Dan Coker's Match Preview

Blast from the past

20th December 1952 – actress Jenny Agutter was born on this day, Al Martino was number one with ‘Here In My Heart’, John Wayne was in UK cinemas in Big Jim McLain and, five days later on Christmas Day, the Queen made her first Christmas speech to the Commonwealth. West Ham United, meanwhile, were defeating Southampton 2-1 in front of 12,284 at The Dell.

The Hammers came up against a side containing future Chelsea and England right-back Peter Sillett, while fellow full-back Bill Ellerington had already been capped by the Three Lions. Meanwhile, Southampton legend Ted Bates made his final appearance for the club – he played centre-forward for the Saints from 1937 to 1952, managed them for a club-record 18 years from 1955 to 1973 and was assistant manager to Lawrie McMenemy when Southampton won the FA Cup in 1976. He later joined the Saints’ board where he would serve as a director for another 20 years before being appointed the club’s President. He received the freedom of the city of Southampton in 1998 and was honoured with an MBE in the 2001 New Year Honours for services to the club. Bates died at the age of 85 in November 2003.

The Hammers won this fixture 2-1 in 2018/19 and travel to St Mary’s this weekend looking for a second successive victory away to Southampton; they last won consecutive away league games against the Saints in this featured match in December 1952, which followed another 2-1 win in December 1951. West Ham’s goals in this victory almost exactly 67 years ago, in December 1952, came courtesy of 25-year-old Irish centre-forward Fred Kearns (pictured) and 33-year-old East Ham-born outside-right Terry Woodgate. Kearns would finish as the Hammers’ top scorer in 1952/53 with 12 goals in 23 matches. Southampton’s goal was scored by outside-left John Hoskins.

Likeable Irishman Kearns had signed for the Hammers from Shamrock Rovers as a full-back but found brief fame and international recognition (he won one cap in 1954 against Luxembourg) when switched to centre-forward. He had made his Hammers debut on 8th October 1949 in a 1-1 home draw with Chesterfield and scored 16 goals in 48 appearances in the claret and blue, making his final appearance in a 2-1 home win over Doncaster on 20th March 1954 before transferring to Norwich in the summer of that year. He went on to play for Tonbridge, Margate and Deal Town, and was assistant manager of Ramsgate in 1980. Fred Kearns died in Margate, aged 59, on 7th January 1987.

West Ham United would finish the 1952/53 Second Division season in 14th position, while Southampton would end up in 21st and relegated in a campaign which saw Sheffield United top Division Two. Arsenal won the title and Blackpool won the FA Cup.

Southampton: John Christie, Peter Sillett, Bill Ellerington, Henry Horton, Bryn Elliott, Alex Simpson, Eric Day, Frank Dudley, Ted Bates, Tom McGarrity, John Hoskins.

West Ham United: Ernie Gregory, George Wright, Harry Kinsell, Derek Parker, Malcolm Allison, Frank O’Farrell, Terry Woodgate, John Gregory, Fred Kearns, Albert Foan, Ken Tucker.

Club Connections

Michail Antonio travels to the home of his former club. An array of West Ham United’s good, bad and ugly have also turned out for Southampton:

Goalkeepers: Richard Wright, George Kitchen.

Defenders: Richard Hall, Christian Dailly, Joe Kirkup, Wayne Bridge, Neil Ruddock, Bill Adams, Ian Pearce, Darren Powell, Albie Roles, Jose Fonte, Horace Glover, Calum Davenport.

Midfielders: Jimmy Carr, Bobby Weale, Luis Boa Morte, Eyal Berkovic, Robbie Slater, Peter Cowper, Paul Allen.

Strikers: Vic Watson, Justin Fashanu, David Speedie, David Connolly, Viv Gibbins, Iain Dowie, Ted MacDougall, Henri Camara, Alex McDonald, Frank Costello, Fred Harrison, Walter Pollard, Arthur Wilson, Jimmy Harris, Jack Foster, Jack Farrell.

In addition, Harry Redknapp played for West Ham and managed both clubs. Alan Pardew also managed both clubs, while George Kay played for the Hammers and managed the Saints.

Today’s focus though falls on a Scotland international midfielder who had a spell with Southampton before later playing for West Ham. Nigel Quashie was born on the 20th July 1978 in Southwark and started his professional career at QPR in 1995, with whom he was relegated in 1996. He joined Nottingham Forest in 1998 for a fee of £2.5m and suffered another relegation in 1999 before signing for Portsmouth in 2000, winning promotion to the Premier League in 2003. He won the first of his 14 caps for Scotland in 2004, with his final international appearance coming in 2006. Quashie had previously played for England Under-21 and England ‘B’ but qualified to play for Scotland through his grandfather.

Quashie joined Harry Redknapp’s Southampton in January 2005 for a fee of £2.1m and made his debut in a 2-2 home draw with Everton on 6th February 2005. His first goal for the club was the winner in a 1-0 victory over Tottenham at St Mary’s on 5th March 2005 but he could not save the club from relegation to the Championship at the end of the 2004/05 campaign. Quashie scored in successive league games in August 2005, in a 1-0 win over Norwich and a 2-0 triumph over Crewe, both at St Mary’s. He bagged a brace in a 4-3 home defeat to Leeds on 19th November 2005, while his final goal for the club came under new manager George Burley in a 4-3 home win over MK Dons in the FA Cup third round on 7th January 2006. Quashie’s last game for the Saints was a 2-0 home defeat to Ipswich on 21st January 2006. After scoring six goals in 38 appearances for Southampton, he returned to the Premier League with West Brom in late January 2006. Quashie suffered a fourth career relegation with the Baggies at the end of the 2005/06 campaign.

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After a year in the West Midlands, Quashie returned to the Premier League to sign for Alan Curbishley’s West Ham United in January 2007 for an initial fee of £1.5m, rising to £1.75m after the Hammers successfully avoided relegation at the end of the 2006/07 season. He made his debut in a 3-3 draw with Fulham at the Boleyn Ground on 13th January 2007. Quashie made eight appearances for the Irons, without scoring, and never experienced victory in a claret and blue shirt, drawing two and losing six of his games for the club. His final game for West Ham was the 4-3 home defeat to Tottenham on 4th March 2007. The Hammers went on to win seven of the nine remaining matches in 2006/07 without Quashie to complete the Great Escape.

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A persistent foot injury meant that Quashie did not play a single competitive match during 2007/08, while the signings of Scott Parker and Valon Behrami, coupled with the emergence of Jack Collison, made a first team return difficult to achieve. He spent three months on loan at Championship side Birmingham in 2008/09 before spending the second half of that campaign on loan at Wolves, also in the second tier. Quashie dropped down to League One in a loan spell with MK Dons which lasted from November 2009 to January 2010. He was released by West Ham in January 2010 and rejoined his first club, QPR, in the Championship but was released at the end of the 2009/10 season. He signed for Icelandic club IR in April 2012 and even became player-manager at the end of that season. Quashie ended his professional career after a spell at BI/Bolungarvik, also in Iceland, between 2013 and 2015. Now 41, Quashie runs a youth football facility in Halesowen.


The referee on Saturday will be Martin Atkinson. 2019/20 is Atkinson’s 15th as a Premier League referee. Since West Ham United achieved promotion back to the top flight in 2012 Atkinson has refereed 23 of our league matches, officiating in ten wins for the Hammers, three draws and ten defeats.

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His Hammers appointments last season were our 3-1 win at Everton in September 2018 and, most recently, our 1-0 home defeat to Tottenham in October last year.

Possible line-ups

Southampton winger Sofiane Boufal is likely to miss out, while Yan Valery has a viral infection. Stuart Armstrong should be available. Summer signing Che Adams is looking for his first Saints goal. Southampton’s Danny Ings has ended on the winning side in just nine of the 28 Premier League games he’s scored in (32%), the lowest win ratio of any player to have scored in at least 20 matches in the competition.

West Ham United travel to Southampton having won just one of their last ten league matches and should have Aaron Cresswell and Andriy Yarmolenko available. Lukasz Fabianski and Manuel Lanzini are out, while Winston Reid and Jack Wilshere are not yet ready for a first team return. Ryan Fredericks and Cresswell are both one yellow card away from one-match bans. West Ham have lost just one of their seven Premier League games with Lukasz Fabianski starting in goal this season (winning three and drawing three), and have lost seven of nine when he hasn’t started (winning one and drawing one).

Possible Southampton XI: McCarthy; Soares, Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand; Djenepo, Ward-Prowse, Hojbjerg, Redmond; Adams, Ings.

Possible West Ham United XI: Martin; Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Rice; Snodgrass, Noble, Fornals, Anderson; Antonio.

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!

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