Spyin' Kop: West Ham Away

Posted by raptor on April 24, 2006, 07:39:44 PM

With the Mighty Reds secure in third spot, West Ham secure in mid table safety and both clubs looking ahead to the FA Cup final this Wednesdays fixture has a definite ‘end of season’ feel to it. Wednesday night will also see a minute's silence in tribute to the late John Lyall, a manager held in as much respect by the happy Hammers as King Kenny is to us.

Lyall spent a total of 34 years with West Ham, having joined the Club as a 15-year-old in 1955. Two years later he signed his first professional contract, although injury curtailed his playing career at the age of 24. Lyall then turned to management, first taking over the reigns of the youth team before becoming Ron Greenwood's assistant in 1971. He succeeded his mentor Greenwood as first-team manager in 1974 and went on to lead the Hammers to two FA Cup wins, the Club's highest ever top-flight finish (third in '85/'86) and a Cup Winners Cup Final appearance. Lyall finally left the Club in 1989 after the Board decided not to renew his contract.

I'd like to pass on special thanks to Mark Ford, season ticket holder at Upton Park (and possible source of cup final spare tickets ;) ) for his assistance and a couple of kind souls from the excellent Knees Up Mother Brown. The editors whpo usually help us were, as I was, understandably somewhat distracted over the weekend so unfortunately didn't have time to offer their usual significant assistance.

West Ham Utd v Liverpool
Wednesday 26th April
Upton Park, London
K.O. 8pm

Club History

West Ham United Football Club was initially formed in 1895 by employees of the Thames Ironworks shipyard (as Thames Ironworks F.C, hence the nickname 'The Irons'), following an idea of managing director's Arnold Hills to set up an amateur football club.

The club was entered into the F.A Cup at Chatham in it's inaugural year, and entered the London league the following season. The ironworks were wound up in 1900, but reformed as West Ham United just one month later.

In 1904, the club moved to the Boleyn Ground (Upton Park) where it has stayed until today. Following twenty or so years in the Southern League the club won a place in the second division of the football league under the management of Syd King (who went on to manage the hammers until 1932).

West Ham were promoted to the first division in 1923, where they stayed for nine seasons before dropping back down to the second, where they stayed until 1958. The years since have been the most successful for the club; the hammers have only spent six seasons since outside of the top flight.

Facts and figures

Ground Capacity : 35,018
Pitch Size : 112 x 72 yards
Managers : Syd King 1900-32; Charlie Paynter 1932-50; Ted Fenton 1950-61; Ron Greenwood 1961-74; John Lyall 1974-89; Lou Macari 1989-90; Billy Bonds 1990-94; Harry Redknapp 1994-2001; Glenn Roeder 2001-2003; Alan Pardew 2003-current day


Honour             Position      Year
Division Two     Runners-up   1922-23
F.A. Cup       Runners-up       1923
Division Two     Champions   1957-58
F.A. Cup          Winners          1964
ECWC                  Winners       1964-65
League Cup   Runners-up   1966
F.A. Cup        Winners          1975
ECWC               Runners-up     1975-76
F.A. Cup         Winners           1980
Division Two     Champions   1980-81
League Cup   Runners-up   1981
Division Two     Runners-up   1990-91
Intertoto Cup     Winners     1998-99

Spyin' Kop

SK; What did you make of the meeting between the two sides an Anfield this season?

Mark; To be honest I'm trying to forget about it, I didn’t have a good day really! As I remember, you'd just lost to Palace, and we obviously got a bit of a backlash. We didn't turn up, and Liverpool had a point to prove, it's a simple as that. Realistically, we could, and probably should, have lost be more. Hopefully Wednesday will be different!!!

Come on you irons;  I don't think we were at our best that day after the good start to the season that we had. But then again a West Ham win at Anfield is a long time coming!

SK; Who do you think is your most important player(s)?

Mark; Without a shadow of the doubt, Etherington and Benayoun. On their day, they can rip any team to shreds. Sadly, at Anfield, no one played to their full ability, so the crowd didn't get to be dazzled by Benayouns skill! If these two are in form come Wednesday, I can see them causing Liverpool problems. I'd also have to add Ashton, for the sheer fact that even though half the West Ham crowd have probably got better fitness levels than him, he's about our only player who can win a header!

COYI; Marlon Harewood has got the goals for us. Collins, Gabbidon and Ferdinand have been playing well in defence.

SK; Your worst player(s)?

Mark; I'd have to say Scaloni. Since losing Repka, and getting Scaloni, our form has steadily dropped. He just let's players get round him to easily. When he gets forward and gets crosses in, he's great, but he just seems to forget that he's got to get back and defend as well. Also, Mullins can be iffy at times, he's passing can be shocking.

COYI; We don't have worst players!

SK; Do you have a particular memory of any previous meeting between our clubs?

Mark; Not really! We don't tend to ever get a result! I think that we've only ever won three times at Anfield, and the last time was in the sixties I think! As far as I can remember, the only decent thing that West Ham ever did against Liverpool, was getting that last minute goal in the 1981 League Cup Final against the mighty scousers!!! And even then we got stuffed in the replay!!

COYI; I remember the League Cup Final in 1981. Liverpool had a great team in the 1970's and in to the 1980's and West Ham had just lifted two FA Cup's in the last 5 years. I remeber the excitement near the end of the Wembley final.

Bromley Boy; 0-0 on sky when they had just started. Grobbelaar (sp?) and Ludo played brilliantly. The most exciting 0-0 draw I have ever seem

SK; Any young up and coming players in the squad that we might not know about?

Mark; I doubt that any of them will play on Wednesday, but we've got Kyel Reid (who made the bench on Monday against Boro), whose a left midfielder who runs like he's got a rocket up his a**e! He's so fast, and he's crossing is fantastic. I'm sure he'll be the next big thing to come through for us. We've also got Tony Stokes, who's a defender, and he's been getting good ratings, so who knows!

COYI; It's the same bunch we have had all season. A lot are young and knew to the Premiership but I think you would have heard of them by now!

SK; What sort of line-up will you put out against us?

Mark; Probably, Hislop, Konchesky, Gabbidon, Collins, Ferdinand, Etherington, Reo-Coker, Mullins, Benayoun, Harewood, Ashton. I think Pardew will go for it, we need to get a few more points on the board.

BB; I guess there may be a few rested after Sunday. We don't have anything to play for in the league now

COYI; This is hard to say now given the results of our teams at the weekend!!! But I think we will go strong for our last two home games against Liverpool and Spurs. So it's our winning semi final team.


Ferdinand Collins Gabbidon Konchesky

Benayoun Mullins Reo-Coker Etherington

             Harewood Ashton

Subs: Walker, Sheringham, Zamora, Fletcher or Clarke, Newton.

SK; Which Liverpool player will you fear the most?

Mark; At the moment, Robbie 'GOD' Fowler. He's playing for a contract, and he really seems to have inspired all of his disciples! I can see him giving our back line a real test. Also, Crouch, because as I said earlier, hardly anyone in our team can win headers, so someone his size is going to be laughing all the way home! I guarantee, when he comes up against someone like Mullins, he's going to think all his birthdays have come at once!!!

BB; Garcia is class.

COYI; Player of the year Gerrard without a doubt. What a player.

SK;  Playing Devils Advocate for a second, 'Pardew out' was a common sound at Upton Park as recently as 13 months ago. What's changed?

Mark; I'll admit it, I was a boo boy myself! All that's changed is our division! That’s it. We are playing great, entertaining football this season, anyone will say so. The problem was, you can't play pretty football like that in the lower leagues. Pardew and the players couldn't seem to understand that last season, they really were a Premiership side trying to play Premiership football, against Championship opponents, and it just wouldn't work! Also, he used to make some dodgy decisions, bringing off all our strikers in the first Play Off Final, so that in a game we're losing, our only attacking player was Don Hutchison! But, he seems to have stopped doing that now, so everyone’s happy!

COYI; I feel the Premiership suits our type of football better than the Coca Cola Championship and Pardew made some excellent signings during the Summer. All credit to Pards he went through the mill a bit and now he's won the fans around and is leading a young team to the FA Cup Final.

SK; Anton Ferdinand, the real deal or living on the reputation of his over hyped older brother?

Mark; Most definitely the real deal! I think that he is probably just as good, if not better, than Rio. When they were both coming through the academy, everyone was saying Anton was better, and at the moment, he probably is. Anton is a lot calmer, and if need be will just boot the ball out of play, whereas Rio 9 times out of 10 will just try to walk it out. Rio has had a very poor season though, it would be good to see them both playing at their peak, then we can really see who's better.

COYI; Wait and see, but he's the real deal. Maybe it will be Rio in the shadow in a few years time!

SK;  Which Premiership managers (other than your own) do you have a particular like or dislike for?

Mark; Stuart Pearce has got to be the funniest manager in the Prem by far! He’s a nutter. And he probably does the best post match interviews ever! On a more serious note though, he is very honest and will not shy away from bollocking anyone who needs it.
I cant stand Mourinho, for obvious reasons, but I’m not a big lover of Wenger the Whinger. He runs a team full of divers, and then moans when opposition do it to them! Also, he can never congratulate opposition on a good result. When we beat them 3-2 at Highbury (Had to get that in somewhere!), he wouldn't give us any credit whatsoever. Also, I guess I can say Warnock now that Sheffield are promoted. What a mug. I cannot stand him, he's just an idiot, I just hope that him and Mourinho get into a barney next season and end up kicking each others faces in!

BB; Everyone hates big fat Sam and the bent-nosed orc Steve Bruce.

COYI; Your manager, pure class!!! Really closing the gap on Chelsea with a syle that is likeable.

SK; What do you expect in the way of singing, etc from our away support?  Do we compare well and how do you rate the atmosphere at your ground?

Mark; As I always say, scousers are good for a laugh, so hopefully there'll be abit of banter flying around! Our atmospheres good, especially for an evening game, so hopefully we'll show you lot a good time down south! Although, I would like to ask that any fans who are coming down for the game to go to the Queens pub, just down from Upton Park station. That’s where I go, and the atmospheres been abit crap there lately, so hopefully if you lot come down to it, there might be a bit of a sing song there for the first time in a while! And if anyone who knows me comes down, ill get a round in!

COYI; Liverpool normally have a good and vocal turnout at West Ham, it's always a game I look forward to. At times the atmosphere at West Ham could be better, but on Wednesday night after the semi final result and the sad passing of John Lyall in a full house, the atmosphere will be buzzing.

Hammer; Drop the "FIVE time's laaaa" you lot are better than that-show some class.
SK; How will Pardew approach Wednesdays game and how will it differ from the approach in the cup final?

COYI; We will not show you our full hand of cards! You will have to wait for the until 13th May!!!

SK; Finally, care to predict the score?

Mark; My heart says 2-1 to West Ham, my head says 2-2 draw. The form Liverpool have been in, I will be happy with just a point and not letting in more than 3 goals!

BB; You win again 2 or 3 - 1.

COYI; Two one to West Ham. Harewood, Ashton and Gerrard to score.

Thanks again to Mark and KUMB for all their help with this.

© Huyton Phil 2006

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