Dan Coker's Match Preview

Blast from the past

In today’s featured match, we travel back the short distance to 1st December 2018, when Theresa May was Prime Minister, Ariana Grande was number one with ‘Thank You, Next’ and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald topped the UK box office. West Ham United, meanwhile travelled to the North East to face Newcastle.

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The Hammers ran out 3-0 winners in front of 51,853 spectators at St James’ Park that afternoon, taking the lead in the eleventh minute when Javier Hernandez swept home in front of the Gallowgate End from a right-wing Robert Snodgrass cross. The Mexican striker scored his second 18 minutes into the second half when Marko Arnautovic flicked on with his head and Hernandez coolly slotted low beyond Martin Dubravka. The points were made safe in the final minute when Jack Wilshere released Felipe Anderson who finished unerringly to complete a thoroughly satisfying day out for the travelling Claret and Blue Army.

Manuel Pellegrini’s Hammers would end the 2018/19 Premier League season in tenth position, while Newcastle would finish 13th. 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.

Newcastle United: Martin Dubravka, DeAndre Yedlin, Fabian Schar, Federico Fernandez, Javier Manquillo, Matt Ritchie (Christian Atsu), Ki Sung-yueng, Mohamed Diame, Kenedy (Jonjo Shelvey), Ayoze Perez (Joselu), Salomon Rondon.

West Ham United: Lukasz Fabianski, Pablo Zabaleta, Fabien Balbuena, Issa Diop, Aaron Cresswell (Arthur Masuaku), Robert Snodgrass, Declan Rice, Mark Noble (Jack Wilshere), Felipe Anderson, Marko Arnautovic (Pedro Obiang), Javier Hernandez.

Club Connections

West Ham United and Newcastle United have shared a multitude of personnel over the years. Andy Carroll could face his former employers on Sunday. A brief run-through of others who have represented both clubs is best served by dividing them by playing position.

Goalkeepers: Matt Kingsley, Pavel Srnicek and Ike Tate.

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

Midfielders: Kevin Nolan, Mohamed Diame, Scott Parker, Lee Bowyer, Rob Lee, 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 Alan Pardew and Sam Allardyce have managed both clubs. Glenn Roeder also played for Newcastle and managed both clubs.

This week’s focus though is on a goalkeeper who played for Newcastle and had two spells with West Ham. Neil Shaka Hislop was born in Hackney on 22nd February 1969 and graduated from St Mary’s College in Trinidad. Shaka earned a scholarship to play college football at Howard University in the United States and graduated from Howard with an Honours degree in Mechanical Engineering. He signed for Reading in 1992 before moving on to Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle for a fee of £1.6m in the summer of 1995.

Hislop made his Newcastle debut on the opening day of the 1995/96 season in a 3-0 home win over Coventry on 19th August 1995. The Magpies lost only two games before Christmas with Hislop playing every match until suffering an injury at Chelsea in early December. He regained his place in April, with the Geordies only losing one of their remaining seven games after his return. Five defeats in his mid-season absence though – including one at Upton Park in February 1996 – meant Newcastle blew a 12-point lead to concede the title to Manchester United.

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Another former Newcastle and West Ham goalkeeper, Pavel Srnicek, kept Hislop out of the side for much of the first half of the 1996/97 season. Five defeats from the end of August to Boxing Day led Keegan to restore Hislop to the starting line-up for a 7-1 win over Tottenham but Keegan left the club the following month, with Kenny Dalglish replacing him in the St James’ Park hotseat. Newcastle finished as Premier League runners-up for the second consecutive season. The signing of Shay Given provided further competition for Hislop but he regained the starting spot in November 1997, retaining it until an injury allowed Given back into the side in February 1998. Hislop was called up for an England friendly match against Chile at Wembley in February 1998 and, a month later, he was one of three over-age players selected to play for the England Under-21 side against Switzerland. His final Magpies match was a 1-0 win at Aston Villa on 1st February 1998. He had made 71 appearances for Newcastle, keeping 25 clean sheets.

The 29-year-old Hislop signed for Harry Redknapp’s West Ham United in the summer of 1998 on a free transfer – the Hammers were looking to replace Ludek Miklosko, who had left the club the previous winter and been only temporarily replaced by Bernard Lama. Hislop made his Hammers debut in a 1-0 win at Sheffield Wednesday on 15th August 1998 and kept three clean sheets in his first three matches for the club before a 4-3 home defeat to Wimbledon – he went on to keep 16 clean sheets in 41 appearances in his first season, as the club finished fifth. Despite that lofty position, the Hammers conceded four goals in a game on six occasions and also lost 5-1 at home to Leeds and 6-0 at Everton – Hislop was one of three players sent off in that defeat to Leeds on 1st May 1999. He was voted Hammer of the Year at the end of his first season with the club.

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Hislop helped the Hammers to InterToto Cup success in the summer of 1999, playing in five of the Irons’ six matches en route to a UEFA Cup place. He was sent off for the second time in his West Ham career in a 2-0 defeat at Middlesbrough on 17th October 1999, for handball outside the penalty area. A broken leg suffered early on in the 5-4 home win over Bradford in February 2000 ended Hislop’s season. He kept ten clean sheets in 36 appearances during a campaign in which the Hammers finished ninth. Hislop kept 12 clean sheets in 42 games in 2000/01 but the loss of Rio Ferdinand to Leeds affected the defence and the Irons would end the season in 15th. Hislop played through the pain barrier in the famous 1-0 FA Cup fourth round triumph at Old Trafford that season.

Redknapp left the club at the end of the season, Frank Lampard Junior followed Ferdinand out of the player exit door and Glenn Roeder was appointed manager – one of his summer signings was England goalkeeper David James. An injury to the new custodian whilst on international duty meant Hislop started the first 13 games of the season, keeping five clean sheets but also conceding four at Charlton, five at Everton and seven at Blackburn. James’ return relegated Hislop to the bench in mid-November 2001 – his last appearance of his first spell at West Ham was the 4-4 draw at Charlton on 19th November 2001.

Hislop was reunited with Redknapp in the summer of 2002, dropping down to the First Division to join Portsmouth. He helped the club to promotion in his first season as Pompey replaced the Hammers in the top flight in 2003 and remained at Fratton Park until the summer of 2005. Hislop returned to Upton Park, signing for Alan Pardew’s newly-promoted West Ham to provide competition for Jimmy Walker, Stephen Bywater and fellow new signing Roy Carroll. The 36-year-old Hislop made his second debut for the Hammers in a 4-2 League Cup second round win at Sheffield Wednesday on 20th September 2005 (both his debuts for the club were at Hillsborough) and replaced the injured Carroll in the league at the end of October. He famously joined the attack for a stoppage-time corner at White Hart Lane, sufficiently distracting the Tottenham defence to allow Anton Ferdinand to head a last-ditch equaliser in a 1-1 draw.

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Carroll returned to the side in December, with Hislop making appearances in FA Cup wins at Norwich and at home against Blackburn but the Ulsterman was injured again at the end of January with Hislop taking over for the majority of the rest of the season and playing in every FA Cup game (Walker played three league matches, two of them directly before the FA Cup quarter-final and semi-final as Pardew prioritised the cup). Hislop kept seven clean sheets in his 25 matches in 2005/06 as the Irons finished ninth, with his last appearance for the club coming in the 2006 FA Cup Final against Liverpool, which the Hammers lost on penalties. Hislop would later represent Trinidad and Tobago at the 2006 World Cup, including a group stage match against England – he won 26 caps between 1999 and 2006. My video below is a compilation of his best West Ham moments.

Having made 157 appearances for West Ham United over two spells, keeping 50 clean sheets, Hislop signed for Major League Soccer team FC Dallas in the United States in the summer of 2006. After suffering a back injury, Hislop left FC Dallas and retired from professional football in August 2007. Since retiring, Hislop has written a weekly blog for The Guardian website and helped coach the Quinnipiac University football team. He is the cousin of American sprint athlete Natasha Hastings. Hislop, now 51, is currently a commentator on ESPN.


Sunday’s referee will be Craig Pawson; 2019/20 is Pawson’s eighth as a Premier League referee. In 2014/15 he refereed West Ham’s 3-1 home win over Liverpool and sent off Adrian in our 0-0 draw at Southampton, a decision that was later overturned. His Hammers appointments in 2015/16 were both at the Boleyn Ground, for our 2-2 draw with Manchester City in January 2016 and the 3-3 draw with Arsenal three months later.

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Pawson’s matches in charge of West Ham United in 2016/17 saw him send off Harry Arter as the Hammers defeated Bournemouth 1-0 in August 2016, while he also officiated in our 2-1 home win over Chelsea in the fourth round of the League Cup in two months later. He also refereed our 5-1 home defeat to Arsenal in December 2016. He awarded Watford a penalty and sent off Michail Antonio as the Irons drew 1-1 at Watford in February 2017. Pawson did not referee the Hammers at all in 2017/18; his Irons games last season were our 8-0 win over Macclesfield, our 2-1 win at Southampton and, most recently, our 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace in February 2019. His only match involving the Hammers this season was our 2-0 defeat at Tottenham last month.

Possible line-ups

Newcastle United are set to be without Javi Manquillo, Florian Lejeune, Ciaran Clark and Sean Longstaff but Steve Bruce is hoping Jamaal Lascelles and Joelinton could be available. Newcastle have kept four clean sheets in the Hammers’ last seven trips to St James’ Park.

West Ham United will be without the injured Robert Snodgrass while doubts remain about the availability of Arthur Masuaku, Mark Noble, Felipe Anderson and Sebastien Haller. The Hammers have won away at Newcastle once since November 2012, in this preview’s featured match.

Possible Newcastle United XI: Dubravka; Krafth, Lascelles, Fernandez, Rose; Shelvey, Bentaleb; Saint-Maximin, Almiron; Joelinton; Gayle.

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

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!