Dan Coker's Match Preview

Blast from the past

Upton Park, 20th September 1958 – The Kalin Twins were number one with ‘When’, Grandstand and Blue Peter were weeks away from their first broadcast and West Ham United met Chelsea in a thrilling London derby.

In a sensational start to the match in front of 31,127, three goals were registered in the opening eight minutes of the contest. Future Hammer Jimmy Greaves struck first for Ted Drake’s visitors with just two minutes on the clock but winger Mike Grice (pictured) equalised for the newly-promoted Irons on six minutes. Barely two minutes later, inside-forward John Smith had given the hosts the lead. As the game settled down, it was West Ham who would score next to extend their lead, Vic Keeble getting on the scoresheet on 37 minutes to give Ted Fenton’s men a 3-1 interval advantage.

Greaves scored his second on 65 minutes to set up a tense finish but John Dick ensured the Hammers took maximum points, sealing a 4-2 win with ten minutes remaining.
The Hammers would go on to finish 6th in 1958/59 while Chelsea would finish 14th. Wolves won the league title and Ken Brown was named Hammer of the Year.

West Ham United: Ernie Gregory, John Bond, Andy Nelson, Ken Brown, Noel Cantwell, Andy Malcolm, Doug Wragg, John Smith, Vic Keeble, John Dick, Mike Grice.

Chelsea: Bill Robertson, Peter Sillett, Mel Scott, John Mortimore, John Sillett, Derek Saunders, Peter Brabrook, Tony Nicholas, Ron Tindall, Jimmy Greaves, Mike Harrison.

Club Connections

Victor Moses is unavailable to play against his parent club due to Premier League rules. A decent number of players have represented both West Ham United and Chelsea. These include:

Goalkeepers: Craig Forrest.

Defenders: Tal Ben Haim, Wayne Bridge, Scott Minto, Ian Pearce, Joe Kirkup, Glen Johnson, Jon Harley.

Midfielders: Frank Lampard Junior, Alan Dickens, Joe Cole, Peter Brabrook, Yossi Benayoun, John Sissons.

Strikers: Len Goulden, Demba Ba, Clive Allen, George Hilsdon, Carlton Cole, Jimmy Greaves, Pop Robson, Ron Tindall.

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.

With a nod to the final season at the Boleyn Ground, this season’s match previews for home games will focus on one of the more high-profile names to have played for both clubs and, in this instance, it is one of West Ham United’s greatest players of the twenty-first century who also spent 18 months with Chelsea. 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.

Parker, who had been consistently linked with moves away from Charlton for several years, finally left the Valley just before the January transfer deadline in 2004 to join Chelsea on a four-and-a-half-year contract for a fee of £10 million after a protracted and acrimonious transfer saga. Parker was initially signed to compete with Claude Makelele and Frank Lampard but did not get too many opportunities to play in his preferred position. He scored his only goal for Chelsea in a 2–0 win against Portsmouth at Fratton Park on 11th February 2004. Parker was named as the PFA Young Player of the Year at the end of the 2003/04 season.

Following the summer signings of Arjen Robben and Tiago Mendes, Parker’s first team opportunities were extremely limited during the 2004/05 season, although he was a regular starter in Chelsea’s League Cup matches, a competition where he played in three consecutive victories against West Ham, Newcastle and Fulham. His difficulties were compounded when he broke a metatarsal in a game against Norwich. Parker consequently missed both legs of the League Cup semi-final against Manchester United and the final against Liverpool, although he was awarded a winner’s medal during the trophy presentation. Chelsea went on to won the title for the first time in 50 years –having made only four league appearances for Chelsea during the season, he did not receive a Premier League winner’s medal as he did not make the required 10 appearances to be eligible, though Chelsea did have a replica medal made. After scoring 1 goal in 28 matches in all competitions for the Blues but having found first team opportunities hard to come by, Parker 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 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 9th 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. 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, he 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 for a fee of £5.5m. Parker made 129 appearances for West Ham in all competitions, scoring 12 goals. After two years with Tottenham, he was on the move to Fulham in August 2013, for whom he still plays today at the age of 35.

Referee

The referee on Saturday will be Jonathan Moss. His last appointment at Upton Park was the 4-3 defeat to Bournemouth in August which saw Carl Jenkinson sent off. He also took charge of our home draws against Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion last season, as well as the 2-2 draw at Tottenham and 1-0 home win over Burnley. 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.

Possible line-ups

Slaven Bilic will be without the injured Winston Reid, Joey O’Brien and Alex Song while Victor Moses is unavailable due to Premier League rules. Enner Valencia “could start”, in the words of Bilic himself; Mauro Zarate is another possible replacement for Moses, which could see Dimitri Payet moved into a wider position. Michail Antonio should return to the bench while James Collins, who was excellent last week in the win at Crystal Palace, could keep his place in the side. Mark Noble is one yellow card away from a one-match suspension.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is without the injured Thibaut Courtois, Branislav Ivanovic, Pedro and Loic Remy. Brazilian midfielder Oscar could replace his compatriot Ramires if Mourinho opts to deploy Cesc Fabregas in a deeper role.

Possible West Ham United XI: Adrian; Jenkinson, Tomkins, Collins, Cresswell; Noble, Kouyate; Payet, Zarate, Lanzini; Sakho.

Possible Chelsea XI: Begovic; Zouma, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Matic, Fabregas; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Diego Costa.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!