Dan Coker's Match Preview
Blast from the past
Just over 30 years ago, on the 20th October 1984, English football was introduced to its first ever big screen – it was at Highbury as Arsenal defeated Sunderland 3-2 to retain top spot in Division One. On the same day, Everton recorded their first win at Anfield in 14 years, Sheffield Wednesday beat Leicester 5-0 and West Ham United triumphed 4-2 at The Victoria Ground, the former home of Stoke City, in front of 9,945 spectators.
Paul Allen, a product of the West Ham Academy and a player who would later turn out 17 times for Stoke in a loan spell from Southampton some 11 years later, gave the Hammers a half-time lead before a goal feast in the second half. Mark Chamberlain (father of Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain) and Ian Painter netted for the Potters, but strikes from Tony Cottee and Paul Goddard, along with an own goal by City’s George Berry, ensured maximum points headed safely back to East London.
West Ham would finish the season two points clear of the drop in 16th place, while Stoke would be relegated in bottom position, picking up only 17 points and conceding 91 goals along the way.
Stoke City: Peter Fox, Wayne Ebanks, Steve Bould, Paul Dyson, George Berry, Chris Hemming, Sammy McIlroy (Steve Parkin), Mark Chamberlain, Phil Heath, Brendan O’Callaghan, Ian Painter.
West Ham United: Tom McAlister, Ray Stewart, Tony Gale, Alvin Martin, Steve Walford, Billy Bonds, Paul Allen, Geoff Pike (Neil Orr), Paul Goddard, Tony Cottee, Steve Whitton.
A reasonable number of players have worn the shirts of both Stoke City and West Ham United. These include: Lee Chapman, Sir Geoff Hurst, Steve Banks, Abdoulaye Faye, Clive Clarke, Matthew Etherington, Kevin Keen, John Carew, Henri Camara, Paul Allen, Danny Collins, Frank Richardson, Lawrie Leslie, Bob Dixon, Matthew Upson and Nicky Morgan. Lou Macari has also managed both clubs, with two spells in charge of the Potters.
Today’s focus, though, falls on a player who enjoyed spells at both clubs in the middle part of the last decade. Luke Chadwick began his career at Manchester United, scoring two goals in 25 appearances for the Red Devils, while also spending loan periods with Antwerp, Reading and Burnley. Chadwick signed for Alan Pardew’s West Ham at the start of the 2004/05 season and played the majority of games before Christmas on the right wing. He scored his only goal for the club in a 1-1 draw with Leeds United in a televised Friday night match, opening the scoring by bundling home after a Marlon Harewood header had been blocked. Leeds ruined Chadwick’s night however, equalising through an injury-time penalty by David Healy after the Northern Ireland striker had blatantly dived to win the spot-kick. Injury disrupted the rest of Chadwick’s season as the Hammers won promotion back to the top flight by beating Preston in the play-off final in Cardiff.
After 32 appearances for West Ham, Chadwick joined Stoke, initially on loan at the start of the 2005/06 season. Following impressive performances, this move was made permanent the following January for a fee of £100,000. Chadwick won many admirers amongst the Stoke faithful but fitness issues again caught up with him, fainting due to dehydration against Southend on the opening day of the 2006/07 season. Chadwick’s former assistant manager at Upton Park, Peter Grant, took the winger to Norwich as Stoke more than doubled their money on the England Under-21 international. He scored 5 goals in 51 matches for the Potters.
After leaving Norwich in 2008, Chadwick made 210 appearances for MK Dons, scoring 17 goals, before getting his dream move to boyhood club Cambridge United last spring. Discussing his debut for Cambridge against Welling in March this year, Chadwick told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: “I remember coming on in a Champions League quarter-final against Munich. That was quite a nerve-wracking and an incredible experience. But this is the biggest one now. The missus buys me the Cambridge kit every Christmas or my birthday. I’ve had it the last 10 to 15 years, so to wear one in a proper game was a great feeling. I still think I’ve got years left in me. My body will tell me when it is time to stop. Ideally, I’ve got three, four, five or six years left. You never know in this game, I just want to be successful here.” Chadwick helped Cambridge win promotion back into the Football League in May after a nine-year exile for the club and has scored one goal in ten league matches so far for them this season.
Saturday’s referee will be Chris Foy; the Liverpool-based official has been taking charge of Premier League fixtures since 2001. Since West Ham United achieved promotion back to the top flight in 2012 Foy has refereed five of our league matches with the Hammers yet to win – he has officiated in two draws and three defeats. Foy was the man in the middle on the opening day of the season against Tottenham at Upton Park, awarding the Hammers a first half penalty and sending off Kyle Naughton, only for us to lose the match 1-0. James Collins was also shown a red card in that game.
Stoke will be without Peter Odemwingie and Glenn Whelan through long-term injuries, while Robert Huth is also sidelined. Phil Bardsley and Peter Crouch picked up suspensions in the League Cup tie in midweek, depleting Mark Hughes’ resources still further.
Sam Allardyce will give Diafra Sakho until Saturday morning to prove he is fit enough to play after suffering heavy bruising to his shoulder in last week’s stunning victory over champions Manchester City. Sakho has reportedly progressed from a 30% chance of playing earlier this week to 50-50 as of Thursday. Should Big Sam decide to start the striker, who is brimming with confidence and self-belief, it is unlikely he will last anywhere near 90 minutes. It will be expected that Carlton Cole will certainly see action at some stage in Saturday’s match. James Tomkins and Matt Jarvis should return to the matchday 18. Winston Reid is one yellow card away from accumulating five bookings and therefore a one-match suspension.
Possible Stoke City XI: Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters; N’Zonzi, Adam; Walters, Arnautovic, Moses; Diouf.
Possible West Ham United XI: Adrian; Jenkinson, Collins, Reid, Cresswell; Noble, Amalfitano, Song; Downing; Sakho, Valencia.
Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!