Dan Coker's Match Preview

Blast from the past

Saturday 24th March 1979 – Gloria Gaynor was number one with ‘I Will Survive’, Every Which Way But Loose topped the UK box office and Porridge star Richard Beckinsale had passed away five days earlier at the tragically young age of 31. Meanwhile, Newcastle made the long trek south to take on the Hammers in front of 24,650 at the Boleyn Ground.

West Ham went into the game having failed to score in their previous three Second Division matches but took the lead after 20 minutes when John McDowell’s break through midfield saw the ball end up at the feet of winger Alan Devonshire, who brilliantly beat two men with nimble footwork and sublime close control before calmly slotting the ball past Steve Hardwick. It was 2-0 soon after when Trevor Brooking’s inch-perfect pass found Bryan ‘Pop’ Robson in the clear and the former Newcastle man finished with unerring ease.

The Irons had a third when Frank Lampard’s shot from distance was deflected in before the 27-year-old McDowell (pictured) made it 4-0 before half-time, finishing left-footed with a first-time strike from Pat Holland’s cross. Brooking’s afternoon ended early due to injury but McDowell scored his second, and the Hammers’ fifth, in the second half, snapping up a loose ball in midfield before cracking home a low left-footed strike into the far corner of Hardwick’s goal – it was his first (and only) two-goal haul for the club and proved to be his last ever goal in claret and blue before a move to Norwich later that year. By the time he transferred to Carrow Road he had made 303 appearances for West Ham United, scoring nine goals. All the goals from this game can be viewed in my video below.

Newcastle’s Kenny Wharton made his debut as a substitute in this match, replacing Nigel Walker – Gateshead-born Walker sadly passed away in 2014, from cancer at the age of 54.

John Lyall’s Hammers, who had been relegated at the end of the previous season, went on to finish in fifth place in the 1978/79 Division Two season, while Bill McGarry’s Newcastle ended up eighth. Crystal Palace topped the Second Division, Liverpool won the league title and Arsenal won the FA Cup.

West Ham United: Phil Parkes, Frank Lampard, Billy Bonds, Alvin Martin, Paul Brush, Pat Holland, John McDowell, Trevor Brooking (Geoff Pike), Alan Devonshire, David Cross, Bryan ‘Pop’ Robson.

Newcastle United: Steve Hardwick, Irving Nattrass, John Bird, Kenny Mitchell, John Brownlie, Terry Hibbitt, Nigel Walker (Kenny Wharton), Mick Martin, John Connolly, Alan Shoulder, Peter Withe.

Club Connections

West Ham United and Newcastle United have shared a multitude of personnel over the years. Stuart Pearce and Kevin Nolan played for both clubs and the pair are now on the Hammers’ coaching staff. Andy Carroll could play for the visitors against his old club. A brief run-through of others who have represented both clubs is best served by dividing them by playing position.

Goalkeepers: Shaka Hislop, Pavel Srnicek and Ike Tate.

Defenders: Tommy Bamlett, Abdoulaye Faye, Wayne Quinn, Dave Gardner, Dickie Pudan and James Jackson.

Midfielders: Scott Parker, Lee Bowyer, Rob Lee, Mohamed Diame, Nolberto Solano, Kieron Dyer and Franz Carr.

Strikers: James Loughlin, Paul Goddard, Les Ferdinand, John Dowsey, Bryan ‘Pop’ Robson, Justin Fashanu, Demba Ba, Marlon Harewood, David Kelly, Keith Robson, Vic Keeble, Craig Bellamy and Paul Kitson.

Chris Hughton also played for the Hammers and managed the Magpies while Sam Allardyce has managed both clubs. Glenn Roeder also played for Newcastle and managed both clubs.

This week’s focus though is on another man who has managed both clubs. Alan Pardew was born in Wimbledon on 18th July 1961 – a former glazier, Pardew signed for Crystal Palace from non-league Yeovil in 1987 at the age of 25 and remained at the club for four years. He signed for Charlton in 1991 and scored the winning goal against West Ham in August 1992. He had a brief loan spell at Tottenham in the summer of 1995, featuring for them in the InterToto Cup, before moving to Barnet.

Pardew moved into management with Reading, first as caretaker manager in March 1998 before landing the job permanently a year later after the departure of Tommy Burns. Having lost the 2001 Second Division Play-Off Final, Pardew took Reading up automatically the following season and followed that up with another play-off position finish in the First Division in 2003.

Following the sacking of Glenn Roeder in August 2003, West Ham courted Pardew’s services but were given short shrift by Reading chairman John Madejski who, when Pardew resigned his position, enforced a period of gardening leave on his former employee. With Trevor Brooking steering the ship capably in a caretaker role, the 42-year-old Pardew eventually became West Ham’s tenth permanent manager in October 2003. He drew his first game at home 1-1 against Nottingham Forest, with Jermain Defoe’s header equalising Andy Reid’s long-range effort. He had to wait until his eighth game in all competitions for his first win, which arrived on 29th November 2003 against Wigan who were thrashed 4-0. An impressive comeback from 2-0 down to win 3-2 against Sunderland a month later kept the Hammers’ promotion push alive.

Pardew lost Defoe to Tottenham in January 2004 but ensured Bobby Zamora came to the Boleyn as part of the deal. Zamora joined fellow Pardew signings Hayden Mullins, Brian Deane and Harewood in east London, while three new faces would arrive from Wimbledon in the shape of Nigel Reo-Coker, Adam Nowland and Jobi McAnuff. Andy Melville arrived from Premier League Fuham, with Ian Pearce moving to Craven Cottage. England goalkeeper David James departed for Manchester City.

Pardew’s men dumped Premier League Wolves out of the FA Cup at Molineux in the fourth round courtesy of goals from Deane, Harewood and David Connolly but would be defeated in a fifth round replay by Fulham. The Irons finished fourth in the First Division, 12 points behind the automatic promotion places, but would defeat Ipswich in the Play-Off Semi-Final second leg at a raucous, rocking, revitalised Upton Park – Matthew Etherington and Christian Dailly scoring the goals on a night few who were there will ever forget. Pardew’s interest in the psychology of the crowd played a part in building the atmosphere before kick-off. After such a wonderful display against Ipswich, the Play-Off Final was a damp squib, Crystal Palace defeating the Hammers 1-0 in Cardiff.

The Hammers started 2004/05 in the newly-named Championship with England international Teddy Sheringham added to their ranks but Michael Carrick was to move to Tottenham. Jimmy Walker, Malky Mackay, Chris Powell, Luke Chadwick, Shaun Newton, Carl Fletcher, Gavin Williams and Sergei Rebrov also joined the club that season. Pardew also put his faith in youth, handing a debut to a young Mark Noble and finishing the campaign with Academy products Anton Ferdinand and Elliott Ward as his first-choice centre-back pairing.

The Hammers endured a difficult campaign, although along the way they won at eventual title winners Sunderland through Harewood and Sheringham strikes and also tore up Ipswich’s unbeaten home record on New Year’s Day, Harewood again scoring alongside Etherington. Premier League Norwich were also knocked out of the FA Cup in the third round before Sheffield United defeated the Irons on penalties in the next round. West Ham sneaked into the Play-Offs with a final-day win at Watford, ending the season in sixth place just ahead of Pardew’s former club Reading. A Zamora-inspired 2-0 win at Ipswich in the second leg of the Play-Off Semi-Final ensured a 4-2 aggregate triumph and the Hammers weren’t to be denied a second time, securing promotion in Cardiff with a 1-0 win over Preston with Zamora notching the winner.

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A ninth-placed Premier League season followed, Pardew’s boys starting with a 3-1 comeback win at home against Blackburn before Aston Villa were downed by a Harewood hat-trick. New signings Roy Carroll, the returning Shaka Hislop, Danny Gabbidon, Paul Konchesky and Yossi Benayoun were settling in nicely, Benayoun rounding off the aforementioned win over Villa with the fourth goal in a 4-0 win. Pardew again showed his eye for a goalscorer by breaking the club’s transfer record to sign Dean Ashton in January 2006 and the Hammers enjoyed a run to the FA Cup Final for the first time in 26 years, beating Norwich, Blackburn, Bolton, Manchester City and Middlesbrough along the way before Liverpool agonisingly defeated the Hammers on penalties in Cardiff. League wins at Highbury and against Tottenham to deny Spurs a place in the Champions League (helped in some small part by a dodgy lasagne) made 2005/06 a season to remember. Pardew was mere minutes away from lifting the FA Cup which had also eluded him as a Crystal Palace player in 1990.

The summer of 2006 saw quantity but a lack of quality arrive at the club with Tyrone Mears, Jonathan Spector and John Paintsil all signed to contest the right-back spot. Rob Green was an inspired signing in goal, George McCartney and Carlton Cole would serve the club well and Lee Bowyer added experience in midfield. The astonishing signings of Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez, alongside a takeover of the club by Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson and Eggert Magnusson, destabilised the club however. The Hammers went seven games without a goal and 11 without a win in all competitions, being knocked out of the UEFA Cup by Palermo and the League Cup by lowly Chesterfield. The crowd showed their support for the manager by chanting ‘Alan Pardew’s Claret and Blue Army’ before a 2-1 win over Blackburn, while a late 1-0 win over Arsenal in November 2006 saw Pards and Arsene Wenger have a much-publicised spat on the touchline.

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Pardew was sacked during the week after a 4-0 defeat at Sam Allardyce’s Bolton on 9th December 2006. He was replaced by former Hammer Alan Curbishley. Pardew was appointed manager of former club Charlton on Christmas Eve but, despite a 4-0 win over Curbishley’s West Ham in February 2007, could not keep the Addicks in the top flight. He went on to manage Southampton before making a Premier League return at Newcastle in December 2010 at the age of 49, replacing former Hammer Chris Hughton. His new side beat Liverpool 3-1 at St James’ Park in his first game and, a month later, defeated the Hammers 5-0 on Tyneside. He led them to a 12th placed finish, while Avram Grant’s West Ham would be relegated. Pardew made impressive progress with the Magpies, securing a fifth-placed finish in 2011/12 and winning the Premier League Manager of the Season Award and the League Managers’ Association Manager of the Year Award.

Newcastle slumped to 16th the following season but improved to finish tenth in 2013/14. The Magpies made a difficult start to 2014/15 but, despite fan protests, Pardew led the club to six consecutive victories before deciding to move to former club Crystal Palace. Newcastle would be relegated the following season, while the Eagles were safe in 15th and made the FA Cup Final, which Pardew would again lose. He took over as manager at West Brom in November 2017 but could not halt the Baggies’ slide to the Championship and he left The Hawthorns in April 2018. Now 59, Pardew was most recently manager of Dutch club Den Haag for a spell last season.


The referee on Saturday will be Stuart Attwell. The Birmingham-based official will take charge of a West Ham game for the twelfth time – he has sent off a Hammers striker in two of his other 11 games officiating the Irons. He refereed our 1-0 victory at Wigan in March 2009 and our 3-1 win at Blackpool in February 2011. The 37-year-old sent off the Latics’ Lee Cattermole for a shocking challenge on Scott Parker, while the Hammers’ Carlton Cole also received his marching orders during the aforementioned win at Wigan. Even Latics boss Steve Bruce criticised the decision to dismiss the Irons striker. Attwell also issued a first-half red card to Andy Carroll in our 1-1 draw at Burnley in October 2017.

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Attwell also awarded an infamous ‘phantom’ goal for Reading in a Championship match against Watford in September 2008. He was the youngest-ever Premier League referee but was demoted from the Select Group in 2012. He refereed the Hammers in August 2018 in our 2-1 home defeat to Bournemouth, when he awarded the Irons a penalty which was converted by Marko Arnautovic, and in our 3-1 League Cup home defeat to Tottenham in October 2018. Attwell awarded a dubious match-winning penalty to Manchester City at the Etihad in February 2019 and also refereed our 3-0 home win over Southampton three months later. His Hammers appointments last season were our 2-2 draw at Bournemouth in September 2019, our 3-2 home defeat to today’s opponents Newcastle last November and, most recently, in our 1-0 FA Cup fourth round defeat to West Brom in January.

The VAR Official is Peter Bankes.

Possible line-ups

West Ham United are set to hand debuts to the grand total of zero new signings on the opening day of this new Premier League season. Manuel Lanzini is a doubt but Tomas Soucek has been passed fit. The Hammers have scored two or more goals in each of their past five Premier League games against the Magpies, although they failed to win either of last season’s meetings. Declan Rice is set to play his 100th Premier League match.

Newcastle United are without Martin Dubravka, Ciaran Clark, Fabian Schar, Paul Dummett, Matthew Longstaff and Dwight Gayle. Matt Ritchie, Jonjo Shelvey and Ryan Fraser are doubts. The Magpies could give debuts to new signings Jamal Lewis, Jeff Hendrick, the aforementioned Fraser and Callum Wilson – former Bournemouth striker Wilson has scored seven goals in eight top-flight matches against West Ham.

Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Rice, Soucek; Bowen, Noble, Fornals; Antonio.

Possible Newcastle XI: Darlow; Manquillo, Lascelles, Fernandez, Lewis; Hayden, Shelvey; Almiron, Sean Longstaff, Saint-Maximin; Wilson.

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!