Dan Coker's Match Preview

Blast from the past

8th April 1987 – Through the Keyhole had just made its TV debut, Ferry Aid were number one with ‘Let It Be’ (a single released following the Zeebrugge Disaster the previous month which killed 193 passengers and crew when a ferry capsized) and Little Shop of Horrors was in UK cinemas.

Meanwhile, 26,174 at the Boleyn Ground saw the Hammers beat newly-crowned League Cup winners Arsenal. 21-year-old striker Tony Cottee (pictured below) gave the Irons the lead on four minutes with his 100th goal for the club when he controlled Billy Bonds’ header across goal before firing past Gunners goalkeeper Rhys Wilmot from close range. George Parris conceded a penalty eight minutes later, bringing down David Rocastle – Hammers ‘keeper Tom McAlister, playing his first game in two years, saved Martin Hayes’ spot-kick but the referee ordered a retake for encroachment. Hayes converted at the second attempt to equalise for the visitors.

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Cottee restored the hosts’ lead 11 minutes into the second half with a penalty of his own after Parris had been brought down by Wilmot. Former Gunner Liam Brady secured the points for the Hammers with his first goal in claret and blue, carrying the ball from his own half before firing low into the corner with 11 minutes remaining. All the action from the game can be seen in my video below.

John Lyall’s Hammers finished in 15th place in the 1986/87 Division One season while George Graham’s Gunners ended up fourth. Cottee would be top scorer with 29 goals in 54 appearances. Billy Bonds was named Hammer of the Year, with Mark Ward runner-up. Everton won the league title and Coventry won the FA Cup.

West Ham United: Tom McAlister, Billy Bonds, Gary Strodder, Tony Gale, Tommy McQueen, Mark Ward, George Parris, Alan Dickens, Stewart Robson, Liam Brady, Tony Cottee.

Arsenal: Rhys Wilmot, Viv Anderson, David O’Leary, Tony Adams, Steve Williams, David Rocastle, Michael Thomas, Paul Davis, Martin Hayes (Graham Rix), Charlie Nicholas, Perry Groves.

Club Connections

A large group of players have turned out for West Ham United and Arsenal. Carl Jenkinson is currently back at the Gunners having spent two of the previous four seasons on loan at the Hammers. Lukasz Fabianski, Jack Wilshere, Samir Nasri and Lucas Perez welcome their former club. Other players to have represented both clubs include:

Goalkeepers: Charles Ambler, Richard Wright, Manuel Almunia, Jim Standen.

Defenders: Matthew Upson, Nigel Winterburn, Steve Walford, Bob Stevenson.

Midfielders: Stewart Robson, Liam Brady, Yossi Benayoun, Archie Macauley, David Bentley, James Bigden, Roddy McEachrane, Alex Song, Henri Lansbury, Luis Boa Morte, Fred Kemp, Fredrik Ljungberg.

Strikers: Harry Lewis, Bobby Gould, Jeremie Aliadiere, Dick Burgess, John Blackwood, Fergie Hunt, Dr Jimmy Marshall, Kaba Diawara, Jimmy Bloomfield, Charlie Satterthwaite, Marouane Chamakh, Billy Linward, Lee Chapman, Tommy Lee, Ian Wright, Peter Kyle, John Hartson, Stan Earle, John Radford, Davor Suker.

Ron Greenwood was also assistant manager at Arsenal before becoming manager of West Ham.

Today’s focus though falls on a Scottish player who captained Arsenal before later playing for West Ham. James Jackson was born on the 15th September 1875 in Cambuslang, Glasgow but his family emigrated to Australia where he was raised from the age of two. He began his senior football career at Adamstown Rosebud in Newcastle, New South Wales. He returned to Scotland in 1893, appearing for Newton Thistle, Cambuslang and briefly for Rangers before moving to England to join Newcastle United, who he helped to promotion to the Football League in his first season.

A strict teetotaller, Jackson joined Woolwich Arsenal in 1899, attracted by the club’s willingness to help him open a sports shop just outside the Manor Ground. He made his debut aged 23 against Leicester Fosse on 2nd September 1899 and was a regular at the club for the next six seasons, playing either at left-back or wing-half. He was a virtual ever-present in the Gunners’ 1903/04 Second Division promotion-winning season, and captained the club in four of his five seasons at the club, including their inaugural top flight campaign. In all he played 204 matches for Arsenal, scoring one goal. He is pictured below, fourth from the right in the back row, with his Arsenal team-mates from the 1904/05 First Division season.

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Jackson left Arsenal in 1905 to become player-manager of Leyton, newly admitted to the Southern League, but he resigned to sign as a player for West Ham United in November 1905. A major capture for the Hammers, the East Ham Echo wrote:

“While with Arsenal Jackson was regarded as one of the finest backs in the South, and it was with great regret that the Woolwich club’s supporters learned that the skipper was leaving to take up the position of player/manager to Leyton. A few days ago the sporting public were greatly surprised to read in the London papers that Jackson had tendered his resignation, which had been accepted by the Leyton directorate. This was indeed a sensation, and was quickly followed by the startling, but welcome, news that he had been signed on for West Ham.”

The 30-year-old strong, forceful defender made his Hammers debut in a 2-0 win over Brighton at Upton Park on 11th November 1905. ‘Jemmy’ was ever-present for the rest of the 1905/06 Southern League season, forming a fabled full-back partnership with another Scot, Dave Gardner, and making 24 appearances as the Irons finished 11th. His final match for the club was a 1-0 defeat at Portsmouth on 28th April 1906.

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Jackson rejoined Rangers in 1906, spending two years with the club before moving on to Port Glasgow Athletic. He joined Hamilton Accies in 1910 but his spell with the club was brief before he signed for Morton. He ended his career in 1915 after four years with Abercorn. He had two sons who became footballers – the elder, James, played more than 200 times for Liverpool (where he was also captain) before being ordained a minister in the Presbyterian Church. The younger, Archie, played for Sunderland and Tranmere. Jackson’s nephew was the Australian test cricketer Archie Jackson. ‘Jemmy’ Jackson’s date of death is unknown.


The referee on Saturday will be Jonathan Moss. The Yorkshire-based official has sent off a player in six of his last 12 appointments involving the Hammers – the 4-3 defeat to Bournemouth in August 2015 saw Carl Jenkinson sent off, while the 2-1 win over Chelsea in October 2015 saw Nemanja Matic dismissed (then-Blues manager Jose Mourinho was also sent to the stands). Moss issued a red card to Jordan Ayew of Aston Villa in February 2016 with the Hammers going on to win 2-0 while, going further back, Burnley’s Michael Duff was also sent off by Moss in our 1-0 home win over the Clarets in May 2015.

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Moss also issued a red card to Cheikhou Kouyate in the 5-1 FA Cup fifth round win at Blackburn in February 2016, although this was later rescinded. Arguably the 48-year-old’s most controversial Hammers appointment was the 2-2 draw at Leicester in April 2016 when he sent off Jamie Vardy and awarded two penalties, the second arriving deep into stoppage time as the Foxes rescued a precious point. Moss’ matches in charge of the Hammers last season were December 2017’s goalless draw with Arsenal at London Stadium, our 4-1 win at Huddersfield last January and our 3-0 home win over Southampton last March. His most recent Hammers appointment was our 0-0 draw with Manchester United last May.

Possible line-ups

West Ham United will be without Fabian Balbuena, who has been ruled out for six to eight weeks after undergoing knee surgery. Ryan Fredericks, Winston Reid, Carlos Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Manuel Lanzini, Andriy Yarmolenko and Chicharito are also all out injured. West Ham have only beaten Arsenal once in 16 home matches in all competitions since 1999. The last four Hammers goals against Arsenal in home games have all been scored by Andy Carroll. The Irons have won their last two London derbies, beating Crystal Palace and Fulham in December.

Arsenal will be without Konstantinos Mavropanos, Rob Holding, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Danny Welbeck, but Hector Bellerin, Shkodran Mustafi, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal and Mesut Ozil should all be available. Unai Emery’s first victory as Arsenal head coach came in this season’s reverse fixture. The Gunners are without a win in their last four away matches in the Premier League and have conceded nine goals in their last three.

Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Zabaleta, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Rice, Noble, Snodgrass; Antonio, Arnautovic, Anderson.

Possible Arsenal XI: Leno; Bellerin, Sokratis, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Xhaka, Torreira, Guendouzi; Ozil; Lacazette, Aubameyang.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!