Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Norwich v West Ham

Blast from the past

“You’d better beware, you’d better take care, you’d better watch out, he ain’t got much hair!” – fans of early ‘70s glam rock will recognise (some of) those lyrics from The Sweet’s ‘Blockbuster’, which was number one on the 10th February 1973 when Norwich failed to heed the warning and the follicly-challenged Bryan ‘Pop’ Robson sealed maximum points for the visiting Hammers. Elsewhere, Last Tango In Paris was in UK cinemas and The Wombles had just made their television debut.

This 1-0 victory at Carrow Road in front of 32,597 was the last time West Ham United won in the league at the home of this weekend’s opponents, Norwich City. The game also saw a debut for midfielder Bertie Lutton who had arrived from Brighton a month earlier. Goalscorer Robson would go on to win the Hammer of the Year award at the end of the season and finish as the club’s (and the Football League’s) top goalscorer with 28 goals from 46 games.

Robson’s strike saw Ron Greenwood’s Hammers continue a march which saw them end up sixth in the First Division. Ron Saunders’ Canaries were to finish in 20th place in 1972/73, two points clear of relegation. Liverpool won the First Division title and Sunderland won the FA Cup.

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

Club Connections

A long list of players have turned out for both West Ham United and Norwich City over the years. Robert Snodgrass used to ply his trade at Carrow Road, while Sam Byram welcomes the club he left last summer. Other players who have appeared for both clubs include:

Goalkeeper: Robert Green.

Defenders: Edward Wagstaff, Malky Mackay, John Gurkin, Elliott Ward, John McDowell, Kenny Brown, Calum Davenport, Fred Milnes, Charlie Craig, Mark Bowen, Steve Walford.

Midfielders: Bill Silor, Luke Chadwick, Matt Jarvis, Martin Peters, Gary O’Neil, Henri Lansbury, Scott Parker, David Bentley, Dale Gordon, Johnny Sissons, Jimmy Neighbour, Graham Paddon, Matthew Rush.

Strikers: Billy Ingham, Justin Fashanu, Albert Foan, David Cross, Keith Robson, Alex Birnie, Craig Bellamy, Freddie Kearns, John Hartson, Les Robinson, Tony Cottee, Ron Williams, Ted MacDougall, Alan Taylor, Dean Ashton.

In addition, Glenn Roeder has managed both clubs while ex-Hammers Ken Brown, Archie Macauley, John Bond and Chris Hughton have managed Norwich.

Today’s focus though is on a player who represented both clubs in the very early years of the 20th century. Billy Linward was born in Hull on 8th February 1877 and first played for Grimsby All Saints, from where he moved to Doncaster in the Midland League for the start of the 1895/96 season. Just as Doncaster were elected into the Football League for the 1901/02 season, Linward moved to Southern League West Ham United, receiving a wage of £2.10s a week.

Linward, an outside-left who was no slouch on the field, made his debut for the Hammers on 7th September 1901 in a 2-0 win at Bristol Rovers. He is pictured here, looking the epitome of Edwardian elegance in his photograph for the 1902 club handbook. The 24-year-old Linward scored his first goal for West Ham in a 4-1 win over Luton at the Memorial Grounds on 12th October 1901. He scored twice in successive games the following month, in a 2-1 defeat at QPR on 9th November 1901 and in a 2-1 loss to Grays United in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup a week later. His last goal for the Irons came in a 2-1 home win over Swindon on 14th December 1901. No player appeared in more matches for the Hammers in 1901/02 than Linward. He played in all 30 Southern League First Division matches in 1901/02 as the Hammers finished fourth; the only game he missed in league or cup that season was an FA Cup third qualifying round win at Leyton.

Linward also played in all of the Hammers’ first eleven matches of the 1902/03 season, ten of them in the league. His final appearance for West Ham came on 13th December 1902 in a 2-0 defeat at Lincoln in the Intermediate Round of the FA Cup – later that month he was on the move to the Football League, joining Woolwich Arsenal of the Second Division. Linward had scored four goals in 42 matches for West Ham United.

Having won promotion to the top flight in 1903/04, Linward joined Norwich in the summer of 1905; the Citizens (as Norwich were then nicknamed) had just become a Southern League club. He made his debut on 2nd September 1905 in a 2-0 defeat at Plymouth, thus having the honour of appearing in Norwich’s first ever match as a professional side. He played again against Watford and Brighton before the month was out but these three appearances would be the sum of his Norwich contribution and, after failing to secure a first-team place, he left at the end of the season.

Linward later played for Scottish side Kilmarnock before returning to England to play for Maidstone. He ended his footballing career at Dartford. Billy Linward died in West Ham aged 62, on the 8th January 1940.

Referee

Saturday’s referee is Kevin Friend. The Leicester-based official has been involved in top-flight matches since 2009 and took charge of the Hammers in our historic 3-0 victory at Liverpool in August 2015. He sent off Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho and West Ham’s Mark Noble in that match at Anfield, with the latter’s dismissal rescinded on appeal. This season, Friend has refereed the Hammers in our 3-0 defeat at Burnley in November and, most recently, for our 2-0 loss at Manchester City in February.

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Friend is also remembered for the soft penalty he gifted Hull in our 1-0 defeat at the KC Stadium in September 2013 when Joey O’Brien was adjudged to have shoved Robbie Brady. He compounded the error by later denying the Irons a clear penalty when Jake Livermore handled in the area. Don’t expect much from Friend in the way of handball decisions – he also denied the Hammers a penalty in a match at Everton when Aaron Cresswell’s cross was handled by Seamus Coleman.

Possible line-ups

Norwich City will have to do without Sam Byram, Christoph Zimmermann, Grant Hanley and Moritz Leitner, while Todd Cantwell is a doubt. Norwich have won just one of their past 11 league matches, drawing one and losing nine, and are currently on a six-game losing streak – one defeat short of their longest such sequence in the Premier League. The Canaries, however, are unbeaten in their previous 17 home league games against the Hammers, winning nine and drawing eight, with their last defeat being in this preview’s featured match, a 1-0 loss in February 1973.

West Ham United are again without Robert Snodgrass and Felipe Anderson. The Irons are without an away clean sheet in the league since December’s 1-0 win at Southampton.

Possible Norwich City XI: Krul; Aarons, Godfrey, Klose, Lewis; Buendia, Trybull, McLean, Hernandez; Pukki, Drmic.

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

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!


David Hautzig's Match Report

West Ham 0, Burnley 1. Back Towards The Abyss

I normally cannot do reports for midweek matches because I would be hopping from one customer to another selling lovely fermented grapes. But today, I guess luckily for me, there were no customers available. With my country pretty much on fire, I wasn’t that surprised that a traveling salesman could be skipped for a day. In retrospect, I would have welcomed the time away from the TV.

The starting eleven had one change with Yarmolenko in for Lanzini. While I understood the argument, I was worried that the Ukrainian would be exhausted by the hour mark and that his role as a “super sub” had worked so why change? Perhaps linking up with the engine that is Antonio was what Moyes had in mind.

Burnley should have taken an early lead when Vydra held up the ball nicely inside the West Ham eighteen yard box and laid off a pass for Pieters ten yards out. But with time and space at his grasp, he skied his shot over the bar. Moments later West Ham won a free kick that Pope couldn’t keep hold of, but West Ham couldn’t take advantage and the threat ended with an ambitious but fruitless attempt by Ogbonna. Down the other end it was Burnley with a chance from a set piece, but despite a good delivery Vydra didn’t produce much power and Fabianski made the easy save.

West Ham had a good spell on the ball midway through the half, with Soucek particularly impressive. He moved the ball side to side, and when he lost possession he fought to get it back. He cam very close to giving The Hammers the lead when Fredericks put a cross into the box that Soucek got to, but his point blank volley was right at Pope. Seconds later it was Antonio who tested the Burnley keeper, who put the temporary striker’s attempt out for a corner. The home side was huffing and puffing, but the Burnley house was holding firm.

The Hammers had another opportunity in the 35th minute when Antonio went on a good run down the left, cut inside and tried to find Yarmolenko in the box. He did, but the pass had a bit too much on it and Yarmolenko couldn’t one time it. And when a Burnley defender is given a millisecond to regroup he will often get the job done. Long did that job.

The breakthrough came for the visitors in the 38th when Taylor put in a fine cross for Rodriguez, who headed it past Fabianski against the run of play.

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West Ham 0
Burnley 1

West Ham should have equalized seconds later when Antonio beat the Burnley defenders and was in on goal alone. But he put somehow put the ball wide when virtually anywhere else would have done.

Halftime
West Ham 0
Burnley 1

Burnley started the second half on the front foot, winning an early corner after a good buildup down the left. A floated ball into the box was put out for a corner by Soucek but West Ham got through it unscathed. But instead of growing into the second half the way they did in the opening forty-five minutes, West Ham looked uncomfortable. Balls went astray, players looked out of position. An opportunity to solidify survival was turning into a drop back down into a possible abyss. And to make matters worse, Chris Wood came in for Vydra with plenty of time left for him to stick yet another dagger through our collective hearts.

Burnley were very lucky not to be down to ten men when Tarkowski literally put the bottom of his boot into the left knee of Bowen. At first glance I was very, very concerned about a serious injury to our latest signing but thankfully he was OK. He even took a corner a few minutes later.

With the rain pouring down, Moyes made his first substitution in the 62nd minute when Yarmolenko gave way for Haller. And seconds later the Frenchman should have scored when the ball fell to him right in front of goal. His point blank shot went off Pope’s foot and out for a corner. But it should have been a goal.

A few minutes later Taylor put a low cross into the box that found Wood. But for the grace of some kind of higher power he didn’t score, putting a light effort into the arms of Fabianski.

West Ham probed and pondered, winning a corner that they took short and eventually won a less useful throw in. Antonio tried to turn a Long and make a run along the end line. But his touch betrayed him, and Burnley had a goal kick. Tick tick tick went the clock.

While I often cannot stomach the last minutes of a match like this, today I had a legitimate reason. In the 81st minute UPS arrived at my house with an important package that needed a signature, and since it was refrigerated needed to be unpacked immediately. My wife was on a call, so leaving it in the garage was not an option. I was back inside to see Haller on the ground, lambasted by Efan Ekoku for staying down and not being injured.

Final Score
West Ham 0
Burnley 1

I think we can officially call Burnley a Bogey team now. It doesn’t seem to matter if we play better than them. They find a way to get it done. And what felt like it may be a day to put serious daylight between us and the drop zone turned out to be a day that could see us back up into the Abyss.

The West Ham Way is getting very, very old.

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Match Thread

Match Thread: West Ham v Burnley

West Ham v Burnley
FA Premier League
London Stadium
KO 6pm
TV: BT Sport 2
Radio: WHUFC.com

Please use this thread to comment on the match as it progresses.


Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v Burnley

Blast from the past

In today’s featured match, we travel back the short distance to 3rd November 2018, when Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper were number one with ‘Shallow’, Bohemian Rhapsody topped the UK box office and West Ham United welcomed Burnley to east London.

The Hammers ran out 4-2 winners in front of 56,862 spectators at London Stadium that afternoon, taking the lead in the tenth minute when Marko Arnautovic dispossessed James Tarkowski before racing clear and firing beyond former West Ham custodian Joe Hart in the Burnley goal. Ben Mee then cleared off the line from Felipe Anderson before Johann Berg Gudmundsson slotted home to equalise right on half-time.

The Irons retook the lead in the 68th minute when Grady Diangana found the superb Anderson who drove a left-footed effort past Hart and into the corner – referee Roger East played an excellent advantage in the build-up as Diangana was completely taken out by Tarkowski, who was booked for his wildly-mistimed challenge. West Ham’s lead was wiped out for a second time with thirteen minutes remaining when Chris Wood’s thumping header hauled the visitors level again – Wood had entered the fray as a substitute just five minutes earlier (not for the only time in the last couple of years, the goal would have been avoided had there been a man stationed on the post for West Ham).

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Man of the Match Anderson’s second goal of the game restored the Hammers’ advantage with six minutes left to play, his shot deflecting in off Mee. The points were made safe two minutes into stoppage time when an excellent pass from Anderson was chested down by Michail Antonio into the path of his fellow substitute Javier Hernandez, who lifted the ball over Hart and into the net to seal the victory.

Manuel Pellegrini’s Hammers would end the 2018/19 Premier League season in tenth position, while Burnley would finish 15th. Arnautovic would be the Hammers’ top scorer with 11 goals from 30 appearances, while Lukasz Fabianski would be voted Hammer of the Year. Manchester City won a league and FA Cup Double.

West Ham United: Lukasz Fabianski, Pablo Zabaleta, Fabien Balbuena, Issa Diop, Aaron Cresswell, Robert Snodgrass, Declan Rice, Pedro Obiang (Javier Hernandez), Grady Diangana (Michail Antonio), Marko Arnautovic (Angelo Ogbonna), Felipe Anderson.

Burnley: Joe Hart, Matthew Lowton, James Tarkowski, Ben Mee, Charlie Taylor, Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Ashley Westwood, Steven Defour, Aaron Lennon (Robbie Brady), Matej Vydra (Ashley Barnes), Sam Vokes (Chris Wood).

Club Connections

A small collection of players have turned out for the Hammers and the Clarets. They include:

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart, Tommy Hampson and Herman Conway.

Defenders: David Unsworth, Tommy Dunn, Tyrone Mears, Joe Gallagher, Jack Tresadern, Jon Harley and Mitchell Thomas.

Midfielders: Junior Stanislas, Reg Attwell, Matt Taylor and Luke Chadwick.

Strikers: Alan Taylor, Bill Jenkinson, Sam Jennings, Walter Pollard, Ian Wright, Ian Moore and Zavon Hines.

John Bond played for the Hammers and managed the Clarets.

Today’s focus, though, falls on a player who spent short spells with both West Ham United and Burnley. Frank Birchenough was born in Crewe on 25th November 1897 and began his career with local side Haslington Villa. A goalkeeper, he played non-league football with Nantwich before moving to West Ham.

The 22-year-old Birchenough (pictured) made his only Hammers appearance in a 2-1 Easter Monday defeat at Nottingham Forest in the Second Division on 5th April 1920. He was cover for the legendary Ted Hufton, who would later win six England caps. At the end of the season, having made just one appearance for West Ham United, Birchenough signed for Burnley in August 1920.

Birchenough was again cover to a top goalkeeper, this time Jerry Dawson who would go on to win two England caps. Birchenough made two appearances for John Haworth’s Burnley in the top flight, playing his small part as the Clarets went on to win the First Division championship in 1920/21. He left Burnley, at the end of that title-winning campaign.

Birchenough later played for Whitchurch before returning to Nantwich. He died aged 62, on the 12th February 1960.

Referee

The referee on Wednesday will be Michael Oliver. He has refereed 23 of our matches, officiating in five wins for the Hammers, six draws and 12 defeats. Oliver has refereed the Irons four times this season, in our 2-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace in October (when he awarded the visitors a match-levelling penalty); for our 3-2 home defeat to Tottenham in November; for our 1-0 defeat at Sheffield United in January; and, most recently, for our 3-3 home draw with Brighton in February.

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Oliver also refereed our 1-1 draw at Leicester in October 2018, when he sent off Mark Noble. His only previous red card issued to a West Ham player came six seasons ago, when he sent off Kevin Nolan in our 4-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield in December 2013. Oliver also refereed our 3-1 home win over Manchester United last season.

Possible line-ups

West Ham United are without Robert Snodgrass and Felipe Anderson, while Sebastien Haller remains a doubt. Michail Antonio has been directly involved in five goals in his last six league appearances, scoring three and assisting two.

Burnley are without Matthew Lowton, Ben Mee, Jack Cork and Ashley Barnes, while Ben Gibson is in exile. Chris Wood has scored six goals in his five games against West Ham – if selected, Wood will be making his 100th Premier League appearance. Victory for Burnley would see them complete a top-flight league double over the Hammers for the first time.

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

Possible Burnley XI: Pope; Bardsley, Tarkowski, Long, Pieters; Gudmundsson, Westwood, Brownhill, McNeil; Rodriguez, Wood.

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!


Opposition Q & A

Opposition Q&A with Burnley

I hate to be too optimistic, but it looks like West Ham are inching their way to safety: after dramatically beating Chelsea last week, and picking up a sound point against Newcastle we look a more confident team. For the first of our last 5 fixtures sees us welcome Burnley, who are having another decent season, to the London Stadium. Ahead of the game I spoke once again to Tony Scoles, editor of Uptheclarets to discuss everything Claret and Blue.
Hi Tony, how are you enjoying the return to action after the mid season break?
It’s been hectic. We go all these weeks without football and then suddenly it is two per week and televised games day after day. Being of a certain age, and having underlying conditions, it has been a solitary existence for a good number of weeks so to at least have some football back has been enjoyable. I have to say though that I’m finding it very frustrating having to watch us on television rather than being able to attend the games.

I would say that Burnley are having another good season, how do you rate it compared to beginning of season expectations?
My hopes, every season, are that we can be comfortable and ensure we stay in the Premier League without too many relegation worries. Probably the lowest point in the season was back in January when we were on 24 points and had just lost the previous four games. We do seem to have this ability to get out of problems and since then we’ve been on a terrific run that has seen us reach 46 points. That’s a terrific return for a club like ours and so it can only be looked at as being another excellent season for us.

Liverpool of course have ended up as Champions, and assuming Man City are runners up, who do you think will fill the next 5 places?
I think we can just about safely assume Manchester City will be runners up. Leicester are dropping and I think both Chelsea and Manchester United will finish above them and Wolves look set to take the next place. I see why you were asking me to go down to seventh place. The way we are playing I’d have possibly said we might make it but it is going to be difficult with the squad stretched to a large extent just now. If not us, I’d like it to be Sheffield United.

Not many people will complain if Jürgen Klopp gets manager of the year, but should there be a subsidiary award for the likes of Sean Dyce, Chris Wilder, or Nuno Santo for exceeding expectations?
Chris Wilder won it last year, a big surprise. When we won the Championship in 2016, Sean Dyche didn’t even get the divisional award, it went to Chris Hughton who hadn’t even won promotion. Sean has done so, so well for us again as has Wilder and I do like Nuno at Wolves. I’m not sure you can take it away from Klopp this year though.

It looks like Norwich are down, but who are going to drop with them? I should mention your November pick of Southampton have been revitalised from their early season form.
Did I really say Southampton? That looks good now doesn’t it? It was probably a week or so after their 9-0 hammering against Leicester and everyone was predicting they would go. Norwich are all but gone I would think and I’d probably think Bournemouth and Aston Villa are the most likely to go with them. Both have looked poor in the games I’ve seen since the restart.

What have been the highlights and lowlights of the season for you?
Probably the lowest was on New Year’s Day when we were outplayed in the first half at home by a very poor Aston Villa team. Despite being 2-0 down, we should have gone on and won it in the second half but could only score one goal from a host of chances. The highlight is one I don’t even have to think about too much. In 1965 my dad took me to our FA Cup tie against Manchester United. We were winning 1-0 with just a few minutes to go but lost 2-1. I’ve waited, and waited, and waited to see us win at Old Trafford. In 2017/18 and 2018/19 we were 2-0 up and ended with 2-2 draws with late goals, one a shocking decision too. This time we won 2-0 and it was an unforgettable night.

Yes, great to win at Old Trafford! Thoughts on VAR?
I don’t think it has improved the game in any way. It’s slowed it down with the long waits, look at the one at West Ham last week that took not far short of four minutes. Despite VAR we are still getting decisions so clearly wrong so I’d much rather we get on with it and putting up with the on field referee making the mistakes.

The games are coming thick and fast, and so it becomes a bit more difficult to predict line ups, but how do you think Burnley will line up against West Ham on Wednesday? Players/Formation?
Usually I would be able to very accurately give you some team news. Sean Dyche doesn’t make too many changes but right now we have so many players unavailable it is frightening. For one reason or another we are without Matt Lowton, Ben Mee, Jack Cork, Ashley Barnes, Joe Hart, Jeff Hendrick and Aaron Lennon. We also have three players coming back from injury who are not quite ready to start games. All I can say is that the team against Sheffield United was: Nick Pope, Phil Bardsley, Kevin Long, James Tarkowski, Charlie Taylor, Dwight McNeil, Josh Brownhill, Ashley Westwood, Erik Pieters, Jay Rodriguez, Mat?j Vydra. I don’t see many changes from that line up.

You’re unbeaten for the past three games after losing to Man City, are you going to keep the run going? Prediction for score.
I hope we are going to keep the run going. If we do win it won’t be like the last time we won at West Ham with supporters running on demonstrating against your beloved (????) owners with every goal. I’m hoping we can keep things going with possibly a 1-0 win.

Well many thanks again to Tony of Uptheclarets for his time and thoughts. Reading his long list of Burnley casualties, I’m going to back us to take advantage. 2 – 0 West Ham. COYI

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