Dan Coker's Match Preview

Blast from the past

22nd January 1927: Peter Warlock’s string serenade was recorded for the National Gramophonic Society, Fritz Lang’s science-fiction fantasy Metropolis had recently premiered in Germany and General Sir Charles Warren – officer in the British Royal Engineers, one of the earliest European archaeologists of the Biblical Holy Land, head of the Metropolitan Police during the Jack the Ripper murders and commander in combat during the Second Boer War – had died the day before aged 86. In east London, West Ham United defeated visitors Everton by two goals to one.

32-year-old inside-left Billy Moore (pictured) scored for the Hammers that day in front of 11,235 at the Boleyn Ground – Newcastle-born Moore signed from Sunderland in 1922 and played in the 1923 FA Cup Final for the club. He made one international appearance for England, scoring twice in a 3-1 win over Sweden in May 1923. He retired from playing in 1929 but stayed at West Ham to become assistant trainer and was promoted in 1932, staying at the club as trainer-in-chief until his retirement in 1960. He died in 1968 at the age of 73.

Legendary centre-forward and all-time leading Hammers goalscorer Vic Watson notched the other Hammers’ goal, with Irish inside-right Bobby Irvine grabbing the Toffees’ consolation. Moore would end the season with two goals from 13 appearances, while Watson would be the Irons’ top goalscorer of the campaign with 37 goals in 45 matches.

Syd King’s Irons went on to finish in sixth place in the top flight that season, the highest League position up to that point in their history, while Everton in contrast suffered one of their worst campaigns as they finished 20th, one place and four points above the relegation places, with only 34 points won from 42 matches. Newcastle won the league title in 1926/27, finishing ten points clear of the Hammers, and Cardiff won the FA Cup.

West Ham United: Ted Hufton, Jack Hebden, George Horler, George Carter, Jim Barrett, Jimmy Collins, Tommy Yews, Stan Earle, Vic Watson, Billy Moore, Jimmy Ruffell.

Everton: Henry Hardy, John McDonald, Jasper Kerr, Joe Peacock, Albert Virr, Hunter Hart, Ted Critchley, Bobby Irvine, Dixie Dean, Arthur Dominy, Alec Troup.

Club Connections

Considering they have spent the majority of their respective histories at a reasonably similar level, West Ham United and Everton have shared relatively few players. Slaven Bilic welcomes his former club having played for Everton after leaving West Ham in 1997. Enner Valencia is currently on loan from West Ham at Everton but Premier League rules mean he cannot face the Hammers. Others who have appeared for both clubs include:

Goalkeepers: George Kitchen, Richard Wright.

Defenders: David Burrows, William Wildman, William Kelly, George Eccles, Alex McCartney, David Unsworth, Lars Jacobsen, Lucas Neill.

Midfielders: Joe Blythe, Don Hutchison, Mark Ward, Ray Atteveld, Niclas Alexandersson, Danny Williamson, Ian Bishop, Thomas Hitzlsperger.

Strikers: Nikica Jelavic, Tony Cottee, Charlie Crossley, Mike Newell.

Today’s focus falls on a player who spent one season with the Hammers after joining from the Toffees. John Russell was born in Liverpool in 1880 and made his Everton debut in a 3-1 win at Bolton on 1st November 1902. He had to wait exactly five months for his next appearance, a 3-0 defeat at Newcastle on 1st April 1903 and followed that up with his only home appearance for the club three days later, in a 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday at Goodison Park. Research suggests that Russell played each of his Everton matches as an inside-forward.

After just three goalless appearances for Everton, and none in the 1903/04 season, the 24-year-old Russell left the First Division club to move to Southern League West Ham United. He would be followed a year later by goalkeeper George Kitchen, who had played alongside Russell in each of his three Everton appearances and who made the same move from the Toffees to the Hammers. Incidentally, at West Ham, Kitchen became the club’s penalty taker and became the first-ever goalkeeper to score on his debut with a penalty against Swindon on 2nd September 1905.

Russell, meanwhile, has his own place in Hammers history. He made his debut in the official opening of the Boleyn Ground in the opening fixture of the 1904/05 campaign, a 3-0 victory against Millwall in front of 10,000 on 1st September 1904 – he is pictured with his team-mates and management staff, fourth from the right in the middle row. He kept his place in the side at wing-half for the next 15 games in league and FA Cup before being replaced by Len Jarvis. Russell made just one more appearance for West Ham United, on the final day of the 1904/05 season in a 3-0 win at Watford on 25th April 1905. In total he made 17 appearances for the club, without scoring – he left in the summer of 1905.


Saturday’s referee will be Roger East; the Wiltshire-based official has been taking charge of Premier League fixtures since 2012 but has only taken charge of two previous West Ham matches in the top flight, those being the 1-1 home draw with Stoke in April 2015 and, more recently, the 3-2 home defeat to Leicester last month.

Most of East’s matches this season have been in the Championship. The 51-year-old has also refereed the Hammers in the FA Cup, for the fourth round replay win over Liverpool in February 2016 and for the 2-1 quarter-final defeat to Manchester United last April. He also sent off Portsmouth’s Liam Lawrence and West Ham’s Frederic Piquionne in the Irons’ 4-3 home win over Pompey in September 2011.

Possible line-ups

For West Ham United, Angelo Ogbonna, Pedro Obiang, Michail Antonio, Gokhan Tore and Andy Carroll are all on the sidelines through injury. Havard Nordtveit could come into the starting line-up in place of the suspended Sam Byram, while Mark Noble sits out the final match of his own ban. Winston Reid could be available but has not played for over a month, while either Andre Ayew or Jonathan Calleri could start up front. Everton have certainly been the Hammers’ bogey side in recent seasons – we have only beaten the Toffees once in the league, home or away, since April 2007, drawing four and losing ten in all competitions since then. In addition, West Ham haven’t recorded a win over Everton by more than a single-goal margin since 1982.

Everton will be without the injured Seamus Coleman, Ramiro Funes Mori, Muhamed Besic, James McCarthy, Aaron Lennon and Yannick Bolasie, while Premier League regulations prevent on-loan Enner Valencia from featuring against his parent club. Romelu Lukaku has scored in each of his last nine matches against West Ham.

Possible West Ham United XI: Randolph; Nordtveit, Fonte, Collins, Masuaku; Kouyate, Fernandes; Feghouli, Lanzini, Snodgrass; Ayew.

Possible Everton XI: Robles; Holgate, Williams, Jagielka, Baines; Gueye, Schneiderlin, Davies; Mirallas, Barkley; Lukaku.

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!