Saturday 9 November 2013

West Ham Norwich XI: Those Hammered Canaries

Today sees the crunch relegation six pointer between the embattled troops of Norwich boss Chris ‘likeable’ Hughton and Big Sam’s cuddly Bubbles. Both sides are finding it hard to score – even on the training ground – and for Norwich, the lack of authentic netminding practice for keeper John Ruddy really showed last week when the Canaries shipped an astonishing seven goals against Man City. Surely, even the profligate Hammers can penetrate that porous a defence? Dave Hammer offers the verdict on a first XI who have represented both clubs and asks – at the end of the day are they really Hammers or Canaries?

Robert Green
Nicked from Norwich where he was a key part in the promotion side of 2003-4 but was kept busy thereafter as Norwich were shunted back to the Championship and he was grabbed by the astute Hammers and put in 6 very decent years. Hammer of the year in 2008, he stayed with the club after the relegation of 2010-11 and was a major part of the subsequent promotion-winning side. Now retired from football with QPR. Verdict: Hammer
Kenny Brown
Steeped in both West Ham and Norwich culture due to his father’s involvement with both. Kenny put in decent stints for both sides – initially for Norwich who were managed at that time by his dad before making the predictable journey to the Boleyn (via Plymouth!). 1992 winning goal to deny Man United the title will surely be remembered as his greatest playing moment. Verdict : Hammer
Elliot Ward
Hammers faithful thought he would be the new Billy Bonds – flowing locks, muscular style. And then he got his hair cut and it all went pear shaped. Fans will remember his partnership with Anton Ferdinand during the promotion season of 2004-5 but Curbishley wanted more experience and Elliott got bounced out on loan. Later reappearing with Norwich, a decent spell was interrupted by a knee injury in 2012 and he’s now at Bournemouth. Verdict : Canary.
Malky Mackay
227 appearances for the Canaries as a positionally astute physical centre back whom the Hammers borrowed for a season as they tried to get back to the Premiership but Mackay’s age was starting to catch up and the associated lack of pace ultimately limited his contribution as the season progressed. Now managing relegation rivals Cardiff City. Verdict: Canary.
Mark Bowen
Edgy character who put in an impressive decade at the Canaries before a useful season at the Boleyn. Competitive defender with a cultured left foot he is the most capped Canary with 35 appearances for Wales. Nicknamed ‘Albert Tatlock’ due to his propensity for expressing his dissatisfaction with proceedings! Now assisting Mark Hughes at fellow relegation battlers, Stoke City. Verdict: Canary.
Martin Peters
Hammer’s legend with over 300 appearances over an eleven year spell as a player and the academy prior to that. 1966 deblah blah but possibly the most talented of the three amigos? Nicked by those eternal squadpinchers at Spurs before a useful spell at Norwich in his thirties, but always really a Hammer!  Verdict : Hammer.
Graham Paddon (Captain)
Cultured left footed midfielder who joined Norwich in 1969 and After 290 League appearances and 25 goals for the Canaries, joined West ham in 1973 for £170,000 in a swap deal involving Ted MacDougall. He made 150 League and cup appearances and scored 20 goals in his three years at West Ham, featuring in the 1975 up final winning side. The following year he scored possibly his best ever goal with a stunning strike from almost the half way line in the 1976 European Cup winner’s cup semi-final.  He returned to Norwich in November 1976 for a further decent spell. Tragically passed away in 2007. Verdict: Canary
John Sissons
No, not the broadcaster! Stylish 1960s Hammer who played with all the greats of the time and amassed 37 goals in 213 appearances over an 8 year spell. He became the youngest player to score in a Cup final in 1964. Subsequently had spells at Sheffield Wednesday and a season at Norwich. Now lives in South Africa.   Verdict: Hammer.
Craig Bellamy
Graduate of the Norwich youth system he was a huge success for four seasons before being snapped up by Coventry City. Scintillating pace and a keen idea for goal but much travelled perhaps related to his edgy character! Hammers made him their record signing when under the crazy and ultimately doomed  Icelandic regime but has to offload him in the fire sale that followed their financial implosion in 2009. Now in the autumn of his career back with Cardiff. Despite his reputation, Bellamy is a key contributor to a UNICEF programme that has set up the Craig Bellamy Academy in Sierra Leone from monies donated by the generous star. Verdict: Canary.

John Hartson
Much loved character who has successfully battled with a brain tumour. Forthright style, but during his career at the Hammers had a degree of mobility that allowed for a fearsome package of pace and aggression. Discipline was not his strong point and later career, including a pointless 4-game spell at Norwich was blighted by fitness and weight problems. Verdict: Hammer.

Dean Ashton
Tragic figure who has become synonymous for Hammers fans with ‘what could have been’ after sustaining a career-ending ankle injury whilst on Engerland duty, Grrr. A graduate of the Dario Gradi stable at Crewe, Ashton was snapped up from Norwich by the Hammers in 2006.  Visibly benefitted from working with Teddy Sheringham and quickly became the hottest prospect in the league due to his pace, skill and robust physicality. Ultimately managed only 46 Hammers apperances but did get to score in a cup final. Verdict: Hammer.
Final Score
Hammers 6  Canaries 5

Substitutes: John MacDowell, Ted MacDougall, David Cross, Keith Robson, Steve Walford, Alan Taylor, Dale Gordon, Matthew Rush

So, the Hammers come out on top – just like our match prediction today…Villa 1 -3 West Ham.


  1. Surely Rob Green's a Canary! So a win for Norwich...that'll be 2 wins today for us then ��

  2. Well we can agree that he's definitely not a Park Ranger, or a Queen!

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