Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Chelsea

Blast from the past

Upton Park, 14th February 1981 – proof that West Ham United aren’t always on the receiving end of Valentine’s Day Massacres. Fresh from reaching the League Cup final four days earlier, the Hammers maintained the feel-good factor with a chastening of Chelsea in front of 35,164. Sir Trevor Brooking scored twice, while there was a goal apiece for David Cross and Alan Devonshire.

The Hammers would go on to be crowned champions of Division Two by 13 points while Chelsea would finish 12th.

West Ham United: Phil Parkes, Ray Stewart, Alvin Martin, Billy Bonds, Frank Lampard, Jimmy Neighbour, Geoff Pike, Trevor Brooking, Alan Devonshire, Paul Goddard, David Cross.

Chelsea: Petar Borota, Gary Locke, Mickey Droy, Gary Chivers, Dennis Rofe, Timmy Elmes (Phil Driver), John Bumstead, Mike Fillery, Peter Rhoades-Brown, Colin Lee, Alan Mayes.

Club Connections

A decent number of players have represented both West Ham United and Chelsea. These include: Craig Forrest, Tal Ben Haim, Len Goulden, Wayne Bridge, Frank Lampard Junior, Demba Ba, Alan Dickens, Clive Allen, Scott Minto, Joe Cole, Scott Parker, Carlton Cole, Peter Brabrook, Yossi Benayoun, Ian Pearce, Jimmy Greaves, Joe Kirkup, Pop Robson, Ron Tindall, Glen Johnson, John Sissons and Jon Harley.

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 striker who had a highly successful six years at Chelsea sandwiched in between two spells with West Ham United. George Hilsdon was born in Bromley-by-Bow on the 10th August 1885 and made a goalscoring debut for the Southern League Hammers on 11th February 1905 in a 2-0 home win against New Brompton. On 17th April 1905, after scoring in a 3-0 win against Fulham, Hilsdon was injured and unable to play for the rest of the season. However, his record of four goals in seven games represented an outstanding start to his football career. Hilsdon’s injury problems persisted in 1905/06 and, with the signing of fellow centre-forward Harry Stapley, he was restricted to nine league games, scoring three times. Following 7 goals in 18 matches in all competitions, usually-shrewd manager Syd King allowed Hilsdon to move across London to Chelsea on a free transfer.

Hilsdon made an immediate impact for Chelsea, who were playing in the Second Division of the Football League at the time, scoring five goals on his debut in a 9-2 win over Glossop. In November 1906, just a few months after his move to Stamford Bridge, Hilsdon was given the nickname ‘Gatling Gun George’ for his “simply unstoppable” shots. He helped Chelsea to promotion to the First Division in his first season, while earning £4 a week, and scored six goals in an FA Cup tie against Worksop the following campaign (a club record which remains unequalled). He was the First Division’s joint second highest scorer in his debut season in the top flight.

Between February 1907 and April 1909 Hilsdon scored an incredible 14 goals in just 8 international appearances for England. Chelsea were relegated in 1909/10 and Hilsdon struggled for form with rumours circulating of a serious drink problem. After scoring 107 goals in 164 games for Chelsea, becoming the first player to reach the 100-goal mark for the club, Hilsdon was allowed to return to West Ham in June 1912. A weather vane modelled on Hilsdon is still a feature of Stamford Bridge – it was said to cause great misfortune if removed and, when it had to be removed during renovation in the late 1970s, Chelsea suffered both financial and footballing difficulties.

The East Ham Echo reported that, during his first home game back in east London, Hilsdon “had to run the gauntlet of some very uncomplimentary remarks from part of the stand” but responded by being the Hammers’ top scorer in 1912/13. The excellent form of Syd Puddefoot, the new kid on the block the following season, saw Hilsdon lose his place in the side. He returned to score twice against Millwall in a 3-2 home win in April 1914 but the outbreak of World War One that year would curtail Hilsdon’s career – he scored 28 goals in 78 appearances in all competitions during his second spell with the Hammers, giving him an overall record of 35 goals in 96 matches for the club.

After trying to avoid active service and being caught by the police hiding in a chicken run, Hilsdon joined the East Surrey Regiment and served on the Western Front. A mustard gas attack at Arras in 1917 badly damaged Hilsdon’s lungs and, although he had a brief spell playing for Chatham Town after the war, he was forced to retire from the game. He scraped a living in various ways including working as a teaboy on building sites and a period spent with Fred Karno’s Troup, a popular travelling vaudeville act. He was also known to go around several East End pubs raffling boxes of chocolates but arranging for the prize to be won on every occasion by his wife. George Hilsdon died in Leicester on 10th September 1941 at the age of 56. Only four people (his son, daughter, son-in-law and grandson) attended his funeral, which was paid for by the Football Association. There is no stone to mark his grave.

Referee

The referee on Wednesday will be Andre Marriner; Chelsea’s visit to Upton Park will be Marriner’s second match in charge of the Hammers this term, following our 2-0 defeat at Anfield. Since we achieved promotion back to the top flight in 2012 the Birmingham-based official has refereed seven of our league matches, officiating in one win for the Hammers, two draws and four defeats.

Possible line-ups

Sam Allardyce will be without the injured Carlton Cole and Andy Carroll while Morgan Amalfitano serves the final match of his three-game suspension.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is without the suspended Nemanja Matic and the injured Jon Obi Mikel. Brazilian midfielder Ramires is expected to keep his place, while his compatriot Oscar could be restored to the side in place of Kurt Zouma.

Possible West Ham United XI: Adrian; Jenkinson, Tomkins, Reid, Cresswell; Kouyate, Song, Noble; Downing; Valencia, Sakho.

Possible Chelsea XI: Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Ramires, Fabregas; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Diego Costa.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!


Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Crystal Palace

Blast from the past

Today’s blast from the past is the replayed home clash with Crystal Palace from 1997/98. The first game had to be abandoned due to floodlight failure after West Ham had come from two goals down through strikes from John Hartson and Frank Lampard. Neil Shipperley’s double had put Palace in control before the Hammers’ comeback. The forgotten goals can be seen on the video below, along with the moment the lights went out on Lampard’s celebration.

A replay of the match was arranged for Wednesday 3rd December 1997 – Lou Reed’s ‘Perfect Day’, recorded by various artists for Children In Need, was number one and West Ham United were to enjoy an almost perfect night against their south London visitors in front of 23,335. The Hammers went ahead in the 31st minute when David Unsworth’s raking crossfield pass found Eyal Berkovic who controlled expertly, cut inside Simon Rodger and laid the ball off for Hartson to drive in beyond Kevin Miller at the near post. The Eagles were level three minutes before half-time though when a corner from the left found Andy Linighan at the near post, Stan Lazaridis failed to deal with it on the line and Shipperley bundled home to equalise. The Hammers were not to be denied their interval lead however. Lazaridis atoned for his earlier error by providing a high, hanging cross which Hartson headed against the crossbar – Berkovic, following up, swept home left-footed to restore the hosts’ lead.

Two Hammers’ players went on to notch their first ever goals for the club in the second half. Unsworth was the first, volleying home acrobatically in the six-yard box after Ian Pearce had headed on Lazaridis’ 48th minute corner. Steve Lomas was the second, steaming into the area unmarked to power home Hartson’s cross for 4-1 on 71 minutes after good initial approach play from Berkovic and Samassi Abou.

Harry Redknapp’s Hammers would finish 8th in the Premier League in 1997/98, while the Eagles would end the campaign in bottom place and were relegated.

West Ham United: Craig Forrest, Tim Breacker, Ian Pearce, Rio Ferdinand, David Unsworth, Stan Lazaridis (Keith Rowland), Steve Lomas, John Moncur, Eyal Berkovic, Samassi Abou (Paulo Alves), John Hartson.

Crystal Palace: Kevin Miller, Marc Edworthy, Hermann Hreidarsson, Andy Linighan, Dean Gordon, Jamie Smith (Michele Padovano), Neil Emblen, Simon Rodger, Itzy Zohar, Paul Warhurst, Neil Shipperley.

The goals from this match, along with a post-match interview with Hartson and Berkovic, can be viewed by skipping to 34:04 of the video below.

Club Connections

Marouane Chamakh is injured, ruling out a playing return to West Ham United where he spent a brief loan spell in 2013. Alan Pardew, an ex-Palace player and now the club’s manager, also returns to Upton Park where he was in charge between 2003 and 2006. A large group of players have turned out for the Hammers and the Eagles. Divided here by position, they include:

Goalkeepers: Perry Suckling, Steve Mautone.

Defenders: Kenny Brown, Neil Ruddock, Paul Brush, Danny Gabbidon, Chris Powell, Tony Gale, Matthew Upson, Darren Powell.

Midfielders: Hayden Mullins, Carl Fletcher, Jobi McAnuff, Kyel Reid, Ray Houghton.

Strikers: Ian Wright, Jeroen Boere, Clive Allen, Johnny Byrne, Dave Swindlehurst, Paul Kitson, Dave Sexton, Freddie Sears.

Malcolm Allison and Jack Tresadern played for the Hammers and managed the Eagles, while Iain Dowie played for both clubs and also managed Palace.

Today’s focus though is on a Northern Ireland international midfielder. Michael Hughes began his career with Carrick Rangers but moved to England with Manchester City in 1988. In August 1992 he moved to French club Strasbourg for a fee of £450,000. He joined West Ham United on loan in December 1994 and made his debut in a 2-1 defeat at Q.P.R. His first goal for the club arrived a few weeks later, the third in a 3-1 home win over Nottingham Forest on New Year’s Eve. Hughes scored one more goal in 1994/95, one of the most famous in Premier League history as his guided left-foot volley denied Manchester United the title in a 1-1 draw on the last day of the season.

Hughes returned to Upton Park for a second season-long loan spell in October 1995, scoring one goal in a 2-0 win over Southend in the FA Cup third round. He had done enough over both loan spells to earn a Bosman switch to east London in July 1996. He celebrated becoming a full-time Hammer by scoring three goals in six games in the opening weeks of 1996/97: the first brought the Hammers level in an eventual 2-1 home victory over Southampton; the second was a consolation in a 4-1 loss at Middlesbrough; and the third was the clincher in a 2-0 win at Nottingham Forest. In March 1997 Hughes was sent off for two bookable offences in a 1-0 defeat at Leeds.

Hughes’ wonder strike at Middlesbrough can be viewed in the video below.

After scoring 6 goals in 97 appearances in all competitions for West Ham United, Hughes signed for Joe Kinnear’s Wimbledon in a £1.6m deal in September 1997. He scored a wonderful long-range volley back at the Boleyn Ground in the game that will forever be remembered for Paolo Di Canio’s own sensational strike against the Dons. In 2002 Hughes became embroiled in a contract dispute between Wimbledon and Birmingham. Having played three matches for Birmingham on loan, Hughes was injured before the club won promotion to the Premier League and a permanent switch fell through. Wimbledon then refused to take him back. The ensuing dispute over who held his registration continued for over a year and Hughes’ career had to be put on hold.

In October 2003 Hughes signed for Crystal Palace and was compensated by Birmingham. He quickly became a fans’ favourite and club captain at Selhurst Park, playing under former club and country team-mate Dowie and scoring the winning penalty in the shoot-out against Sunderland in the play-off semi-final before defeating the Hammers in the final in Cardiff. Hughes was released by the Eagles in the summer of 2007 having scored 7 goals in 126 appearances for the club. He went on to play for Coventry and St Neots Town. Hughes, now 43, is currently a majority shareholder and co-owner at Carrick Rangers, the club where his career began.

Referee

Saturday’s referee will be Mike Dean; 2014/15 is Dean’s fifteenth as a Premier League referee. Since West Ham United achieved promotion back to the top flight in 2012 Dean has refereed 11 of our league matches, officiating in 6 wins for the Hammers, 3 draws and 2 defeats. Dean was the man in the middle for our 3-1 home loss to Southampton and our 1-0 home victory over Newcastle earlier this season, as well as our 1-1 draw at Swansea.

Possible line-ups

Sam Allardyce will be without the injured Carlton Cole and Andy Carroll while Morgan Amalfitano is still suspended. New signing Nene is set to claim a place on the bench.

Crystal Palace will be without injured strikers Fraizer Campbell, Marouane Chamakh and Yaya Sanogo. Campbell has been ruled out for six weeks with a hamstring injury, while Chamakh and Sanogo will be sidelined until mid-March. Shola Ameobi, Dwight Gayle and Glenn Murray are Pardew’s remaining options to step in up front. Jerome Thomas and Jonny Williams are also ruled out but central midfielders James McArthur and Mile Jedinak are fit and available again.

Possible West Ham United XI: Adrian; Jenkinson, Tomkins, Reid, Cresswell; Kouyate, Song, Noble; Downing; Valencia, Sakho.

Possible Crystal Palace XI: Speroni; Ward, Dann, Delaney, Souare; Zaha, McArthur, Mutch, Bolasie; Gayle, Murray.

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!


Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Tottenham Hotspur

Greetings from the homeland of West Ham legend Ludek Miklosko and West Ham liability Tomas Repka! This week’s preview comes direct from a short break in Prague, the beautiful capital city of the Czech Republic which, it turns out, is not that “near Moscow” after all…

Blast from the past

2nd September 1981 – Soft Cell were number one with ‘Tainted Love’ but there was nothing soft about David ‘Psycho’ Cross as he astonishingly bagged all four goals in a 4-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in front of 41,200 at White Hart Lane.

Tottenham, having opened the 1981/82 season with a 3-1 win at Middlesbrough, were making their first appearance at White Hart Lane since winning the 1981 FA Cup. The Hammers, meanwhile, were back in the top flight after the Second Division title-winning campaign the previous year and had drawn 1-1 at home with Brighton in their opening fixture.

It was the visitors who opened the scoring in the first half though when a Jimmy Neighbour cross from the right beat a crowd of players to find Cross who fired a low first-time shot underneath the body of England goalkeeper Ray Clemence, who was making his home debut for Spurs.

The second half was a treat for the travelling Claret and Blue Army – Cross grabbed his second when firing in at the near post at the second attempt. His hat-trick goal was a cracker after neat, one-touch build-up play; Frank Lampard’s lofted pass found Paul Goddard who sent a side-foot volleyed pass down the left for Geoff Pike who, in turn, centred first-time for Cross to finish expertly into the net. ‘Psycho’ grabbed his, and the Hammers’, fourth when Clemence went walkabout in his own penalty area and Cross provided the finishing touch after a goalmouth melee by hammering home from within the six-yard box.

Cross later said of his four-goal salvo: "For me to get four goals against Tottenham in a West Ham shirt was the pinnacle of my career in terms of the joy it brought to the West Ham fans”. The Hammers would end the 1981/82 season in ninth position, while Tottenham would finish fourth.

The goals from this match, as well as an interview with ‘Psycho’ from that evening, can be seen in the video below.

Tottenham Hotspur: Ray Clemence, Paul Price (Gordon Smith), Graham Roberts, Paul Miller, Steve Perryman, Micky Hazard, Glenn Hoddle, Garry Brooke, Ricky Villa, Tony Galvin, Mark Falco.

West Ham United: Phil Parkes, Ray Stewart, Alvin Martin, Billy Bonds, Frank Lampard, Jimmy Neighbour, Geoff Pike, Paul Allen, Alan Devonshire, Paul Goddard, David Cross.

Club Connections

A large group of players have turned out for Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United. Divided here by position, they include:

Goalkeepers: Bill Kaine, Tony Parks, Fred Griffiths.

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

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

Strikers: Mido, Frederic Kanoute, Clive Allen, Sergei Rebrov, Dave Dunmore, Teddy Sheringham, Jermain Defoe, Bill Joyce, Robbie Keane, Fred Massey, Bobby Zamora, Les Ferdinand, Jimmy Greaves.

Both Jack Tresadern and Harry Redknapp played for the Hammers and managed Spurs.

This week’s focus though is on one of West Ham United’s greatest players of the twenty-first century who also spent two years with Tottenham Hotspur. Scott Parker was born in Lambeth on 13th October 1980. A Lilleshall graduate, Parker was the 13-year-old keepie-uppie star of a McDonalds advert during the 1994 World Cup. He began his professional career at Charlton, making his debut in 1997; he also had a brief loan spell with Norwich in 2000. He joined Chelsea in the winter window of 2004 for a fee of £10m but found first team opportunities hard to come by and signed for Newcastle in July 2005 for £6.5m. He was made captain the following summer by Glenn Roeder but left for West Ham United to be reunited with his former Charlton manager, Alan Curbishley, in a £7m deal in the summer of 2007.

Injury played a large part in Parker’s early career in east London, with the midfielder unable to make his debut until a League Cup win over Plymouth at the Boleyn Ground in late September. Three days later Parker was injured again during a home defeat to Arsenal and ruled out for a further two months. His first goal for the club came three days before Christmas, the last-minute winner in West Ham’s first ever victory at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium.

Parker’s second goal for the club was over a year later, from close range in a 2-1 defeat at Bolton in February 2009, by which time Gianfranco Zola had taken over from Curbishley. His season was ended by injury the following month but he had still done enough to win the 2008/09 Hammer of the Year prize. The Irons struggled in 2009/10 and were second bottom of the Premier League when Parker was sent off for two yellow cards in the 2-2 home draw with Arsenal in October. His first goal of that season was a stunning, dipping half-volley from distance to bring the Hammers level at the home of his old club Chelsea in March, although the match would ultimately be lost 4-1. His only other goal that season was infinitely more significant, the winner in a tense 3-2 victory over Wigan at Upton Park on 24th April which secured the Hammers’ survival – Parker’s sensational 77th-minute strike from 25 yards was followed by an emotionally-charged celebration. Two weeks later, he would become the first player to retain the Hammer of the Year trophy since Julian Dicks in 1997.

A 17th-placed finish in 2009/10 resulted in Zola being replaced by Avram Grant and the Hammers would endure a turbulent 2010/11 campaign. Parker was the bright light shining in the east end gloom as he displayed the fight, determination and character sadly lacking in many of his team-mates – he was often mistaken as the club’s captain by an inattentive national media. This was epitomised by his best goalscoring season during his time with the club, Parker opening with three goals in his first six games (the injury-time winner against Oxford in the League Cup, a wonderfully-lofted volley in a 3-1 defeat to Chelsea and a scrambled effort in a 1-1 draw at Stoke). Another three-goals-in-six-games spell followed in October/November as he scored the equaliser in a 3-1 extra-time win over the Potters in the League Cup, struck a thunderbolt in a 2-2 draw with West Brom and grabbed the clincher in a 3-1 win over Wigan. On 9 February 2011, he became the first England player to receive his first four full caps whilst playing for four different teams, coming on as a second-half substitute for Frank Lampard in a friendly against Denmark. Three days later, Parker’s inspirational half-time team-talk when 3-0 down at The Hawthorns would be the catalyst for a stirring comeback to claim a 3-3 draw. Parker was to score once more for the Hammers that season, a beautifully-executed effort with the outside of his right foot from the edge of the area in a 3-1 home victory over Liverpool in late February. The following month, Parker played in a 0-0 draw at Tottenham hours after the death of his father. He also started in England’s victory over Wales at the Millennium Stadium. Parker would again be crowned Hammer of the Year, the only player other than Sir Trevor Brooking to claim the award three seasons in a row. He was also named as the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year, an incredible feat considering his club were relegated in bottom place. In doing so, he became the only Hammer aside from Bobby Moore to win the award.

Parker started West Ham’s 2011/12 Championship campaign, notching one goal in four league appearances, this coming in a 4-0 win at Watford. At the age of 30, Parker knew he may only have one opportunity left to play in an international tournament and, with Euro 2012 on the horizon, was aware that he would have to be playing Premier League football. With his children in school in the local area, Parker opted to remain in London and signed for close rivals Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of £5.5m. Parker made 129 appearances for West Ham in all competitions, scoring 12 goals.

Parker was named Tottenham’s Player of the Year in his first season with the club, playing in 29 league matches as the club finished fourth but were denied Champions League qualification as Chelsea won that competition and would compete as holders despite finishing sixth in the Premier League. Parker’s move to Spurs paid off in that he cemented his England place, being named Man of the Match in a friendly against European and World champions Spain in November 2011 and appearing as captain of his country against the Netherlands in February 2012. Parker started all four matches at Euro 2012 as England made the quarter-finals. However, an Achilles injury picked up during the tournament would keep him out of the first four months of 2012/13. After 63 matches without scoring for Tottenham, he was on the move to Fulham in August 2013, for whom he still plays today.

Scott Parker, disappointingly, received a mixed reception when he returned to Upton Park as a Tottenham player in February 2013. I was one of the many who gave him a standing ovation when he left the field that night, remembering his four years of exceptional service rather than focusing on the club he left us for. For me, Parker was a perfect picture of passion, perseverance and pirouettes and I am sure he will be long remembered as a West Ham United great. The video below is a tribute to his time in claret and blue.

Referee

The referee on Sunday will be Jonathan Moss. West Ham lost all three games in which Moss officiated in during 2013/14 – a 1-0 home defeat to Stoke, the 3-1 loss at Norwich and the 1-0 reverse at Everton. Moss was the man in the middle for our 1-0 victory at Stoke the season before. He also took charge of our home draws against Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion earlier this season

Possible line-ups

Tottenham Hotspur have a fully fit squad to call upon for the visit of the Hammers. Harry Kane is almost certain to be restored to the starting line-up after being rested against Fiorentina on Thursday.

West Ham United will be without Morgan Amalfitano who serves the first of a three-match suspension for his red card at West Brom. Winston Reid and James Collins are back in contention, as is Matt Jarvis. Cheikhou Kouyate injured an arm in training earlier this week and is a doubt, as is Diafra Sakho who has reportedly suffered a slight recurrence of his back injury.

Possible Tottenham Hotspur XI: Lloris; Walker, Fazio, Vertonghen, Davies; Paulinho, Bentaleb; Lamela, Dembele, Eriksen; Kane.

Possible West Ham United XI: Adrian; Jenkinson, Tomkins, Reid, Cresswell; Song, Noble, Nolan; Downing; Cole, Valencia.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!


Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Bromwich Albion

Blast from the past

West Ham United’s most recent FA Cup meeting with West Bromwich Albion came in the third round at The Hawthorns in front of 25,896 on the 2nd January 1993. The second-tier Hammers emerged victorious against their opponents from the division below courtesy of a 2-0 win, with both goals arriving in the first half. Martin Allen played his cousin Clive in with a sliderule pass and the much-travelled striker (pictured) scored via a deflection. As thick fog continued to descend, Julian Dicks sprayed a delightful ball wide with the outside of his trusty left foot to fleet-footed winger Mark Robson who delivered a low cross which nestled in the back of the net after Dicks jumped over the ball, deceiving Stuart Naylor in the Albion goal.

The Hammers progressed to the fourth round, only to be knocked out by fellow First Division side Barnsley in a 4-1 defeat at Oakwell.

West Ham United: Ludek Miklosko, Tim Breacker, Steve Potts, Alvin Martin, Julian Dicks, Mark Robson, Peter Butler, Martin Allen, Kevin Keen, Trevor Morley, Clive Allen.

Aside from this third round victory in 1993, West Ham’s remaining FA Cup record against West Brom is as follows:

1913 – West Brom 1-1 West Ham (1st round)
1913 – West Ham 2-2 West Brom (1st round Replay)
1913 – West Brom 0-3 West Ham (1st round 2nd Replay)
1933 – West Ham 2-0 West Brom (4th round)
1953 – West Ham 1-4 West Brom (4th round)
1980 – West Brom 1-1 West Ham (3rd round)
1980 – West Ham 2-1 West Brom (3rd round Replay)

The video below shows brief highlights from the 1993 victory at West Brom.

Club Connections

West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion have shared a decent number of players over the years; Morgan Amalfitano is one of these and he should face the club he spent a season with on loan last term. Other players to represent both clubs include: Sir Geoff Hurst, Jeroen Boere, Alan Dickens, David Burrows, John Hartson, Franz Carr, Steve Walford, Gary Strodder, Peter Butler, Frank Nouble, David Cross, Danny Gabbidon and Nigel Quashie.

Bobby Gould played for the Hammers and the Baggies and also spent a period as manager at The Hawthorns.

This week’s focus though is on a player who played for West Ham and managed West Brom. Archie Macaulay was born in Falkirk on 30th July 1915. He joined Glasgow Rangers in 1933 and soon found himself playing at inside-right in the first team, winning a Scottish Cup medal in 1935/36 and a Scottish League Championship medal in the following season.

In 1937 Charlie Paynter managed to persuade Macaulay to join West Ham United for a fee of £6,000. He made his debut against Aston Villa on 28th September 1937 – the Hammers went on to finish in 9th place in the Second Division that season with Macaulay joint top-scorer with 10 goals in 39 games. On 24th September 1938 he scored a hat-trick in a 6-1 victory against Tranmere and ended the 1938/39 season as top-scorer with 16 goals in 36 games.

With the outbreak of war in September 1939 the government imposed a ban on the assembly of crowds and as a result the Football League competition was brought to an end. Macaulay joined the Essex Regiment and eventually became a Physical Training instructor at Aldershot. The Football League War Cup was set up though and, despite the fears that London would be bombed by the Luftwaffe, over 42,300 fans decided to take the risk of visiting Wembley on 8th June 1940 to see West Ham beat Blackburn 1-0, with Macaulay winning the third medal of his football career. As he was based in England for the duration of the war, Macaulay was able to make 59 appearances for the Hammers during this period, scoring 17 goals.

In the 1945/46 season he played for West Ham United in the First Division South league. However, he only played in 8 games the following season before being transferred to First Division Brentford in October 1946 for a fee of £7,500. His new manager, Tom Whittaker, later recalled: “Macaulay, a brilliant ball player and magnificently balanced, had the reputation of a temper in keeping with his red hair”. Macaulay later played for Arsenal and Fulham before joining Guildford City as player-manager.

In 1957 he was appointed manager of Norwich. He led the Third Division side to the FA Cup semi-final in his first season and won promotion to the Second Division in his second campaign. In 1961 he moved on to West Bromwich Albion; however, this was not a success and after winning only 26 of 67 games he was sacked in 1963. Macaulay’s next appointment was as manager of Brighton, leading the club to promotion from the Fourth Division in 1965. Macaulay left football management in 1968 and later worked as a traffic warden in Chelsea. Archie Macaulay died on 10th June 1993.

Referee

Saturday’s referee will be Martin Atkinson; 2014/15 is Atkinson’s tenth as a Premier League referee. Since West Ham United achieved promotion back to the top flight in 2012 Atkinson has refereed nine of our league matches, officiating in five wins for the Hammers, one draw and three defeats. This season Atkinson has been the man in the middle for the Irons’ 2-2 draw at Hull, as well as for our home victories over Manchester City, Leicester and Hull.

Possible line-ups

New signing and former Hammers target Darren Fletcher is cup-tied for West Bromwich Albion. Tony Pulis could replace Fletcher with an orthodox midfielder in Craig Gardner or go all-out to avoid a potential replay by selecting the more attacking Stephane Sessegnon. Fellow new boy Callum McManaman, the Man of the Match in the 2013 Final, did not play for Wigan in their third-round exit to Bolton and so is eligible to play on Saturday.

For West Ham United, Adrian is suspended unless the Hammers’ appeal against his red card at Southampton is successful. Hopefully the panel will see sense as the Spanish goalkeeper was clearly fouled by Sadio Mane which led to him falling and subsequently handling the ball. Sam Allardyce should have Kevin Nolan (foot) and Mark Noble (virus) available again but Andy Carroll is set for a spell on the sidelines with a knee injury. Allardyce may opt to start Carlton Cole considering the problems Carroll, as a big target man, caused West Brom in the game at The Hawthorns in December, particularly from set-pieces. Although Tony Pulis has since taken over as manager and will be more guarded against this sort of threat, Cole will no doubt be keen to show the Baggies what he is capable of after the recent collapse of his transfer to the West Midlands and considering he may be a free agent in the summer.

Possible West Bromwich Albion XI: Foster; Dawson, McAuley, Lescott, Brunt; Yacob; McManaman, Sessegnon, Morrison; Berahino, Ideye.

Possible West Ham United XI: Jaaskelainen; Jenkinson, Tomkins, Kouyate, Cresswell; Song, Noble, Amalfitano; Downing; Sakho, Cole.

Enjoy the game – Up the Hammers!


Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Southampton

Blast from the past

Boxing Day 1935 was to prove a strange day for a player who enjoyed an exceptional and record-breaking career with West Ham United. Vic Watson, who remains West Ham United’s all-time record goalscorer, scored against the Hammers as we defeated Southampton by four goals to two in front of 19,347.

The other Saints’ goal came courtesy of Arthur Holt but the east Londoners stormed to victory with two goals from Dave Mangnall (pictured and signed as Watson’s replacement earlier that year), one from Len Goulden and an own goal by Charlie Sillett. A full-back who played 175 league games for Southampton, Sillett was the father of John (who managed Coventry to FA Cup glory in 1987) and Peter (who won the league with his brother at Chelsea in 1955). Charlie was tragically killed in a U-boat attack on an Allied convoy while serving with the Royal Navy in 1945.

West Ham would finish the 1935/36 Second Division season in 4th position, while Southampton would end up in 17th.

Southampton: William Light, Charlie Sillett, John McIlwarne, Arthur Roberts, Stanley Woodhouse, Cyril King, John Gurry, Vic Watson, Laurence Fishlock, Arthur Holt, Frederick Tully.

West Ham United: Herman Conway, Alf Chalkley, Albert Walker, Ted Fenton, Joe Cockroft, Jim Barrett, Jimmy Ruffell, Dave Mangnall, Peter Simpson, James Marshall, Len
Goulden.

Club Connections

An array of West Ham United’s good, bad and ugly have also turned out for Southampton: Bill Adams, Vic Watson, Ian Pearce, Paul Allen, Richard Hall, Ted MacDougall, Henri Camara, Joe Kirkup, Darren Powell, Wayne Bridge, Justin Fashanu, Alex McDonald, Nigel Quashie, Frank Costello, Albert Roles, George Kitchen, Christian Dailly, Fred Harrison, David Speedie, Walter Pollard, Arthur Wilson, Horace Glover, Iain Dowie, Eyal Berkovic, Luis Boa Morte, Jimmy Harris, Richard Wright, Calum Davenport, Neil Ruddock and Robbie Slater have all appeared for both clubs. In addition, George Kay played for the Hammers and managed the Saints while Harry Redknapp and Alan Pardew have managed both clubs.

Today’s focus though falls on a centre-forward who had brief spells with both clubs in the first decade of the twentieth century. Jack Foster was born on the 19th November 1877 in Rawmarsh, South Yorkshire and started his professional career at Second Division Blackpool in 1901. He spent four seasons in the Midland League with Rotherham Town until 1906 when he joined Southern League side Watford where he was described as a “dashing leader of attacking football”. He returned to league football with Sunderland in December 1907 but, following a decline in his health, Foster’s doctor advised him to move to a milder climate in the south.

He subsequently signed for West Ham United in May 1908, scoring on his debut in September that year against Q.P.R in a 2-0 home win and again in his next match, a 3-2 loss at Brighton. He scored two goals in a 4-0 win over Luton to make it four goals in as many matches by the end of September. He bagged a hat-trick in a 3-1 home victory over Portsmouth the following month but only two more goals were to follow, the winner in a 1-0 home triumph over Millwall in November 1908 and another in a 2-0 win over Coventry in the same month. After 9 goals in 15 matches for West Ham, Foster was on the move to Southampton in March 1909 in an exchange deal with Frank Costello.

Foster’s career at The Dell started badly as he missed some easy chances and, after only six matches and having scored once, he lost his place in the team. At the end of the season, he was on the move again to join Huddersfield Town, playing their last season in the Midland League and was their top goalscorer with 25 goals. Foster went on to be assistant manager at Bradford City under Colin Veitch. He succeeded Veitch in January 1928 as caretaker manager for the final four months of the 1927/28 season, finishing
sixth in Division Three (North), just seven points shy of promotion, before handing over to Peter O’Rourke. Jack Foster died in 1946.

Referee

Wednesday’s referee will be Craig Pawson; 2014/15 is Pawson’s third as a Premier League referee. He refereed West Ham’s 3-1 home win over Liverpool earlier this season as well as our 4-1 Capital One Cup home defeat to Wigan two seasons ago and our 3-1 loss at Stoke’s Britannia Stadium last term.

Possible line-ups

Southampton have problems at left-back where Ryan Bertrand is suspended and Matt Targett is injured; Florin Gardos could come into the back four. Manager Ronald Koeman faces a decision over whether to start Eljero Elia or Dusan Tadic. Midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin faces a late fitness test while Toby Alderweireld, Shane Long and Jay Rodriguez remain sidelined.

West Ham United could be unchanged from Sunday’s match against Manchester United as neither Winston Reid nor James Collins are expected to recover from injury in time for the trip to St Mary’s. Andy Carroll could return from a knee injury while Kevin Nolan has a foot problem.

Possible Southampton XI: Forster; Clyne, Yoshida, Fonte, Gardos; Wanyama, Davis; Ward-Prowse, Mane, Tadic; Pelle.

Possible West Ham United XI: Adrian; Jenkinson, Kouyate, Tomkins, Cresswell; Song, Noble, Nolan; Downing; Sakho, Valencia.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!


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