Dan Coker's Match Preview

Blast from the past

17th August 2013 – Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa topped the UK box office and Miley Cyrus was number one with ‘We Can’t Stop’ as West Ham United recorded a 2-0 victory over tonight’s opponents Cardiff City in front of 34,977 at Upton Park.

Joe Cole (pictured below) scored the Hammers’ first goal of the 2013/14 season 13 minutes into this opening day encounter, meeting Matt Jarvis’ low cross from the left before swivelling and squeezing an effort into the corner of the net. Shortly afterwards, Mo Diame’s deflected effort spun inches wide of the post as the Irons sought to double their advantage against the newly-promoted Bluebirds, managed by former Hammers centre-half Malky Mackay.

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Stewart Downing came on for his West Ham debut before skipper Kevin Nolan secured the points for West Ham in the 76th minute, sweeping home a first-time curling shot after good work by Mark Noble. Nolan would go on to be the Hammers’ top scorer of 2013/14, with seven goals in 35 matches. Ex-Hammers strikers Craig Bellamy and Nicky Maynard featured in the match, with substitute Maynard coming closest for the visitors, scooping over under pressure from former Bluebird James Collins.

Sam Allardyce’s Hammers would finish 13th in the Premier League in 2013/14, while Cardiff would end the campaign relegated in bottom place. Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City won the title and Arsenal won the FA Cup.

West Ham United: Jussi Jaaskelainen, Guy Demel, James Collins, Winston Reid, Joey O’Brien, Mark Noble, Mo Diame (Alou Diarra), Joe Cole (Ricardo Vaz Te), Kevin Nolan, Matt Jarvis (Stewart Downing), Modibo Maiga.

Cardiff City: David Marshall, Matthew Connolly, Ben Turner, Steven Caulker, Declan John, Gary Medel, Aron Gunnarsson, Craig Bellamy (Rudy Gestede), Peter Whittingham, Kim Bo-Kyung (Nicky Maynard), Fraizer Campbell (Jordon Mutch).

Club Connections

A decent number of players have worn the shirts of both West Ham United and Cardiff City. These include:

Goalkeepers: Tommy Hampson, Stephen Bywater and Peter Grotier.

Defenders: Clive Charles, Danny Gabbidon, Phil Brignull, Roger Johnson and James Collins.

Midfielders: Gary O’Neil, Matt Holmes, Trevor Sinclair, Ravel Morrison, Bobby Weale, Billy Thirlaway and Jobi McAnuff.

Strikers: John Burton, Craig Bellamy, Marouane Chamakh, Billy Charlton, Nicky Maynard and Keith Robson.

Bobby Gould, Malky Mackay and Frank O’Farrell all played for the Hammers and managed the Bluebirds.

Today’s focus though is on a player who turned out for West Ham before representing Cardiff later in his career. Joe Durrell was a winger who was born on 15th March 1953 in Stepney. He started his career with the Hammers, signing schoolboy forms in 1968, and made his debut at the age of 18 in a 2-1 home win over Stoke on 25th September 1971. A diminutive, speedy winger competing for places with Johnny Ayris and Harry Redknapp, West Ham supporter Durrell made six appearances for the Irons during the 1971/72 season, with his final appearance for the club coming in a 1-0 home win over Southampton on 1st May 1972.

Competition for places led to Durrell moving to Bristol City in 1973 – game time was again hard to come by and he had a two-match loan spell at Cardiff in 1975. The most successful spell of his career came at Gillingham, for whom he played from 1975 to 1977, scoring nine goals in 49 league matches.

A bubbly character, Durrell returned to the East End with wife Denise and worked as a primary school teacher. He suffered a stroke in 2016 but, now aged 65, is said to be “fine” and, pleasingly, attended a pre-Christmas drink with a few fellow ex-Hammers last Friday.

Referee

Tonight’s referee is 50-year-old Graham Scott. The Oxfordshire-based official will be taking charge of only his sixth Premier League match involving West Ham United – the Hammers have won four of the previous five league matches he has officiated. His first Premier League appointment with the Irons was our 3-1 win at Southampton in February last year. He also took charge of the Hammers for our 3-0 win at Stoke in December – Scott’s decision to award Manuel Lanzini a first-half penalty saw the Argentine retrospectively banned for two matches. He also refereed our 2-0 home win over Watford in February, our 3-1 home win over Everton on the final day of last season and, most recently, our 3-1 defeat at Arsenal in August.

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Scott was also the man in the middle for our 2-1 League Cup victory over Cheltenham in August 2013 and also sent off Callum McNaughton in the defender’s only Hammers appearance as the club were knocked out of the same competition by Aldershot in August 2011.

Possible line-ups

Manuel Pellegrini should have Fabian Balbuena available but Aaron Cresswell is a doubt. The manager has previously hinted that Michail Antonio could come in for Pablo Zabaleta, who is likely to be rested. Zabaleta is also one yellow card away from a one-match suspension. Ryan Fredericks, Winston Reid, Carlos Sanchez, Manuel Lanzini and Andriy Yarmolenko are still sidelined. West Ham are on a six-match winning streak against Cardiff, keeping clean sheets in five of those games. Andy Carroll hasn’t played since May but could make his 200th Premier League appearance.

Cardiff City will be without the injured Jazz Richards, Greg Cunningham and Kenneth Zohore. The Bluebirds have picked up nine of their 11 points this season from trailing positions, second only to Arsenal. They are also the only two sides yet to lead a Premier League game at half-time this season.

Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Antonio, Balbuena, Diop, Masuaku; Snodgrass, Rice, Noble, Anderson; Arnautovic, Chicharito.

Possible Cardiff City XI: Etheridge; Morrison, Bamba, Ecuele Manga; Camarasa, Ralls, Arter, Gunnarsson, Hoilett; Paterson, Murphy.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!