All the action from Saturday's return to Barclays Premier League action
against Kevin Keegan's side
Barclays Premier League
Referee: Uriah Rennie
West Ham United: Green, Pantsil, Neill, Tomkins, McCartney, Faubert, Noble,
Parker, Ljungberg, Ashton, Zamora
Subs: Walker, Mullins, Solano, Boa Morte, Cole
Newcastle United: Harper, Beye, Taylor, Edgar, Enrique, Geremi, Barton,
Butt, Martins, Owen, Viduka
Subs: Forster, Diatta, Duff, Smith, Carroll.
50 years since key promotion - WHUFC
Ken Brown has relived his memories of an historic date in Hammers history -
50 years ago on 26 April 1958
This Saturday marks 50 years to the day that West Ham United memorably
secured promotion back to the top flight for the first time in 26 years.
A 3-1 win at Middlesbrough on Saturday 26 April 1958 clinched the second
division title and paved the way for the club's golden area of the
mid-1960's under Ron Greenwood. That promotion also meant Bobby Moore's
debut in September 1958 would come as a top-flight player and provide the
young homegrown Hammer with a fitting stage for his talents.
Ken Brown was pivotal in that defining 1957/58 season. Although the young
east Londoner had been around for several seasons, this campaign was to
prove his breakthrough as he played 44 games and formed part of a resilient
rearguard that also included Irish full-back Noel Cantwell, John Bond and
Andy Malcolm. Further forward were the likes of Malcolm Musgrove, John Dick
and the prolific Vic Keeble.
"It was such a great team," remembered Brown, now 74 and living in Norfolk.
"I think it was my first full season in the team and we ended up getting
promotion. I had had bits and pieces before that - Malcolm Allison was the
centre-half, he had been in the army. He became ill and I got my
opportunity. We had been waiting a long time to go up."
In that pivotal 26 April match half-a-century ago, Middlesbrough boasted a
young centre forward by the name of Brian Clough, who had a fearsome
strike-rate and would prove to be a future managerial foe for Brown as well.
"He had a brilliant record," he said. "I can remember Noel Cantwell and John
Bond were saying we have got to stop him. They told me 'he makes these great
runs from crosses and you have got to be in front of him'. I can well
remember that, he was a top player.
"He didn't talk as much during the game, not as much as he did when he
finished playing. I had some memorable run-ins with him after that in the
coaching and managerial stakes. I got the better of him that day though
because he didn't score. There was a couple of Irish players with
Middlesbrough and Noel said he would have a word with them about taking it
easy as they had nothing to play for. He came back and said Cloughy went mad
when he suggested they take it easy ...."
Brown admitted he does not remember much of the game itself, that saw Dick,
Keeble and Musgrove all score in the first half to secure a 3-1 win but he
can recall the celebrations. "I can remember we did go up on the train and
coming back there were a load of supporters when we got back to the
station," he said. "It was incredible, a real sight to see. It was a big
deal and things seemed to just fall into place for the club after that. It
A proud Hammer to this day, Brown keeps in touch with many of his former
team-mates such as good friend Bond and Malcolm, "the best man-marker you
could come up against and a very underestimated player". Of striker Keeble,
who arrived from Newcastle United and galvanised the forward line, Brown
added: "Vic was brilliant. When Ted Fenton brought him in, him and Jacky
Dick hit it off as if they had been playing all their lives together. It was
a great team all the way through."
Newcastle fight back for draw - WHUFC
Early goals from Mark Noble and Dean Ashton gave United a great start but
the visitors earned a point
West Ham United 2-2 Newcastle United
West Ham United were frustrated by a Newcastle United comeback on Saturday
having raced into a two-goal lead inside the opening 22 minutes of what was
to prove an entertaining contest at the Boleyn Ground.
Keegan's side fought back to rescue a draw and continue their hoodoo over
the home side, who have failed to beat the Tynesiders in their past nine
meetings. On a day dedicated to the fund founded in the memory of 108-times
capped West Ham United legend Bobby Moore, this was certainly not a game for
the defensive purists, who saw Mark Noble and Dean Ashton send Alan
Curbishley's side into a two-goal lead, before a quick-fire double from
Obafemi Martins and Geremi brought the visitors level by the break.
Following last week's win over Derby County, Alan Curbishley made just one
change from the side that beat the relegated Rams, as Ashton returned in
place of young Freddie Sears, while fit-again former Magpie, Nolberto
Solano, took his place on the bench alongside Carlton Cole, Hayden Mullins,
Luis Boa Morte and Jimmy Walker.Last Sunday, Keegan's men had extended their
unbeaten run to six games with a victory over Sunderland in the Tyne-Wear
derby that guaranteed themselves Premier League safety and the Newcastle
United boss made just a solitary switch as David Edgar came in for Abdoulaye
Kicking off the 500th Premier League match, two rungs and five points ahead
of the visitors, tenth-placed West Ham United quickly went in search of the
win. With just three minutes on the clock, Julien Faubert deposited a
curling free-kick from the left flank on to the roof of Steve Harper's net
and, shortly afterwards, Ashton forced the Newcastle keeper to save his low
18-yarder. Roared on by the claret and blue fans amongst the short-sleeved
crowd of 34,980, Curbishley's side continued to seize the early initiative
as Bobby Zamora went close with a far post header, too.
A goal was not far away and, sure enough, on ten minutes, the ever-present
George McCartney - making his 51st consecutive appearance - whipped back a
clever centre towards the penalty spot, where the unmarked Noble sent an
equally intelligent falling volley into the net, to claim his third goal of
Certainly, the midfielder's technique in netting in open play for the first
time this season would have met with the approval of the watching Paolo Di
Canio, but alongside the rest of the watching Boleyn Ground crowd, the
irascible Italian would have been equally concerned at the sight of Freddie
Ljungberg being carried off following a heavy collision Steven Taylor,
midway through the first half.
With the sympathetic applause for the Swede still ringing around the stadium
and his replacement Boa Morte still finding his feet, the noise levels
quickly rose as West Ham United doubled their lead. This time, Robert Green
launched the ball upfield towards the head of Zamora who nodded into the
path of Ashton and after holding off Edgar 12 yards out, the home side's
top-scorer neatly threaded a low, angled shot into the bottom left-hand
corner to bag his ninth goal of the season.
In reply, Michael Owen, having struck six goals in six games, was denied by
a brilliant block header from the jockeying James Tomkins, but after Habib
Beye was booked for tripping escaping ex-Magpie Scott Parker, Newcastle
somehow conjured up two goals in the final three minutes of a half in which
they had been thoroughly outplayed.
On 42 minutes, Joey Barton sent a lofted though-pass into the path of the
hitherto anonymous Obafemi Martins, who momentarily mis-controlled before
recovering to loft the ball over the Green from 15 yards. Having given his
side a glimmer of hope, the Nigerian international then latched on to a weak
defensive clearance, which was heading towards Barking Road, before the
alert Geremi rose highest to redirect the wayward effort under the
right-hand angle, to significantly change the tenor of both half-time
Just after restart Boa Morte flashed a shot across the face of goal, but it
was Uriah Rennie who suddenly found himself the centre of attention as he
scribbled down the names of the industrious Faubert, Nicky Butt and John
Pantsil for a string of over-zealous tackles. Midway through the second
half, Cole was pitched into the fray in place of the tiring Zamora and as
West Ham tried to rediscover their early, first-half dominance, Ashton
forced Harper to save his thunderous low, 30-yard screamer and then the
blond striker hooked across the face of goal.
McCartney also arrived on the scene to blast high and wide after a frantic
goalmouth scramble and, with ten minutes remaining, Harper produced a
sensational save to palm over Ashton's goal-bound, 15-yard sizzler, while at
the other end, Green proved equally brilliant to deny Martins and ensure
that it ended all-square ahead of next week's trip to wounded Manchester
Manager on Monday - WHUFC
The trip to Manchester United is already occupying thoughts with Alan
Curbishley looking for the win
Alan Curbishley has learned much about his squad this season and is
expecting to find out a bit more when West Ham United arrive at Old Trafford
looking to deny Manchester United.
As at the weekend when the likes of John Pantsil and James Tomkins
underlined the strength in depth at the manager's disposal, more of his
players could get an opportunity to shine in the north-west next Saturday.
While it may be a first for some, Curbishley is well aware of what to
expect. "It is amazing - this is the fourth time in the last six years I
have gone there for their last home game - a couple of times with Charlton
and now with West Ham.
"We have not got the pressure we had last year but we want to finish as
strongly as we can," Curbishley added. "We will see what we have got left
this week and will go there and give it our best shot. I think [Manchester
United] are used to the pressure. They have got a big game in midweek, we
will see how it goes. Some of the players who have perhaps only seen [Old
Trafford] on the TV might get a chance, you know it could be another
learning curve for one or two of them."
Looking back to the weekend 2-2 draw with Newcastle United, the manager was
delighted with how his men performed as they look to hold on to tenth spot.
"We have been there for most of the season. As I have been saying all along,
the players have done tremendously well. We have only let ourselves down a
couple of times. Last week I called for a little bit more appreciation and
realism and I think the fans got behind us and understood it. We responded.
It was a terrific first 40 minutes."
Mark Noble and Dean Ashton put United in front but Obafemi Martins and
Geremi dashed home hopes with a quickfire double just before the interval to
leave Curbishley ruing some missed chances. "I think we should have been
more in the lead ... I couldn't really see Newcastle getting back. We got
going, they played with the extra man in midfield but I thought we nullified
that a bit and we always looked dangerous. We needed the third and created
enough chances but in the end had to settle for two-all."
With two rounds of fixtures left this season, the manager could not certain
about where he thought the league was heading. "I don't think anybody can
say who they prefer to win the title," he said. "What happens is if you win
it, you deserve to win it. If Chelsea come from behind, it is a magnificent
achievement. They have made up some big points over the last five or six
weeks. Their resilience has been fantastic. If Man United do it, then I
think a lot of people will say they have been out in front for a while and
they deserve to do it."
The champions know they will be in for a contest though, having gone down
1-0 to Curbishley's side on the final day last season and lost 2-1 at the
Boleyn Ground at the end of December. "Last year was a different set of
circumstances completely, perhaps they didn't have too much to play for and
we had everything to play for and perhaps it has turned around now," said
the manager, who stressed he hoped United won through their midweek
Champions League semi-final.
Title talk is all very well, but in truth all that concerns the United boss
is how his own team finish the campaign - with attacking displays like that
seen at the weekend finished off with three points. "I have said all along
this season has been the most competitive Premier League I have been
involved in at the top and the bottom ... We have got our own situation to
play for. We have got a big stage to play on and one or two people in my
team will come out of that next week with a big experience from it."
High praise after positive play - WHUFC
Alan Curbishley was delighted with the way his team took the game to
Newcastle United on Saturday
Alan Curbishley was delighted with the efforts of his players after an
enjoyable if ultimately frustrating home draw with Newcastle United.
On a sunny afternoon at the Boleyn Ground, Mark Noble and Dean Ashton
strikes saw the home side race into a two-goal lead. However, Obafemi
Martins and Geremi forced the visitors back into the contest just before
half-time. Curbishley's men kept going after the interval, with terrific
support from a home crowd buoyed by the presence of former great Paolo Di
Canio, but could not find the winning goal.
Despite knowing "we should have finished the game off", Curbishley was happy
with the play and grateful for the crowd backing after the frustration all
round in the wake of a hard-fought 2-1 win against relegated Derby. "We
asked them to get behind us today and they showed that from the first
minute. We responded, we just couldn't get through to half-time. You can't
judge how a game is going to go. We are really pleased with the support we
got today, it does make a difference.
"We have played ever so well for 40 minutes, it could have been a couple
more," added the manager, who knew the first goal against was key. "We just
had a crazy couple of minutes, perhaps overplayed it in the middle of the
park, got caught with it and it was a terrific ball from [Joey] Barton to
put it over the top and I think that is what Martins feeds on. Young [James]
Tomkins just caught under it and had to make a decision but that is another
learning curve for him."
Tomkins yet again earned special praise from Curbishley for a highly
impressive display overall that saw him unfazed by a starting role against
strikers like Martins, Mark Viduka and Michael Owen. "He has played ever so
well again but you are playing against top-class forwards and that [goal]
turned the game back in their favour. We just needed to get through that
couple of minutes. I am delighted with the way we played for the whole game
but obviously two wasn't enough."
Also earning the manager's attention was Scott Parker, who enjoyed a
terrific tussle with Barton in midfield and was a driving force against his
old club. "I think Scott ran himself into the ground and I did say to
afterwards that I just wish he would shoot a little bit more. He is getting
himself in the final third and trying to play other people. If he has a
shot, it might hit someone and go in the other corner. Their second goal was
an example of that, it smashed back and I think it was going wide before
Geremi touched it."
There was a negative to the day though with Freddie Ljungberg, who is
looking forward to leading Sweden at the European Championship this June,
suffering an injury following a challenge with Steven Taylor. "We think he
has got a cracked rib. Taylor came down on him ... as he has gone through,
Taylor has tried to get back, tried to leapfrog him and landed on him. He
has been raked all down the front and the side of his face and cracked a
rib. Another one goes out but we hope he is OK for the Euros."
The manager was not certain that Matthew Upson, Jonathan Spector and Anton
Ferdinand would add to his central defensive options before the trip to
Manchester United next weekend. "[Upson] trained on Wednesday, trained
Thursday and we thought he was back ... Jon Spector has got a chance, he has
got a bit more of a chance than Anton Ferdinand. I have been happy with
Tomkins and Lucas Neill in there, Johnny Pantsil has come in.
"I have been saying all season that our problems have made our squad
stronger. Squad players are getting games. Once again they have done that
today and got more experience. We will see how we are for Man United. It is
a big game and we need to get something in the next two games to stay in
that tenth position."
West Ham 2-2 Newcastle - BBC
By David McIntyre
Newcastle came back from 2-0 down to earn a point at Upton Park. George
McCartney's left-wing cross was volleyed home by Mark Noble before Dean
Ashton fired in West Ham's second after being found by Bobby Zamora's
flick-on. But Obafemi Martins scored with the Magpies' first real attack
when he finished calmly after latching on to Joey Barton's ball over the
top. And Geremi diverted Martins' shot into the net with his shoulder to
haul Newcastle level just before half-time. It was a remarkable turnaround
because West Ham were in complete control, with Newcastle looking a shadow
of the team that were unbeaten in six matches prior to their visit to east
London. Full-back McCartney caused them major problems on the left flank and
had already served up two dangerous early crosses before setting up Noble's
third goal of the season. West Ham suffered a setback when Freddie Ljungberg
was stretchered off with a suspected cracked rib after Magpies defender
Steven Taylor accidently stepped on him while running towards the ball. The
home side managed to maintain their dominance and went further ahead on 23
minutes. Zamora headed keeper Robert Green's long kick on to Ashton, who
held off David Edgar before finding the bottom corner of the net. But two
goals in three minutes brought Newcastle back into the match. They were
given hope when Martins got behind young defender James Tomkins to collect
Barton's long pass and shoot past Green. West Ham's defensive frailties were
then exposed again when they failed to clear Habib Beye's right-wing cross
and Martins pounced on the loose ball to strike a shot that hit Geremi and
Kevin Keegan's men had to defend for much of the second half but West Ham
were unable to regain the lead. Luis Boa Morte, who replaced Ljunberg, sent
a shot wide of the target with the stretching Zamora just unable to add the
touch that would have guided the ball into the net. Referee Uriah Rennie
ignored West Ham's appeals for a penalty after Zamora's shot seemed to hit
Taylor's arm, before keeper Steve Harper did well to tip over Ashton's
But for all West Ham's pressure, it was Newcastle who came closest to
scoring a late winner. Again it was Martins who caused panic in the Hammers
penalty area, this time shrugging off Lucas Neill and testing Green with a
low shot the England international brilliantly pushed away at his left-hand
West Ham manager Alan Curbishley: "I asked for a response from the fans and
they got behind the players right from the first minute. "The fans have a
vital role to play and the players responded to them. We played ever so well
for 40 minutes and just got caught. "In the second half I was pleased that
we dug in, and we could have won it with the chances we had."
Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan: David Edgar had a tough game and I was pleased
with him, because he really had to fight. "He's had to have stitches and is
a proper centre-back now he's got a scar. As the game wore on he looked more
and more comfortable and by the end he looked at home as a Premier League
defender. "It was an open game of football and I think a draw was the right
result in the end."
West Ham: Green, Pantsil, Tomkins, Neill, McCartney, Faubert (Solano 90),
Parker, Noble, Ljungberg (Boa Morte 21), Zamora (Cole 68), Ashton.
Subs Not Used: Walker, Mullins.
Booked: Faubert, Pantsil.
Goals: Noble 10, Ashton 23.
Newcastle: Harper, Beye, Edgar (Diatta 90), Taylor, Jose Enrique, Geremi,
Butt, Barton, Owen, Viduka (Smith 82), Martins.
Subs Not Used: Forster, Duff, Carroll.
Booked: Beye, Butt, Martins.
Goals: Martins 42, Geremi 45.
Ref: Uriah Rennie (S Yorkshire).
BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Obafemi Martins: 8.08 (on 90
Cracked rib agony for Ljungberg - BBC
West Ham's Sweden midfielder Freddie Ljungberg is a doubt for the Euro 2008
finals after suffering a cracked rib during Saturday's draw with Newcastle.
The 31-year-old was stretchered off after a first-half clash with Magpies
defender Steven Taylor. Hammers boss Alan Curbishley said: "Taylor has tried
to leapfrog him and landed on him." Ljungberg will miss the rest of the
Premier League season and has six weeks to get fit before Euro 2008 starts.
He becomes the latest player to join the Hammers' lengthy injury list.
Curbishley added: "Freddie was raked down the side and the front of his face
and cracked a rib. "That is another one out for us but we hope he will be OK
for the Euros." West Ham drew the game 2-2 after leading 2-0.
Ljungberg injury confirmed - KUMB
Filed: Saturday, 26th April 2008
By: Staff Writer
Alan Curbishley has confirmed that Freddie Ljungberg will miss the last two
games of the season. Curbishley, talking after today's 2-2 draw with
Newcastle confirmed that the Swede suffered a broken rib during the game.
And the race will now be on for Ljungberg to recover in time to take part in
the European Championships, which take place later this summer. "We think
he's cracked a rib," revealed Curbishley. "Taylor came down on him - I think
he was trying to wriggle through and went over. "I don't think he was
trying to hurt him but he's obviously landed on him. He's very, very sore.
"It's the Euros round the corner for him and he's got a month to recover.
But he's going to need that."
West Ham Utd 2 Newcastle Utd 2 - KUMB
Filed: Saturday, 26th April 2008
By: Staff Writer
West Ham United could only take a point from this afternoon's Premier League
clash with Newcastle after throwing away a two-goal adavantage. Despite
racing into an early two goal lead the Hammers were pegged back by goals in
the final five minutes of the first half by the visitors. And with no
further goals after the break each side will have come away reasonably happy
with a point - although having enjoyed 17 shots to Newcastle's five the
Hammers should perhaps have been toasting all three points tonight. Mark
Noble had opened the scoring for West Ham United in the tenth minute before
Dean Ashton made it 2-0 shortly after. But Newcastle restored parity
through goals from Martins (42 minutes) and Geremi (first minute of injury
time) to square the game at 2-2 going into the break. Both sides had chances
to win the game after the break but failed to add to their first half tally.
However the Hammers were particularly unlucky to be denied what appeared to
be a cast-iron penalty in the closing stages. Elsewhere today Tottenham
could only draw at home to Bolton, which means that the Hammers remain five
points above both Spurs and Newcastle with all three sides having just two
games left to play.
West Ham United: Green, Paintsil, McCartney, Neill, Tomkins, Faubert (Solano
90+4), Noble, Parker, Ljungberg (Boa Morte), Zamora (Cole 68), Ashton.
Subs not used: Walker, Mullins.
Booked: Faubert (55), Paintsil (57).
Goals: Noble (10), Ashton (23).
Newcastle United: Harper, Beye, Enrique, Edgar (Diatta 90+3), Taylor, Butt,
Geremi, Barton, Martins, Owen, Viduka (Smith 82).
Subs: Carroll, Forster, Duff.
Booked: Bebe (41), Butt (57), Martins (72).
Goals: Martins (42), Geremi (45+1).
Referee: Uriah Rennie.
Freddie desperate to make Euros - SSN
West Ham midfielder hoping for swift recovery
By Kent Hedlundh Last updated: 27th April 2008
Freddie Ljungberg has spoken of his determination to be fit for the start of
Euro 2008 after suffering a rib injury in West Ham's 2-2 draw with
The midfielder had to be replaced in the 21st minute after Steven Taylor
inadvertently stamped on his chest, and Alan Curbishley later revealed he
had suffered a suspected cracked rib. Ljungberg now looks set to be
sidelined for three to four weeks, ruling him out for the rest of the
Premier League season.
However, the Sweden captain is desperate to play a full part for his country
in Austria and Switzerland this summer. "I just have to play the opener," he
told Expressen. "There is no other option. I will do everything possible to
play at the European Championship." The full extent of the injury has yet to
be determined but agent Claes Elefalk admits Ljungberg was in excruciating
pain. He said: "It's the fifth rib on the right side which appears to be
broken according to the first X-ray. "But it might also be a serious crack.
His chest was bleeding. Fredrik has never had such pain before."
Curbishley content with draw - SSN
But Ljungberg suffers a hammer blow with injury woe
By Hayley Last updated: 26th April 2008
Alan Curbishley has rued his West Ham side's lack of finishing power to kill
off Newcastle, who came back from two down to steal a share of the spoils.
The Hammers boss was happy with his side's attacking abilities when they
were cruising at 2-0, but felt that the lack of finishing in the second-half
proved costly. "After playing so well for 40 minutes and racing into a
two-nil lead, which I think could've been a bit more, to go back in at
half-time at 2-2 was not good," he told Sky Sports. "I think we had chances
again in the second-half but we needed to score and Newcastle were a bit
flat today. "I don't think they really got going and caused us too many
problems but we just got caught in the middle of the park, 2-0 up and
playing ever so well and we looked like we could attack them whenever we got
After a frantic first-half which saw Newcastle's Obafemi Martins and Geremi
reply in quick succession to Mark Noble and Dean Ashton's earlier goals, the
second-half failed to live up to the same expectations. But Curbishley was
pleased with the Hammers faithful after getting behind their team and sees
this season as a success. This time last year we were going through a
struggle and they were instrumental in getting us out of trouble, their
support was vital to us," he said. "I was pleased for everybody today, they
got their attacking game but we didn't get the three points."
With a huge amount of injury setbacks, Freddy Ljungberg was another to add
to the long list after a suspected broken rib during the 2-2 draw, but
Curbishley is pleased that his Upton Park side have battled on regardless.
"This season's been a success considering the problems we've had, the squad
now shown me it can compete in the Premiership. "Week in, week out we've had
to change it around, mix-and-match if you like, and they've done
fantastically well. I've been saying that all season and it's made my squad
that much stronger now. On this year's campaign he added: "All season we've
been mid-table, if we'd have got the points we could've been attacking the
teams above us and we've blown that a little bit so we've been in mid-table
all season and we want to stay in that top half of the old Ceefax pages if
Martins rescues a point for Magpies - SSN
Hammers let lead slip away
By Hayley Paterson Last updated: 26th April 2008
Newcastle United came back from two goals down to secure an away point
thanks to goals from Obafemi Martins and Geremi. The Magpies travelled to
Upton Park but failed to create any chances in the first forty minutes as a
rampant West Ham side looked dangerous in front of goal. Left-back George
McCartney found space down the flank and his inch-perfect pull back was met
clinically by Mark Noble who guided the ball past Steve Harper for 1-0.
Dean Ashton made it two in the 23rd minute when he was allowed to turn and
fire home into the far corner with the Hammers in cruise control. However
against the run of play Martins brought down Joey Barton's superb
through-ball and he cleverly lifted the ball over the advancing Robert Green
to reduce the deficit. Minutes later Martins was again involved when his
pile-driver was expertly guided into the net by the head of Geremi. The home
side had managed to get themselves booed off by their own fans the previous
week despite actually winning but this time the fans greeted the final
whistle with applause. With full-back McCartney marauding down the left,
West Ham attacked relentlessly from the off and an inexperienced Newcastle
back line that featured Steven Taylor and David Edgar was nowhere in the
10th minute when midfielder Noble arrived to send a left-footed effort past
goalkeeper Steve Harper from McCartney's cross.
There was a setback for the Hammers when Freddie Ljungberg was hurt in the
Newcastle box and had to be carried off on a stretcher but the loss of the
Sweden international in the 22nd-minute did not diminish his side's momentum
as Ashton made it 2-0 less than a minute later with a shot on the turn after
Bobby Zamora had headed on a long ball. Newcastle had offered zero in return
with their three-man strike force of Michael Owen, Mark Viduka and Martins
failing to make any headway against a home defence that also included a
rookie in the shape of James Tomkins. But when Tomkins failed to cut out a
ball over the top Martins put his side back in the game with a smart finish
past the exposed Green, who must have been as startled as anyone to be
picking the ball out of the net again two minutes later in stoppage time.
Martins was involved again, firing in only his side's third shot of the
afternoon from the edge of the box. Exactly where it would have ended up is
anyone's guess but it took a deflection off the head of Geremi to fly into
Newcastle were far more adventurous after the restart but were relieved when
Luis Boa Morte, Ljungberg's replacement, fired narrowly wide after Ashton
and Noble had seen drives blocked by brave defending. The second period was
more bad-tempered too with Habib Beye of Newcastle followed into the book by
Hammers Julien Faubert and John Pantsil. Nicky Butt was also shown a yellow
card for his part in the recriminations that followed Pantsil's indiscretion
and Martins was then booked for fouling the West Ham defender following a
tussle in the box. Zamora was replaced by Carlton Cole with 22 minutes left
on the clock but the chances had long since begun to dry up and there was to
be no repeat of the replacement's winner last week. Ashton, back in the side
following yet another injury, sent a volley spinning across goal and wide
and then saw Steve Harper pull off a fine tip-over after Cole had teed him
Referee Uriah Rennie might have provided the last word by penalising Owen in
his own box but although Faubert's cross clearly hit the Newcastle skipper
on an arm, the official ruled it had been accidental.
West Ham 2-2 Newcastle: Toon flurry saves point - Soccernet
Updated: April 26, 2008, 12:23 PM ET
West Ham had to be content with a point from their 500th Barclays Premier
League fixture as Newcastle came back from two goals down to leave Upton
Park with a 2-2 draw. The Hammers had appeared to be coasting to an easy
victory after Mark Noble and Dean Ashton converted intense pressure into a
goal each before the game was 25 minutes old. But the first half had a
surprise ending as the previously dormant visitors hit back with two goals
in as many minutes from Obafemi Martins and Geremi. The home side had
managed to get themselves booed off by their own fans the previous week
despite actually winning, but this time the fans greeted the final whistle
with applause.With full-back George McCartney marauding down the left, West
Ham attacked relentlessly from the off and an inexperienced Newcastle back
line that featured Steven Taylor and David Edgar was nowhere in the 10th
minute when midfielder Noble arrived to send a left-footed effort past
goalkeeper Steve Harper from McCartney's cross. There was a setback for the
Hammers when Freddie Ljungberg was hurt in the Newcastle box and had to be
carried off on a stretcher. But the Swede's 22nd-minute loss did not
diminish his side's momentum as Ashton made it 2-0 less than a minute later
with a shot on the turn after Bobby Zamora had headed on a long ball.
Newcastle had offered zero in return, with their three-man strike force of
Michael Owen, Mark Viduka and Martins failing to make any headway against a
home defence that also included a rookie in the shape of James Tomkins. But
when Tomkins failed to cut out a ball over the top, Martins put his side
back in the game with a smart finish past the exposed Robert Green, who must
have been as startled as anyone to be picking the ball out of the net again
two minutes later in stoppage time.
Martins was involved again, firing in only his side's third shot of the
afternoon from the edge of the box. Exactly where it would have ended up is
anyone's guess, but it took a deflection off the head of Geremi to fly into
the net. Newcastle were far more adventurous after the restart but were
relieved when Luis Boa Morte, Ljungberg's replacement, fired narrowly wide
after Ashton and Noble had seen drives blocked by brave defending. The
second period was more bad-tempered too, with Habib Beye of Newcastle
followed into the book by Hammers Julien Faubert and John Pantsil. Nicky
Butt was also shown a yellow card for his part in the recriminations that
followed Pantsil's indiscretion and Martins was then booked for fouling the
West Ham defender following a tussle in the box. Zamora was replaced by
Carlton Cole with 22 minutes left on the clock, but the chances had long
since begun to dry up and there was to be no repeat of the replacement's
winner last week. Ashton, back in the side following yet another injury,
sent a volley spinning across goal and wide, and then saw Steve Harper pull
off a fine tip-over after Cole had teed him up.
Referee Uriah Rennie might have provided the last word by penalising Owen in
his own box, but although Faubert's cross clearly hit the Newcastle skipper
on an arm, the official ruled it had been accidental.
Ljungberg a doubt for Euro 2008
West Ham midfielder Freddie Ljungberg is a doubt for the Euro 2008 finals
after suffering a cracked rib in his side's 2-2 draw with Newcastle. The
Sweden international was stretchered off at Upton Park in a first-half clash
with Steven Taylor and manager Alan Curbishley revealed the player had been
The former Arsenal man therefore becomes the latest player to join West
Ham's lengthy absentee list. Curbishley said: 'I think Taylor has tried to
leapfrog him and landed on him. He has been raked all down the side and
front of his face and cracked a rib. 'That's another one out for us but we
are hoping he will be okay for the Euros.' Curbishley added: 'We were
playing ever so well for 40 minutes and could perhaps be even more in the
lead. We just had a crazy couple of minutes. 'It was a terrific ball - the
type that Martins feeds on - and Tomkins just got caught under it but that's
another learning curve for him. 'That turned the game in their favour. But
I'm delighted with the way we played, for the whole game really, but
obviously two wasn't enough.
Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan admitted West Ham had been the better side in
the first half. He said: 'I would sooner be a lucky manager than a good one
to be honest. 'We didn't start well at all and I can give you loads of
excuses but what's the point? We weren't at the races. 'They had a good
start and we had a bad one, which made it look as though there was a gulf
between us in terms of ability, determination and everything. But Obafemi
Martins can score goals like that. It was a great ball through and a great
West Ham were convinced they should have had a penalty in the second half
when the ball hit Michael Owen on his hand. But Keegan insisted: 'If you
take the video home look at a couple we should have had in the second half.
I'm sure Oba should have had one and maybe Owen as well.'
Vinny's Newcastle Report - West Ham Online
Vinny - Sat Apr 26 2008
West Ham United 2 Newcastle United 2
Despite talking a two goal lead, West Ham could only manage a draw against
revitalised Newcastle side in an exciting encouter at Upton Park.
Yes, I did say exciting, because that is what it was, a very entertaining
afternoon and a game I believe we were unlucky not to win with numerous
chances coming our way in the second half.
What we did differently was simply to play some football on the ground, to
feet, getting it into wide areas for the wingers to cross and with the full
back's both pushing up. We were organised but also had that bit more spark
about us which has obviously come as a total surprise to me and many others.
Alan Curbishley usually sets his stall out to contain and if a goal comes
along that is a bonus. Under Alan Pardew we would go at the opposition from
the kick off looking to get that early goal. And that is why this game
reminded me of one of those during the 2005/2006 season where we looked much
more a threat going forward.
There was only one change to the side which unconvincingly beat Derby last
week. It came up front where Freddie Sears was replace by Dean Ashton. Sears
was dropped from the entire sixteen. Defence remained the same with neither
Matthew Upson or Anton Ferdinand returning.
We were on top in this game from the word go, camping inside Newcastle's
half with their defence looking shaky as early as the fifth minute. An
ambitious free kick from Julien Faubert was the first of the attempts and
then Dean Ashton hit a shot from just outside the area which Newcastle
keeper Steve Harper got down to.
Urgency was key in this opening and we had it all with Newcastle (playing
three up front) looking a little lost. There problem to me seemed to be
their lack shape, with the midfielders offering the defence little to pass
to and in turn they would panic and put it out for a throw.
A cross into the area found Bobby Zamora who beat Steve Harper to the ball
but the header just looped onto the roof of the net.
We deserved a goal after our bright beginning and we found it when a pass
from Ljungberg to McCartney saw the ever present left back whip in a cross
for the unmarked Mark Noble to hit on the half volley past Harper.
It was a very neat finish from Noble who had snuck into the area and found
himself a bit of space which is exactly what he should have been doing more
of this season as he has the ability to finish well (Spurs and Bolton last
season) but needs to get into those positions. This time he did and put us a
goal up on a glorious sunny day in East London.
With the Geordies silence, a bit more confidence spread through the West Ham
support and it was a unfamiliar atmosphere as we have had little to be
inspired by in recent weeks. To keep the passivity flowing, Paolo Di Canio
was amongst the 34,980 with the crowd singing his name on a few occasions. I
hope it is ok to mention Di Canio in a positive way as I was never allowed
With most games this season, and injury had to come and after a heavy
collision with Steven Taylor, Swedish winger Freddie Ljungberg was stretched
off after receiving treatment for a number of minutes.
Coming on in his place was Luis Boa Morte who of course came on to a chorus
of boo's with people calling him a c*nt and other delightful words. People
were also slating Curbishley for bringing him on but I could not see what
else he could have done.
I suppose he could have brought on Solano and either played him out of
position on the left or moved Faubert (who had been playing well) to the
left (also out of position). The other option was to bring Cole on and move
Bobby Zamora to the left wing, but again, why play players out of position
when we had a left winger on the bench?
Just moments after Boa Morte came on we went further ahead through Dean
Ashton. A long kick from Robert Green was flicked on into the path of Ashton
in the area. The striker held off the defender and with his back to goal he
turned a hit a smart shot past Harper.
It was a simple goal really, but a very good finish from a player who still
has a lot more to offer and I still believe he will get better.
Newcastle's first half chance came from a cross which found the head of
Michael Owen but his goal bound shot was blocked superbly by James Tomkins
when it would have surely found the back of the net.
Despite that scare, we were still cruising and a little bit more quality
with our final ball would have given us chances to further our lead. One
move this was apparent was when the dominant Scott Parker ran from inside
his own half through the Newcastle defence with a two on one opportunity but
the pass could not match the run and Ashton could only go down looking for a
With only three minutes of the half remaining it did seem as though we would
go into the break comfortably leading but when happened over the next few
minutes stunned the West Ham crowd.
Out of nothing a ball over the top from Joey Barton was out of Tomkins reach
and Obifami Martins stole in and lifted the ball over Green to get Newcastle
back into the game.
Our defence had not really been tested and it was disappointing to see one
attack lead to a goal. What was even more gutting is that Newcastle's second
attack resulted in their second goal .
A right wing cross from Beye was not cleared well enough and the ball came
out to Martins who hit a rash shot which was heading to the corner flag but
we diverted past Green by Geremi to equalise.
Most of our support kept the faith with the team and responded with a round
of "Bubbles" but there was still quite a few who booed and I'm sure there
were some who just blamed Boa Morte.
Half time and my opinion of the half was that, I had complained about not
being entertained last week against Derby (when we actually won) so I had
little to complain about in this one. We had scored goals, and I believe we
could score some more.
I doubt there were many who would have thought the second half was going to
be a goalfest as Keegan would have tore into the Newcastle players for some
of their defending, and Curbishley would have probably instructed the
players to take their time.
Our first chance of the second half actually fell to Boa Morte who hit a
shot inches wide of the post as we began in the same way we had begun the
But our flow was interrupted and it wasn't interrupted by Newcastle's
wonderful play, but by an attention seeking whore of a referee - Uriah
Rennie. Now he wasn't the reason we had conceded but he was just behaving
like a c*nt. The game hadn't required an interfering referee, and he began
to get involved. Granted there were some sliding tackles going on, but the
bookings for Faubert and Pantsil were not warranted.
Carlton Cole entered the field of play replacing Bobby Zamora on the 68th
minute (not soon enough). Unlike last week, there were no boo's for Cole's
and in fact he received a warm reception.
Dean Ashton had put over the bar a wild effort when cutting in from the left
but his second attempt a few minutes later was better and it found the
target but Harper was equal to it.
A goal mouth scramble ended with George McCartney stealing in to hit a shot
way over the bar when it seemed as though he was going to find the back of
the net - he really should have.
Our final great chance of the game came through Ashton who hit a shot from
15 yards at goal which was saved in magnificent style by Harper. Although it
was a great save, Ashton just needed to hit it either side of the keeper but
instead it was right down his throat.
Newcastle as an attacking force were very disappointing with only Martins
looking lively. Mark Viduka was taken off and replaced by the utterly
useless Alan Smith - the guy who is such a bad striker, he has been turned
into a midfielder, and not a very good one.
Martins would have the final chance of the game when again our failure to
clear gave the striker a chance to turn and shoot only for Robert Green to
make a fantastic save to deny the visitors all three points.
A spectator for the majority of the game and will have been stunned to have
conceded two goals when he had barely had to touch the ball in the first
half. Made a fantastic save near the end to deny Martins.
Not as bad as the last two performances but still has these erratic moments
when he tried to much and gives away possession. His work rate was excellent
and he never stopped running. Has little quality though.
Continues to have those moments where he switches off but overall, up
against a player like Viduka, he marked him out of the game, winning the
battle in the air and making many good interceptions.
There would be more indecision from the captain than the young centre half
beside him. This wasn't an awful performance from Neill but there were times
in the second half when he seemed to be unaware of what was around him.
After what was probably his worst performance of the season last week,
McCartney was excellent today getting up and down the left hand side
throughout the game and putting in some excellent crosses. The battle for
hammer of the year is on, and McCartney could well take it.
Whilst not a complete performance, there were many encouraging signs from
the French winger. I have been thinking his quality on the ball is a big
weakness despite his ability as an athlete. He was much better in possession
and although a few crosses were wayward, the majority were decent and he
will be a good player to have next season.
He and Parker controlled the first half and Noble got himself on the score
sheet with a very good finish. He drifted out of the game in the second half
as Newcastle got their act together in midfield with Barton battling well.
Noble showed again that he is much better as the attacking midfielder.
There were some good performances today, but Parker was my favourite. He was
dominant in midfield and his first half performance was joy to behold and
put in a near complete performance. He is starting to have a real impact on
things and is showing some good quality.
Was linking up well with McCartney whilst he was on the pitch but a
collision with Steven Taylor led to him being carried off with injury. This
injury may also rule him out of Euro 2008.
His movement was excellent and he often dragged a defender out of position.
But on the ball he needed to be firmer and his decision making was too often
wrong. He seemed to want too much time on the ball when a pass or a shot was
Looking sharper and another goal to add to his tally. Created a number of
opportunities for himself and was never afraid to take a shot.
Luis Boa Morte (on for Ljungberg 21 mins)
Not a bad showing from Boa Morte who may have done better with a second half
shot which went just wide. Booed again.
Carlton Cole (on for Zamora 68 mins)
Gave the Newcastle defence something else to think about and was a nuisience
throughout his time on the pitch. Will be disappointed that he is out of the
side at the moment as he looks sharp and dangerous (and no, not because he
Nolberto Solano (on for Faubert 90 mins)
Just on to get an applause from the Newcastle fans.
This was a much better performance and it was largely the same team who
started against Derby. We should have won it, and we had the chances to do
so but with the way we have being played in recent weeks this was a good
result and I'm not too downbeat about it.
Next up are Manchester United who simply have to beat us if they are going
to win the league. It's going to difficult but any misery we can cause any
other club is always worth it.
West Ham United 2 Newcastle United 2: Owen has big hand in pegging back
By Jim Foulerton at Upton Park
Sunday, 27 April 2008
West Ham may have been jeered off after last week's uninspired win against
Derby but the fans got value for money yesterday, even if the result didn't
reflect their team's early dominance. Newcastle are back all right; at one
point defending like novices only to turn the game round in thrilling style.
Kevin Keegan's men came from two goals behind to draw level on the stroke of
half-time and they went on to extend their unbeaten run to seven games. They
had their share of fortune though and West Ham ought to have had a penalty
late in the day when Michael Owen handled in front of referee Uriah Rennie.
"We went in a bit deflated at half-time after playing so well – we should
have finished it off," said West Ham manager Alan Curbishley. "It was a
crazy couple of minutes when they came back into it but I was pleased we
stuck at it in the second half." And the penalty? "I haven't seen it again
but it looked to have bounced up and hit his arm." Keegan acknowledged: "We
were not at the races early on but showed great spirit to come back. It was
a decent game."
Perhaps West Ham's players were stung into action by the acclaim which
greeted their former icon Paolo di Canio as he took his seat in the stand,
or maybe they just wanted to mark their 500th Premier League game in style.
With Scott Parker pulling the strings in midfield against his former club,
the Hammers dominated and went ahead after 10 minutes. George McCartney got
the better of two defenders on the left flank to whip in a cross that the
unmarked Mark Noble converted emphatically with a first-time half-volley.
West Ham, decimated by injury, lost Freddie Ljungberg after he damaged a rib
midway through the half but it had little effect, for they went further
ahead two minutes after he was replaced by Luis Boa Morte. Dean Ashton,
returning to West Ham's attack, turned David Edgar inside out from Bobby
Zamora's header before rifling a low shot to Steve Harper's right for his
ninth goal of the season.
Newcastle were all over the place and Harper's distribution was so bad
Keegan had his reserve goalkeeper Fraser Forster warming up after 25
Julien Faubert and Boa Morte could have added to the tally but suddenly
Newcastle were woken from their slumber. Owen had a header blocked by James
Tomkins but the young centre-back was caught out when Newcastle pulled a
goal back after 42 minutes, misjudging Joey Barton's chipped pass for
Obafemi Martins to run on to dink the ball over the advancing Robert Green.
Newcastle drew level with two minutes of added time showing and Martins was
again involved, driving in a shot from the edge of the area which struck
Geremi's head before beating the despairing Green. Lucky and unlikely, but
the Toon were level.
"I have never handled a player quite like Martins," Keegan added. "He does
fantastic things and he is more of a team player now." Understandably, there
were fewer fireworks after the interval, although there were enough spiky
challenges to keep referee Rennie busy.
Ashton, economical with his finish, was suddenly profligate, firing high and
wide on three occasions and seeing his passes go astray. McCartney also
blazed over when well positioned. However, it took an excellent Harper save
to deny the striker 10 minutes from the end, tipping over a rasping Ashton
shot after good work by Faubert and substitute Carlton Cole. It was from the
resulting corner that Owen handled – less than 10 yards from Rennie – but no
penalty was given. A last-ditch save by Green from Martins prevented further
frustration for the Hammers.
Newcastle United fortunate at West Ham - Telegraph
By John West at Upton Park
Last Updated: 12:40am BST 27/04/2008
West Ham United (2) 2 Newcastle United (2) 2
When his Newcastle side stumbled with the finishing line in sight a decade
ago, Kevin Keegan must have felt he was the unluckiest manager in the world.
Not any more.
How his Mark II Newcastle avoided defeat at West Ham, only fortune knows;
the home side were hugely superior for the first 40 minutes and had goals
from Mark Noble and Dean Ashton to show for it. Then, within the space of
120 seconds, everything changed.
With half-time fast approaching, an error from inexperienced centre-back
James Tomkins allowed Obafemi Martins to pull one back. Then the Nigerian
tried a speculative effort and saw it flash past Robert Green off the head
Later, Uriah Rennie refused to award the Hammers a penalty when the ball
clearly hit Michael Owen on the hand. "I would sooner be a lucky manager
than a good one," Keegan declared. "For me, Alex Ferguson is a very lucky
manager." And then, realising he had lost at Chelsea because of a similar
incident, he added: "OK, not today."
West Ham will be without Freddie Ljungberg for the rest of the season after
the Swede suffered cracked ribs in a collision with Steven Taylor.
Man of the match
Dean Ashton (West Ham) 9/10
One goal from eight shots, four on target
Martins leads fightback to spell torment for Curbishley - The Times
West Ham 2 Newcastle 2
Brian Glanville at Upton Park
WHEN West Ham deservedly scored their second goal 23 minutes into this game,
it all seemed done and dusted, such was their superiority. However, two
goals from Newcastle in three minutes wiped out the Hammers' lead and a draw
was a reasonable result.
Poor Freddie Ljungberg. A week earlier, playing as a left flanker against
Derby County, he was left ludicrously on his own to be twice outpaced by
Derby County's speedy Tyrone Mears. The first time, a glorious save by
Robert Green thwarted Mears. The second time, with no valid effort made to
give the outpaced Ljungberg cover, Derby scored. Yesterday, Ljungberg, his
rib cracked when Newcastle's Stephen Taylor, however inadvertently, landed
heavily on him, was carried off the field on a stretcher and is now a doubt
for Sweden for Euro 2008.
Yet, barely a minute later West Ham went into a 2-0 lead and seemed racing
certainties to win the game. Who, at that moment, could have anticipated
that, in three minutes before half-time, the previously innocuous and
uncoordinated Newcastle would score twice to equalise.
It seemed that all was amiable again so far as relations between Alan
Curbishley, the West Ham manager, and his previously disaffected fans were
"We played ever so well for 40 minutes," reflected Curbishley. "We should
have perhaps finished the game off. We allowed them in at half-time. To be
2-0 up and give it away in a couple of minutes: we went in deflated."
It was the ebullient and ever-committed Nigerian striker Obafemi Martins who
hauled Newcastle back into the game. He scored their first goal and it was
his shot that bounced in off Geremi and produced the equaliser. And it was
he, right at the end, who almost won the game for Newcastle with a fierce
shot that Green, the West Ham goalkeeper, flung himself at to turn around a
Well might Martins's manager, Kevin Keegan, say: "He's a real one-off. I've
never seen a player quite like him. He can do fantastic things. But he's
becoming very much a team player, as when he's coming back and working
Martins's contribution was the more important since his team got so sparse a
contribution from fellow attackers Mark Viduka, supposedly playing alongside
him, but little more than a watching presence, and Michael Owen. There has
been much talk lately of a revitalised Owen, playing just behind the front
pair and scoring goals in consequence.
We saw nothing of that here, though West Ham's claims in the second half
that he should have given away a penalty when the ball did indeed hit his
arm seemed slightly exaggerated. It did not look as if there had been any
West Ham had Dean Ashton back and he might have put them ahead in the fifth
minute with a spin and shot that Steve Harper managed to deal with. Five
minutes later, however, a neat double combination on the left flank between
George McCartney and Bobby Zamora ended with the West Ham left-back cleverly
making space for a long, high cross, which the ever-active Mark Noble swept
into the net.
Scarcely had poor Ljungberg been carried off the field than the Hammers
scored their second. A long clearance by Green, a header from the left into
the middle by Zamora and Ashton eluded young David Edgar to spin and score
that second goal.
Things looked black rather than black and white for Newcastle. As Kevin
Keegan admitted: "To be fair to Alan Curbishley, he's got his team around
and he's had a good start and we had a bad start."
Yet, in those three vital minutes, Newcastle had clawed their disadvantage
back to parity. First, when James Tomkins, West Ham's inexperienced
centre-back, failed to clear the ball, Martins was left to run through alone
and score with some ease. "Young Tomkins," said Curbishley, "just got caught
under it; he made a decision. But he played ever so well today."
Then, in the 45th minute, when West Ham could only half-clear a cross,
Martins hit the ball hard, it struck Geremi, took a huge deflection and
ended in the West Ham net.
There was substantially less excitement and incident in the second half.
Each team provoked one spectacular goalkeeping save. Martins for Newcastle
and Ashton on 85 minutes for West Ham. Set up efficiently by Julien Faubert
and Carlton Cole, Ashton drove in a tremendous, right-footed shot. Equally
impressive was the way Harper arched himself to turn the ball one-handed
over the Newcastle bar.
Match stats West Ham Newcastle 8 Shots on target (incl goals) 3 7 Shots off
target 1 4 Blocked shots 0 6 Corners won 1 13 Total fouls conceded 12 0
Offsides 1 2 Yellow cards 3 0 Red cards 0 50% Possession
Star man: Obafemi Martins (Newcastle) Player ratings: West Ham: Green 8,
Pantsil 6, Tomkins 6, Neill 6, McCartney 7, Faubert 7 (Solano 90min), Parker
7, Noble 7, Ljungberg 6 (Boa Morte 21min, 5), Ashton 7, Zamora 7 (Cole
67min) Newcastle: Harper 8, Beye 6, Taylor 6, Edgar 6 (Diatta 90min),
Enrique 6, Geremi 6, Butt 6, Barton 6, Owen 5, Viduka 5 (Smith 90min),
Martins 8 Scorers: West Ham: Noble 10, Ashton 23 Newcastle: Martins 42,
Geremi 45 Referee: U Rennie Attendance: 34,980
West Ham United 2 Newcastle United 2: Curbishley and Keegan delighted to
influence title race
By James Wrigley
Monday, 28 April 2008
They may be battling to top their own mini-league but, as the dust settled
on this game, the focus inevitably shifted to the part West Ham and
Newcastle might play in helping to decide the grown ups' prize. Such is the
lot of the also-rans. West Ham visit Manchester United on Saturday, with
Newcastle hosting Chelsea two days later.
Kevin Keegan must be longing for a return to the days when his team's
involvement in the title race hinted at something more tangible – such as
the time Newcastle were pushing United for the trophy before finishing
second in 1996. For Alan Curbishley, his opposite number on Saturday, it
will be a relief not to have to win at Old Trafford to stay up, a feat they
managed on the final day of last season.
"We've not got the pressure on us like we did last year but we want to
finish the season as strongly as we can so we'll give it our best shot,"
said Curbishley. "What has amazed me and everybody is the resilience of
Chelsea. They'll be ruing the fact that Wigan scored in the last minute to
draw the other week. Man United, week-in-week-out, perhaps think they should
have had it wrapped up by now. It's all to play for."
Keegan had just watched his side extend their unbeaten run to seven games,
despite having to claw their way back from a two-goal deficit after Mark
Noble's and Dean Ashton's goals in the first 23 minutes suggested West Ham
might run away with it. Obafemi Martins and Geremi brought Newcastle level
as the interval approached, a turnaround that had both managers hailing the
competitive nature of the Premier League.
"It's a great League, we're privileged to be part of it," said Keegan.
"There's an integrity to it. If we were in Spain now we'd be getting an
offer of a bonus from Manchester United for beating Chelsea – definitely. It
happens and it's allowed as well. That can never happen here. If we beat
Chelsea it's because we deserve to and if they beat us they deserve to. If
Manchester United win the title they'll have deserved to and the same for
Noble put West Ham ahead after 10 minutes with an emphatic finish on the
half-volley from George McCartney's cross; Ashton doubled their lead after
turning David Edgar inside out before slotting the ball into Steve Harper's
bottom-right corner. West Ham's young centre-back James Tomkins lost
concentration as Joey Barton played in Martins for Newcastle's first goal
and, in first-half stoppage time, Geremi got his head to a Martins shot for
a fortuitous equaliser.
"I was not worried when we went 2-0 down," said the Cameroon midfielder. "At
the beginning of the season, I would have been but now we have a lot more
confidence. We have a manager who says whatever happens, continue to fight
and that is what happened." United will be hoping he continues to obey his
manager's battle cry against his old Chelsea team-mates next week.
Goals: Noble 10 (1-0); Ashton 23 (2-0); Martins 42 (2-1); Geremi 45 (2-2).
West Ham (4-4-2): Green; Pantsil, Tomkins, Neill, McCartney; Faubert
(Solano, 90), Noble, Parker, Ljungberg (Boa Morte, 21); Ashton, Zamora
(Cole, 68). Substitutes not used: Walker (gk), Mullins.
Newcastle (4-3-3): Harper; Beye, Taylor, Edgar (Diatta, 90), Enrique;
Geremi, Butt, Barton; Martins, Owen, Viduka (Smith, 82). Substitutes not
used: Forster (gk), Duff, Carroll.
Referee: U Rennie (South Yorkshire).
Booked: West Ham Faubert, Pantsil; Newcastle Beye, Butt, Martins.
Man of the match: Parker.
Noble effort but Ferguson's aristocrats will not lose sleepGuardian report
Observer report Match facts - Guardian
West Ham United 2 Noble 10, Ashton 23
Newcastle United 2 Martins 42, Geremi 45
Paul Doyle at Upton Park The Guardian, Monday April 28 2008 Article
historyAbout this articleClose This article appeared in the Guardian on
Monday April 28 2008 on p9 of the Sport news & features section. It was last
updated at 01:40 on April 28 2008.
Dean Ashton was on the scoresheet again for West Ham. Photograph: Ryan
After extravagant expenditure in the summer these sides had hoped to arrive
in the penultimate week of the season competing for something more
prestigious than the tag of party poopers. Campaigns thwarted by injuries,
inconsistency and ineptitude, however, mean West Ham and Newcastle are now
only relevant because of their place in the fixture list rather than in the
table. As the next opponents of Manchester United and Chelsea they could yet
damage one of the big boys' seasons as much as they have their own.
As Kevin Keegan said: "It is our job to help Man United win the title and
that's not easy for me to say. Yes, Chelsea are a big club and would be
worthy champions as would Man United but we have a chance now, having put
together a run of six or seven games unbeaten, to see how far we've come by
playing one of the big four. I don't have a preference at all. I just think
the best team usually wins it - except the time we lost the title. The best
team came second that time."
Here both teams proved they have the attacking potential to land decisive
blows in the title fight but also that their defences constitute jaws of the
thinnest glass. West Ham put their better foot forward first, dominating the
opening period. Julien Faubert and Freddie Ljungberg hurtled down the wings
at will and the drive and nimbleness of Scott Parker and Mark Noble provided
a perfect contrast with Newcastle's static midfield.
Keegan lamented afterwards that the transfer target, Luka Modric, had failed
to show up for a dinner appointment with him in midweek before agreeing to
join Spurs instead and on Saturday it looked as if the manager's whole team
had stood him up. When Noble swept a George McCartney cross into the net
from 15 yards in the 10th minute, he was unhindered by any visiting
defenders. With Dean Ashton darting all across the frontline and Bobby
Zamora achieving aerial supremacy, it was not until the 19th minute that a
Newcastle defender managed to get close to an attacker, Steven Taylor
accidentally treading on Ljungberg and inflicting a broken rib injury that
jeopardises the Swede's participation in Euro 2008.
The pattern of the game did not change, however, and two minutes later
Ashton gave the home side a deserved second, controlling Zamora's flick-on
before fending off David Edgar too easily and swivelling to fire the ball
into the net. West Ham exuded confidence and the crispness of their
interplay would have given Manchester United fans real cause to fear an
upset at Old Trafford on Saturday. "We were fantastic, though I think we
began to overplay it a bit," said Curbishley afterwards. "And then came the
two crazy minutes."
Ah yes, the crazy two minutes that will no doubt enable Sir Alex Ferguson to
sleep more comfortably this week. In the 43rd minute the hitherto ponderous
Joey Barton produced an inspired pass that the novice West Ham centre-back
James Tomkins swiped at but missed. Obafemi Martins raced on to the ball and
flipped it expertly past Rob Green.
No sooner had West Ham realised they were in a game after all than Newcastle
drew level. It was at least fitting that Martins, the most energetic and
enterprising of the visitors, was involved. After Habib Beye's cross from
the right was headed out to the edge of the box, the Nigerian unleashed a
shot that was surely flying wide until Geremi twisted his head to divert it
Man of the match Mark Noble (West Ham)
Has Freddie Played His Last Game For West Ham - West Ham Fans.org
Submitted by Neville Nixon on 28 April, 2008 - 05:54.
Despite protestations from Scott Duxberry, there is a growing opinion that
Freddie Ljungberg has played his last game in the claret and blue of West
Ham United. The Swedish International captain was stretchered off after 20
minutes against Newcastle with a suspected broken rib..... Loosing yet
another expensive signing along with having what seemed like a certain
victory turned in to a draw just about sums up Hammers season! Things looked
so promising as the crowd got behind the team, Mark Noble and Dean Ashton
both scored and all looked set for a thoroughly enjoyable sun soaked
'Hamfest'. Alas it was not to be, the defensive frailties that had been
obscured by such a superb start began to reappear and Newcastle duly obliged
with their two goals in the space of three minutes. Many people are writing
the rest of the season off but forthcoming opponents Manchester Utd and
Aston Villa have got it all to play for, whereas finishing above Tottenham
will be Hammers solace for a season that promised so much but didn't do what
it said on the can! - Ed
West Ham to snap up Newcastle's Carr
tribalfootball.com - April 27, 2008
Newcastle United fullback Stephen Carr is a target for West Ham. Carr could
be on his way to West Ham to replace Lucas Neill, says the People.
Carr, 31, has turned down a contract extension at Newcastle and would fill
the void left by Neill who is a victim of wage cuts.
West Ham boss hints playing kids against Man Utd
tribalfootball.com - April 27, 2008
West Ham United boss Alan Curbishley admits he could play the kids against
Manchester United this weekend. Chelsea need their London rivals to do them
a favour, but Curbs hinted: "Perhaps some players have only seen Old
Trafford on the TV might get a chance. It will be another learning curve for
one or two of them and I have been happy with young Tomkins. "Our problems
have actually made us stronger because our squad player have been getting
games and are more experienced. "Obviously we won't be going with the
pressure we had on us last year but we want to finish the season as strongly
as we can. We will go there and give it our best shot."
West Ham ready to let Tottenham buy their best players
SOCCERVOICE.COM, WEDNESDAY, 26.04.2008
Reports from Upton Park are that Alan Curbishley needs to sell his players
to get cash for new faces. Tottenham is keen on a group of Hammers players
News of the World reports today that Alan Curbishley will get no cash in the
summer, and that he might have to sell his best players to get any new faces
in. Juande Ramos at Tottenham is desperate to sign a new goalkeeper and West
Ham's Robert Green is a target. Anton Ferdinand, Dean Ashton and George
McCartney are other names that could be moving across London. George
McCartney has also been linked with AC Milan. The N Ireland interantional
has shown great form this season both at club and country level. Alan
Curbishley spent heavilly last summer and West Ham's Premier League status
is secured. There have been rumours about Curbishley's future at Upton Park,
why ? When Curbishley took over at West Ham late in 2006 the club was in
dangour of a relegation to the Championship, but Curbishley saved the club
Newcastle, Man City and West Ham battle for £10m top-quality finisher: Well
worth chasing! - caughtoffside.com
April 27, 2008
Andy Johnson appears to be on his way out at Everton and there is a big
queue forming for his services. £10m rated Everton striker Andy Johnson is
set to leave Goodison Park and West Ham, Manchester City and Newcastle could
be interested. (News of the World) The 27-year-old England international
hasn't exactly been prolific on Merseyside but he has shown in the past that
he can score goals for fun. The question is where will he be doing the
goal-scoring next season?