Dan Coker's Match Preview
Blast from the past
Almost 42 years ago to the day, West Ham United recorded one of only seven post-war league wins at Goodison Park. It was the 25th November 1972 – Trevor Brooking and Clyde Best were the Hammers’ goalscorers in a 2-1 victory in front of 27,558, while Bernie Wright struck for Everton. The Irons went on to finish in 6th place that season, with Brooking and Best scoring 20 goals between them.
Everton are certainly the Hammers’ bogey side of late – we haven’t beaten the Toffees, home or away, since April 2007, drawing four and losing nine in all competitions since then. We have only recorded two wins at Goodison Park since 1983 (in January 1994 and December 2005).
Everton: David Lawson, Peter Scott, John Hurst, Roger Kenyon, Terry Darracott, Henry Newton, Colin Harvey, Howard Kendall, John Connolly, Rod Belfitt, Bernie Wright.
West Ham United: Bobby Ferguson, John McDowell, Bobby Moore, Tommy Taylor, Frank Lampard (Kevin Lock), Billy Bonds, Trevor Brooking, Pat Holland, Dudley Tyler, Pop Robson, Clyde Best.
Considering they have spent the majority of their respective histories at a reasonably similar level, West Ham United and Everton have shared relatively few players. Those who have appeared for both clubs include: Don Hutchison, David Burrows, Mark Ward, Thomas Hitzlsperger, Joe Blythe, George Eccles, William Wildman, David Unsworth, Ray Atteveld, George Kitchen, Danny Williamson, Richard Wright, Niclas Alexandersson, Mike Newell, Ian Bishop, Lars Jacobsen, Lucas Neill and Slaven Bilic.
Perhaps the most notable Hammer to have also represented the Toffees is 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, 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 that season, taking his tally to 57 in three-and-a-half years. He 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 92 league goals in 212 games.
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 British record £2.2m deal that summer. Cottee made an incredible start to his spell at Goodison Park, scoring a hat-trick on his debut – an opening-day 4-0 win over Newcastle. Cottee appeared in two Wembley finals in his first season with the Blues, scoring twice in a 4-3 defeat to Nottingham Forest in the Full Members Cup, before playing in a 3-2 defeat to Merseyside neighbours Liverpool in the FA Cup Final. Cottee scored 13 goals in each of his first two seasons with Everton and, in February 1991, scored a dramatic late equaliser in a 4-4 draw with Liverpool in the FA Cup fifth round (first replay). Everton triumphed in the second replay to set up a quarter-final date with West Ham at the Boleyn Ground, a game the Hammers won through strikes from Colin Foster and Stuart Slater. Cottee would appear from the bench at the home of his boyhood heroes, incidentally replacing the current assistant manager of the Hammers, Neil McDonald. Everton continued to decline from being a major force in English football in the 1980s to being perennial relegation strugglers in the 1990s.
Following 72 goals in 184 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 but followed that up by notching a late winner on 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. He grabbed his 100th Hammers 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 10 league goals the following year helped the Hammers to a first top ten finish since the Cottee-inspired 85/86.
With the inception of ‘West Ham United Nations’ in 1996/97, Cottee was deemed surplus to requirements and left for Selangor of Malaysia. He had played in 279 league matches for the Hammers in total, scoring 115 goals. In all competitions, he scored 145 goals in 335 games. 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. He won his first major trophy two years later as the Foxes beat Tranmere in the League Cup Final. 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 7 caps for England.
“We want Mark Clattenburg” sing the Hammers faithful whenever another dodgy ref gives an absurd decision against us – well, this Saturday, we get our man! Clattenburg’s record when officiating Hammers’ matches generally bodes well for us – he was the man in the middle for our 3-1 victory at Crystal Palace earlier in this campaign. He also refereed our 3-1 home win over Southampton last season and, in the previous year, took charge in 2-1 wins at QPR and at home against Norwich. On the flip side, he had no choice but to send off Kevin Nolan in a 2-1 defeat at Fulham last season and was also the man in black for a woeful away showing at Villa Park in a 2-1 defeat in February 2013.
Much has been made of a potential Hammers injury crisis, but Everton face their fair share of difficulties too. Full-backs Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines, midfielders Darron Gibson and James McCarthy and winger Steven Pienaar all face late fitness tests while Antolin Alcaraz, John Stones, Arouna Kone, Kevin Mirallas, Bryan Oviedo and Gareth Barry are all set to be ruled out.
For West Ham United, a number of key players are set to be touch-and-go for the tough trip to Merseyside. Defenders Guy Demel and Winston Reid are doubts, as are Stewart Downing and Diafra Sakho after the pair reported back from international duty with knee and back issues respectively. Alex Song and Enner Valencia are also reported to be suffering from knocks.
Looking ahead to our home encounter with Newcastle next week, should Jack Colback or Daryl Janmaat pick up a yellow card against QPR, they will subsequently miss our game on 29th November.
Possible Everton XI: Howard; Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Hibbert; Gibson, McCarthy, Barkley, McGeady; Eto’o, Lukaku.
Possible West Ham United XI: Adrian; Jenkinson, Collins, Tomkins, Cresswell; Noble, Kouyate, Song; Amalfitano; Cole, Sakho.
Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!