Dawud Marsh's Photo Diary

From the Vaults: West Ham Utd v Newcastle 3rd November 2019

NOTE FROM IAIN: Don’t forget to enter the Predictor League for tomorrow evening’s match against Charlton HERE. I’ve extended the normal deadline until midday tomorrow. Remember, you need to have a new profile on the new sight to enter. You can sign up HERE.

I hope everyone is safe and well.

I’m missing the match days and having the opportunity to record the game and the atmosphere with my camera. We are currently in different times with the uncertainty that surrounds when fans will be allowed back into stadiums to watch live football given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

But, I would like to share some photographic highlights of previous matches as we play each team this season and hopefully you will find these posts interesting. Also I’ll be restarting the In Focus and Through the Lens series, which I hope you will all enjoy as well.

Our opening season defeat to Newcastle continues the poor form we have against the Magpies that was all too evident last season in the 2-3 defeat at London Stadium that continued a five game stretch without a Premier League win at that time.

A very poor first half handed Newcastle the game as the team went into the dressing room 2-0 down and despite a late rally in the second half with Balbuena and Snodgrass both scoring we never looked like scraping even a draw and were lucky not to have lost by a greater margin.

As is typical teams who have struggled to score seem to find the back of the net with ease when they come to London Stadium and Clark, Fernandez and Shelvey all got onto the score sheet that helped Newcastle climb away from the relegation zone to within a point of the Hammers. There were opportunities in the first half but we lacked ideas in the final third of the pitch as the Magpies dominated the first half.

Snodgrass made a rallying call in his post match interview stating it was a reality check that the players needed to end their poor form and get back to where the team had started the season. Pellegrini was perplexed by the poor performance saying we had been pressing high in previous matches.

But we were by that time without Fabianski and Jimenez’s form in goal was a growing cause for concern, especially when he should have stopped Shelvey’s free kick from creeping in the net. By then fans had been streaming out of the stadium. The poor form started away against League One side Oxford United and we now play Charlton Athletic in the second round of the Carabao Cup. Lets hope we are not going to repeat a similar run of form this season.

Dawud Marsh's Photo Diary

In Focus: Felipe Anderson

Born Felipe Anderson Pereira Gomes on 15th April 1993 in Santa Maria Federal District in Brazil, Felipe arrived at West Ham United via Lazio for a reported transfer fee of £36m. He followed Issa Diop in breaking the Hammers previous transfer fee records during the summer of 2018.

In his earlier career, Felipe played for a number of youth sides before arriving at Santos in 2007 playing for the youth categories until a rash of injuries promoted him to the senior side. Once he began training with the senior side, Felipe was given a professional contract until July 2013 and scored his first goal of his professional career on 11th February against Noroeste, a long range shot in the 70th minute.

Anderson signed a new contract, running until 2016 and in the following season had more senior appearances due to Ganso’s injuries and Elano’s poor form, playing alongside Neymar and scored his first goal of the season against Botagof-SP on 9th February 2012.

After a failed attempt by Lazio to sign Filepe in January 2013, he finally made the move on 25th June 2013 for €7.8m signing a 5 year deal. Igli Tare, Lazio’s sporting director, complained about the transfer process due to third party owner Doyen Sports, who he said “changed their minds continually. When we had everything decided, they would start from scratch two hours later. It felt like being in the Twilight Zone.”

In Felipe’s second season at Lazio he scored 11 goals with 9 assists across all competitions and signed a contract extension until June 2020. Anderson’s form at Lazio was reportedly raising the interests of both Manchester United United and Chelsea and saw him chalk up 34 goals in 177 appearances across all competitions during his five seasons there. But in 2017-18, his final season at Lazio, a knee injury and a fall out with the manager Simone Inzaghi, restricted Felipe to just 21 league appearances and 4 goals.

A busy summer transfer window saw Pellegrini sign Anderson, Ryan Fredericks, Lukasz Fabianski, Issa Diop, Jack Wilshere, Andriy Yarmolenko and Fabián Balbuena in an attempt to improve on 2018’s 13th place finish.

Felipe had high hopes when joining the Hammers saying “West Ham is a club with a lot of tradition, lots of great players have played here, like Bobby Moore, Carlos Tevez and [Paolo] Di Canio. They were great players and idols here, and I’m aiming big, who knows, maybe I could hit their heights and be a legend here too. I’m really happy to be here. It’s a dream come true.”

He praises Sullivan for having faith in him and in securing the transfer saying, “I hope I can repay his faith in me on the pitch with goals and winning games.”

Anderson has admitted that adapting to the Premier League has been tough due to the vast difference in intensity between English and Italian football, revealing he struggled early on in his West Ham career to last the full 90 minutes. "The difference is incredible. It’s a big difference. I felt, in my first 10 games, I couldn’t play more than 70 minutes because of the intensity.” His first season brought 10 goals in all competitions from 40 appearances.

Joe Cole believes that Anderson will be one of the players that will ensure West Ham remain in the Premier League, saying: “The group of players there are really talented, I was speaking to [Mark] Noble at the start of the season and there’s a lot of talent in that team. Your Andersons, your Declan Rices, I think they’ll stay up.”

Some have argued that ‘Anderson blows hot and cold, he isn’t committed to playing and he’s lazy.’ And given the difficulty he has had settling down at the club and recovering some of the form he showed at Lazio, you can understand fan frustration at his lack of performance in matches, especially this season. Settling into a more physical game in the Premier League can prove a hurdle to players and his supporters would argue he arrived light and point to his wonderful back heal past DeGea in a 3-1 victory over Manchester United for his first goal for West Ham. Felipe went on to scoring 9 Premier goals with 3 assists for his first Premier League season.

This season has been difficult for many reasons, but for Felipe it has been said that he fails to fulfil his offensive duties but Pellegrini had held him back into a more defensive role instead of giving him a freer role forward and tracking back when needed.

Felipe Anderson is considered one of West Ham’s flair players but David Moyes is struggling to get the best out of him. Injury has impacted his season and Moyes asked of Anderson to show his quality on the pitch, which he did at the start of the Moyes second tenure as manager at West Ham with a goal in the 4-0 win against Bournemouth. But injury in the 1-1 draw with Sheffield United added to the growing list of players unavailable to Moyes as the Hammers struggled for points and form.

The COVID-19 lockdown set uncertainty about whether the season would finish but with games now underway Filipe found himself subbed for Lanzini in our first game after the Premier League restart. He came on as a 71 min sub for Noble in our defeat against Spurs, Anderson was an unused sub against the victory over Chelsea and did not feature at all in the senior team in the draw against Newcastle and is currently recovering from a hamstring injury and missed the Burnley away game.

During the lockdown, before the Premier League resumed, Filipe sent a message to Hammers fans:

“Hello West Ham fans. I miss you, to see you filling the stadium, but we still have to stay home” he added. “I hope, as soon as I have the opportunity to play, to do my best to you, for you and for our West Ham. A big hug, be with God.”

Halfway through his 4 year deal, what role will Anderson play in the run in to the end of the season and will Moyes be able to get him to contribute positively in a fight for our Premier League survival if he recovers from injury in time?

Is Felipe and player we need for next season?

Dawud Marsh's Photo Diary

Through the Lens: Photographs From The Past Part 10: Malcolm “Big Al” Allison

Malcolm Allison, who was born on 5th September 1927 and died on 14th October 2010 was arguably one of the most exuberant characters in English football. Big Al was not only known as a great innovator in revolutionising football training methods, but he was also a flamboyant and outspoken character that had a huge impact on modern football.

Missing his chance for schoolboy honours due to the outbreak of war, Allison joined Erith and Belvedere FC earning Kent Country amateur honours and later when in the forces skippered British Combined Services XI against an Australian International Team and the French Army.

Malcolm’s promising career as a centre half was ended prematurely as a West Ham player due to contracting tuberculosis when he feel ill after a match against Sheffield United on 16th September 1957 resulting in having a lung removed. This proved to be his last senior game for the club.

Malcolms future as a manager was evident in his early playing career as he challenged club coaches at Charlton Athletic, where he struggled to make an impact on the pitch, for their outdated training methods.

Joining West Ham United in February 1951 for £7,000 as a replacement for Dick Walker Allison made 238 appearances and scored 10 goals but after his illness struggled with fitness as he battled to play on in the reserve team. Malcolm left football for a while but returned to play for non-league Romford in 1963.

Malcolm carried a great enthusiasm for the game and was always striving for improvements and his influence on tactics an team selection were a key feature of his time at West Ham. Malcolm would often stay behind after training to talk tactics and he was a mentor to the young Bobby Moore at the start of his career. Malcolm had his first taste of coaching at West Ham when Ted Fenton was manager, who also created The Academy and the development of youth teams that reached the FA Youth Cup Final twice in the three years between 1956-59.

Malcolm Allison heading the ball Football League Division Two West Ham United v Birmingham City, 06 September, 1952 (This is actually cropped from a larger photograph, but is a still well composed as an image)

Moore said of Malcolm:

“I’d been a professional for two and a half months and Malcolm had taught me everything I know…. When Malcolm was coaching schoolboys he took a liking to me when I don’t think anyone else at West Ham saw anything special in me… I looked up to the man. It’s not too strong to say I loved him.”

Malcolm hung up his boots after the 1963 season and pursued his career in coaching and became Joe Mercer’s assistant at Manchester City in 1965. Mercer had previously suffered from ill health and wanted a young and energetic assistant so he sought out Allison whom he knew from coaches courses at Lillshall. Malcolm had already managed non-league Bath City, leading them to 3rd place in the league and a 3rd round FA Cup tie with 1st Division Bolton Wanderers.

Malcolm then managed Plymouth Argyle from May 1964 and returned to Bath to sign full back Tony Book, where he encouraged Book to doctor his birth certificate to appear younger as Allison feared Argyle would not sign a 30 year old player with no League Football experience.

At Manchester City Malcolm and Mercer era is considered one of the strongest in their history, winning 1st Division in 1967-68 season, winning FA Cup in 1969 and League Cup and Cup Winners Cup in 1970. Although Mercer had the final say as manager, it is understood that Malcolm inspired him to buy the players that would become the heart of the side – Colin Bell, Francis Lee and Mike Summerbee. Malcolm motivated and trained the team towards promotion and their successes, but there were still controversies as Allison was blamed for signing the disruptive Rodney Marsh from Queens Park Rangers. Allison had an offer to manage Juventus, but turned it down in the understanding that Mercer would stand aside. Mercer was critical of the media attention on Allison and his love of the limelight as he became a regular in gossip and fashion columns. A power struggle ensued that left Mercer sidelined and Malcolm continued as manager after Mercer left for Coventry, but struggled and he resigned in March 1973.

Mike Summerbee, who played under Allison at Man City, paid tribute to his former gaffer: “Malcolm changed football by making us train like athletes. In that respect he was ahead of his time and he was a great tactician as well.
“He was also one of the lads – in effect he was the 12th player from the sidelines but he knew how to crack the whip and we respected him.
“He was a great psychologist; he knew how to handle me and how to get more out of me. He did the same for Colin Bell, Francis Lee, Neil Young and all of that great side.”

Malcolm moved to Crystal Palace where a roller coaster 3 years lead to two successive relegations, a totally changed kit that introduced the renown red and blue stripped colours and name change from The Glaziers’ to ‘The Eagles”. But in 1975-76 season Malcolm lead the team to FA Cup semi final appearance taking on Leeds United, Chelsea and Sunderland in an amazing cup run which also introduced Allison’s famous fedora hat and the sweeper system, which was a relatively new idea in football.

Palace defender Jim Cannon said: “Malcolm Allison put Palace on the map. No other man could single-handedly take a club from the First Division to the Third Division and still become an instant hero”

Allisons managerial career faltered until a brief period of success at Sporting Lisbon where he won the League and Cup in 1982 before coaching Middlesborough, stints in Turkey and Kuwait and finally at Bristol Rovers in 1992. Allison suffered from anxiety and depression and after losing much of what he had earned over the years. After the breakdown of his 17 year relationship with Lynn Salton, Allison admitted to his alcoholism saying “I don’t remember the days anymore.”

What would have Allison’s life had been like if he had not fallen so ill after the match against Sheffield United in 1957? Despite the flamboyant and forthright character whose life was played out in the limelight, Malcolm will be remembered for rolled up sleeves and a determination both on and off the pitch that had such a lasting impact at West Ham United.

Malcolm Allison leads West Ham out in a game from 1956 with his trademark shirt sleeves rolled up.

Dawud Marsh's Photo Diary

Through the Lens: Photographs From The Past Part 9: FA Cup Replay Lockout

The current COVID-19 pandemic has created a unique situation that has had an impact on football throughout all levels. And now for top flight football we are seeing the season restart with a fixture schedule set to complete the 9 remaining rounds by the end of July. But in the 70s and 80s we often had a busy March and April fixture programme due to matches postponed from the Winter weather being rescheduled.

There were other reasons in the 70s that we experienced unusual kick off times and fixture dates as power cuts had an impact on home and work life across the country with the introduction of the three day working week. Does anyone remember those times? I remember how we sat for hours at night in candle light not knowing when the electricity would be turned back on.

In the early 70s West Ham United had introduced energy saving measures at the club but one of the biggest impacts was on the FA Cup 4th Round Replay with Hereford United after a 0-0 draw at Edgar Street that set up a Valentines Day replay on Monday 14th February 1974.

West Ham United Match Day Programme

Originally scheduled for an evening encounter, the Government power regulations brought the kick off forward to 2.15pm. The match was a sell out with 42,271 fans inside the ground and reportedly approximately 5,000 fans, many with tickets, turned up but were unable to attend the match and were left to find unique viewing atop buildings surrounding the ground.

There was quite a dispute about the ‘lockout’, particularly from ticket holding Hereford United fans, who accused West Ham of deliberately excluding them from the match. One account is from Jane Thompson, a factory cook who queued for 4 hours to buy her ticket, leaving home before dawn and giving up a days pay to attend the match. The accusation was that West Ham United did not want 15,000 Hereford fans creating an intimidating atmosphere that may swing the game in the Bulls favour.

Hereford United, a Southern League team, entered the FA Cup at the 4th qualifying round and progressed to play West Ham after a 2-1 victory against Newcastle United at Edgar Street on 5th February following a 2-2 draw at St James’ Park. That match had already been delayed due to the weather and the replay had also been postponed 3 times. The game was covered by the BBC and was also a trial for young match day commentator John Motson.

No doubt the many fans who turned up on Monday 14th February we eager for another giant killing performance. In fact, the Cup run has been credited for Hereford United’s promotion to the 4th Division, replacing relegated Barrow. In the following seasons the club rose to the 2nd Division for the 1976-77 season after winning 3rd Division title.

The replay was notable for the last hat trick scored by Sir Geoff Hurst in claret and blue, which he achieved in 31 minutes that ended the match as a competition, with The Bulls managing a consolation goal by their inspirational striker Billy Meadows, who is remembered for his part in the season’s giant killing FA Cup run.

But despite the result, the game had moments that could have seen a different outcome, with Ricky George, the extra time winning goal scorer against Newcastle United, saw his low shot go wide beyond the helpless ‘Bobby’ Ferguson. A goal then after the Hammers had missed a host of chances themselves, could have turned the game in Herefords favour in the first half. As it was, Hurst scored with just about a minute to go before the half time whistle after a wonderful run into the area by Clyde Best who pulled the ball back for Hurst to shoot into an open net and the rest is history.

Hereford United fans manage to find a way to watch the match

This is a terrific photo from the match where you can see the game being played out in front of a packed stadium and the many fans who were unable to get into the ground finding space on the roof tops of the flats that over look the North bank of the ground.

There are some amazing stories of fans who entered the flats, climbed the stairs as the lift struggled with the sheer number of people, to find any space on the roof from which to see the match. This will never be able to happen now and with the final rounds of the season being played to empty stadiums, we can all watch the action live through our tv or computer screens.

You can enjoy the highlights of the match here:

Dawud Marsh's Photo Diary

In Focus: Pablo Zabaleta

With news that the 2019-20 season is set to resume with our first match against Wolverhampton Wanderers on 20th June at 5.30pm in the London Stadium, will these final games be the last we see of Zabaleta in claret and blue shirt? Pablo’s contract is set to end in June and given his age will there be an offer of an extension for another season?

Zabaleta was born on 16th January 1985 in Buenos Aires and raised in Arrecifes. Pablo started out as a defensive midfielder as he progressed through the youth ranks of Club Atletico Lorenzo de Almagro, but eventually settled out on the right side of midfield.

“In Argentina, you have a lot of space to play on the street, or in gardens, or at the park,” Pablo recalls. “We played on any space we could find in our neighbourhood after school. I called on my friends and went to play. It was quite a safe area to live in, but I had to leave when I was scouted aged 10 or so.”

Zabaleta made 66 appearances for San Lorenzo scoring 8 goals before a €3m move to Espanyol in 2005 whilst holding the captains armband for the Argentina U20s team in the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, which Argentina won. During the following season Pablo helped Espanyol secure a 4-1 victory in the Copa del Rey final against Real Zaragoza.

Pablo had established himself as first team regular on the right side of defence but was sidelined for 3 months with a shoulder injury during 2007 season, but returned to play in the 2006-07 UEFA Cup Final. Losing to Sevilla on penalties. After 79 appearances scoring 3 goals Zabaleta transferred to Manchester City in summer of 2008 for an undisclosed fee on a 5 year deal, rejecting an offer from Juventus. Pablo said "The offer is impossible to reject and not just because of the money … Juventus also wanted me but I wanted to come to England, and to Manchester.”

Whilst at Manchester City Zabaleta was part of their Premier League winning team in 2011-12 and 2013-14, also winning FA Cup in 2010-11, Football League Cup 2013-14 and 2015-16 and the Community Shield in 2012. Pablo made 333 appearances for Manchester City, scoring 12 goals, one against West Ham United during a 2-1 win on 1st May 2011. Zabaleta has also made 58 appearances for Argentina in his senior career, playing against Germany in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final defeat in Brazil.

Zabaleta joined West Ham on a free transfer on 26th May 2017 being given the No 5 shirt for an initial 2 year contract and reunited him with Manuel Pellegrini in the following season. Pablo is the first Argentinian to reach 300 Premier League games when he played in the 1-0 away defeat against Sheffield United on 10th January of this year.

This season Zabaleta has made 14 appearances in all competitions, scoring one goal against Gillingham in the Hammers 2-0 victory in the FA Cup 3rd round. In May last year Pablo signed an 1 year extension to his contract saying "The reason I am here is because I’m still enjoying my football and, of course, the manager was one of the reasons I chose to extend my contract.”

But Pablo stated last year that this may be his last season in England’s Premier League "This will definitely be my last season in England, for sure. This is something I know, but I don’t know in football, and I don’t think this is the right time to be thinking [about it] when we have a long season ahead.”

Zabaleta has mentioned he may retire from football instead given the current situation where matches will be played behind closed doors. Zabaleta was considering a move to another league, perhaps Italy, as he is expecting to leave West Ham at the end of this season, but has expressed doubts because of the possibility of playing to empty stadiums.

“I had even come to think, at the end of this season, to give myself the joy of playing one more season in another league, perhaps in Italy, but now I don’t know.

“The chances are you won’t play in front of a crowd, so what motivation could I have left? Why go to Italy if mythical stadiums like the Olimpico in Rome or San Siro will be closed?”

Will Zabaleta be in the first team squad for the remainder of the games in what is surely to be a unique end to the season?

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