Saturday, 13 April 2019

Hammers Ready to Make the Record Books

After their sproncey second half efforts against Chelski on Monday night,  West Ham visit Ye Olde Trafforde in search of glory today. With our season all but over, Manuel Pellegrini's troops are playing for amusement as much as anything else - not exactly an ideal mindset as we prepare to face a Man United side who are desperate for points as they chase a Champions League spot. In addition, there 's the small matter of facing Romelu 'i score at will against West Ham' Lukaku, a challenge that the impressive Balbuena will surely relish.

The game represents an important juncture in Ole Gunnar Solsjaer's managerial career. After an impressive start, since being made permanent he has reverted to the forlorn form of his Cardiff era and is currently on a 4 losses in 5 games run that should the Hammers spring a surprise today will be Man Utd's worst ever top flight run. Even worse, they are at the Nou Camp next week!

After the season's high point 3-1 thrashing at the London Stadium back in October, Manuel Pellegrini's troops will hope to do the double over the Red Devils - last achieved in the 2006-7 'Great Escape'season of madness!

The bookies fancy a home win at 5/2 on, with the away win at 7/1 and a draw at 4/1. 

As we prepare for this evening's clash we ask ' what would be the best team of players who have played for both clubs....the so-called ‘West Man United XI’?




At Man United he failed to inspire confidence - epitomised by ‘the goal that never was’. Joined West Ham in 2005 after falling out over a lack of first team opportunities. Had a good initial season but sustained a back injury in Jan 2006 and slipped into a variety of difficulties that ultimately earned him a place in the ‘Troubled Bubbles XI’!  Currently with Irish League outfit Linfield. Verdict 4/10

Hammers debut at the tender age of 17, Rio soon forced his way into the regular first team squad where he continued to impress until Leeds paid a record 18 million for him in November 2000. Quickly moved to Man United where he has been a fantastic servant for a decade and was key to the many successes of the past decade.Verdict 9/10.

8 appearances for Man United where he was never really given a chance. A bargain signing for 500K for West ham that led to a five year career and over 100 appearances . Versatile defender who had his finest hour when scoring twice in a 4-0 victory over Man United in 2010. Ran out of road as the Hammers regrouped after relegation and moved to Birmingham City. Verdict: 6/10

Top man. Signed from Cork Athletic in 1952. Noel enjoyed a fruitful 8 years at West Ham with 250 appearances. Captained the Hammers to promotion back to the top flight for the first time in almost 30 years in 1958 . Sold to man Utd for almost 30K in 1960 where he captained a cup winning side and was part of two league winning teams. Verdict 8/10.

Hmmm. One that got away having impressed at youth level but nicked by Man United. He might have fared so much better had he stuck with the Hammers and gotten a better shot at first team football. Many observers would say that he has never lived up to his potential. Verdict 4/10.

Industrious and gamey, the 'Guvnor'  was never found wanting in the Hammers shirt after replacing Billy Bonds in 1987. He didn’t handle his Hammers departure very well being photographed in a Man United shirt well before the deal was confirmed. Probably did not deserve the  criticisms thrown his way by Fergie and after 6 years and over 200 appearances Verdict: 8/10.

Another one thrown in as a teenager at 17 into the Hammers first team. Skilful but perhaps a little ‘ghosty’ at times. Happy to do the unglamorous work and stayed loyal after relegation in 2003 before losing patience and moving to Spurs for 3.5 Million and then Man United where he was a solid performer for ten seasons. Verdict 9/10.

Trouble with a capital T during his time at Man United, Fergie tired of his disciplinary problems and Big Sam obliged for a mere 650K. Initially 'Raveldo' looked like an astute piece of business but  disciplinary and personal issues re-emerged and after 18 games for the Hammers he was moved on. Verdict 3/10.

Arrived at Man United late in his career but proved another astute Fergie signing and achieved legendary status in stoppage time of the 1999 Champions League final. Came to the Hammers not far  short of pension age but still had plenty to offer by virtue of his excellent footballing brain. Returned as forwards coach to great effect in the 2014-5 season. Verdict 9/10. 

Played in a different era when United were not quite the same powerhouse they are now but picked up a cup winners medal, scoring in the 1977 final against lovely Liverpool. 
Moved to the Hammers in 1979 after a nasty knee injury but still managed to play a major part in the 1980 Cup final victory over Arsenal, teeing up Trevor Brooking’s ‘stunning’ header! Verdict 8/10.

Arrived at the Boleyn in a bizarre deal in 2006. Bemused Hammers faithful endured two-thirds of a season of Carlos trying to inspire a lacklustre side and then it all clicked into gear for the final 10 games where he couldn’t stop scoring, including a final day win at Old Trafford to keep the Hammers up! The Apache had some classy moments in the United shirt but got sidetracked by his own ego needs. Ultimately moving to City was the final straw.Verdict 9/10.

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