal’s Under-15s in July 2016. He was named assistant manager of Wolfsburg’s first team in February 2017 but left the club six months later. Now 42, Ljungberg is back at Arsenal as the club’s caretaker manager. He had been the club’s Under-23 coach since June 2018 before being promoted to the first-team set-up earlier this year.

Referee

Monday’s referee will be Mike Dean; 2019/20 is Dean’s 20th as a Premier League referee. Since West Ham United achieved promotion back to the top flight in 2012 Dean has refereed 25 of our league matches, officiating in ten wins for the Hammers, eight draws and seven defeats.

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Dean refereed our final match at the Boleyn when we famously triumphed 3-2 over Manchester United. His decision to send off Sofiane Feghouli just 15 minutes into our 2-0 defeat to the Red Devils in January 2017 was later rescinded. Dean’s two Hammers appointments this season were the 5-0 opening day home defeat to Manchester City and, most recently, our 0-0 draw at Aston Villa in September when he sent off Arthur Masuaku.

Possible line-ups

West Ham United will be without the injured Lukasz Fabianski and Manuel Lanzini but Winston Reid and Jack Wilshere are back in full training and Michail Antonio could return. Robert Snodgrass hobbled out of the 2-0 defeat at Wolves five days ago. Ryan Fredericks is one yellow card away from a one-match suspension. West Ham have only beaten Arsenal twice in 17 home matches in all competitions since 1999. No side has beaten West Ham more in the Premier League than Arsenal, who have done so on 29 occasions. West Ham are one defeat short of becoming the first club to lose 100 Premier League London derbies.

Arsenal will be without Dani Ceballos, while Rob Holding is a doubt. Arsenal have equalled their lowest points tally (19 points) after 15 matches of a Premier League season (first set in 1994/95). The Gunners travel to Standard Liege on Thursday for their final Europa League group match.

Possible West Ham United XI: Martin; Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Fornals, Rice, Noble, Anderson; Antonio, Haller.

Possible Arsenal XI: Leno; Bellerin, Sokratis, David Luiz, Kolasinac; Xhaka, Torreira; Aubameyang, Willock, Ozil; Lacazette.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!


Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Wolves v West Ham

Blast from the past

Saturday 15th August 2009 – the opening day of the 2009/10 Premier League season, Black Eyed Peas were number one with ‘I Gotta Feeling’, and Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler topped the UK box office in The Ugly Truth. West Ham United recorded an opening-day 2-0 victory over tonight’s opponents Wolverhampton Wanderers in front of 28,674 at Molineux.

Future Hammer Matt Jarvis lined up for Wolves, while Carlton Cole returned to his former club. West Ham gave a debut to Luis Jimenez, who went on to make 12 appearances for the club, scoring once. Sylvan Ebanks-Blake had an early opening in the game for the newly-promoted hosts but headed tamely over. His side were punished in the 22nd minute when Cole, out on the left, played a pass to the unmarked Mark Noble in a central position just outside the box, and the 22-year-old curled a beautiful right-foot shot past ‘keeper Wayne Hennessey (Nobes is pictured below, celebrating his goal with James Collins). The Hammers almost doubled their advantage before half-time when Cole sprang the offside trap and was only denied by a good Hennessey block, with Jody Craddock clearing a goal-bound follow-up effort from Kieron Dyer off the line.

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West Ham’s England goalkeeper Robert Green had to be alert to tip over a looping effort from Wolves’ Serbian debutant Nenad Milijas which had taken a tricky deflection off Julien Faubert, before Kevin Foley cleared a Jack Collison effort off the line at the other end as the game continued at a relentless pace. The Irons finally put the game beyond Wolves’ grasp with 21 minutes remaining when captain Matthew Upson converted a simple header from a Noble corner. Frank Nouble made his Hammers debut as a last-minute substitute – he would go on to make 19 appearances in claret and blue, scoring once. The action from this match can be viewed on the WHTID social media pages.

By the end of the 2009/10 season, Chelsea had won a Premier League and FA Cup Double. Gianfranco Zola’s West Ham United claimed 17th place in the top flight, while Mick McCarthy’s Wolves finished 15th. Scott Parker was voted Hammer of the Year, with Alessandro Diamanti runner-up. Cole was the Irons’ top goalscorer that season with ten goals from 32 matches.

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Wayne Hennessey, Kevin Foley (Sam Vokes), Jody Craddock, Michael Mancienne (Richard Stearman), Stephen Ward, Greg Halford, Karl Henry, Nenad Milijas (David Edwards), Matt Jarvis, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, Andy Keogh.

West Ham United: Robert Green, Julien Faubert, James Collins, Matthew Upson, Herita Ilunga (Jonathan Spector), Jack Collison, Mark Noble, Scott Parker, Kieron Dyer (Junior Stanislas), Carlton Cole (Frank Nouble), Luis Jimenez.

Club Connections

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

Goalkeepers: Noel Dwyer, Jack Weare.

Defenders: Joe Gallagher, George Eccles, Jack Dowen, Gary Breen, Tommy Dunn.

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

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

Today’s focus though is on a player who turned out for West Ham while on loan from Wolves. Roger Johnson was born on 28th April 1983 in Ashford, Surrey; a Chelsea season-ticket holder as a boy, he started his career with Wycombe before signing for Cardiff in the summer of 2006 for £275,000. The 6’3 centre-half was voted the club’s Player of the Year in two successive campaigns and was named in the Championship Team of the Year in 2008/09. Having scored 14 goals in 136 appearances for Cardiff, Johnson moved to Premier League Birmingham in the summer of 2009 for a fee of £5m and won the League Cup with the Blues in 2011 having knocked out West Ham in the Semi-Finals.

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Birmingham were relegated at the end of the 2010/11 season but the 28-year-old Johnson remained in the top flight, signing for Mick McCarthy’s Wolves in a deal worth just over £4m; he made his debut in a 2-1 win at Blackburn on 13th August 2011. Despite being club captain, Johnson had disciplinary issues at Molineux and the club were relegated in 2012 with Johnson subsequently placed on the transfer list and stripped of the captaincy. Stale Solbakken took over as manager and Johnson scored his first goal for the club in a 3-3 home draw with Brighton in the Championship on 10th November 2012; he netted his second and final goal for the club in a 1-1 home draw with Blackburn on 11th January 2013. Wolves suffered a second successive relegation though and new manager Kenny Jackett did not even issue Johnson with a squad number for the 2013/14 League One campaign. He joined Sheffield Wednesday on a three-month loan in September 2013 before moving to the Hammers in another temporary switch.

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With Sam Allardyce’s West Ham United 19th in the Premier League and having just been beaten 5-0 at Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup third round, the 30-year-old Johnson was brought in on loan until the end of the 2013/14 season. The Hammers were without fellow centre-halves James Tomkins, James Collins and Winston Reid at the time, while Everton’s Johnny Heitinga had rejected a move to Upton Park despite the two clubs agreeing terms. Johnson made his debut in a 6-0 League Cup Semi-Final first leg defeat at Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City on 8th January 2014, two days after joining the club; he also later played in the 3-0 home defeat in the second leg as the Irons were trounced 9-0 on aggregate. Johnson’s league debut came in a 2-0 win at former club Cardiff on 11th January 2014 and he made his home debut in a 3-1 loss to Newcastle the following week. After two months out of the side, Johnson returned to make two substitute appearances in 2-1 wins against Hull at home and away to Sunderland, both in late March. Nicknamed ‘The Relegator’ by skipper Mark Noble for his role in demotions at both Birmingham and Wolves, Johnson made six appearances in total for West Ham United before returning to Wolves at the end of the 2013/14 season.

Johnson’s contract at Molineux was eventually terminated by mutual consent in February 2015 – his final game for the club had been a 2-0 defeat at Brighton nearly two years earlier, on 4th May 2013 – and he joined Charlton soon after. He had made 72 appearances for Wolves, scoring twice. He moved to Indian Super League side FC Pune City in the summer of 2015 but rejoined Charlton in January 2016. Now 36, Johnson was most recently at National League side Bromley having joined the club in October 2017, five months after his second release from Charlton. He returned to Wembley for the FA Trophy Final against Brackley in the 2017/18 season, scoring a 95th-minute own goal and eventually being on the losing side in a penalty shoot-out. Johnson left the club in May this year.

Referee

The referee on Wednesday will be Andre Marriner; the 48-year-old failed to send off Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero for an elbow on Winston Reid in August 2016, with the Hammers trailing 2-1 with 14 minutes remaining. The Argentine was retrospectively charged with violent conduct and suspended for three matches, a decision which did nothing to benefit West Ham. Marriner did, however, show leniency that day towards the visitors by failing to issue Arthur Masuaku with a second yellow card on more than one occasion.

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Since we achieved promotion back to the top flight in 2012 the Birmingham-based official has been far from a good omen for West Ham – he has refereed 17 of our league matches, officiating in only three wins for the Hammers, five draws and nine defeats. His most recent match officiating the Irons was also his only game that he took charge of involving the club last season; our 4-0 home defeat to Manchester City.

Possible line-ups

Wolverhampton Wanderers defender Willy Boly is out injured, as is midfielder Morgan Gibbs-White. Centre-back Ryan Bennett is a doubt but Romain Saiss is available after suspension. Wolves are unbeaten in nine league games – the last time they went ten top-flight matches without defeat was in January 1972.

Manuel Pellegrini is without Lukasz Fabianski, Winston Reid, Jack Wilshere and Manuel Lanzini but Issa Diop returns from a ban. Michail Antonio faces a fitness test. West Ham have won just one of their last seven away league games against Wolves, drawing two and losing four. Sebastien Haller scored three goals in his first three league games this term but has scored only once in his subsequent ten appearances.

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

Possible West Ham United XI: Martin; Fredericks, Balbuena, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Snodgrass, Rice, Noble, Fornals; Anderson, Antonio.

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!


Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Chelsea v West Ham

Blast from the past

Stamford Bridge, 28th September 2002 – West Ham United’s last victory at the home of Chelsea. Atomic Kitten were number one with ‘The Tide Is High’ and Mel Gibson topped the UK box office in Signs as the Hammers arrived in west London rooted to the bottom of the Premier League having picked up just two points from their opening six league games. The Blues, meanwhile, went into the match unbeaten from their first seven league games of the season. The Irons had recorded one draw and three defeats from their previous four games – the exact same record the current side visit Stamford Bridge with from their last four matches.

The beleaguered Hammers were dealt a blow after just four minutes when striker Frederic Kanoute suffered a groin injury and had to be replaced by Jermain Defoe – Kanoute would not play again until Boxing Day, his absence playing a big part in the Hammers’ struggles in 2002/03. Despite this setback, the Hammers impressed in the opening 20 minutes in front of 38,929 before an irresponsible and unnecessary scissor challenge by Tomas Repka saw Claudio Ranieri’s Chelsea win a free-kick wide on the left and the Czech defender go into the book. Bolo Zenden’s delivery seemed innocuous enough until referee Mike Dean adjudged former Blues left-back Scott Minto to have held back Robert Huth and a penalty was awarded. Chelsea skipper Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink made no mistake, sending David James the wrong way from the spot with 21 minutes played.

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Glenn Roeder’s Hammers equalised five minutes before half-time. Paolo Di Canio’s corner was knocked on by Trevor Sinclair into the path of Steve Lomas, the Ulsterman’s shot was parried by Carlo Cudicini but Defoe reacted quickest to turn the ball into the net.

The second half saw Di Canio take centre stage – three minutes into the second half, the Italian picked the ball up wide on the right from Sebastian Schemmel’s throw-in, cut inside, flicked the ball up with his right foot before hammering an unstoppable left-foot volley beyond the despairing dive of his countryman Cudicini. Chelsea’s equaliser arrived on 74 minutes, future Hammers manager Gianfranco Zola coming off the bench to curl a trademark free-kick into the corner of James’ goal after, this time, a clear foul by Minto.

It was Di Canio who had the last word though, with six minutes remaining – James’ long free-kick was poorly defended by the Blues backline and the ball broke for Di Canio at a tight angle to the left of Cudicini’s goal, the Hammers captain finding the tiniest of gaps at the near post to restore the Irons’ lead and claim West Ham’s first win of the season. My video below contains all the goals from this London derby, as well as interviews with manager Roeder and midfielder Lomas.

The Hammers, of course, went on to be relegated in 18th place that season while Chelsea ended up in fourth. Joe Cole was voted Hammer of the Year, with Defoe runner-up. Defoe was also the Irons’ top scorer that season with 11 goals in 42 appearances. Manchester United won the league and Arsenal won the FA Cup.

Chelsea: Carlo Cudicini, Mario Melchiot, Robert Huth, William Gallas, Bolo Zenden (Gianfranco Zola), Jesper Gronkjaer, Jody Morris, Frank Lampard, Mario Stanic, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Eidur Gudjohnsen.

West Ham United: David James, Sebastian Schemmel, Tomas Repka, Gary Breen, Scott Minto, Trevor Sinclair, Steve Lomas, Michael Carrick, Joe Cole, Frederic Kanoute (Jermain Defoe), Paolo Di Canio (Edouard Cisse).

Club Connections

A decent number of players have represented both West Ham United and Chelsea. Ex-Hammer Frank Lampard Junior is currently in the manager’s hotseat at Stamford Bridge while Victor Moses spent the 2015/16 season on loan with the Hammers and is still a Chelsea player, albeit currently on loan at Fenerbahce in Turkey. Others to have worn the colours of both clubs include:

Goalkeepers: Craig Forrest and Harry Medhurst.

Defenders: Tal Ben Haim, Scott Minto, Wayne Bridge, Ian Pearce, Joe Kirkup, Glen Johnson and Jon Harley.

Midfielders: Bill Jackson, Andy Malcolm, Joe Cole, Syd Bishop, Peter Brabrook, Alan Dickens, George Horn, Eric Parsons, Robert Bush, Scott Parker, Yossi Benayoun, Jim Frost and John Sissons.

Strikers: David Speedie, Len Goulden, Billy Bridgeman, Demba Ba, Clive Allen, George Hilsdon, Carlton Cole, Billy Brown, Jimmy Greaves, Pop Robson, Billy Williams, Ron Tindall and Bob Deacon.

Bobby Gould played for West Ham and went on to be assistant and caretaker manager of Chelsea. Ron Greenwood and Gianfranco Zola played for Chelsea and managed West Ham, while Sir Geoff Hurst and Dave Sexton both played for the Hammers and managed the Blues. Avram Grant has managed both clubs.

Today’s focus though is on a player who moved to Upton Park from Stamford Bridge and whose name is indelibly imprinted in English football’s record books. Joe Payne was born in Brimington Common, near Chesterfield, on 17th January 1914 and worked as a Derbyshire coalminer as a teenager. He was spotted playing as a centre-forward for Bolsover Colliery and was signed by Luton in 1934. He played mostly for their reserve team as a half-back and also spent time on loan at Biggleswade Town.

Payne only played six games for Luton between December 1934 and April 1936, all in midfield. However, an injury crisis saw him moved into the centre-forward position for the visit of Bristol Rovers to Kenilworth Road in the old Third Division South on 13th April 1936 – Payne scored ten goals in the match, which remains a Football League record, in a 12-0 win. He received a £2 win bonus in addition to his £4 weekly wage. His move to centre-forward was unsurprisingly made permanent for the following season, his 55 goals in 39 games were largely instrumental in Luton winning the Third Division South title in 1936/37. At the end of that season, in May 1937, Payne won his solitary cap for England, scoring twice in an 8-0 win over Finland in Helsinki.

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The 24-year-old Payne joined Leslie Knighton’s First Division Chelsea in March 1938 for a large fee, reportedly around £5,000. He made his debut for the Blues in a 0-0 draw with Bolton at Stamford Bridge on 12th March 1938 (he is pictured above in this game) and scored his first goal for the club in a 2-0 home win over Everton two weeks later. Two more goals followed before the end of the season as Chelsea finished tenth. The Blues’ form dipped in 1938/39 as they dropped to 20th, avoiding relegation by one place and one point, although Payne did score 19 goals in 32 appearances – his final goal for the club came in a 1-1 draw with Bolton on 6th May 1939 and was his sixth goal in six games at the end of that season. The Second World War interrupted Payne’s career and, in September 1941, he was hospitalised with acute pneumonia. He was a Football League (South) Cup finalist at Wembley with Chelsea in 1944 and returned to win the competition the following year, in 1945. Payne did return to Chelsea after the war to play in five FA Cup ties in 1946, with his last appearance for the club coming in a 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa on 12th February 1946. He had scored 22 goals in 47 appearances for Chelsea.

Payne signed for Second Division West Ham United in December 1946 at the age of 32, but had his brief spell at the Boleyn beset with injury problems. He scored five goals in his first five matches as a Hammer – the first on his debut in a 4-2 win at Southampton on 7th December 1946. The other goals in this run came in a 2-1 win at Barnsley two weeks later; a 2-1 home win over former club Luton on Christmas Day; another in a 2-1 defeat in the reverse fixture at his old stomping ground, Kenilworth Road, on Boxing Day; and another in a 4-1 home win over Plymouth two days later. Payne’s final goal for the club came in a 5-0 win over hometown club Chesterfield at Upton Park on 18th January 1947; his last match for the Irons was in a 1-1 home draw with Bradford Park Avenue on 1st February 1947. Payne had scored six goals in 11 appearances for West Ham – he later ended his league days at Millwall but retired without making a first-team outing at The Den after suffering persistent ankle injuries, although he made a comeback with Southern League Worcester City in 1952.

Payne was also a good cricketer, playing for Bedfordshire in 1937, and an accomplished snooker player. He died in Luton on 22nd April 1975, aged 61. On 13th April 2006, to mark the 70th anniversary of his ten-goal record, a plaque was unveiled by Geoff Thompson, then chairman of the Football Association, on the wall of the Miner’s Arms public house in Manor Road, Brimington Common – the site is adjacent to the now-demolished house where he used to live, and overlooks a park where he played football. The unveiling was attended by two of Payne’s nephews. A lounge at Kenilworth Road is named in honour of Payne.

Referee

The referee on Saturday will be Jonathan Moss. The Yorkshire-based official has sent off a player in six of his last 14 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.

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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 48-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, most recently, our 4-3 home win over Huddersfield in March.

Possible line-ups

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is without Antonio Rudiger, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Marco van Ginkel while Ross Barkley, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Tammy Abraham are doubts. Chelsea have lost three home Premier League London derbies over the past four seasons, as many as they had in the previous 11 campaigns. However, the Blues are unbeaten in 13 league meetings with the Hammers at Stamford Bridge since the featured 3-2 loss in September 2002, winning nine and drawing four.

West Ham are winless in four league away matches, losing two, since a 3-1 victory at Watford on 24th August. Manuel Pellegrini is without the suspended Issa Diop, as well as Lukasz Fabianski, Winston Reid, Jack Wilshere and Manuel Lanzini. The Hammers go into the game with one draw and three defeats from their last four – the exact same record as when they last claimed victory at Stamford Bridge.

Possible Chelsea XI: Kepa; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Tomori, Emerson; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic; Willian, Abraham, Pulisic.

Possible West Ham United XI: Roberto; Fredericks, Rice, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Sanchez; Antonio, Noble, Snodgrass, Anderson; Haller.

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!


Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v Tottenham

Blast from the past

Today’s focus sees us travel back over 55 years, to the 8th February 1964 – The Searchers were number one with ‘Needles and Pins’, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb was in UK cinemas and, two days earlier, the British and French governments had agreed a deal for the construction of a Channel Tunnel, with the twin-tunneled rail link expected to take five years to build. West Ham United, meanwhile, secured a 4-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in front of 36,838 at Upton Park.

Future Hammer Jimmy Greaves lined up for the visitors but a stylish attacking display saw the Irons two up at half-time with goals from Geoff Hurst and John Sissons. The hosts, who were on top throughout, added two more in the second half through Ronnie Boyce and Johnny Byrne to complete a convincing 4-0 win over their London rivals. ‘Budgie’ (pictured below) would be the Irons’ top scorer that season, with 33 goals in 45 games; he would also be voted Hammer of the Year, with Bobby Moore runner-up.

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Ron Greenwood’s Hammers would end the 1963/64 First Division season in 14th position, while Tottenham would finish fourth. Liverpool won the First Division title and the Hammers won the FA Cup.

West Ham United: Jim Standen, John Bond, Ken Brown, Bobby Moore, Jack Burkett, Peter Brabrook, Eddie Bovington, Ronnie Boyce, John Sissons, Johnny Byrne, Geoff Hurst.

Tottenham Hotspur: John Hollowbread, Peter Baker, Maurice Norman, Phil Beal, Mel Hopkins, Cliff Jones, Tony Marchi, John White, Terry Dyson, Bobby Smith, Jimmy Greaves.

Club Connections

Current Hammer Ryan Fredericks started his career at Spurs. A large group of players join him in having turned out for Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United. Divided here by position, they include:

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

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

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

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

Jack Tresadern played for West Ham and managed Tottenham, while 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.

Today’s focus is on a former Thames Ironworks centre-forward who joined the Irons from Tottenham Hotspur. Bill Joyce was born in Prestonpans, a small fishing town east of Edinburgh, on 8th April 1877. He started his career at Greenock Morton in his native Scotland before moving to Bolton in the summer of 1894. He sustained a broken leg in 1896 which kept him out of the game for the best part of a year, and moved to Tottenham in May 1897.

Joyce scored on his debut for Spurs, at Sheppey United on 4th September 1897. He continued to find the net regularly, scoring 93 goals in 118 appearances in all competitions including four hat-tricks, three four-goal hauls and one occasion which saw him score five goals in one match. A centre-forward typical of the Victorian era, Joyce stood at 5’5 and weighed 11st2lbs – he “may have been a footballer with few fancy frills” but his “single-minded objective was to bury the ball in the net”.

Joyce (pictured) signed for Thames Ironworks in their final season before reforming as West Ham United. Francis Payne, the club secretary, had been given the task of finding players for the club’s first season in the top division of the Southern League; according to one report Arnold Hills gave Payne £1,000 to find the best players available. With this money he brought Joyce, Tom Bradshaw and Ken McKay from Tottenham. Joyce made his Irons debut in a 1-0 Southern League defeat at Reading on 16th September 1899 and scored his first goals for the club on 23rd September 1899, bagging a hat-trick in a 6-0 home win over Royal Engineers in the preliminary round of the FA Cup. This started an impressive run of eight goals in five games, a further four of which also came in the FA Cup – one in a 4-0 win at Grays, two in a 4-2 home win over Sheppey and another in a 7-0 win at Dartford on 28th October as the Irons won through to the competition’s fourth qualifying round. His other goal in this run was a league strike, the only goal of the game at home against Bedminster. Joyce had to wait until the New Year for his next goal though, scoring in a 3-0 win at Sheppey on 20th January 1900. Tragedy had struck the club in the interim period though with the aforementioned Bradshaw, Joyce’s Irons team-mate and former Tottenham colleague, dying of consumption on Christmas Day 1899.

Joyce ended the season on another goalscoring spree, notching nine goals in his last six matches of the 1899/1900 campaign. He bagged a brace in a 4-2 home defeat to Portsmouth on 5th April 1900 and scored a hat-trick in a 4-1 home win over Southampton four days later. He was again the scourge of Sheppey, scoring once in a 4-2 home win over them on 17th April. Thames Ironworks finished in 14th place and would be required to play a Test Match against Fulham to maintain their senior divisional standing; ironically, the game would be played at White Hart Lane, Joyce’s former stomping ground. Joyce saved his most vital and celebrated strikes for this, his last game for the club, scoring a hat-trick in a 5-1 victory on 30th April 1900 to preserve the club’s Southern League First Division status. Just over a month later, the club was reformed as West Ham United.

After scoring 18 goals in 35 appearances, Joyce joined Portsmouth as a replacement for Sandy Brown, who had ironically joined Tottenham. He moved to Burton United a year later where he played for two seasons. He later returned to Morton and also played for Motherwell. His date of death is unknown.

Referee

The referee on Saturday will be Michael Oliver. He has refereed 20 of our matches, officiating in five wins for the Hammers, five draws and ten defeats. Oliver most recently refereed the Irons in our 2-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace last month, awarding the visitors a match-levelling penalty.

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Oliver is pictured above, officiating in our 3-2 home defeat to Tottenham in September 2017, when he sent off Spurs’ Serge Aurier. He also refereed our 1-1 draw at Leicester in October 2018, when he sent off Mark Noble. His only previous red card issued to a West Ham player came six seasons ago, when he sent off Kevin Nolan in our 4-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield in December 2013. Oliver also refereed our 3-1 home win over Manchester United last season.

Possible line-ups

West Ham United will be without Lukasz Fabianski and Manuel Lanzini but Jack Wilshere, Mark Noble and Michail Antonio are all available. The Hammers have won six of the last 24 Premier League games against Tottenham and have scored 53 Premier League goals against Spurs, more than against any other team. Roberto has conceded 12 goals in 507 Premier League minutes – a goal every 42 minutes.

Tottenham Hotspur are without goalkeepers Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm, as well as Erik Lamela. There is a doubt over Jan Vertonghen but Tanguy Ndombele should be available. There have been four red cards in the last six league encounters between these two sides in east London. Harry Kane has seven goals in his last eight league games against West Ham. Tottenham have conceded at least once in their last seven matches.

Possible West Ham United XI: Roberto; Zabaleta, Balbuena, Diop, Cresswell; Rice; Yarmolenko, Noble, Snodgrass, Anderson; Haller.

Possible Tottenham Hotspur XI: Gazzaniga; Sanchez, Foyth, Alderweireld; Aurier, Ndombele, Dier, Lo Celso, Rose; Son, Kane.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!


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