Saturday 19 January 2013

Queens Park Hammers / Upton Park Rangers: The definitive QPR/WHU XI

As these two clubs go head to head in today’s crucial 'wrong half of the table' clash, we are reminded of the many players who have had the privilege of playing for both. Verywestham welcomes Tom Ranger who joins our own Dave Hammer to give their verdict on how well these players performed during their spells at each club.


Dave Hammer says:

Tom Ranger says

Safe as houses. Had it all – presence as well as shot stopping, and a cool head to boot! We ‘stole’ him from QPR and he then formed a key part of the mid-80s teams, including the formidable boys of ’86. Ridiculous England cap haul at a mere 1!!!. 10/10.

Probably the best keeper we ever had. A core member of our wonderful 75/76 team which got pipped for the league by Liverpool. The fact that West Ham paid a world record fee for a goalkeeper to take him to Upton Park (was it £500k) reflects how well he was thought of at the time. 9/10

Was unhappy to leave QPR and found it hard to settle at West ham after angering fans by airing his discontent in public. On field, his performances were disappointing given his record at Loftus road and he departed after a single soulless season. 4/10.

The man with no neck. A very under-rated winger who was a member of the team which was the highest finishing London side around '93. He would have shone more had Ferdinand and Sinclair not grabbed the lions share of media attention on the club at the time. 7/10

Came through the west Ham youth system and was soon strutting it in the first team. However, got a bit of a name for ‘socialising’ and found himself out the door to Sunderland. Has never really fulfilled the promise of his time at the Hammers where he excelled and seemed destined to duplicate older bruv’s achievements. He hasn’t. 7/10

Was at the back of the queue when the footballing genes were being given out in the family. Was bought hastily in a bid to import "needed" premiership experience. Sunderland were more than happy to sell him. He is spending most of this season on the bench as the centre back positions are filled by two geriatrics, which says it all. 5/10

Came in a double package with James Collins from Cardiff and had a fantastic first two seasons earning Hammer of the year in 2006. Injuries took over and a mysterious recurring problem kept him on the sidelines for the next two years. Struggled when he did finally return and was let go in 2011. 6/10.

Similar to Anton, a hasty purchase, mainly because he was free and our tight fisted owners refused to spend any money while they were negotiating to sell their shareholding. He was quickly caught out by our coaching staff too and didn't feature too much last season. I always felt my blood pressure increase whenever he had the ball at his feet for some reason. He was released as soon as was realistically possible. 1/10

Great hairstyle!!! Actually was a pretty decent  recruit to the doomed side of 2003 but helped in the promotion push that followed before age caught up on him and he retired to the lower leagues. 6/10.

Rufus (isn't that a dog's name?) was a well liked player at Loftus Road. However, he was a dreadful full back for us. He transferred to Fulham and dropped down a division or two, finding his niche there and helped them gain promotion to the Premiership and establish themselves there, while QPR slipped the other way. 5/10

Always gave 100% and inspired those around him with his determination over a spell that lasted over seven years, 200 appearances, and many as the club captain. 8/10.

The thinking man's Marc Bircham. Another under-rated player who was quite happy just to sit deep in centre midfield and spray the ball around him. We acquired him at the tail end of his career, but he did an effective job for us. 6/10

Uncompromising! Added much needed bite to our midfield but undoubtedly at times a loose cannon. My greatest memory is of him getting sent off against a rampant QPR side in 1995 and having to endure a desperate backs to the wall performance that earned a valuable point due to some classic Julian Dicks endeavour as the referee seemed too timid to send off a second Hammer! 6/10

Mad dog. A cousin of Clive. The only thing I really remember about him is the story that our player-manager, Trevor Francis, refused him permission to attend the birth of his child. He attended anyway. There were better players around the club during his years with us and he was in reality only a squad player. 4/10

Fantastic player – skilful and quick, he always brought a sense of excitement to proceedings. Another ‘steal’ from QPR. Had 5 decent seasons but forced to leave as we were relegated in 2003. Scored some cracking goals but also remembered for floating the crossfield pass for ‘the’ goal by Di Canio! 9/10

A more than able replacement for Andy Sinton. A great player when he was in the Premiership. He stayed with us for one season after we got relegated, but his heart wasn't in it and that was there for all to see. The scorer of "that goal" which was the Goal of the Season. For those younger readers it was a bicycle kick from just outside the box. He got transferred to West Ham in the worst deal ever negotiated at Loftus Road, and that's saying something! 8/10

Something of a legend at the Hammers – determined to play for his beloved boyhood team he came in 2004 and made a major contribution to our promotion, including a stunning goal in the play off semi final and the winner in the final. Followed that with another excellent season but struggled on and off with injuries thereafter and left suddenly, even mysteriously in 2008. 9/10.

Here's a guy on a huge salary who claims to the media that he has fallen out of love with the game. Soon after that announcement he acquired an injury and will be missing for most of the rest of the season. Works hard but generally with little end product. He was never a prolific goalscorer before joining us and was never going to be an answer to the many questions being asked about our front line. 6/10

Stopped in on the Hammers towards the end of his career (1992-4) and played a big part in the promotion season of 92-93 but struggled in the Premiership the following season and was off on his merry way again. Did a shift at pretty much every London club and his time at the Hammers was a useful stint. 7/10.

Played for us in two spells. Scored a hat-trick on his debut, and his name wasn't even in the programme. He formed a formidable partnership with Paul Goddard the next season, after which each were sold for £1m. He was soon back, and played a key role in the Venables era which saw us get to an FA Cup Final, win the Second Division and qualify for the UEFA Cup. 10/10

Arrived as an intended saviour for the remarkable relegation side of 2003 but couldn’t prevent the doomed side from slipping down a league and left for Leicester who had moved in the other direction with promotion. It was a privilege to have him wear the claret and blue but in reality his contribution to the cause was very modest indeed. 5/10.

Sir Les. Legend. End of. We shouldn't have sold him as when we did, our goals dried up the following season and we were deservedly relegated from the Premiership. He was a significant factor in the club punching way above it's weight in the early 90s. 10/10

Fantastic manager –artful, creative, humorous, motivating. Left suddenly and under a cloud, as he does. 9/10

Already working the oracle. You can feel the confidence growing. 9/10.




Substitutes: Paul Goddard, Hogan Ephraim, Kieran Dyer, Neil Ruddock, Rob Green.

So, it looks like West ham may have gotten a slightly better shift out of many of these players but it’s notable that apart from Impey and Zamora, their overall contributions are rated fairly similarly for both clubs. I wonder how this side would perform against today’s QPR and West Ham teams? 

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