Dan Coker's Match Preview
Blast from the past
West Ham United arrived at the home of West Bromwich Albion for a Second Division fixture on Wednesday 4th April 1990 having recorded one win in their previous four matches, denting the club’s promotion aspirations. Billy Bonds had only recently taken over the managerial position from Lou Macari and victory in front of 11,556 at The Hawthorns helped get the Hammers back on track.
Jimmy Quinn opened the scoring after six minutes, powering a free-kick into the Baggies’ net via a slight deflection. For the second, Trevor Morley held the ball up after a lofted pass forward from Gary Strodder, who was making what would transpire to be his final appearance for West Ham before he moved, ironically, to The Hawthorns in the summer. George Parris’ cross after Morley’s lay-off was headed down by Quinn for Ian Bishop to stoop and nod in his first Hammers goal.
Albion replied before half-time through a Don Goodman header after an in-swinging corner from the right wasn’t dealt with. The Irons sealed the points in the second half when Bishop’s defence-splitting through-ball sent Morley racing clear, his chip nodded home at the far post by future Baggies joint assistant head coach Kevin Keen. The win put West Ham back within four points of the play-offs but they would eventually lose out on this lottery by one place. Promotion would be achieved automatically the following season, Bonds’ first full campaign in charge.
To see the goals from this 1989/90 victory at West Brom, skip to 1:48:29 of the video below.
West Ham United: Ludek Miklosko, George Parris, Gary Strodder, Tony Gale, Julian Dicks, Stuart Slater, Ian Bishop, Martin Allen, Kevin Keen, Jimmy Quinn, Trevor Morley.
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 and Nigel Quashie.
Archie Macauley played for West Ham and managed West Brom, while Bobby Gould played for the Hammers and the Baggies and also spent a period as manager at The Hawthorns.
Today’s focus though is on a player who is recognised as one of West Ham United’s best centre-backs of the last ten years but started his career as a right-back with West Bromwich Albion. Danny Gabbidon made his debut for the Baggies on 20th March 1999 in a 1-0 defeat against Ipswich Town at The Hawthorns. After 27 appearances in all competitions, he found himself surplus to requirements after the appointment of Gary Megson as manager and the recruitment of Des Lyttle. He found himself on loan at Cardiff at the start of 2000/01, a move which was swiftly made permanent for a fee approaching £500,000.
2002 was an impressive year for Gabbidon – he helped Cardiff reach the Division Two play-offs, made his international debut for Wales and won the Welsh clubman of the year award. The Bluebirds won promotion to Division One the following season – Gabbidon was named in the First Division Team of the Season for 2003/04 and won the Player of the Month award in January 2005 after the competition had been re-named as the Championship. Despite chairman Sam Hammam’s regular assurances that Gabbidon was the future of Cardiff City, he was sold (along with James Collins) to West Ham United in July 2005 in an effort to trim the club’s wage bill.
Gabbidon quickly built up an effective partnership with Hammers’ homegrown product Anton Ferdinand as West Ham embarked on an exciting and memorable 2005/06 campaign. The Hammers finished ninth under the guidance of Alan Pardew and came within seconds of winning the FA Cup. Gabbidon’s contribution to that terrific campaign was recognised by the club’s supporters as he beat off strong competition to become the recipient of the Hammer of the Year award that season. Hamstring and groin problems during the following season restricted Gabbidon’s contribution to The Greatest Escape and the signing of Matthew Upson, coupled with Gabbidon’s increasing injury issues, led to tougher times for the Welsh international; indeed, injury ensured Gabbidon would not play a single match between December 2007 and August 2009. After 96 league appearances over six seasons with West Ham, Gabbidon was released after relegation in the summer of 2011. He has had spells with QPR and Crystal Palace since and is now back at Cardiff as a player/coach. He was joint-interim manager earlier this season following the departure of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
West Ham United have been unfortunate enough to see Mike Jones allocated as Tuesday’s referee. Jones was in the spotlight as recently as Sunday when he failed to award Manchester City a clear penalty at Southampton and instead booked Sergio Aguero for diving. Jones’ last two Premier League games officiating West Ham have both come at Old Trafford – the 3-1 defeat last term and the 1-0 loss the season before. He is perhaps more infamous for a shocking display during our FA Cup quarter-final defeat at Stoke in 2011, when he allowed both goals for the home side to stand despite blatant infringements on Matthew Upson and Thomas Hitzlsperger respectively. He also awarded the Potters a penalty for a Matthew Etherington dive (which was saved by Rob Green) and gave Stoke a free-kick for a tangle which should have seen James Tomkins awarded a penalty.
Belgian international left-back Sebastien Pocognoli could miss out for West Brom after being taken off against Arsenal on Saturday with a thigh injury. He was replaced by Costa Rican right-back Cristian Gamboa who could play out of position on the left against the Hammers as Pocognoli’s replacement. The alternative for the Baggies is Australian left-back Jason Davidson, who has only appeared in two Premier League matches so far. Claudio Yacob is suspended.
For West Ham United, reports suggest Alex Song and Enner Valencia will miss Tuesday’s encounter, while Diafra Sakho is set for an extended spell on the sidelines. Sam Allardyce’s biggest call then will be whether or not to restore Winston Reid to the starting line-up after suspension ruled him out of Saturday’s victory over Newcastle. James Tomkins was my Man of the Match against the Magpies, while James Collins was also excellent in ensuring the Hammers kept a clean sheet. Allardyce could revert to a back three to accommodate Reid, as he did at Everton, which would see Carl Jenkinson and Aaron Cresswell employed as wing-backs and could facilitate a start for Mauro Zarate as a second striker. On the other hand, Big Sam may opt to stick with a winning team.
Looking ahead to our home clash with Swansea on Sunday, the Swans could be without up to half of their backline should Ashley Williams and Neil Taylor pick up their fifth yellow cards of the season against QPR on Tuesday.
Possible West Bromwich Albion XI: Foster; Wisdom, Dawson, Lescott, Gamboa; Mulumbu, Gardner; Dorrans, Sessegnon, Brunt; Berahino.
Possible West Ham United XI: Adrian; Jenkinson, Collins, Tomkins, Cresswell; Noble, Kouyate; Amalfitano, Downing, Jarvis; Carroll.
Enjoy the game – Up the Hammers!