Background information and team news ahead of Saturday's visit of the Rams
WEST HAM UNITED v DERBY COUNTY
SATURDAY 26 NOVEMBER 2011
FULL AUDIO AND TEXT COMMENTARY - WEST HAM TV
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• West Ham United entertain Derby County in their 18th npower Championship
fixture of 2011/12 seeking their fifth home league victory of the season in
nine attempts. The Hammers have previously beaten Portsmouth (4-3),
Peterborough United (1-0), Blackpool (4-0) and Leicester City (3-2), drawn
with Leeds United (2-2) and Bristol City (0-0) and lost to Cardiff City and
Ipswich Town (both 0-1).
• Saturday's game has been designated as a Youth Academy match, meaning
Youth Academy members can claim a FREE ticket for this fixture. For details
of how to purchase tickets, click here.
• Saturday's match sponsors are New Media Law - an entertainment and media
law firm based in the West End of London. For more details about the
company, click here.
• The Hammers are on an unbeaten run of five league matches, having won four
and drawn one of those games. Sam Allardyce's side sit second in the npower
Championship table, five points behind leaders Southampton and three points
ahead of Cardiff City and Middlesbrough. West Ham United go to the latter on
• Sam Allardyce's side are looking for a third consecutive league victory
for the first time since winning four in a row at the end of the 2006/07
Premier League campaign against Everton, Wigan Athletic, Bolton Wanderers
and Manchester United.
• West Ham United's 2-1 win at Coventry City on 19 November was the club's
tenth league victory of the season - three more than they managed in the
whole of last season and two more than they achieved in 2009/10.
• West Ham United's 26 league goals have been shared between 14 different
players, with Frederic Piquionne becoming the latest name added to that list
when he netted the winner at Coventry City last weekend. Ten different
players have netted for Derby County this term.
• Both of West Ham United's home defeats have come by way of goals in the
89th minute or later. Kenny Miller netted for Cardiff City on the opening
weekend of the season, while Lee Bowyer scored for Ipswich Town last time
out. Ross McCormack also secured a point for Leeds United with a last-minute
strike on 21 August.
• Derby County go into Saturday's fixture on a run of three straight npower
Championship defeats at the hands of Hull City (0-2), Peterborough United
(2-3) and Cardiff City (0-3). The Rams have won just one of their previous
nine league games - a 3-1 home win over Portsmouth on 29 October.
• The Rams, who won their opening four npower Championship fixtures, sit
eleventh in the table. Nigel Clough's side have picked up 12 points from
their previous 13 league matches, having achieved that tally after just four
• West Ham United will be appearing in a live televised match for the fifth
time this season. Prior to Saturday's match, the Hammers had lost at home to
Cardiff City (0-1), drawn at home with Leeds United (2-2) and won away at
Nottingham Forest (4-1) and Brighton & Hove Albion (1-0).
• The first-ever meeting between West Ham United and Derby County took place
on 17 December 1921. The Hammers ran out 3-1 Division Two winners in front
of 20,000 supporters at the Boleyn Ground, with Syd Puddefoot scoring twice
and Bill James once.
• West Ham United and Derby County met on 26 November 1980 - exactly 31
years ago. The Hammers were top of Division Two when they headed to the
Baseball Ground, only to suffer a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Rams in
front of 18,446 fans.
• West Ham United have lost just one of their previous 15 matches against
Derby County in all competitions - a run dating back to December 1997. The
Rams' sole win during that span was a 2-1 Championship win at the Boleyn
Ground on 23 January 2005.
• Sam Allardyce has not recorded a victory in four previous meetings with
Derby County as a manager. Big Sam lost twice in the Premier League while
with Bolton Wanderers during the 2001/02 season. In 2007/08, his Newcastle
United side were the only side beaten by the Rams during the whole Premier
League season, going down to a 1-0 defeat at Pride Park on 17 September
2007. Abdoulaye Faye also appeared as a substitute in the same game.
West Ham United
• Matt Taylor (calf) is hoping to return to first-team action after coming
through 70 minutes of a development squad match at Ipswich Town on Tuesday.
Taylor, who scored in the game, has missed the previous five npower
• Guy Demel is hoping to make his first-team debut after recovering from a
hamstring injury and coming through his first 90 minutes in a claret and
blue shirt at Ipswich Town.
• Winston Reid (dislocated shoulder), Gary O'Neil (knee), Henri Lansbury
(knee), Ruud Boffin (finger) and David Bentley (knee) are definitely out.
• Pablo Barrera and Jordan Spence are on season-long loans at Real Zaragoza
and Bristol City respectively. Ahmed Abdulla (Swindon Town), Cristian
Montano (Dagenham & Redbridge), Rob Hall (Oxford United), Herita Ilunga
(Doncaster Rovers), Callum McNaughton (AFC Wimbledon) and Frank Nouble
(Gillingham) are all out on temporary loans.
• Derby County hope to welcome club captain and defender Shaun Barker and
Republic of Ireland midfielder Paul Green back to the starting XI after both
returned from long-term knee injuries to appear off the bench against Hull
City last weekend.
• The Rams have boosted their attacking options by signing Hungary
international striker Tamas Priskin on loan from Ipswich Town this week.
• Nigel Clough has also snapped up Mansfield Town defender Tom Naylor on a
six-week loan deal with a view to signing the player permanently in January.
• Striker Theo Robinson is likely to miss Saturday's game after suffering
hamstring injury against Hull City last Saturday.
• Striker Nathan Tyson (groin) and forward Steve Davies (head) are out of
• Scotland international Stephen Pearson (Bristol City) and former West Ham
United goalkeeper Stephen Bywater (Sheffield Wednesday) are out on loan.
Last time out
Saturday 19 November October 2011
Coventry City 1-2 West Ham United
West Ham United: Green, Faubert, Faye, Tomkins, McCartney, Diop (Piquionne
62), Noble, Collison, Nolan, Baldock (O'Brien 80), Carew (Cole 46)
Subs not used: Stech, Sears
Goals: Cole 69, Piquionne 75
Saturday 19 November 2011
Derby County 0-2 Hull City
Derby County: Fielding, Shackell, Roberts, Brayford, O'Brien, Cywka (Barker
72), Davies, Bryson, Hendrick (Green 82), Ward, Robinson (Maguire 15)
Subs not used: Legzdins, Buxton
Last six meetings
19 April 2008 West Ham United 2-1 Derby County (Premier League)
10 November 2007 Derby County 0-5 West Ham United (Premier League)
23 January 2005 West Ham United 1-2 Derby County (Championship)
29 September 2004 Derby County 1-1 West Ham United (Championship)
10 April 2004 West Ham United 0-0 Derby County (Division One)
4 April 2003 Derby County 0-1 West Ham United (Division One)
Overall record v Derby County (all competitions) W 26 D 23 L 25
West Ham United
2010/11 Premier League 20th (relegated to Championship)
2009/10 Premier League 17th
2008/09 Premier League 9th
2007/08 Premier League 10th
2006/07 Premier League 15th
2005/06 Premier League 9th
2004/05 Championship 6th (promoted to Premier League via Play-Offs)
2003/04 Division One 4th
2002/03 Premier League 18th (relegated to Championship)
2001/02 Premier League 7th
2010/11 Championship 19th
2009/10 Championship 14th
2008/09 Championship 19th
2007/08 Premier League 20th (relegated to Championship)
2006/07 Championship 3rd (promoted to Premier League via Play-Offs)
2005/06 Championship 20th
2004/05 Championship 4th
2003/04 Division One 20th
2002/03 Division One 18th
2001/02 Division One 19th
• Saturday's referee will be 45-year-old Colin Webster.
• Webster is in his 12th season as a Football League referee, having made
his bow in August 2000.
• A chartered surveyor by trade, Webster has now taken charge of more than
350 league matches in all three divisions.
• When asked what makes a good referee, Webster said he tries to be
"approachable, communicative, treat players fairly and try to be as
professional and consistent as you can".
• In May 2010, Webster took charge of the League One Play-Off final between
Millwall and Swindon Town at Wembley, which the Lions won 1-0 to gain
promotion to the Championship.
• Webster has officiated in 12 Football League matches so far this season,
showing 27 yellow cards and sending-off three players. Of those 12 fixtures,
five have been in the Championship, including Derby County's 3-0 home win
over Millwall on 24 September.
• In all, Webster has taken charge of ten Derby fixtures, but this will be
the first time he has refereed a match involving West Ham United.
• Webster will be assisted by Ian Rathbone and Mark Scholes, while the
fourth official will be Steven Rushton.
Us and them
• The following players have worn the colours of both West Ham United and
Derby County during their careers - Vic Blore, Stephen Bywater, Paul
Goddard, Derek Hales, John Harkes, Robert Lee, Chris Powell, William Robson,
Igor Stimac, Dave Swindlehurst, Paulo Wanchope.
• James Tomkins spent five weeks on loan at Derby County between November
2008 and January 2010, making seven Championship and one League Cup
• West Ham United beat Derby County 5-2 in an FA Cup semi-final played on 23
March 1923. The fixture between two Division Two sides was played at
Stamford Bridge in front of a 50,795-strong crowd - the second-largest to
witness a match between the Hammers and the Rams.
• West Ham United and Derby County met in the FA Charity Shield at Wembley
on 9 August 1975. The League champions ran out 2-0 winners, with Kevin
Hector and Kevin McFarland scoring the Rams' goals in front of an attendance
• The largest crowd to watch West Ham United take on Derby County at the
Boleyn Ground is the 35,000 who watched Jim Barrett and Jimmy Ruffell score
in a 2-0 Division One victory for the Hammers on 21 September 1929.
• The smallest attendance for a West Ham United versus Derby County fixture
at the Boleyn Ground is the 11,493 who saw the sides draw 1-1 in Division
One on 20 September 1992.
• West Ham United's largest home victory over Derby County is the 5-0 League
Cup third-round success achieved on 1 November 1988. Alvin Martin scored
twice, with a Ray Stewart penalty, Kevin Keen and Leroy Rosenior completing
• The Hammers' biggest home league win over the Rams took place on 17 April
1999, when Neil Ruddock, Trevor Sinclair, Eyal Berkovic, Paolo Di Canio and
Ian Wright all netted in a 5-1 victory.
• Derby County's biggest-ever win at the Boleyn Ground came in the shape of
the 4-1 Division One victory achieved on 6 February 1971.
• Ten players have made their West Ham United debuts against Derby County -
John Coshall (December 1928), Jim Wood (September 1929), Arthur Fryatt
(March 1931), Leslie Bennett (25 December 1954), Alan Blackburn (27 December
1954), Stuart Slater (October 1987), Ralph Milne (January 1990), John
Hartson and Paul Kitson (February 1997) and Ian Feuer (April 2000).
• Don Hutchison made his second 'debut' for West Ham United against Derby
County in September 2001.
• West Ham United travel to Middlesbrough on Tuesday 29 November for a
7.45pm kick-off. Derby County host Brighton & Hove Albion on the same
• Saturday's weather forecast is for sunny intervals with a maximum daytime
temperature of 14C (58F).
Big Sam on Derby County
The manager has given his weekly media briefing ahead of the big Saturday
evening date with Derby
Saturday evening's match with Derby County at the Boleyn Ground offers West
Ham United the chance to record three league wins in a row for the first
time since 2007. Sam Allardyce was full of confidence about his squad's
preparations, not least because of the return of key players from injury.
The manager also confirmed that there were no new arrivals in the squad and
reiterated his praise for the fans.
What is the latest team news?
SA: The addition of Matt Taylor into the squad is a nice bonus for us at
this stage of the season. Matt suffered a calf injury at Southampton. He
played a game behind closed doors and has trained for about ten days now. It
is nice to have him back in the squad available for selection. It gives us a
bigger and healthier squad to choose from in terms of a big three-game week
coming up. The more players that are available for selection the better
chance we have of getting through the week and picking up as many points as
we possibly can. Matt being back along with Guy Demel, Joey O'Brien and
Carlton Cole last week is a big addition to our squad.
You had 6,500 fans at Coventry last week and 30,000-odd every week at Upton
Put into words how pleased you are with the support you are getting.
SA: It is superb. It goes without saying that West Ham's supporters are one
of the big attractions of the football club. Throughout the year, it has a
hardcore support, irrespective of what division they are in. They love the
club so much they want to turn up and support it. The most important thing
is to deliver what they want. They want winning football, they want to go
home happy at the weekend, see the team win a game of football and try and
win the right way as always. We are doing that at the moment. If I can label
any criticism at the players regarding the fans is that at home we haven't
quite delivered for them as well as we have away from home.
We have turned round a dramatic record that was so poor you would wonder why
a West Ham fan would want to travel. We have now delivered six wins, two
draws and only one defeat. At home we have had good performances lately and
we want to continue that against Derby on Saturday and give the supporters
what they want. That is to go home at weekend and wake up the next day
delighted to have watched their team win.
How many teams do you think can realistically compete with you and
Southampton at the top of the table?
SA: Ipswich beat us and I thought they were one of the best teams this
season and they are languishing in the bottom eight now after a poor run of
results. That goes to show how difficult a league it is. It was the same
with Coventry last week. Andy Thorn said they had played the best they had
in ages. This is what we have to compete with. We have to compete with the
fact we are West Ham and respected throughout the league as one of the
biggest teams. We are expected to go straight back up. That is not only from
a fans point of view helps us but also the opposition seems to lift their
game when they play against us. We are in a good position. Southampton are
doing terrifically, and of course we have improved our situation by getting
a little bit of distance between third spot and keeping close to
Is the home form a concern then?
SA: No not really. When we do find the net, we score plenty of goals. But no
goals in the matches against Bristol City, Cardiff and Ipswich is what you
don't want to see at home. Various teams will come and defend in different
ways and make life difficult for us. Whereas away from home we are so good
defensively, the opposition can't generally break us down. We suck them in
and exploit the space and gaps they leave and find it easier to create and
score more goals sometimes away from home. The last time at home, Bristol
City put nine behind the ball in their own half was difficult to break down.
When we did we didn't find the clinical finish we needed. That is the way
this league seems to go. We have just got to keep focusing on ourselves and
Saturday. Derby are a team that is started the season very well. They
slipped up with a couple of results recently. We have to find their
weaknesses and try and expose them. We have to try and get another valuable
Are Derby a good opposition to play because they may come out and try and
SA:We have had lots of reports on teams this year who play a 4-4-2 or a
4-4-1-1 and then when we have walked out, they have got a 4-5-1. Nigel
[Clough] and his team have started the season so well with what looks like a
4-4-2 so they might start with that. We will have to see. At the end of the
day it is not really about the system so much. It is how well you produce
your own form as a team within the system that produces the best results. If
you are the better team, you are going to be the better team with the best
chance of winning.
Is the club's stance over James Tomkins a message to clubs about interest in
SA: We are working with a very talented but small squad of players. We can
ill afford to lose any players at this stage of the season to any of the
clubs in the Premier League. James is not one of those that is running short
of a contract term. It still has about two and a half years to run. We have
been negotiating with him and will continue that in January to get a
conclusion on extending that. I am optimistic. It is getting close to
December and that is when speculation starts flying. The agents start
ringing around and the media starts printing it.
The loan window has shut and you didn't bring in another defender. Are you
happy with your squad?
SA: We couldn't conclude any short-term deal for a central defender which is
what we were looking for. We are going to run with the players we have got.
Guy, Joey and Matt are back, Henri [Lansbury] is on the mend and not too far
away. Winston Reid is the big concern and we only have three central
defenders but we do feel other players can do a central defensive job. It
might be the case that we revisit it in January. We can look at the foreign
market as well which could be very important because it is increasingly
difficult to do January loans in this country.
West Ham v Derby
Page last updated at 12:00 GMT, Friday, 25 November 2011
Venue: Upton Park Date: Saturday 26 November Kick-off: 1720 GMT Coverage:
Watch highlights on The Football League Show; listen on BBC Radio 5 live and
BBC Radio Derby; text commentary on the BBC Sport website. Also live on Sky
West Ham's Matt Taylor returns to the squad after a calf problem, while
Carlton Cole and Joey O'Brien could be back in the starting line-up. Guy
Demel (hamstring) is fit, but Winston Reid (shoulder), Gary O'Neil (ankle),
Henri Lansbury and David Bentley (both knee) are still out.
Derby's Theo Robinson (hamstring) has joined Nathan Tyson (groin) and Steven
Davies (skull) on the injury list. Ipswich loanee Tamas Priskin could come
in to replace him. Nigel Clough's side could also have James Bailey back
after injuring his ankle almost three months ago, but the Derby boss said he
did not want to take any risks. "James is not far away. If we had known he
was going to be as good as he has been in training in the last two days, he
might have played a little bit for the reserves on Monday," said Clough.
"But we are trying to be a little more cautious with the injured players
coming back so that they don't break down."
• This is the 75th competitive meeting, with West Ham leading by 26
wins to 23, with 25 drawn. Derby need to score twice to total 100 goals
• The Hammers scored a total of seven goals in completing the double
over the Rams last season.
• Derby's 2-1 victory in the Championship at Upton Park in January
2005, is their only maximum in 15 league meetings spanning 13 years.
West Ham United
• Second-placed West Ham, five points behind leaders Southampton, are
unbeaten in five (13 points out of 15).
• They are aiming to complete three league wins on the trot for the
first time this season. It has not been achieved since the end of the
2006/07 Premier League campaign.
• The current total of 34 points after 17 games, is the Hammers' best
return for 21 years.
• Derby have been downwardly mobile since the end of September. One
win in nine has seen them slump from an automatic promotion spot to 11th
• Nigel Clough's side are also fighting to avoid four successive
defeats, last suffered at the close of last season.
• They are facing the only club with better gates in the Championship.
West Ham are averaging three thousand more than the Rams.
West Ham United v Derby County - Match Preview
Filed: Friday, 25th November 2011
By: Preview Percy
We're not saying Preview Percy is old but he does keep moaning about those
'reckless youngsters' on "Last of the Summer Wine". Before he disappeared
down to the bookies with his Winter Fuel payment he took a look at this
week's match against Derby County and sent us his thoughts. We didn't see
why we should be the only ones to suffer....
Next we entertain Derby County at the Boleyn for a Saturday kick-off at
5.20pm. Well one out of two ain't bad. Those coming from central London
might use the extra time to travel to the Boleyn with the usual engineering
works taking place. There's no Hammersmith & City line to Upton Park though
at least our bit of the District Line will be open.
Derby come to E13 as something of an enigma. Their season started with them
heading off like a train. (That's a train from some other country where they
work properly at weekends obviously). They won their first four and were
level with Southampton at the top. Since then injuries have taken their toll
on a squad arguably lacking quality in depth and their form has been mixed
to say the least. They've won but one of their last 8, that win coming at
the end of October courtesy of a 3-2 win at home to Pompey. They've lost
their last three at home to Hull (0-2), away at Peterborough (3-2) and at
home to Cardiff (0-3). On the road their last five have produced just the
one win – 2-1 at Forest back in September which gives them custody of the
Brian Clough Trophy until next February at least. Their only other point on
their travels since then came in the 1-1 draw at Reading in mid-October.
The manager is, of course Nigel Clough. Clough Junior's managerial
apprenticeship was served at Burton Albion where he spent eleven years
starting in the Southern League and leaving a few months before Albion
clinched promotion to the Football League in 2009. That's some time at any
level of football let alone non-league, where "Manager Of The Month" can
often be a job title rather than an award. Especially when you consider that
he was actually player manager for eight of those eleven years – he
continued to be registered as a player and turned out in a local cup match
at the age of 42. Despite the impending elevation to League status, the lure
of the club his Dad was managing when he was a nipper proved too great.
He'll celebrate his second anniversary in charge in January which came as a
bit of a surprise to me – it seems like he's been there for so much longer.
First choice 'keeper is Frank Fielding. Fielding started his career at
Blackburn but spent his four years at the club playing elsewhere. Spells at
Wycombe, Northampton and Rochdale were all reasonably successful, though a
one month emergency loan at Leeds saw him leave without making a first team
appearance. A couple of loan spells at Pride Park last term ended up with
the deal being made permanent, the fee being a reported £400,000. His
arrival at Derby has hastened the demise of ex-Hammer and, frankly,
ever-so-slightly bonkers, art patron Stephen Bywater, who wasn't given a
squad number at the start of the season and is currently on loan at
Sheffield Wednesday. Fielding, meanwhile, made the England squad back in
September when Rob Green was injured.
The skipper is defender Shaun Barker. Barker's been at Pride Park for two
years now, having left Blackpool just before they got promoted to the top
flight. Barker was deemed to be so important to Derby's Championship
survival that he played nearly all of last season with a knee problem that
required surgery during the close season. He returned to the first team in
last week's defeat to Hull, coming on for the last 20 minutes or so.
Also available in defence, though he has spent much of his career in
midfield, is the familiar figure of Kevin "Zinadine" Kilbane. Kilbane is
currently on a six month loan from Hull so he wasn't eligible for last
week's match. Although in club terms he might be regarded as the archetypal
"journeyman" it shouldn't be forgotten that he has over 100 caps for the
Republic of Ireland international side, at one stage jointly holding the
record with Shay Given and Robbie Keane. However, the highlight of his
career was presenting a slightly younger Percy with a medal at the end of a
charity football tournament a few years ago. Quite an honour for the 34
year-old I suspect. A spare-time sports journalism degree and a spot of
punditry for RTE in last year's World Cup suggests that the player has a
fair idea of what he's going to do when his career ends.
In midfield they have Polish U21 cap Tomasz Cywka. Cywka, who also plays up
front, came in for some stick from the boss back in February when his
mistake led to a goal in a defeat to Portsmouth. Clough said of the player:
"he's not a very bright footballer – he can go back to Wigan or wherever he
came from – I'm not really bothered until he learns the game". Clough Junior
clearly learnt some of his managerial skills at the hands of his Dad (though
I've yet to hear of him decking errant supporters). Cywka's first match this
season, the away win at Forest, lasted all of a minute as Fielding was red
carded for denial of goalscoring opportunity, Cywka becoming the sacrificial
lamb to enable a sub 'keeper to come on.
Cywka's presence in the team can be attributed in part to the absence of
strikers Steve Davies, Nathan Tyson and, now, Theo Robinson through injury.
The fractured skull sustained by Davies in the 1-1 home draw with
Southampton has left him with 10 metal plates in his head, something that
must be bloody annoying at airports. His injury record in recent years
includes fractured eye-sockets and cheekbones, a broken foot, cruciate knee
ligament damage, a hernia and hamstring problems. Oh and an infected big
toe. No wonder he hasn't won a snooker tournament in years.
First choice upfront has been Jamie Ward. Ward signed from Sheffield United
having supplied us with one of our biggest laughs in years by getting
himself sent off in the play-off final that they lost to Burnley a few years
ago, in what may be the only recorded instance of the Preview Percy column
ever agreeing with the anything loathsome Mike Dean has ever done. Ward
managed to pick up two yellow cards for deliberate handball in four minutes.
Still his record for the other 16 minutes he was on the pitch as a sub was
unblemished. Ward joined Sheffield United in 2009 having turned down
Barnsley, allegedly because his girlfriend told him to. He joined Derby on
loan for the last few months of last season as Sheffield United were
relegated, through no fault of their own, obviously. He signed a permanent
deal in the close season and gained his first cap for Northern Ireland
against the Faroe Islands in August.
The beleaguered forward line was been strengthened this week by the signing
of Tamas Priskin on loan from Ipswich. Priskin is out of favour at Portman
Road and has made only one first team appearance this season for the Tractor
And so what news of the Irons in the week when, after thirty years of
trying, Barcelona finally became as good as us. There is better news on the
injury front as Matt Taylor is said to be fit for a return after a spell on
the sidelines. Collison may be the one to miss out should Taylor be fit to
start. Joey O is available after his sub appearance last weekend and Carlton
Cole's impact as substitute in the last two matches may also see him on from
the start, as long as his allegedly dodgy knees can handle it. This move
would, logically, see a return to the bench for John Carew, which would at
least give the referees a break from the oh-so-confusing task of awarding
free-kicks the wrong way every time he gets fouled.
Demel? Well whilst all the noise from Chadwell Heath last week seemed to
indicate that he might be available for selection at Coventry, in the end he
didn't even make the bench. Reports from the midweek Development Squad
defeat to Ipswich suggested that he didn't have the best of games so who
knows if/when he'll be in line for a game with the bigger boys.
Last week's match at Coventry was the ultimate in games of two halves. The
change in system so that we played with two proper strikers rather than
leaving one up on his own at the mercy of four defenders and a referee made
all the difference which rather begs the question: why we didn't play the
first half that way as well?
Talking of last week, by the way, there was some other good news. If you
were amongst the 6,500 or so who filled an end at the Ricoh you may notice a
bit of a bonus on your match ticket. Assuming you kept the ticket you will
be entitled to "guaranteed discounts off your next holiday". You might have
to get a move on though as the offer is valid only at Thomas Cook shops.
This week of course we are at home where, under normal circumstances,
expectations would be higher than they are away from the Boleyn. This season
of course is all backside about face (I would have said "arse" but that word
has been banned here in the Avram Grant Home for the Bewildered ever since
Sepp Blatter got "elected" FIFA president). Six wins on the road is pretty
good for us and had we been able to convert some of the home draws and
defeats we've suffered this season we'd be level with or even above
Southampton. The home form needs to improve, obviously, and what better
chance than to pick on a team short on form and ravaged by injuries. Of
course that's just the usual recipe for a typical West Ham surprise result.
Nevertheless I'll go for a win for this one. With all the usual caveats
regarding the notorious inaccuracy of this old fool's predictions I'll go
for a 3-1 this week – and I have a slight suspicion that Bristol City might
just surprise Southampton as well if you're looking for two bets to avoid!
Enjoy the game!
When last we met: Our last meeting at the Boleyn was back in 2007/08. Cole
and Zamora gave us a 2-1 win, ex-Hammer Tyrone Mears scoring for the
visitors. Earlier in the season we prevailed 5-0 up at Pride Park with goals
from Bowyer (2), Etherington, Solano and an own goal that Jonathan Spector
tried to claim. Derby were relegated with a record low points tally. We
ended up 10th.
Danger man: Tamas Priskin – to be honest I was struggling to find a danger
man this week given that both their top scorers are out injured. Priskin
ought to be trying to make a point with a view to sorting out a permanent
deal so he gets this week's accolade.
Referee: Colin Webster 12 years as a ref on the league list he is another of
the "first time in charge at the Boleyn" chappies. Took charge of Derby's
3-0 win over Millwall earlier in the season. Hopefully he'll have stopped
laughing by Saturday night.
Daft fact of the week: The BBC's website has a page about Derbyshire on
which the opening paragraph reads: Derbyshire is one of the most interesting
counties in England. Don't believe us? Take a look at the facts below.
I did. It isn't.
New contract for Tomkins
Filed: Friday, 25th November 2011
By: Staff Writer
James Tomkins is set to be rewarded for his recent fine form with a new
contract offer. The former England under 21 international has two years of a
four-year contract, signed back in 2009, left to run at West Ham. He has
been linked with a move away from the Boleyn in recent weeks, with Queens
Park Rangers one of many clubs to show an interest in the 22-year-old centre
half. With that interest in mind, Hammers boss Sam Allardyce is keen to tie
Tomkins down to the club for the long term - and revealed today that a new
contract offer was imminent. "We are working with a very talented but small
squad of players," Allardyce told today's pre-match press conference. "We
can ill afford to lose any players at this stage of the season to any of the
clubs in the Premier League. "James is not one of those that is running
short of a contract term; it still has about two and a half years to run.
[But] we have been negotiating with him and will continue that in January to
get a conclusion on extending that. I am optimistic." In addition to the
interest from Queens Park Rangers, Tottenham first team coach Joe Jordan has
been spotted at the Boleyn on numerous occasions recently - with Tomkins
rumoured to be the player Harry Redknapp's number two has been charged with
Allardyce: my biggest challenge
Filed: Friday, 25th November 2011
By: Staff Writer
Sam Allardyce has revealed that he is finding it "tough" to live with the
expectation levels that come as manager of West Ham United. Allardyce,
speaking ahead of this weekend's Championship clash with Derby County told
MSN Sport that the pressure to succeed is overwhelming at times - although
he remains confident that he can achieve promotion at the first time of
asking. "Everybody's desperate for a little bit of success and a little bit
of joy in life and we're trying to bring that to everybody who either
supports or works at West Ham," he said. "At the moment there's a feelgood
factor and I'm breeding confidence, hopefully making sure we don't move into
complacency mode thinking that we just have to turn out and we will win.
"It's a bigger challenge than when I got Bolton promoted in the sense that
the expectation is greater and the fact that everybody thinks that we should
[be promoted]. "It was tough that, really tough - but it wasn't tough from
the outside. It was tough from the inside - but not the outside. It's tough
in here and it's tough out there to live with that expectation because
that's a greater demand and a greater pressure on the players and myself.
"But I do think we're more than capable of handling it with the experience
that we've got."
Despite the intense pressue associated with the Boleyn Ground hotseat
Allardyce, who has a two year contract with West Ham, hopes to remain at the
club for the near future - despite continuing to harbour a desire for the
England job. "It's about when it comes around again," he added. "Are you in
good form as a manager? Is your team in really good form? Is it where should
be and is it performing to the level it should be? That then brings you into
contention. "But hopefully at the end of this season I can say I've made
the right decision, I picked the right club for me at the right time.
Newcastle was the right club at the wrong time - and Blackburn Rovers was
West Ham v Derby preview
Last updated: 25th November 2011
Team news for Saturday evening's Championship clash between West Ham and
Derby at Upton Park (kick-off 5.20pm). Matt Taylor returns to the Hammers
The midfielder has been out for a month with a calf problem but proved his
fitness with a 70-minute run-out and a goal for the reserves in midweek.
Striker Carlton Cole appears to have played his way into the starting
line-up after helping the Hammers to back-to-back victories at Hull and
Coventry with his appearances as a half-time substitute. Joey O'Brien could
also return at right-back after he came on at Coventry following a hamstring
injury, while fellow defender Guy Demel(hamstring) is fit and pushing to be
included in the squad. Winston Reid (shoulder), Gary O'Neil (ankle), Henri
Lansbury and David Bentley (both knee) are still out. Derby, meanwhile,
could have James Bailey back for the televised clash. Midfielder Bailey has
missed the last 12 matches since cracking a bone just above his ankle and
damaging ligaments in training almost three months ago. "James is not far
away. If we had known he was going to be as good as he has been in training
in the last two days, he might have played a little bit for the reserves on
Monday," said boss Nigel Clough. "But we are trying to be a little more
cautious with the injured players coming back so that they don't break
Theo Robinson has joined fellow forwards Nathan Tyson (groin) and Steven
Davies(fractured skull) on the casualty list after a hamstring injury forced
him off after just 15 minutes of the home defeat to Hull last weekend.
Clough has signed Tamas Priskin on loan from Ipswich as cover and the
Hungarian is likely to make his full debut. Craig Bryson finished the Hull
game with a severe bout of cramp but the midfielder is expected to be fit.
Karren Brady's football diary
KARREN BRADY - First lady of football
Saturday, November 19
THE Rao brothers, bosses at the Vesty chicken empire which somehow
encompasses Blackburn Rovers, catch their chauffeured car early from Ewood
Park. They have taken a first half of abuse from fans who want manager Steve
Kean out. Chicken, indeed. I learned early on at St Andrew's to treat trash
talk as just that. My 80-year-old grandma was at a derby game with Aston
Villa when the away fans started to sing 'Karren Brady is a whore'. She
asked: "What are they singing, Karren?" I replied: "Karren Brady is 24." And
she smiled at her darling granddaughter.
Sunday, November 20
ARTIFICIAL pitches have a bad name but refuse to go away. I'm currently
thinking about this because they could have a huge role to play,
particularly at multi-purpose venues such as Wembley and the Olympic
Stadium. Generations ago, when they were introduced as the future of
football, balls ping-ponged across the surface and skidding players took
burns on their behinds as long as ski-trails. Football decided it would
remain stick-in-the-mud, though, in fairness, today's pitches allow the
finest football. The comeback artificial versions do, too, I understand, and
several Football League clubs are considering applications for their use.
The bounce is pretty well true to the turf kind and players' backsides
should remain as unblemished as a baby's.
Monday, November 21
AT Tottenham, Barry Bannan comes on as a sub for Aston Villa for the first
time since his suspension for alleged drinking and driving offences. I
wonder if he expects Villa to make travelling arrangements for him if he's
banned. I hope they don't. My rule for players in such trouble — a few over
the past 17 years — is rock solid. He makes his own arrangements and if he
has to walk to training (unlikely) then that's his problem. I had one who
asked me to fix up a driver and silently I passed him the card of a taxi
company. I'd suggest Villa order Bannan to watch the recent Paul Gascoigne
interview in which he explains why he betrayed his promise to Manchester
United and joined Tottenham, who gave his mum and dad a house. And, as word
was passed among the Gascoigne family, a sun-bed for his sister. Football
kept giving, Gazza kept taking. And taking.
Tuesday, November 22
CURRENTLY lording it over the Premier League, Manchester City discover
further evidence that being English is not the automatic entry to the
Champions League final stages it was. United's passage is also bumpy and Sir
Alex Ferguson acknowledges this when he ups and departs a press conference
merely because he is asked why the two teams are struggling in Europe. I'd
rather face an angry croc than a manager in that mood. City manager Roberto
Mancini is more chatty after seeing Naples and dying 1-2. I am beginning to
like his style.
Wednesday, November 23
WEST HAM didn't win much (anything) last season until the PFA came along and
rated us highest of all the 92 senior clubs for players doing anti-racism
and disabilities work. I am proud of this — immensely. Proud of all of the
other people at the club, who helped the players make this so. When you
remember that East London was once a hotbed of racism, and a rain of bananas
used to greet Bermudan Clyde Best when he first played at Upton Park in the
60s, you understand exactly why the club is so committed and will remain so
Thursday, November 24
TRUE supporters of Pompey will shortly have qualifications in international
financing — or, possibly, its failings. Rather like Tintin, one crisis over,
a pause for breath and they're bang into another. It'll take more than one
boy and his dog to get to the bottom of the latest drama. This one involves
co-owner Vladimir Antonov, for whom there is an international arrest warrant
over fraud allegations. The other co-owners plainly had no idea of the irony
implicit in their statement: "Very much business as usual." I doubt there
are any chimes of laughter in Portsmouth. They might just smile though at
one newspaper (not The Sun) which reported Antonov 'could not be reached for
comment'. They should try ringing Timbuktu 1234.
Friday, November 25
I get together with a few chairmen who don't have a vote at the Football
League table this season, but might well be in it next season, to discuss
UEFA's proposed new financial fair play penalties over a few drinks at one
of the chairmen's swanky London clubs. No ambitious club likes these rules
and none of us think a promoted club will be able to make a real
contribution to the Premier League for fear of being penalised if you get
relegated back to the Football League. As one chairman put it: 'It's just an
excuse for the weak chairmen in this league to say no to the players,
because they don't have the balls to'. Could not have put it better myself.
West Ham move for Senegal international defender Sall
By SPORTSMAIL REPORTER
Last updated at 10:53 PM on 25th November 2011
West Ham are to rival Doncaster for St Etienne defender Moustapha Bayal
Sall, 25, who is out of contract in the summer. He was set for the Keepmoat
but Sam Allardyce is also keen on the Senegal international.
Tony Cottee Column: West Ham striker deserves a start after impressive cameo
Tony Cottee, London24 West Ham columnist
Friday, November 25, 2011
It was great to see West Ham get away win number six at the weekend, even
though it was in a fortunate fashion. I couldn't tell you the last time that
the Hammers were in such good away form, but I have to say that Coventry
played very well, especially in the first half. Like many teams this season
have and will do, they raised their game to play West Ham and took a
deserved lead. However, Hammers boss Sam Allardyce changed the game with his
substitutions and that proved to be key as Carlton Cole and Freddie
Piquionne grabbed the crucial goals. To say that Piquionne's goal was lucky
is an understatement. I am pretty sure that we won't see a luckier goal this
season for West Ham. Don't get me wrong, I scored many lucky goals in my
career, including one that rebounded in off my chest, and in a way it is
nice to see the Hammers get some luck for once, usually it goes against
them. They say that these things even themselves out, and I am sure that
will be the case at some point this season. Once again Cole made a
difference when he came on and at the moment he must be a little frustrated.
He is coming on and changing games in the second half, but for some reason
Allardyce doesn't think he is ready to start. I am sure that he will get a
starting role soon and it is a real credit to the striker that he has the
ability to come on and change the course of a game. One reason that I think
Cole has been playing so well is John Carew. The big Norwegian spends the
first half tiring out defenders, before Cole comes on and runs at heavy
legs, which has proved successful. However, like I've said before, I would
like to see Cole partnered with Sam Baldock. I think the two of those played
as out and out strikers would terrify defences, particularly at Upton Park.
Away from home, I can understand the need to sometimes play one lone
striker, and it seems that Baldock is being tried in a slightly wider role
on the right, but I think that he is less effective when playing there.
However, Allardyce has plenty of attacking options with his four strikers,
so he must be pleased that they can all offer different threats.
This weekend, West Ham welcome Derby County to Upton Park for a Saturday
evening kick-off. I know that these kick-off times can sometimes be annoying
for fans as it ruins their Saturday nights, but it brings crucial TV money
into the club, and every little helps at the moment. However, I think that
the Hammers can maintain their winning run against a struggling Derby side.
After a good start, Derby have faded recently and they will be looking to
frustrate the Hammers, but I think that we should have too much for them on
the night. I don't think that they will approach the game like Bristol City
and come and park the bus, and in Nigel Clough they have a good manager, so
it should be an entertaining game. It is important that West Ham win as the
following Tuesday we travel to Middlesbrough. I think that most fans would
take a point at the Riverside and it is important that we keep a gap between
ourselves in second and the team in third. Tony Cottee was talking to