Principal partner SBOBET are marking their first year with the club with a
special gift to fans
SBOBET are marking the first anniversary of their partnership with West Ham
United by giving a commemorative scarf to every supporter who attends
Saturday's game with Manchester United.
The scarves will help raise awareness of the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer
Research UK - so make sure you get yours and wear it with pride. It was on 3
December 2008 that the club's principal partner first joined forces with the
club and the Bobby Moore Fund.
SBOBET executive director Bill Mummery said: "SBOBET has a strong commitment
to social responsibility and the communities in which we work. From our
first meeting with West Ham, it was clear just how strong the bond was
between the club, community and the Bobby Moore Fund and we were delighted
to be given the opportunity to get involved.
"This is our second year and of course we have renewed our sponsorship deal
for a further four years which gives us the opportunity to build on the
relationship. We are celebrating our first anniversary by offering the fans
a gift at the Manchester United fixture, which will also help raise
awareness for the Bobby Moore Fund."
Stephanie Moore MBE, the Bobby Moore Fund founder, added: "I am delighted
that SBOBET are supporting the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK at
Saturday's match. Through the partnership with West Ham United, SBOBET has
kindly supported the Fund by complementing our aims."
Jack Collison says West Ham United will head into Saturday's match with
Manchester United on a high
Jack Collison said the West Ham United players will go into Saturday's big
match with champions Manchester United full of confidence after just one
defeat in six. The Wales midfielder has been key to the improvement in
fortune for Gianfranco Zola's men following his return to the side, having
registered on the scoresheet in each of the last two games. "As a
footballer, playing in the big games is something you really look forward
to," Collison said. "Especially for me, I'm a young player playing in the
Premier League and the home games against Manchester United and Chelsea are
massive for someone like me. "We don't go into any game thinking we're going
to lose, we go out there trying to get a result and do the best we can."
Collison is adamant he and his team-mates have learnt their lessons
following the last two, dramatic games. After a 3-3 draw at Hull City, the
Hammers beat Burnley 5-3 last time out, enduring a slightly nervier ending
than they would have liked in the latter contest. "It wasn't the prettiest
at times but it was three massive points for us but that is what we needed.
It would have been nice to score ten but we're disappointed at letting the
game slip away from them at the end. "It's something we're trying to work on
and the manager came in afterwards, still disappointed even though we won
the game as there's things we need to work on. We appreciated that, we know
we can do that and we have to take the positives and it's three points at a
time when we need them."
After a week of intense training in sometimes extremely wet weather,
Collison feels the squad are focused on ensuring there will be no repeats
against the champions. "It's been disappointing over the last few weeks when
we've got leads and we've let leads slip but it's something we're working on
in training and we're trying hard to improve every week. We're not going to
be down, we're going to take the positives and we scored five good goals."
The visit of the Red Devils to the Boleyn Ground marks the start of the run
up to the busy festive period, when Collison knows some positive results are
integral to the Hammers celebrating a happy New Year. "We're scoring a lot
of goals at the moment and that's one of the positives we can take. We've
got some massive games coming up between now and Christmas and maybe we can
re-assess then. "But hopefully we can get a few points so we're looking
forward rather than behind us. We're aware of the situation we're in and
we're trying hard to improve the situation."
Manchester United preview
All the early background and team news for the visit of the champions to the
Boleyn Ground on Saturday
Barclays Premier League
West Ham United v Manchester United
Saturday 5 December
Referee: Peter Walton
WHUTV - Full match commentary
• West Ham United welcome Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United looking to
build on a run of just one defeat in their last six matches of the 2009/10
Barclays Premier League season.
• The club have only lost once at home since 19 September, drawing with
Fulham and Arsenal and earning victories against Aston Villa and Burnley.
The latter result last week saw the club take a five-goal lead before being
pegged back to a 5-3 success. It was only the second time the squad had
scored more than two goals in a league game this season.
• Robert Green has not kept a clean sheet since the 0-0 draw at Blackburn
Rovers on 29 August but at the other end, the Hammers have scored in each of
the last ten league fixtures.
• Gianfranco Zola said: "It is a big opportunity for us all. I am sure the
fans will all be buzzing. We will be buzzing as well. We will give
everything and let's see if it will be enough. It is certainly great to be
playing at 3pm on a Saturday once more. I can tell the crowd react better to
this. Everything is set up and it will be a fantastic occasion."
• West Ham United will hope to make it three home wins out four in Premier
League meetings with Manchester United at the Boleyn Ground. Nigel
Reo-Coker's strike secured a 1-0 victory three seasons ago, while headers
from Anton Ferdinand and Matthew Upson saw the Hammers recover from a goal
down to win 2-1 in the 2007/08 campaign. Last season, Ryan Giggs struck the
only goal of the game to end the home side's good run.
• Zola's side go into the match in 17th place in the Premier League table. A
win could lift the Hammers into 12th place while the visitors will hope to
close the five-point gap to leaders Chelsea.
• This is the 109th league meeting between the two sides. Manchester United
have won 48, West Ham United have won 37 and there have been 23 draws.
• Sunday's referee is Peter Walton.
• Walton, 49, began his refereeing career in 1986, before being appointed to
the Football League List as an assistant referee in 1993. He joined the
Premier League List of assistant referees in 1994
• Walton was an assistant referee at the 1996 FA Cup final between
Manchester United and Liverpool at Wembley. That same year, he also joined
the FIFA list of assistant referees and ran the line during the Euro 96
group-stage fixture between Germany and Czech Republic at Old Trafford.
• Walton joined the Football League List of referees in 1998 and joined the
Premier League Select List in 2003. That same year, he was the man in
control of the LDV Vans Trophy final between Bristol City and Carlisle
United at the Millennium Stadium.
• Walton's first Premier League fixture as a referee was Wolverhampton
Wanderers' 4-3 win over Leicester City at Molineux on 25 October 2003.
• In January 2007, Walton travelled to Ecuador to help to run an Advanced
Course for Referees' Instructors.
• Walton took charge of the 2008 FA Community Shield between Manchester
United and Portsmouth at Wembley.
• Walton has taken charge of five West Ham matches this season - the 1-0
League Cup third-round defeat at Watford, the 2-0 Premier League defeat at
Manchester United, the 0-0 Premier League draw at Liverpool and the 1-1 FA
Cup fifth-round draw with Middlesbrough at the Boleyn Ground. The most
recent was the 1-0 defeat at Stoke City on 17 October.
Last time out
Saturday 28 November 2009
Barclays Premier League
West Ham United 5-3 Burnley
West Ham United: Green, Gabbidon, Spector, Ilunga, Da Costa, Parker, Kovac,
Collison (Faubert 78), Stanislas, Cole (Hines 45 ), Franco (Jimenez 59)
Subs not used: Noble, Tomkins, Kurucz, Nouble
Goals: Collison 18, Stanislas 33, Cole 43 pen, Franco 51, Jimenez 64 pen
Tuesday 2 December 2009
Carling Cup quarter-final
Manchester United 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur
Manchester United: Kuszczak, Neville, Brown, Vidic, De Laet, Park, Gibson,
Anderson (Tosic 82), Obertan (Carrick 62), Welbeck, Berbatov (Macheda 62)
Subs not used: Amos, Owen, Giggs, Fletcher
Goals: Gibson 16, 38
West Ham United
• West Ham United will be hoping to continue the run of form that has seen
them lose just once in their last six games.
• The Hammers' minus two goal difference tells its own story when compared
to the teams around them in the league table. The east Londoners have lost
by more than one goal just once in the league this season - the 3-1 defeat
at Manchester City in September.
• Hanging on to leads is crucial if the club are to pick up a third home win
in four games. Three times they have failed to convert a two-goal lead into
a win so far this season.
• The Hammers have scored eight headed goals this season - more than any
other team in the top flight. The club have won more penalties (five) than
any other team this campaign.
• West Ham have scored 24 goals this season with ten different scorers
registering. Carlton Cole leads the way (seven), with Guille Franco (three)
next in line. Jack Collison (two), Matthew Upson (two), Alessandro Diamanti
(two), Junior Stanislas (two), Manuel da Costa, Mark Noble, Luis Jimenez and
Zavon Hines have also registered.
• Cole is West Ham's top scorer this season with seven goals in 13 league
games. The England striker had scored 13 goals in 24 Premier League games
since Boxing Day 2008, all from open play, before last week's penalty on his
100th league start.
• Diamanti has more assists (three) than any other West Ham player.
• Noble has put in more crosses (15) than anyone else for the Hammers.
• Noble is in line to play his 100th game for the club, if selected.
• Only Robert Green has played in every league game for the club this
season. He is on a run of 102 successive league appearances.
• Julien Faubert and Carlton Cole are each on four yellow cards this season.
• Guille Franco played against Manchester United when his former club
Villarreal went to Old Trafford for a UEFA Champions League encounter in
September 2008 and earned a fine goalless draw.
• West Ham's record home win against Manchester United was a 5-1 success in
the old First Division on 11 October 1930.
• Manchester United go into Saturday's game buoyed by their midweek Carling
Cup win against Tottenham Hotspur with two-goal midfielder Darron Gibson and
Belgian full-back Ritchie De Laet particularly impressive. Forwards Danny
Welbeck and Federico Macheda also did well.
• The club are through to the Carling Cup semi-finals and will meet rivals
Manchester City over two legs on 6 and 19 January.
• Wayne Rooney's hat-trick last weekend in a 4-1 win at Portsmouth took him
to ten goals for the season in the league. Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen
both have four goals to their name.
• Only Patrice Evra has started every one of the club's 14 top-flight
matches this campaign.
• Ryan Giggs has eight assists this season, more than any other United
player and leads the club with 47 crosses.
• At the back, Nemanja Vidic has made 16 defensive clearances and eight
defensive blocks. In contrast, Matthew Upson has 16 defensive clearances and
ten defensive blocks.
• Wayne Rooney has the most yellow cards of any United player with three
this season in all competitions. The only other Reds player with more than
one is Darren Fletcher on two.
• Manchester United's biggest triumph in east London was a 6-1 victory on 6
• Full team news to follow later on Friday.
• The teams met at the Boleyn Ground on Sunday 8 February 2009, with a
62nd-minute goal from Ryan Giggs the only difference between the two sides
in a 1-0 away win.
• The lineups were:
West Ham United: Green, Neill, Collins, Upson, Ilunga, Behrami (Tristan 87),
Parker, Noble (Savio 77), Collison, Cole, Di Michele
Subs not used: Lastuvka, Boa Morte, Kovac, Spector, Sears
Manchester United: Van der Sar, Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, O'Shea, Ronaldo,
Scholes, Carrick, Giggs, Tevez (Park 87), Berbatov
Subs not used: Foster, Nani, Welbeck, Fabio, Fletcher, Eckersley
• West Ham United defender Jonathan Spector joined Manchester United as a
17-year-old in 2003. The United States international, who has a German
passport, spent two seasons at Old Trafford - making eight appearances for
the first team - before moving to Charlton Athletic on a season-long loan in
the summer of 2005. Spector left Manchester United for West Ham United in
June 2006 for an initial fee of £500,000.
• Manchester United have two former West Ham United players in their squad.
England defender Rio Ferdinand made 158 appearances for the club between May
1996 and November 2000, scoring two goals. Midfielder Michael Carrick scored
six goals in 159 appearances between July 1999 and May 2004.
• Among the other players who have represented both clubs are Roy Carroll,
Noel Cantwell, Luke Chadwick, Billy Grassam, Paul Ince, Ralph Milne,
Frederick Milnes, Frank O'Farrell, Stuart Pearson, Dave Sexton, Teddy
Sheringham and Raimond van der Gouw.
Head to head
Last six meetings (Premier League unless stated)
8 February 2009 - West Ham United 0-1 Manchester United
29 October 2008 - Manchester United 2-0 West Ham United
3 May 2008 - Manchester United 4-1 West Ham United
29 December 2007 - West Ham United 2-1 Manchester United
13 May 2007 - Manchester United 0-1 West Ham United
17 December 2006 - West Ham United 1-0 Manchester United
Overall record v Manchester United (all competitions) W 41 D 24 L 52
• West Ham United will travel to Birmingham City in the Barclays Premier
League on Saturday 12 December, kick-off at 3pm. Manchester United welcome
Aston Villa on the same day but will not get under way until 5.30pm.
However, before that they travel to VfB Wolfsburg on Tuesday for a UEFA
Champions League group-stage fixture.
• Tickets for this fixture are now sold out. For details on getting to the
Boleyn Ground click here.
• Saturday's weather forecast is for a bright and sunny day with
temperatures peaking at 11C.
Captain Scott upbeat
Skipper Scott Parker is eager to lead West Ham United to victory over
Manchester United on Saturday
Captain Scott Parker is absolutely determined to lead West Ham United to
victory over Manchester United this weekend. In a revealing interview with
Saturday's official matchday programme, Parker said everyone within the
Hammers camp was eager to build on the 5-3 win over Burnley last time out.
The England midfielder produced a man-of-the-match display against the
Clarets and, with Matthew Upson again absent with a hamstring problem, the
29-year-old will again wear the armband against the Red Devils. "I always
want to lead by example when I've got the armband on. I wouldn't say it
makes me try harder, but I am conscious of my role as captain and we all
knew it was a game we had to win," Parker said. "There were a lot of
positives to take out of the Burnley game and I think, at this present
moment, being positive is what we need to concentrate on. Whenever you play
Manchester United, you have to go into the game believing you can win,
otherwise they can outplay you."
In a wide-ranging interview, Parker talked about United's Michael Owen, who
he played alongside at Newcastle United. He also discussed his formative
years at south London club Valley Valiants, his short-lived television
advertising career, getting over his injury problems and the plight of his
former clubs Newcastle and Charlton Athletic.
Saturday's 84-page programme will also give fans an update on the work of
the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK, the charity founded by
Stephanie Moore MBE in 1993 to fight bowel cancer. A special feature
highlighting a fund-raising football tournament held at Bobby Moore's old
school, Tom Hood Community Science College, is also included.
Elsewhere in Saturday's packed edition, supporters can also catch up with
Academy graduates Michael Carrick and Rio Ferdinand, discover Luis Jimenez's
Dream Team and find out who Julien Faubert would invite to dinner as well as
hear from England manager Fabio Capello.
Poppy shirt thanks
The Royal British Legion are set for a big donation after supporters snapped
up the club's special poppy shirts
West Ham United are pleased to announce that more than £16,000 has been
raised by fans for the Royal British Legion. The club auctioned off the 57
shirts produced for the first team for the match against Everton on 8
November as part of the commemoration of Remembrance Sunday. The
best-selling shirts belonged to the club's three England internationals.
Carlton Cole - £680
Rob Green - £670
Matthew Upson - £640
All proved popular though with each and every shirt going for a three-figure
sum. With payment coming through this week, the club will ship all shirts as
soon as possible and would once again like to thank all of those who took
part in the auction via eBay, including those who were unsuccessful.
West Ham United manager Gianfranco Zola said: "Thanks to everyone who took
part in this auction. It is fantastic that we have raised so much money. It
is important to always remember the past and the sacrifices made by others.
As a club, we are very proud to show our support."
Russell Thompson, The Royal British Legion's director of national events and
fundraising said: "I would like to thank West Ham for their kind support for
this year's Poppy Appeal.
"The theme of this year's Appeal has been about helping the Afghan
generation of the Armed Forces, their families - now and for the rest of
their lives. The money raised from these shirts will go to directly benefit
those who have fought and continue to fight for our country."
All eyes on South Africa
A strong West Ham United contingent will be keeping a close eye on Friday
night's FIFA World Cup draw
Several West Ham United players will be paying close attention when the FIFA
World Cup draw is held in South Africa on Friday night. The news that
England are one of eight seeds will have delighted Robert Green, Matthew
Upson and Carlton Cole. Fabio Capello's men cannot play against Spain or
Brazil in the group stage. A total of 32 nations are taking part and will be
drawn into eight groups of four during the Cape Town proceedings. The top
two from each group at the finals will progress to the knockout stage.
England could get the unseeded Portugal or France, however, depending on the
The eight seeds will all be in pot one, with the remaining three pots drawn
on regional boundaries. Pot two will have particular interest to Hammers
fans with Jonathan Spector's United States and Guille Franco's Mexico
involved. Pot three has the African and South American contingent while Pot
four features Valon Behrami's Switzerland. Franco and Behrami appeared at
the 2006 finals.
FIFA said: "Hosts South Africa will be automatically positioned as A1, the
other seeded teams will be drawn into the other groups B-H but will always
be in position '1' of their group. Groups will be drawn from A to H and the
positions in the group will be drawn for pots two to four.
"Geographical criteria will also be respected, meaning that no two teams
from the same confederation will be drawn in the same group (except European
teams, where a maximum of two will be in a group).
"For example, South Africa cannot play the African teams from pot three and
Argentina and Brazil cannot be drawn against the three remaining South
The 2010 FIFA World Cup will be staged between 11 June and 11 July.
Pot 1 (seeds): South Africa, Brazil, Spain, Netherlands, Italy, Germany,
Pot 2 (Asia, Oceania and North/Central America): Japan, South Korea, North
Korea, Australia, New Zealand, United States, Mexico, Honduras
Pot 3 (Africa and South America): Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria,
Algeria, Paraguay, Chile, Uruguay
Pot 4 (Europe): France, Portugal, Slovenia, Switzerland, Greece, Serbia,
West Ham v Man Utd
Barclays Premier League
Venue: Upton Park Date: Saturday, 5 December 2009 Kick-off: 1500 GMT
Coverage: BBC Sport website, BBC Radio 5 Live, local radio, Final Score &
highlights on Match of the Day
West Ham are hoping England defender Matthew Upson can recover from a
hamstring injury. Carlton Cole and Valon Behrami (both knee) are definitely
out, but Kieron Dyer may feature after playing 75 minutes for the reserves
Manchester United could welcome back Edwin van der Sar after three games out
with a knee injury. But defenders Jonny Evans (calf) and John O'Shea (thigh)
look set to remain on the sidelines.
Doubtful: Diamanti (thigh), Upson (hamstring)
Injured: Ashton (ankle), Behrami (knee), Boa Morte (knee), Cole (knee),
Doubtful: Evans (calf), Fabio (groin), O'Shea (thigh), Van Der Sar (knee)
Injured: Ferdinand (calf), Hargreaves (knee)
There have been more goals scored at Upton Park this season than at any
other Premier League ground. Gianfranco Zola's commitment to attacking
football has seen his side score in 11 consecutive matches, culminating in
putting five past Burnley last weekend. The concern for Hammers fans is at
the other end of the pitch - they have shipped eight goals in their last
three games and haven't kept a clean sheet since August. The Hammers'
brittle backline is sure to be closely examined by visitors Manchester
United, who head to Upton Park in confident mood and desperate to keep the
pressure on leaders Chelsea, who face a tricky away trip to Manchester City
later in the day.
United have struggled at West Ham in recent seasons, with two defeats in
their last three trips to east London. But the champions did the double over
Zola's men last season without conceding a goal. Sir Alex Ferguson has been
busy concentrating on the next generation of United first-teamers this week,
with a youthful side impressing against Tottenham in the Carling Cup
quarter-finals. Eighteen-year-old striker Federico Macheda has been tied to
a long-term deal, but the Old Trafford club have ended their interest in
Partizan Belgrade teenager Adem Ljajic.
• These sides have met on 117 previous occasions. Man Utd have won 52 to
West Ham's 41.
• Gianfranco Zola's side started the season with clean sheets in two of
their opening three games. They have since conceded 24 goals in 11 league
• They have conceded at least two goals in nine of their last 10 Premier
• There have been more goals (30) at Upton Park than at any other Premier
League ground this season.
• If he plays, Mark Noble is set make his 100th league appearance for the
• Manchester United are the only team in the Premier League who have not
dropped any points from a winning position in the league this season.
• United have won 12 Premier League away games in 2009, more than any other
• Edwin van der Sar has saved 83% of all shots on target, a league high.
• The game is Sir Alex Ferguson's 1,300th in charge of the Red Devils.
Cole: 7 goals (7 league); Stanislas: 4 goals (2 league)
Rooney: 11 goals (10 league); Berbatov: 4 goals (4 league); Owen: 4 (2
Referee: Peter Walton
Assistant referees: Stuart Burt & Shaun Procter-Green
Fourth official: Paul Taylor
LAST LEAGUE MATCH LINE-UPS
West Ham (W5-3 v Burnley, h): Green, Spector, Da Costa, Gabbidon, Ilunga,
Collison (Faubert 77), Kovac, Parker, Stanislas, Cole (Hines 46), Franco
(Jimenez 59). Subs Not Used: Kurucz, Noble, Nouble, Tomkins.
Man Utd (W4-1 v Portsmouth, a): Kuszczak, Neville, Brown, Vidic, Evra,
Fletcher, Carrick (Anderson 76), Scholes, Giggs, Valencia, Rooney. Subs Not
Used: Foster, Owen, Berbatov, Park, Nani, De Laet.
MOST RECENT MEETING
West Ham 0-1 Man Utd (8 February 2009)
West Ham scorer: Giggs 62
Filed: Wednesday, 2nd December 2009
By: Staff Writer
Carlton Cole is likely to be out of action until early February, it has been
A scan on the knee injury sustained during Saturday's 5-3 win over Burnley
revealed that the England striker had suffered ligament damage - an injury
that is likely to keep him sidelined for around six to eight weeks.
* Swiss midfielder Valon Behrami has undergone surgery this week and is
expected to be out of action until Christmas as a result. There is better
news regarding Matthew Upson however, with the club captain expected to
return in time for the trip to former club Birmingham on December 12th, if
* Also on the road to recovery are Kieron Dyer and Alessandro Diamanti, both
of whom are back training with the first team. Dyer, who featured for the
reserves at Birmingham earlier this week could feature against Manchester
United at the Boleyn this weekend although Diamanti may have to wait a week
later until the trip to St Andrews.
* Mark Noble, who was benched for last weekend's win over Burnley is also
back in contention. The young midfielder was sidelined with a calf injury
before contracting a virus. The 22-year-old former England under-21 could
replace Radoslav Kovac for this weekend's visit of the reigning league
West Ham v Man Utd
Cole and Upson out for hosts while visitors set to make changes
By Richard Bailey Last updated: 4th December 2009
skysports.com prediction: West Ham 1 Man Utd 3
Sky Bet odds: West Ham 6/1 Draw 3/1 Man Utd 1/2
One to watch: Zavon Hines
Manchester United are set to make a host of changes for their trip to West
Ham on Saturday after beating Tottenham 2-0 in the Carling Cup. The
Champions decided to turn to youth for their cup clash with the likes of
Ritchie de Laet, Darron Gibson, Gabriel Obertan, Danny Welbeck and Federico
Macheda all featuring. However all are expected to make way at Upton Park
this weekend with Gibson, who netted both goals against Spurs, entitled to
feel most aggrieved. Sir Alex Ferguson has a decision to make in the middle
of the park with all his players in that position fit and raring to go. Paul
Scholes and Darren Fletcher sat out of the match on Tuesday while Michael
Carrick was only introduced as a second-half substitute, making them all
available for the trip to the capital. Anderson could also come into
contention after a strong display against Harry Redknapp's men while the
impending return of Owen Hargreaves will only heighten Ferguson's options.
United will know that nothing less than a win will do at Upton Park as they
continue to try and cut Chelsea's five-point lead at the top. The Blues face
another tricky away-day, this time at Manchester City on Saturday, but the
champions will be all too aware of the ease with which Chelsea dispatched of
Arsenal at Emirates Stadium last week, meaning dropped points in East London
is not an option.
Hammers boss Gianfranco Zola will be looking to help out his former club
Chelsea by taking points off United and denting their title aspirations.
Zola's side have struggled for most of the season and sit just two points
off the relegation places. However a run of just one defeat in their last
six games has lifted spirits at the club. The hosts have also been boosted
by their recent home form with the club taking eight points from a possible
15 in their last five games at Upton Park, including a 2-2 draw with Arsenal
The Hammers' fire-power has been dealt a severe blow with the news that top
scorer Carlton Cole will be out for a number of weeks after injuring his
knee last week in the 5-3 win over Burnley. Midfielder Valon Behrami is also
out after it was revealed he will be missing for three weeks after minor
knee surgery. Key defender Matthew Upson also looks likely to sit out with
a hamstring problem while forward Alessandro Diamanti (hip) is a doubt.
Long-term absentees Calum Davenport (thigh), Dean Ashton (ankle) and Luis
Boa Morte (knee) are all still sidelined.
Tomasz Kuszczak will stand down in goal with Edwin Van der Sar now fully fit
following a collision with Tim Cahill in the 3-0 win over Everton a
However John O'Shea (thigh), Jonny Evans (ankle) and Fabio (groin) will all
sit out once more having failed to recover from their respective knocks.
Rio Ferdinand (back) is not expected back until Christmas while Hargreaves
(knees) has only recently returned to full training so the pair will not be
on show this weekend.
Possible starting XIs:
West Ham: Green, Spector, Gabbidon, Da Costa, Ilunga, Parker, Kovac,
Collison, Stanislas, Hines, Franco.
Man Utd: Van der Sar, Neville, Vidic, Brown, Evra, Giggs, Carrick, Fletcher,
Valencia, Rooney, Berbatov.
Is Kieron Dyer Finally Ready to Make a Major Contribution?
West Ham Till I Die
I remember reading that Kieron Dyer might have joined West Ham from Ipswich
Town in the 1990s! Apparently Redknapp had agreed personal terms with Dyer
and all that remained was to negotiate a transfer fee with Ipswich. That's
where the deal got de-railed, we in effect lost the player for the sake of
£500,000. Allegedly we bid £5m and Newcastle Utd came in with a counter bid
of £5.5m, which we failed to match. The rest, as they say, is history!
When he finally joined us in 2007-08, I viewed the move with some mixed
feelings. Yes, Dyer was a very talented England international midfielder,
blessed with lighting pace, excellent technique and the ability to play in a
variety of positions. However, he was also a player with a chequered injury
record during his time with Newcastle Utd.
There was no denying his ability and the valuable attributes that he could
bring to our first team squad. In addition, he appeared fit and in good
form, so there was no reason why he could not make a positive impact. In
cautiously welcoming the signing, I had assumed that Curbishley would pick &
choose his games and prioritise the PL match programme. I well remember
arguing before the fateful Bristol Rovers Carling Cup Tie that it was not
the type of match he should have played in. I was to be proven right, as he
sustained a double break of the leg playing against lower league opponents!
The injury although serious, was a clean break. With the right treatment
and rehabilitation there was no reason why he should not made a full
recovery within a reasonable time-scale. However, medical complications and
a variety of collateral pulls and strains delayed his return and then
continually kept him out of the first team frame. This must have been
extremely frustrating for the player. It certainly was for the fans, some
of whom become increasingly cynical about the player's prolonged
Personally, I never lost sight of the players ability and the attributes
that he could bring to the team. It was just frustrating that the best
efforts of the player and the medical team could not seem to secure the
necessary fitness to challenge for a regular first team place.
Dyer remains an outstanding talent, who can improve our first XI and
significantly strengthen the quality of our bench. His comeback game
against Stoke City Reserves was certainly very impressive, as he scored a
brace and provided a number of assists. In that match Dyer played in the
hole, but has the versatility to play right across midfield or even as an
auxiliary striker. Although now 30 years of age, the injuries do not seem
to have undermined Dyer's pace and, in addition, he has added greater
experience to his many other fine qualities as a player.
Dyer now appears fit and in good form. And there is a suggestion that he
could be in the selection mix for the forthcoming home fixture with Man Utd.
Maybe, just maybe, now is the time for him to start bringing his undoubted
ability to bare and make a major positive contribution to turning our season
JACK COLLISON: IT'S MAKE OR BREAK
4th December 2009
By Daily Star Reporter
JACK COLLISON admits December's games will make or break West Ham's Premier
League survival hopes. The Hammers are one place above the drop zone and
could be without injured England pair Matt Upson and Carlton Cole for the
rest of 2009. They entertain Chelsea and Manchester United before
Christmas, with trips to Birmingham and Bolton. And midfielder Collison, 21,
said: "We've got some massive games coming up. But hopefully we can get a
few points and start looking forward, rather than behind us."