Dan Coker's Match Preview

Blast from the past

28th August 1971: West Ham met Everton at the Boleyn Ground, Diana Ross was number one with ‘I’m Still Waiting’ and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was in UK cinemas.

Clyde Best (pictured below) scored the only goal of the game as the Hammers recorded their first win of the 1971/72 season at the fifth time of asking in front of 26,878. Best would end the campaign as the Irons’ top goalscorer with 23 goals from 56 appearances.

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Ron Greenwood’s Hammers went on to finish the 1971/72 season in 14th place, while Harry Catterick’s Everton ended up 15th. Trevor Brooking was voted Hammer of the Year for the first time with Bobby Ferguson runner-up. Derby won the First Division title and Leeds won the FA Cup.

West Ham United: Bobby Ferguson, John McDowell, Tommy Taylor, Bobby Moore, Frank Lampard, Johnny Ayris, Billy Bonds, Trevor Brooking, Bryan ‘Pop’ Robson, Clyde Best, Geoff Hurst.

Everton: Gordon West, Keith Newton, Mick Lyons, John Hurst, Peter Scott, Howard Kendall, Alan Ball, Colin Harvey, Johnny Morrissey, David Johnson, Jimmy Husband.

Club Connections

Former Hammer and Toffee David Unsworth is currently in charge of the Under-23s at Goodison Park. David Moyes welcomes his former club. They are joined in representing both clubs by:

Goalkeepers: George Kitchen, Richard Wright.

Defenders: William Wildman, Lars Jacobsen, David Burrows, George Eccles, Bob Young, Lucas Neill, John Russell, Alex McCartney, William Kelly.

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

Strikers: Chas Crossley, Alex McDonald, Mike Newell, Enner Valencia, Tony Weldon, Nikica Jelavic.

Slaven Bilic played for both clubs and managed the Hammers, while Sam Allardyce managed both clubs.

Today’s focus falls on a player who is perhaps the most notable Hammer to have also represented the Toffees – legendary goalscorer Tony Cottee. Famously scoring on his debut at Upton Park against Tottenham as a 17-year-old prodigy on New Year’s Day 1983, Cottee scored five goals in nine appearances in his first half-season as a professional player. He scored 19 goals in 47 appearances in 1983/84, including four in the 10-0 League Cup second round second leg win over Bury at Upton Park on 25th October 1983 – he scored a further four hat-tricks in his first spell at the club. The Hammers finished ninth in the First Division that season; Cottee bagged 24 goals in 50 matches the following season as the Irons dropped to 16th. TC won the PFA Young Player of the Year Award as a 20-year-old in 1986 having helped the Hammers to their best-ever finish of third. He scored 20 league goals in the 1985/86 season, taking his tally to 57 in three-and-a-half years.

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Cottee improved his personal record in 1986/87, notching 22 league goals, but West Ham plummeted to a 15th-placed finish. He scored a further 13 in his final season and, at this stage in his Hammers career, Cottee had scored 118 goals in 256 games. My video below shows 52 of Cottee’s 118 goals in his first spell at the club.

West Ham avoided relegation in 1988 on goal difference; Everton, meanwhile, had finished fourth and they swooped for the Hammers’ home-grown goal machine in a £2.2m deal that summer – the move briefly made Cottee the most expensive player to be signed by a British club before the fee was eclipsed by Ian Rush’s return to Liverpool from Juventus later that month. He made his Everton debut on 27th August 1988, the opening day of the 1988/89 First Division campaign, in a 4-0 home win over Newcastle, in which he scored a hat-trick. He managed a further 12 goals that season, though Colin Harvey’s Everton were relatively disappointing in the league as they finished eighth, having twice been champions in the previous four seasons. However, they did reach the FA Cup Final with Cottee collecting a runners-up medal after a 3-2 extra-time defeat to neighbours Liverpool. Cottee had also been on the receiving end of another Wembley defeat earlier in the season, in a 4-3 loss against Nottingham Forest in the Final of the Full Members Cup, although TC did get on the scoresheet twice.

Cottee spent his first season at Goodison Park playing alongside Graeme Sharp, but manager Harvey changed the formation for the 1989/90 campaign and brought in future Hammer Mike Newell as Everton’s third striker. Cottee once again scored 15 goals as the Toffees finished sixth. The following season, 1990/91, was arguably Everton’s worst season in a decade – Harvey was sacked in October with Howard Kendall returning to lead the Toffees to a final placing of ninth. Cottee was Everton’s saviour in an FA Cup fifth round replay as he scored a late equaliser which forced a 4-4 draw against rivals Liverpool; they eventually won through in the tie but were knocked out by West Ham in the quarter-finals at Upton Park. Cottee scored 11 goals in the 1990/91 season.

1991/92 saw Peter Beardsley and Mo Johnston replace Sharp and Newell, with Cottee restricted to nine goals as Everton finished in mid-table – it was the first time that he had scored less than ten goals in a season since his debut season with the Hammers nine years earlier. 1992/93 was a better campaign as Cottee scored 13 goals, and he bagged 19 goals in 1993/94 as Everton narrowly avoided relegation under new manager Mike Walker.

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Following 99 goals in 241 matches for the Toffees, Cottee headed back to East London in September 1994 in a swap deal with David Burrows to join up with new Hammers manager Harry Redknapp. Cottee faced a mixed start on his return to the claret and blue – he was sent off on his second debut for the club after scything down Rob Jones in a 0-0 draw at Liverpool on 10th September 1994 but followed that up the following week by notching a late winner in his first match back at Upton Park, a typical poacher’s effort in a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa. Cottee hit a rich vein of form around Christmas, scoring six goals in five matches, including a hat-trick in a 3-0 home win over Manchester City.

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He grabbed his 100th Hammers league goal with a solo effort in a 2-1 win at Leicester in February 1995 before hitting a double in a 2-2 draw with former club Everton in his next match. TC’s 13 goals ensured he finished the campaign as West Ham’s top scorer and this contribution went a long way towards securing survival that season. His ten league goals the following year helped the Hammers to a first top ten finish since the Cottee-inspired 1985/86.

With the inception of ‘West Ham United Nations’ in 1996/97, Cottee was deemed surplus to requirements and left for Selangor of Malaysia. His last Hammers goal came in a 1-1 League Cup second round first leg draw at Barnet on 18th September 1996, while his final game for the club was a 2-1 home defeat to Liverpool 11 days later. His second spell had seen him play in 80 matches for the Irons, scoring 28 goals. This took his Hammers totals across both spells to 146 goals in 336 games. All 28 of Cottee’s goals from his second spell can be viewed in my video below.

After less than a year at the Shah Alam Stadium, he was back in the Premier League with Leicester, scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win at Old Trafford in January 1998. Cottee came off the bench to score twice against the Hammers as West Ham beat Leicester 4-3 on the final day of the 1997/98 season.

Cottee won his first major trophy two years later as Leicester beat Tranmere in the League Cup Final and he scored 34 goals in 99 matches in total for the Foxes. Alongside a loan spell at Birmingham, Cottee went on to play for Norwich and Millwall, with a short period as player-manager at Barnet sandwiched in between. He also won seven caps for England. Considering Sir Geoff Hurst was moved to a more attacking position later in his development by Ron Greenwood, it can be claimed that Cottee is the greatest ever striker to be produced by the West Ham United Academy. Now 54, Cottee works for Sky Sports and has been on the mend after suffering a brain haemorrhage last year.


The referee on Saturday will be Andre Marriner; the 49-year-old failed to send off Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero for an elbow on Winston Reid in August 2016, with the Hammers trailing 2-1 with 14 minutes remaining. The Argentine was retrospectively charged with violent conduct and suspended for three matches, a decision which did nothing to benefit West Ham. Marriner did, however, show leniency that day towards the visitors by failing to issue Arthur Masuaku with a second yellow card on more than one occasion.

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Since we achieved promotion back to the top flight in 2012 the Birmingham-based official has been far from a good omen for West Ham – he has refereed 19 of our league matches, officiating in only three wins for the Hammers, five draws and 11 defeats. He officiated the Irons for our 2-0 defeat at Wolves last month and, more recently, for our 2-1 defeat at Crystal Palace on Boxing Day.

Possible line-ups

For West Ham United, Lukasz Fabianski, Ryan Fredericks, Jack Wilshere and Andriy Yarmolenko are out, while Arthur Masuaku, Michail Antonio and Felipe Anderson are doubts. Everton have certainly been the Hammers’ bogey side in recent seasons – we have only beaten the Toffees three times in the league, home or away, since April 2007, drawing five and losing 13 in all competitions since then.

Carlo Ancelotti will be without the injured Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Andre Gomes and Alex Iwobi.

Possible West Ham United XI: Randolph; Balbuena, Diop, Ogbonna; Zabaleta, Rice, Noble, Cresswell; Lanzini, Fornals; Haller.

Possible Everton XI: Pickford; Sidibe, Keane, Holgate, Digne; Walcott, Davies, Sigurdsson, Bernard; Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!