Saturday 30 November 2013

West Fulham XI: East meets West in crucial Upton Park battle

It’s the battle of the drowning men today at Upton Park as, after almost a third of the season, West ham and Fulham both find themselves hugging the drop zone and in both cases well out of sorts. As London neighbours, it’s hardly surprising that they have shared the services of quite a few players over the years and we have compiled a team  - West Fulham XI – of the best of those who have played for both clubs. Dave Hammer explores their history and passes his verdict on how well these players performed during their spells at each club.  We have excluded Scotty Parker as he is on duty today, but for the rest we ask where their hearts truly lie!

Gerry Peyton
Highly experienced keeper with a decade and almost 350 apps for Fulham. He later provided cover at West Ham for a season (’93-’94) but never needed to tog off and join the field of play. Equally, he can correctly assert that he never put a foot wrong during his time at the Boleyn! Has spent the period since his retirement as a sought affter goalkeeping coach - much loved by both West Ham and Fulham fans for his coaching of the Gooners goalkeeper howlers post David Seaman! Verdict Cottager.

Ian Pearce
Pearce’s career at the Hammers yo-yo’d due to intermittent injuries but a committed performer across the defence and had a nice touch of pace to go with his physical presence. Clocked up almost 150 appearances over 7 years before being stolen away to Fulham for a three season 57 gamed adventure again marred by injuries. Verdict Hammer.

Tony Gale
Wonderfully talented centre half – good in possession and an intelligent reader of the game. Nicked from Fulham and subsequently Spent a decade at the Boleyn before being released to claim a Premiership medal with Blackburn in 1994. Part of the glorious ‘Boys of ‘86’ team. 'Galey' is a popular pundit and contributes to both West Ham and Fulham official clubsites. Still and all, he's ultimately a bubbles boy! Verdict Hammer.

Bobby Moore
Hammers legend. Is he the greatest English player of all time? Spent over a decade in service at the Boleyn. Enjoyed a fun-packed spell at Fulham where he even played against the Hammers in the 1975 side that lost to two Alan Taylor strikes. Verdict :The Ultimate Hammer.

Paul Konchesky
A real one hundred percenter! And a tasty left foot that occasionally unleashed goal-bound rockets. Mysteriously fell out of favour and seemed to dip in form as he fell out with manager Alan Curbishley, before departing  (after 2 seasons) for Fulham where he had a productive stint involving over a 100 appearances. After subsequent spells at Liverpool and Notts Forest, 'Konch' is now at Leicester City. Hmmm. Verdict Cottager.

John Pantsil
Arrived after the World Cup in 2006 but found it hard to adjust to life in the Premiership and drifted down the ranks. Never really got a sustained run in the side and eventually left for Fulham in search of first team football. Settled much better at Craven Cottage until 2011 when he left after 75 appearances. After spells at Leicester and again in Israel where he played in his early career, he is presently with santos - the South African rather than Brazilian version! Verdict Cottager.

Papa Bouba Diop
Excellent 3 year spell with Fulham during which he rose to Captain status before moving to Portsmouth and then Greece . A great name and with a physical presence to match he later returned to England that helped the Hammers deal with the Championship last year. Sadly, age was catching up fast and prevented him staying on the Good Ship Bubbles as we sail back through Premiership waters. He 'enjoyed' a stuttering spell at Birmingham last year efore leaving in January. Verdict Cottager.

Luis Boa Morte
‘Dead snake’ spent 7 useful seasons at Fulham, clocking up almost 200 appearances and was Cottager of the season in 2004/5.  Considered a real steal from Fulham, Boa Morte’s robust style never quite endeared him to Hammers faithful and he suffered confidence loss. Committed and loyal throughout but seemed to lack the necessary guile to command a permanent starting place.  After his time at the Boleyn he drifted through Greek and South African leagues before returning with Chesterfield. He reappeared during the Summer after an audacious penalty strike in a preseason friendly that had the soccer world debating its legality for some time! Verdict Cottager.

Leroy Rosenior
Pacey and physically determined forward who had three productive spells at Craven Cottage between 1982-5, 1987-8 and then for a brief loan period in 1990-91. He played in Hammers sides of the late 80’s and will be remebred for his key role in a promotion push during that time when he scored most of his 15 Hammers goals. Popular TV pundit and his son plays for Hull City. Verdict Cottager.

John Byrne
Nicknamed by virtue of his chatterbox tendencies! 'Budgie' Enjoyed a productive period for five years at the Hammers in the sixties in a side that contained many legends. Fantastic goalscoring record, averaging more than a goal every second game. Unlucky to miss out on the World cup glories of ’66. Drifted to Palace and then on to Fulham for an unremerakable year in his Autumn. Sadly passed away in 1999. Verdict: Hammer.

Bobby Zamora
Loved by Hammers faithful and made it clear that he loved playing for his boyhood team. Started out at the academy but was let go before finally making his way back via Bristol Rovers, Brighton and Spurs for a four year spell between 2004-8. Bobby has a particularly pleasant habit of scoring important goals against Arsenal and in key matches e.g. promotion play offs. Hammers fans have no idea why we let him go! Thrived at Fulham for three seasons before QPR raided but hasn’t quite kicked on at Loftus Road. Verdict Hammer.

Verdict: 6-5 to Fulham - given the sides well documented problems in front of goal that seems an unlikely scoreline for todays match where a 0-0 draw might serve to pull both drowning men under. Grrrr!


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