Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Wolves v West Ham

Blast from the past

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

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

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

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

Club Connections

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

Goalkeepers: Noel Dwyer, Jack Weare.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Possible line-ups

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

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

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

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

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!

Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Wimbledon v West Ham

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

Blast from the past

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

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

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

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

Club Connections

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

Goalkeeper: Ian Feuer, Steve Banks.

Defenders: Callum McNaughton, Nigel Winterburn, Jon Harley.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


The referee on Saturday will be Anthony Taylor – his most recent Irons appointment was for our 3-2 home win over Crystal Palace last month. He also refereed our 4-0 opening-day defeat at Liverpool. The Hammers were only allocated the 40-year-old once last season, for our 1-0 home win over Chelsea in December 2017. In 2016/17, Taylor took charge of our 2-0 defeat at Everton in October 2016 and our 2-1 opening-day defeat at Chelsea in August 2016, awarding the home side a penalty and later controversially failing to issue a second yellow card to Diego Costa for an awful lunge at Adrian – Costa remained on the pitch to score the 89th-minute winner. He also refereed our 1-0 defeat at Leicester on New Year’s Eve 2016 and our 1-0 win over Tottenham in May 2017. Taylor officiated the Irons on five occasions in 2015/16 as he took charge of our defeat at Tottenham, as well as our home win over Newcastle which came just three games after he had controversially sent off Adrian against Leicester. He was also the man in the middle for our FA Cup third round win over Wolves and our 3-2 win at Everton in March 2016.

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Indeed, controversy and incident are never far away when the Cheshire-based official is the referee for a West Ham United match. Taylor was in charge when the Hammers took on Liverpool at Upton Park in April 2014, awarding a controversial and ultimately match-winning penalty to the Reds. There was also controversy surrounding Guy Demel’s equaliser for West Ham in that game. Taylor is also the referee who had not one, but two red cards rescinded from the same game after he had sent off Carlton Cole and Darron Gibson in the Hammers’ 2-1 home defeat to Everton in December 2012. He sent off the home side’s Kevin Mirallas against the Hammers at Goodison Park in March 2016 and awarded the Toffees a penalty which Romelu Lukaku saw saved by Adrian.

Possible line-ups

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

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

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

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

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!

Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Bournemouth v West Ham

Blast from the past

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

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

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

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

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

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

Club Connections

A decent number of players have turned out for both West Ham United and Bournemouth. Ex-Bournemouth loanee Jack Wilshere is now at West Ham; Jermain Defoe (currently on loan at Rangers) and Hammers Academy product Junior Stanislas are currently on Bournemouth’s books while Carl Fletcher played for both clubs and is currently youth team manager with the Cherries. Ex-Bournemouth midfielder Paul Mitchell, who made one league appearance for the Hammers in 1994, is back with the Cherries as a correspondent for Opta Sports. Other players to have appeared for both clubs include:

Goalkeepers: David James, Stephen Henderson and Marek Stech.

Defenders: Everald La Ronde, Bill Kitchener, Rio Ferdinand, Phil Brignull, Reg Parker, Keith Miller, Keith Rowland, Elliott Ward, Bobby Howe and Horace Glover.

Midfielders: Trevor Hartley, Bobby Barnes, Tommy Southren, Jimmy Neighbour, Emmanuel Omoyinmi, Tony Scott, Anthony Edgar, Scott Mean, Matty Holmes, Dale Gordon, Jack Collison and Patsy Holland.

Strikers: Nicky Morgan, John Arnott, Mark Watson, Zavon Hines, Steve Jones and Ted MacDougall.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Possible line-ups

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

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

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

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

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!

Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v Arsenal

Blast from the past

8th April 1987 – Through the Keyhole had just made its TV debut, Ferry Aid were number one with ‘Let It Be’ (a single released following the Zeebrugge Disaster the previous month which killed 193 passengers and crew when a ferry capsized) and Little Shop of Horrors was in UK cinemas.

Meanwhile, 26,174 at the Boleyn Ground saw the Hammers beat newly-crowned League Cup winners Arsenal. 21-year-old striker Tony Cottee (pictured below) gave the Irons the lead on four minutes with his 100th goal for the club when he controlled Billy Bonds’ header across goal before firing past Gunners goalkeeper Rhys Wilmot from close range. George Parris conceded a penalty eight minutes later, bringing down David Rocastle – Hammers ‘keeper Tom McAlister, playing his first game in two years, saved Martin Hayes’ spot-kick but the referee ordered a retake for encroachment. Hayes converted at the second attempt to equalise for the visitors.

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Cottee restored the hosts’ lead 11 minutes into the second half with a penalty of his own after Parris had been brought down by Wilmot. Former Gunner Liam Brady secured the points for the Hammers with his first goal in claret and blue, carrying the ball from his own half before firing low into the corner with 11 minutes remaining. All the action from the game can be seen in my video below.

John Lyall’s Hammers finished in 15th place in the 1986/87 Division One season while George Graham’s Gunners ended up fourth. Cottee would be top scorer with 29 goals in 54 appearances. Billy Bonds was named Hammer of the Year, with Mark Ward runner-up. Everton won the league title and Coventry won the FA Cup.

West Ham United: Tom McAlister, Billy Bonds, Gary Strodder, Tony Gale, Tommy McQueen, Mark Ward, George Parris, Alan Dickens, Stewart Robson, Liam Brady, Tony Cottee.

Arsenal: Rhys Wilmot, Viv Anderson, David O’Leary, Tony Adams, Steve Williams, David Rocastle, Michael Thomas, Paul Davis, Martin Hayes (Graham Rix), Charlie Nicholas, Perry Groves.

Club Connections

A large group of players have turned out for West Ham United and Arsenal. Carl Jenkinson is currently back at the Gunners having spent two of the previous four seasons on loan at the Hammers. Lukasz Fabianski, Jack Wilshere, Samir Nasri and Lucas Perez welcome their former club. Other players to have represented both clubs include:

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

Defenders: Matthew Upson, Nigel Winterburn, Steve Walford, Bob Stevenson.

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

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, 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 a Scottish player who captained Arsenal before later playing for West Ham. James Jackson was born on the 15th September 1875 in Cambuslang, Glasgow but his family emigrated to Australia where he was raised from the age of two. He began his senior football career at Adamstown Rosebud in Newcastle, New South Wales. He returned to Scotland in 1893, appearing for Newton Thistle, Cambuslang and briefly for Rangers before moving to England to join Newcastle United, who he helped to promotion to the Football League in his first season.

A strict teetotaller, Jackson joined Woolwich Arsenal in 1899, attracted by the club’s willingness to help him open a sports shop just outside the Manor Ground. He made his debut aged 23 against Leicester Fosse on 2nd September 1899 and was a regular at the club for the next six seasons, playing either at left-back or wing-half. He was a virtual ever-present in the Gunners’ 1903/04 Second Division promotion-winning season, and captained the club in four of his five seasons at the club, including their inaugural top flight campaign. In all he played 204 matches for Arsenal, scoring one goal. He is pictured below, fourth from the right in the back row, with his Arsenal team-mates from the 1904/05 First Division season.

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Jackson left Arsenal in 1905 to become player-manager of Leyton, newly admitted to the Southern League, but he resigned to sign as a player for West Ham United in November 1905. A major capture for the Hammers, the East Ham Echo wrote:

“While with Arsenal Jackson was regarded as one of the finest backs in the South, and it was with great regret that the Woolwich club’s supporters learned that the skipper was leaving to take up the position of player/manager to Leyton. A few days ago the sporting public were greatly surprised to read in the London papers that Jackson had tendered his resignation, which had been accepted by the Leyton directorate. This was indeed a sensation, and was quickly followed by the startling, but welcome, news that he had been signed on for West Ham.”

The 30-year-old strong, forceful defender made his Hammers debut in a 2-0 win over Brighton at Upton Park on 11th November 1905. ‘Jemmy’ was ever-present for the rest of the 1905/06 Southern League season, forming a fabled full-back partnership with another Scot, Dave Gardner, and making 24 appearances as the Irons finished 11th. His final match for the club was a 1-0 defeat at Portsmouth on 28th April 1906.

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Jackson rejoined Rangers in 1906, spending two years with the club before moving on to Port Glasgow Athletic. He joined Hamilton Accies in 1910 but his spell with the club was brief before he signed for Morton. He ended his career in 1915 after four years with Abercorn. He had two sons who became footballers – the elder, James, played more than 200 times for Liverpool (where he was also captain) before being ordained a minister in the Presbyterian Church. The younger, Archie, played for Sunderland and Tranmere. Jackson’s nephew was the Australian test cricketer Archie Jackson. ‘Jemmy’ Jackson’s date of death is unknown.


The referee on Saturday will be Jonathan Moss. The Yorkshire-based official has sent off a player in six of his last 12 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 December 2017’s goalless draw with Arsenal at London Stadium, our 4-1 win at Huddersfield last January and our 3-0 home win over Southampton last March. His most recent Hammers appointment was our 0-0 draw with Manchester United last May.

Possible line-ups

West Ham United will be without Fabian Balbuena, who has been ruled out for six to eight weeks after undergoing knee surgery. Ryan Fredericks, Winston Reid, Carlos Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Manuel Lanzini, Andriy Yarmolenko and Chicharito are also all out injured. West Ham have only beaten Arsenal once in 16 home matches in all competitions since 1999. The last four Hammers goals against Arsenal in home games have all been scored by Andy Carroll. The Irons have won their last two London derbies, beating Crystal Palace and Fulham in December.

Arsenal will be without Konstantinos Mavropanos, Rob Holding, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Danny Welbeck, but Hector Bellerin, Shkodran Mustafi, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal and Mesut Ozil should all be available. Unai Emery’s first victory as Arsenal head coach came in this season’s reverse fixture. The Gunners are without a win in their last four away matches in the Premier League and have conceded nine goals in their last three.

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

Possible Arsenal XI: Leno; Bellerin, Sokratis, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Xhaka, Torreira, Guendouzi; Ozil; Lacazette, Aubameyang.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!

Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v Birmingham

Blast from the past

West Ham United have met Birmingham City in the FA Cup on three previous occasions. The second of these meetings was in the third round at Upton Park in front of 31,056 on the 9th January 1965. Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames were number one with ‘Yeh Yeh’ and Mary Poppins was in UK cinemas as the Hammers emerged victorious against the Blues with a 4-2 win.

Denis Thwaites gave the Blues the lead in the sixth minute before Alec Jackson doubled the visitors’ lead when scoring direct from a corner. Thwaites was murdered, aged 70, along with his wife Elaine in the 2015 Sousse attacks in Tunisia. West Ham, who were without skipper Bobby Moore, hit the post through Geoff Hurst but pulled one back before half-time when Johnny ‘Budgie’ Byrne touched home Johnny Sissons’ cross.

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The Hammers, playing the role of cup holders, equalised in this all-First Division tie when Hurst (pictured above in this match against the Blues) converted a cross from Alan Sealey. Sir Geoff completed the comeback with his second goal before Sissons made the game safe. The goals from this match can be viewed in the video below.

The Hammers were knocked out in the fourth round, losing 1-0 at home to Chelsea. Martin Peters was voted Hammer of the Year, with Bobby Moore runner-up.

West Ham United: Jim Standen, John Bond, Ken Brown, Martin Peters, Alan Sealey, Eddie Bovington, Ronnie Boyce, Johnny Sissons, Tony Scott, Geoff Hurst, Johnny Byrne.

Aside from this third round victory in 1965, West Ham’s remaining FA Cup record against Birmingham is as follows:
1933 – West Ham 4-0 Birmingham (Quarter-Final)
1984 – Birmingham 3-0 West Ham (5th round)

Club Connections

A large group of players have turned out for West Ham United and Birmingham City. Divided by playing position, they include:

Goalkeepers – Joe Hart, Darren Randolph, Les Sealey.

Defenders – Carl Jenkinson, David Burrows, Joe Gallagher, Gary Breen, Jonathan Spector, Matthew Upson, Julian Dicks, Bob Fairman, Roger Johnson, Kenny Brown.

Midfielders – David Bentley, Michael Carrick, Billy Guest, Alan Curbishley, Michael Hughes, George Parris, Harry Hooper, Hayden Mullins, Papa Bouba Diop, Ravel Morrison, Nigel Quashie, Stan Lazaridis, Lee Bowyer, Mark Ward, Billy Thirlaway.

Strikers – Eamonn Dolan, Tony Cottee, Jim Barrett Jr, Robert Hall, Jimmy Bloomfield, Mike Newell, Steve Whitton, John Burton, Mauro Zarate, Dave Mangnall, David Speedie, Sam Small.

John Bond and Chris Hughton played for West Ham and managed Birmingham. Lou Macari and Gianfranco Zola have managed both clubs. Harry Redknapp played for the Hammers and managed both clubs.

Today’s focus though is on an England international right-back who spent a spell on loan at Birmingham from the Hammers. Gary Charles was born in Newham on 13th April 1970 and began his career with Clapton before moving to Nottingham Forest, making his league debut in 1987. He spent a loan spell at Leicester in 1989 and won two England caps in 1991, against New Zealand and Malaysia. He won the Full Members’ Cup in 1992 but moved to Derby in the summer of 1993 before returning to the Premier League with Aston Villa in January 1995. He won the League Cup with Villa in 1996.

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Charles moved to Portugal in January 1999, signing for Benfica before Harry Redknapp swooped to sign him for West Ham United for £1.2m in October 1999. The 29-year-old made his Hammers debut in a 3-2 League Cup fourth round victory at Birmingham on 30th November 1999 but had to be withdrawn due to injury. He made his return on 5th February 2000 but scored a last-gasp own goal as the Irons lost 2-1 at Southampton. Charles made his home debut a week later in the famous 5-4 win over Bradford, his third and final start for the club. He made two sub appearances before the end of the 1999/2000 season, both in mid-April in 2-1 wins over Newcastle at home and away to former club Derby. Charles’ sixth and final appearance for West Ham was again as a substitute in a 1-0 home defeat to another former club, Leicester, on 23rd August 2000.

Charles dropped down to the second tier to join Birmingham on loan in September 2000, making his debut in a 1-1 draw at West Brom on 17th September 2000. He made his home debut six days later in a 2-0 win over Tranmere but was affected by hamstring problems and made his third and final appearance for the club in a 2-1 home win over Crystal Palace on 14th October 2000. He subsequently featured regularly for the Hammers’ reserves but was hampered by a number of niggling injuries and was forced to retire in the summer of 2002 due to injury.

Charles struggled with alcoholism during the latter stages of his career and after he retired – he was jailed in January 2004 for a series of drunken incidents in his car and was imprisoned again in December 2006 for threatening a bouncer while drunk – he was serving a suspended sentence at the time for attacking a woman at a taxi rank. He was named assistant manager at Lincoln in October 2011 and has since been Director of Football at Nottingham University. He was named manager of National League North side Nuneaton Town in March 2018 but was replaced three months later. Now 48, Charles runs his own Midlands-based clinic, GCSports Care, for professionals with addiction problems and other off-field issues.


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 six 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 our 3-1 defeat at Brighton last February. He was most recently in charge of the Hammers for our 4-2 win over Burnley in November.

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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. Lee Probert will be the VAR official for Saturday’s match.

Possible line-ups

West Ham United have Ryan Fredericks, Fabian Balbuena, Winston Reid, Carlos Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Manuel Lanzini, Andriy Yarmolenko and Chicharito on the injury list.

Birmingham boss Garry Monk is hopeful that defender Kristian Pedersen can return to the side but forward Omar Bogle looks set to miss out. The Blues are on a five-game unbeaten run in the Championship and have picked up eight points from a possible 12 over the Christmas period.

Possible West Ham United XI: Adrian; Antonio, Diop, Ogbonna, Masuaku; Diangana, Rice, Noble, Snodgrass; Arnautovic, Perez.

Possible Birmingham City XI: Camp; Harding, Morrison, Dean, Colin; Jota, Gardner, Kleftenbeld, Maghoma; Jutkiewicz, Adams.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!

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