All the background information and early team news ahead of Sunday's FA Cup
SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY v WEST HAM UNITED
FA CUP with BUDWEISER THIRD ROUND
SUNDAY 8 JANUARY 2011
FULL AUDIO AND TEXT COMMENTARY - WEST HAM TV
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• West Ham United travel to Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup with Budweiser
third round. The tie marks the first meeting between the two clubs since the
Hammers scored a 4-2 League Cup second-round victory at Hillsborough on 20
• The Hammers and Owls have met three times previously in the FA Cup, with
the Yorkshire club coming out on top each time. Sheffield Wednesday recorded
a 1-0 first-round success at Hillsborough on 8 January 1921, a 2-1
sixth-round win on 12 March 1986 and a 2-0 fifth-round replay victory at the
Boleyn Ground on 25 February 1987 following a 1-1 draw at Hillsborough four
• West Ham United won their 1964 FA Cup semi-final replay at Hillsborough,
defeating Manchester United 3-1 on 14 March 1964. Ronnie Boyce scored twice
and Geoff Hurst once in front of an estimated 65,000 fans.
• West Ham United travel to Hillsborough seeking to extend an impressive
away record this season. The Hammers have collected more points on their
travels in the npower Championship than any other club (24) in 2011/12.
• Sheffield Wednesday are unbeaten at Hillsborough this season, winning nine
and drawing two of their eleven home league matches. In the knockout
competitions, the Owls knocked Championship side Blackpool out of the League
Cup and defeated League Two club Aldershot Town in the FA Cup second round.
• West Ham United have lifted the FA Cup on three occasions, in 1964, 1975
and 1980, and were runners-up in 1923 and 2006. Sheffield Wednesday have
also won the competition three times, in 1896, 1907 and 1935, while the Owls
were beaten finalists in 1890, 1966 and 1993.
• The Hammers reached the sixth round last season courtesy of home wins over
Barnsley, Nottingham Forest and Burnley before going down to a 2-1 defeat at
Stoke City in the last-eight.
• Sheffield Wednesday reached the fifth round in 2010/11, ending a run of
five consecutive third-round exits. Having entered at the first-round stage
this term, the Owls won 2-1 at League Two Morecambe before defeating
Aldershot Town 1-0 in the second round.
• Unlike in npower Football League matches, both clubs will be allowed to
name seven substitutes under FA Cup rules.
• A replay will be required if the score is level after 90 minutes. It would
be held at 7.45pm on Tuesday 17 January at the Boleyn Ground.
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West Ham United
• West Ham United are likely to name a much-changed side to the one which
scored a 1-0 npower Championship victory over Coventry City on 2 January.
• The likes of Gary O'Neil, Henri Lansbury, John Carew, Frank Nouble and
Freddie Sears could be restored to the starting XI, while youngsters Dan
Potts and Rob Hall could also be included. George Moncur and Brian
Montenegro, yet to make their first-team debuts, will also hope to figure,
with the manager able to name seven substitutes.
• Winston Reid is likely to feature as he continues his return to full
match-fitness following eight weeks out with a dislocated shoulder, while
Sam Baldock is also hoping to get more game time after his return from a
month out with a hamstring injury.
• Herita Ilunga has returned from his loan spell at Doncaster Rovers.
• Marek Stech (shoulder), Matt Taylor (calf), Abdoulaye Faye (calf) and Guy
Demel (thigh) are the only injury absentees.
• Pablo Barrera and Jordan Spence are on season-long loans at Real Zaragoza
and Bristol City respectively. Cristian Montano (Dagenham & Redbridge),
Peter Kurucz (Rochdale) and Callum Driver (Burton Albion) are out on
temporary loans at present.
• Former West Ham United goalkeeper Stephen Bywater has joined Sheffield
Wednesday on a free transfer from Derby County, having played 12 times for
the Owls during a loan spell earlier this season.
• Defender Danny Batth is available after extending his loan spell from
Wolverhampton Wanderers until the end of the season. Newcastle United
defender James Tavernier has also been given permission to play by his
parent club, but it remains to be seen if on-loan Stoke City winger Ben
Marshall is allowed to take part by the Potters.
• Full-back Jon Otsemobor returned to action on New Year's Eve after four
months on the sidelines with an Achilles tendon injury.
• Leading scorer Gary Madine has been nursing a broken toe but is hopeful of
making a return to first-team duty soon.
• Right-back Lewis Buxton has missed the Owls' previous eight matches with a
hamstring injury, but could be back in action this weekend.
• Midfielder James O'Connor has played his final game for the club, having
suffered a serious cut to his leg in November and announced plans to leave
for the United States this month.
Last time out
Monday 2 January 2012
West Ham United 1-0 Coventry City
West Ham United: Green, Faubert, Reid, Tomkins, McCartney, Nolan, Collison,
Noble, Diop, Baldock (Nouble 73), Cole (O'Brien 90)
Subs not used: Boffin, Lansbury, Carew
Goals: Nolan 66
Monday 2 January 2012
npower League One
Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Tranmere Rovers
Sheffield Wednesday: Weaver, Batth, R.Johnson, Tavernier (J.Johnson 85),
Llera, Semedo, Lines, Marshall (Prutton 90), Otsemobor, O'Grady, Morrison
Subs not used: Bywater, Lowe
Goals: Johnson 2, Lines 7
Last six meetings
20 September 2005 Sheffield Wednesday 2-4 West Ham United (League Cup second
29 November 2000 West Ham United 1-2 Sheffield Wednesday (League Cup fourth
11 March 2000 Sheffield Wednesday 3-1 West Ham United (Premier League)
21 November 1999 West Ham United 4-3 Sheffield Wednesday (Premier League)
16 January 1999 West Ham United 0-4 Sheffield Wednesday (Premier League)
15 August 1998 Sheffield Wednesday 0-1 West Ham United (Premier League)
Overall record v Sheffield Wednesday (all competitions) W 28 D 24 L 40
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 Championship 4th
2002/03 Premier League 18th (relegated to Championship)
2001/02 Premier League 7th
2010/11 League One 15th
2009/10 Championship 22nd (relegated to League One)
2008/09 Championship 12th
2007/08 Championship 16th
2006/07 Championship 9th
2005/06 Championship 19th
2004/05 League One 5th (promoted to Championship via Play-Offs)
2003/04 Division Two 16th
2002/03 Division One 22nd (relegated to Division Two)
2001/02 Division One 20th
• Saturday's referee will be Keith Stroud.
• Stroud began his refereeing career in the Wessex League in 1988.
• In 2000, he was added to the Football League List of assistant referees,
running the line at the Division Three Play-Off final between Cheltenham
Town and Rushden & Diamonds at the Millennium Stadium two years later.
• Stroud returned to the Millennium Stadium in May 2003, when he ran the
line during Arsenal's FA Cup final victory over Southampton.
• Cheltenham were also involved when Stroud took charge of his first
Football League match as a referee in August 2004, when the Robins lost 2-0
at home to Scunthorpe United.
• In March 2007, the official was given his first Premier League appointment
for Manchester City's 2-0 win at Middlesbrough. The following season,
2007/08, Stroud was added to the Select Group of referees on a full-time
• Stroud will take charge of a West Ham United fixture for the third time
this season, having also been the man in the middle for the visit of Ipswich
Town on 27 September and the trip to Coventry City on 19 November.
• Stroud will be assisted by Robert Ellis and Danny Gratton, while the
fourth official will be Andy Hendley.
Us and them
• Joey O'Brien has enjoyed two loan spells at Sheffield Wednesday. West Ham
United's No17 scored on his full senior debut for the Owls in a 4-2 home
League One defeat by Hull City on 8 December 2004. O'Brien made 15
appearances in total, scoring twice, during his first spell. After returning
from a long-term knee injury, the Republic of Ireland international returned
to Hillsborough in March 2011, making four League One appearances at the end
of last season.
• Loanee Cristian Montano appeared as a second-half substitute for Notts
County in the Owls' 2-1 League One victory at Hillsborough on 20 August
• The following players have worn the colours of both West Ham United and
Sheffield Wednesday during their careers - Stephen Bywater, Joe Cockcroft,
Paolo Di Canio, Peter Eustace, John Harkes, Arnold Lowes, Walter Miller,
Joey O'Brien, John Sissons and Percy Thorpe.
• More than 20 players have made their West Ham United debuts against
Sheffield Wednesday - John Dowsey (September 1926), Charlie Turner (February
1938), Johnny Carroll (August 1948), Peter Shearing (September 1960), Johnny
Byrne (March 1962), Jim Standen (November 1962), Bobby Ferguson, Billy Bonds
and John Cushley (August 1967), Peter Eustace (January 1970), Julian Dicks
(April 1988), John Harkes (October 1995), Rio Ferdinand (May 1996), Lee
Boylan (May 1997), Shaka Hislop, Neil Ruddock and Ian Wright (August 1998),
Scott Minto (January 1999), Rigobert Song (November 2000), James Collins,
David Bellion, Tony Stokes and Hogan Ephraim (September 2005).
• Shaka Hislop made both his first and second debuts for West Ham United
against Sheffield Wednesday. The Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper first
appeared in a Hammers shirt in a 1-0 Premier League victory at Hillsborough
on 15 August 1998 - a game also marked by a debut goal from Ian Wright -
before returning to the club from Portsmouth and helping West Ham to a 4-2
League Cup victory at the same venue on 20 September 2005.
• Sheffield Wednesday's 1-0 FA Cup first-round victory over West Ham United
on 8 January 1921 was watched by the largest crowd to witness an Owls versus
Hammers fixture - 49,125.
• West Ham United's biggest victory at Hillsborough was the 4-1 Division Two
success achieved on 31 December 1938. Joseph Stanley Foxall netted two
goals, while Sam Small and John Morton were also on target in front of a
• Sheffield Wednesday's biggest-ever home win over West Ham United came in
the shape of a 7-0 Division One success on 28 November 1959.
• West Ham United travel to Portsmouth in the npower Championship on
Saturday 14 January, kick-off 3pm. Sheffield Wednesday host npower League
One leaders Charlton Athletic on the same date.
• All Adult tickets are priced at £20, while all Under-16s/Over-65s tickets
are priced at £10. Tickets will be available on the day at Hillsbrough, with
cash turnstiles in the Carling West Stand Lower from 1.30pm on Sunday.
• Due to major roadworks at the M1/M6 junction, an alternative route is
suggested here. Head out of London on the M11 and continue northbound for 51
miles until the road becomes the A14. Continue along the A14 for 16 miles
and join the A1 (M) northbound. After 78 miles join the A57. Pass through
six roundabouts on the A57. At the seventh roundabout, take the M1
northbound. After 4.5 miles take the A630 (signposted Rotherham/Sheffield
(Centre)). Continue along the A630 and road changes to A57/Sheffield
Parkway. After three miles, turn right on to the A61/Derek Dooley Way. After
1.3 miles, bear left on to the A6101/Bradfield Road. After 0.1 miles, take
the third exit at the roundabout and continue onto Owlerton Green. After 0.1
miles turn left on to A61/Penistone Road. After 0.3 miles bear left on to
A6102/Parkside Road. The ground will appear on the right-hand side.
• Saturday's weather forecast is for a cloudy day with temperatures peaking
around the 6C (43F) mark.
On This Day - 7 January
Tony Stokes and the start of a memorable FA Cup run are the latest to be
Born: 7 January 1987, London, England
Clubs: West Ham United, Rushden and Diamonds (loan), Brighton & Hove Albion
(loan), Stevenage Borough (loan), Ujpest FC (loan), Ujpest FC
Versatile midfielder or attacker Tony Stokes turns 25 today and is currently
enjoying his football with Essex-based Isthmian League Premier Division club
Concord Rangers. An Academy graduate, reserve-team captain Stokes made his
appearance for West Ham United first team in a League Cup tie at Sheffield
Wednesday in September 2005.
Following that experience, Stokes joined the first-team squad on their
pre-season tour to North America in 2008. The player enjoyed three loan
spells away from the Boleyn Ground at Rushden and Diamonds, Brighton and
Hove Albion and Stevenage Borough before joining Hungarian club Ujpest FC in
2009, appearing in the UEFA Cup.
Norwich City 1-2 West Ham United
FA Cup third round
7 January 2006
Hayden Mullins and Bobby Zamora were on target on what proved the starting
point of a memorable FA Cup campaign. Mullins opened the scoring with a shot
that went in off the post to beat Robert Green in the sixth minute before
Zamora headed the second just before the hour. Norwich pulled one back
through Paul McVeigh's penalty but it was to prove just a consolation in
front of 23,968 fans.
Although Mullins got the ball rolling in the cup, he would miss out on the
final against Liverpool the following May because of suspension. That
Cardiff showpiece saw West Ham United race into a two-goal lead before being
pegged back to 2-2. Paul Konchesky put the Hammers in front only for Steven
Gerrard's last-gasp equaliser that led to extra time and the heartbreak of
defeat on penalties.
Daggers loan Hammers duo
Eoin Wearen and Ahmed Abdulla look set to make their debuts in an FA Cup
derby against Millwall
Eoin Wearen and Ahmed Abdulla have joined Dagenham & Redbridge on loan -
with the prospect of making their Daggers debuts in Saturday's FA Cup with
Budweiser third-round meeting with Millwall. While Abdulla is making his
second loan switch of the season after making seven appearances for Swindon
Town earlier this season, Wearen is set to make his senior bow after
impressing for the development squad. The Republic of Ireland Under-19
international and Abdulla will join the League Two club - where fellow
Academy graduate Cristian Montano is also on loan - until 31 January, with
the prospect of appearing in as many as five first-team fixtures.
Wearen is no stranger to big matches, having helped the Irish to reach the
UEFA European Under-19 Championship final last summer, and admitted to
relishing the opportunity to kick-off his senior career against the Lions.
"I have been waiting for a few weeks for the move to be completed and now I
can't wait to go and play on Saturday," said the 19-year-old. "I have spoken
to the manager John Still and he said I would be involved against Millwall.
"That is exactly what I wanted to hear and I am delighted because, as far as
I'm concerned, the bigger the game the better. Cristian is already at
Dagenham and he's done really well, so I'd be happy if I could make a
similar impact there. "The Millwall fans will know that I'm a West Ham
player so I am expecting a bit of grief but I'll be happy if that happens!"
Wearen has enjoyed a fine season for the development squad, making 14
appearances and scoring three goals. While he has played mainly as a
centre-back this season, the teenager originally joined West Ham as a
centtal midfield player and will fill that position at Victoria Road. For
the Dublin-born former Gaelic football star, the prospect of making his
debut in such a high-profile fixture is a challenge to be excited rather
than daunted by "I am going to Dagenham as a midfielder but they know that I
can play in defence, so I'd be happy to fill in there if needed. "Dagenham
are fighting for their lives and I could be involved in five matches, either
in the FA Cup or League Two. I played for Ireland against the host nation
Romania in the EUROs last summer in front of 12 or 13,000, so I'm ready for
the challenge. "If I can go there and prove that I can play at that level
then hopefully the Gaffer [Sam Allardyce] will see that I can play at a
higher level and be an asset to the club and earn a new contract. I'm
looking forward to it."
Ahmed Abdulla is looking forward to his Daggers debut , Abdulla is also
aiming to make a name for himself. The 20-year-old creative midfielder heads
out on loan for the second time this season, having previously turned out
for Paolo Di Canio's Swindon earlier this term. A regular in Ian Hendon's
development squad, Abdulla is planning to catch the eye during his four-week
stay with John Still's side. "It's looking good. It's a local club and
hopefully I can help them out and do something positive there," said
Abdulla. "I'm really close friends with Cristian and he's told me that it is
a good club and everybody is getting confidence and playing well after their
Dagenham have picked up seven points from their previous three matches,
climbing out of the League Two relegation places, and Abdulla is relishing
the opportunity to shine in both league and cup. Aside from Saturday's cup
tie, he could also be involved in home fixtures against Hereford United and
Rotherham and the away fixtures at Crewe Alexandra and Torquay United. "It's
come as a shock to be told I could be making my debut straight away against
Millwall in the FA Cup. Hopefully I can show what I can do there. "I think
League Two is a good league - it's not as bad as everyone thinks it is. I
was with Swindon who were a ball-playing team and I expect it to be a bit
different at Dagenham. Hopefully I can adjust to their style and get going.
"I've played on their ground a few times for the reserves and for the first
team in pre-season and it's a good pitch and a nice stadium. Let's hope I
can emulate Cristian and make myself a hero. Hopefully I can hit the heights
With his second professional contract up in the summer, the Saudi
Arabia-born player is keen to catch the eye and earn himself a deal for next
season - whether that be with West Ham or another club. "It's a good
opportunity for me to put myself in the shop window and to let people know
what I'm all about by showing them what I can do for the team."
Wearen and Abdulla join Montano, Jordan Spence (Bristol City), Peter Kurucz
(Rochdale) and Pablo Barrera (Real Zaragoza) out on loan, while Herita
Ilunga (Doncaster Rovers) has returned to Chadwell Heath this week.
Macca eyes FA Cup glory
Neil McDonald is targeting victory at in-form Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday
Neil McDonald has backed the West Ham United players to conjure a victory as
the magic of the FA Cup with Budweiser begins at Sheffield Wednesday on
The Hammers travel to Hillsborough for what promises to be a competitive tie
against an Owls side flying high in the League One table and unbeaten at
home all season. West Ham returned to winning ways courtest of a 1-0
Championship success over Coventry City on New Year's Day and assistant
manager McDonald said the squad would head to Yorkshire confident of
securing their place in the fourth round. "It was a the perfect time to get
three points against Coventry and that three points has taken us joint-top
of the league, so that's great," he told West Ham TV. "The confidence has
been there even though we've had a little dip, but we've had suspensions and
injuries and sometimes that harms you. "We've moved on, which is great and
we move on to Sheffield Wednesday and the FA Cup now. It's not going to be
an easy tie and we've shown them a huge amount of respect by watching them
three or four times. "We know what they're all about and what their
strengths and weaknesses are but we've just got to carry on doing what we're
doing, which is winning games, if we possibly can."
McDonald himself enjoyed the thrill of appearing in an FA Cup final, only to
end up on the losing side as Everton were beaten 3-2 by Liverpool at Wembley
in 1989. Despite that disappointment, the 46-year-old knows the world's
most-famous knockout competition is still held in the highest esteem
throughout the football world.
With that in mind, he is relishing a trip to a 39,800-capacity Hillsborough
that will be full to bursting for a good, old-fashioned cup tie this
weekend. "It's still a boyhood dream for everybody who plays football to
try to win the FA Cup. If you get to the final and are lucky enough to win
it, it's a memory you can keep for the rest of your life. "We've got a good
chance. We've got Sheffield Wednesday away and we'll be doing our best to
get into the next round. "It's a proper football club and a proper stadium
and the boys will be pleased to go there. It should be full, which would be
great, and to play in front of a big crowd every week is what motivates the
players. With it being the FA Cup, that should motivate them even more.
Sunday's fixture will see a number of players stake their claims for a
regular starting place in the npower Championship, with Winston Reid,
Abdoulaye Faye, Joey O'Brien, Gary O'Neil and Sam Baldock all recently
returning from injury, illness or suspension in the New Year. "Every month
is a big month but January is always special with the FA Cup and you've got
to keep that consistency going, even with breaking the team for the FA Cup
games. It's a big challenge for everybody. "There is competition for places.
We've got a few injured players coming back. We've got a thin squad but a
competitive squad and some of them will be playing against Sheffield
Wednesday and they've got to take their chance with both hands."
Important travel notice for Sunday
The Highways Agency has alerted supporters of roadworks taking place this
Fans driving to the FA Cup with Budweiser third-round tie at Sheffield
Wednesday on Sunday should take note of important travel information. The
Highways Agency is advising motorists using cars or private coaches of the
closure of the M6/M1 Catthorpe Interchange on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8
January 2012. This could affect those using the motorways to get to
Hillsborough for the 3pm kick-off.
The roadworks will require the full closure of:
- M1 Northbound between junctions 19 ( M6 North off slip ) and 20 (
including closure of the M1 Northbound on slip at junction 19 )
- M1 Southbound between junction 19 ( A14 off slip ) and 18
- M6 Southbound from the A14 off slip at M1 junction 19.
Closures will begin just before midnight on Friday 6 January and could be in
place until early afternoon on the Sunday 8 January.
An alternative route has been suggested here:
Head out of London on the M11 and continue northbound for 51 miles until the
road becomes the A14. Continue along the A14 for 16 miles and join the A1
(M) northbound. After 78 miles join the A57. Pass through six roundabouts on
the A57. At the seventh roundabout, take the M1 northbound. After 4.5 miles
take the A630 (signposted Rotherham/Sheffield (Centre)).
Continue along the A630 and road changes to A57/Sheffield Parkway. After
three miles, turn right on to the A61/Derek Dooley Way. After 1.3 miles,
bear left on to the A6101/Bradfield Road.
After 0.1 miles, take the third exit at the roundabout and continue onto
Owlerton Green. After 0.1 miles turn left on to A61/Penistone Road. After
0.3 miles bear left on to A6102/Parkside Road. The ground will appear on the
Joey welcomes Wednesday return
A trip to Sheffield Wednesday will see Joey O'Brien in familiar surroundings
While many of West Ham United's players will never have experienced playing
at Hillsborough before, Joey O'Brien knows exactly what it feels like to run
out at the home of Sheffield Wednesday. The Hammers No17 has enjoyed two
memorable loan spells with the Owls - making his Football League debut for
the club in December 2004 and his long-awaited comeback from a long-term
knee injury in March this year. O'Brien told West Ham TV he is looking
forward to returning to a club that has played such a large part in his
career. "It's a special place for me," he confirmed. "I went back there last
season after I'd been out for so long and before that I went there as a kid
and made my Football League debut and it was my first real taste of senior
Then just 18, the Republic of Ireland international scored on his debut in a
4-2 League One defeat by Hull City in front of 28,701 fans on 8 December
2004 - an occasion he will never forget. More than six years later, O'Brien
returned to the club for a second loan spell in March 2011, being reunited
with his old Bolton Wanderers manager Gary Megson. There, the 25-year-old
made his first appearances since being ruled out with a serious knee injury
in October 2008. "I definitely remember it. I had only just gone there and
trained once or twice with the team and at the time it was quite a big match
because Hull were flying and Sheffield Wednesday were doing well too. There
were nearly 30,000 at Hillsborough and I obviously came in and scored, so
I'll never forget it. "Last season, at the time nobody thought I could play
again but the manager who I obviously knew from Bolton was great and told me
I could come down and get a couple of games under my belt and show people I
could still play. "I had a feeling from the club from the first spell so I
wanted to go down there."
Knowing the club so well, O'Brien is aware that West Ham will face a
difficult task against a Wednesday side who have won nine and drawn two of
their eleven home matches this term. "To be fair, the manager has brought in
a lot of players in the summer, so I only know four or five of the players
who usually start. He has done a great job because when I went down there
they were struggling but he's turned it around now. They are playing well
and winning at home. "It's a proper stadium and a proper club. We'll have a
great support as we always do and so will they, so it will be a great game
and the atmosphere will be good and hopefully we can go through to the next
O'Brien said the Hammers would travel to Sheffield full of confidence
following their New Year's Day victory over Coventry - a first npower
Championship success in three matches. "It was a massive game, as was the
win over Barnsley. Hopefully we can kick on this month and win on Sunday.
It's a confidence thing and if we can keep winning games we'll believe we
can win every game. "It was a big win on Monday with Southampton and
Middlesbrough losing. We made up ground and that's what matters."
Brabrook's Hillsborough memories
Peter Brabrook looks back on the 1964 FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough
On Sunday, West Ham United head to Hillsborough to face League One
title-chasers Sheffield Wednesday. Back on 14 March 1964, the Hammers made
the long journey north to Yorkshire for an ever more daunting-looking FA Cup
tie - a semi-final meeting with Division One high-fliers Manchester United.
West Ham were also a top-flight club at the time, but went into their
last-four clash as outsiders against a Red Devils side that were the current
FA Cup holders and included Bobby Charlton, Denis Law and George Best. The
Hammers were no mugs themselves, however, possessing the likes of Bobby
Moore, Geoff Hurst and former England winger Peter Brabrook. The stage was
set for a titanic semi-final struggle on a pitch turned into a quagmire by
heavy rain. Against the odds, West Ham reached their first FA Cup final
since 1923 courtesy of two goals from Ronnie Boyce and one from Geoff Hurst,
while Law was on target for Manchester United. Brabrook, for one, will never
forget a victory achieved in front of 65,000 supporters. "What I can
remember about the semi-final at Hillsborough against Manchester United is
that it never stopped raining for the whole two days we were in Sheffield!"
said Brabrook, now 74 and still working in a scouting role for the Hammers.
"The game should not have been played because the conditions were absolutely
horrendous. The pitch was like a swimming pool and was the worst I ever
played on. "Luckily enough, the game was played and we ended up winning 3-1.
There was a massive crowd and the occasion was an FA Cup semi-final, which
was the furthest we'd been for a long while. "They had a star-studded side
and were a short-price favourite to beat us and get to the final, but we
played really well and adapted to the conditions. I didn't think they would
suit our game because the ball stuck in the mud, but it didn't help the
likes of Charlton, Best and Law either. Boycey got two goals and Hursty got
While the FA Cup may not have quite the same magic it possessed back in the
mid-1960s, Sunday's trip to Hillsborough conjures memories of the
competition's golden days. "Sheffield Wednesday against West Ham is an
old-fashioned cup tie," confirmed Brabrook. "The FA Cup is still a massive
competition. A few clubs might put out weakened teams early on, but once you
get through to the latter stages and are sniffing a final, everyone wants to
play at Wembley and puts their big guns out.
"Back in 1964, everybody put their best sides out and there were two very
good teams out there on the pitch that day when we played Manchester United.
That was probably the best side we've probably ever had. "I'm pretty sure
Sam Allardyce will take it seriously because he will want to make his name
in the FA Cup anyhow. It's a massive trophy and not one to forget about,
which some teams do in the early rounds. If we can get through, then it will
be a great thing for the football club.
"The FA Cup is special to West Ham because of what we did in 1964 and others
did in 1975 and 1980 and it would be great to win it again."
Driver makes Brewers bow
Callum Driver is in high spirits after making his Football League debut for
Callum Driver is aiming to impress after making his npower Football League
debut for loan club Burton Albion on Friday evening. The 19-year-old turned
out at right-back for the Brewers in their League Two 2-0 defeat by
Accrington Stanley at the Pirelli Stadium. Driver, who has linked up with
Paul Pescisolido's side until 31 January, is looking forward to the chance
of playing regular first-team football between now and the end of the month.
"It's a change of scenery for me and a good place for me to go on loan,"
confirmed the teenager. "Making my senior league debut is something I have
been looking forward to for a long time. "I got a call at about 4pm on
Wednesday and by 7pm I was travelling up to Burton to sign, so it all
happened very quickly. I met their manager and he told me he wanted me so I
was eager to get it sorted as quickly as possible. "The stadium and set-up
at Burton are really good. Playing first-team football is what I have
trained and worked hard for all my career. I am a competitive player so
being involved in league matches is perfect for me. "I am going for a month
initially and we'll see how things go. If I do well, then perhaps we will
extend it for the rest of the season, but I want to get a few games under my
belt first. Burton are challenging for the Play-Offs so if I can help them
to get even higher in the table then that would be great."
Burton manager Peschisolido believes Driver can be a big asset to his
promotion-chasing squad over the coming weeks, with trips to Plymouth Argyle
and Bradford City and a home match against Oxford United all scheduled
during the defender's loan spell. "He'll do a great job. He's an energetic
lad, he gets up and down and he's got quality. He's a typical West Ham
player," said the former Fulham forward.
Driver is one of five homegrown Hammers out on loan at present, alongside
Jordan Spence (Bristol City) and Cristian Montano, Ahmed Abdulla and Eoin
Wearen (all Dagenham & Redbridge). Peter Kurucz (Rochdale) and Pablo Barrera
(Real Zaragoza) are also out on loan.
Big week for U18s
Youth-team coach Nick Haycock on an important few days for the young Hammers
West Ham United's Under-18s start 2012 with two blockbusting fixtures
against Chelsea and Brighton and Hove Albion. The Hammers travel to Cobham
for their opening FA Premier Academy League fixture of the year to face the
Blues on Saturday before hosting the Seagulls in the FA Youth Cup fourth
round at the Boleyn Ground. Should West Ham defeat Brightonon Wednesday
evening, they will travel to either Chelsea or Norwich City in the fifth
round. Speaking exclusively to the official website, U18s coach Nick Haycock
said the squad are rested and ready ahead of two high-profile fixtures.
Nick, the boys are back after a few days off over Christmas and the New
Year. Are they in good spirits ahead of their big upcoming matches against
Chelsea and Brighton and Hove Albion?
"Pre-Christmas we had quite a few long-term injuries and with boys being
promoted to the first-team squad, it has left the squad quite light. The
break came at a good time for us. "Some of the boys have been coming in and
doing bits and pieces with the first team and development squad over
Christmas just to keep fresh, but the rest came at a key time for them. "We
are going into the second half of the season and we start with a terrific
game against Chelsea over at Cobham. It's always a tough game for both sides
and is an exciting start to the New Year leading up to the FA Youth Cup game
against Brighton on Wednesday. Hopefully we can make a good start to the
league campaign again and push on in the FA Youth Cup."
We start 2012 sitting seventh in the FA Premier Academy League Group A
table, but league position is not the be all and end all is it?
"The southern division that we play in is very strong and everybody has been
beating each other. Equally most clubs, if they are developing players in
the right way, tend to use the league as a development tool. "They use the
league to teach their players new systems and how to play the game and put
their strongest side out in the FA Youth Cup. We're no different and the
main aim at the start of the season was to develop boys for the first team
and get as many of them as possible playing regularly for the development
squad. "We also aim to promote as many Under-16s and Under-17s to the youth
team and our overall stats are very good. We're certainly doing that. Some
clubs play Under-19s down in the youth team but, aside from the goalkeepers,
we tend not to do that. Sometimes injuries mean you have to use Under-19s so
that the younger ones who do play up can cope and are comfortable. "The
whole process has evolved because the Gaffer [Sam Allardyce] coming in has
promoted players from within. You've seen with Dan Potts and Rob Hall and
possibly Jake Larkins in the near future being around the first team. All
credit to the Gaffer because he has put them in, trusted them, and it's
given all the boys beneath a lift. "We say to them 'Can you play up and cope
with the demands of playing against boys and men who are older than you?'
and obviously the Gaffer, Macca [Neil McDonald] and Ian Hendon have got the
link between the Academy, development squad and first team. They are looking
at every player closely to see if they are ready. "It's about getting the
lads ready for it - Pottsy has been with the first team since day-one and
that link has given the whole club a lift."
It must have given you great pride to see Dan Potts and Rob Hall make their
"Undoubtedly. I came to the club in 2005 and the first team I took was the
Under-12s with Dan and Rob. I've been through the whole journey with both of
them. They have always been a good side who have a lot of talent and have
won a lot of games. "We always said that they could have an unbeaten record
every year, but that means nothing if we are not producing players every
year. We want to win the league and FA Youth Cup, but ultimately we are
achieving what we set out to do at the beginning of the season by getting
players into the first team. "We have a manager who has inspired us and
that's fantastic to see."
Looking forward to next week, the boys must be relishing the prospect of
taking on Brighton and Hove Albion at the Boleyn Ground in the FA Youth Cup
"We always look forward to a lot of fans turning up to the FA Youth Cup
games. I was part of the campaign last year when we played Manchester United
at home and am looking to use that experience this year. "We have cancelled
the schoolboy training so they will all be coming down to watch and will see
what is expected of them in the future. "It will be great for the boys to
have a crowd behind them because they do get nervous and if we're not on our
'A' game then Brighton will beat us on the night. It's not a case of a giant
against a minnow - we're competing against each other for a place in the
last-16. "If we put a performance in like we did at Wolves in the last
round, then we should be OK because we think we've got the quality in our
side. Hopefully we go injury-free this weekend and nobody picks up any bugs
and all the boys are ready. "We've given all the boys targets for this game
and for the future corresponding with the reviews conducted by the first
team, so we're giving them every opportunity to progress and develop."
Sheffield Wed v West Ham
Page last updated at 19:35 GMT, Friday, 6 January 2012
FA Cup third round
Venue: Hillsborough Date: Sunday, 8 January Kick-off: 1500 GMT Coverage: BBC
Sport website, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC local radio, Final Score
Sheffield Wednesday will be without winger Ben Marshall, who has been
refused permission to play from parent club Stoke City. The Owls have been
boosted, however, by the return of skipper Rob Jones.
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce is likely to ring the changes, with Frank
Nouble, Robbie Hall and Dan Potts all set to get their chance. Herita Ilunga
and Callum McNaughton could also come into consideration after returning
from loan spells.
• Sheffield Wednesday have won 40 and lost 28 of 92 competitive
matches against West Ham over 92 years.
• The only meeting in over a decade was West Ham's 4-2 win at
Hillsborough in the second round of the League Cup in September 2005.
• Wednesday have never lost to the Hammers in the FA Cup, prevailing
in 1921, in the 1986 quarter-finals, and in a fifth round replay at Upton
Park in 1987.
• League One Sheffield Wednesday have avoided defeat in 10 of their
last 11 league and cup games, and have not been beaten at home this season.
• They reached the last 16 last season, having failed to successfully
negotiate the third round in each of the previous five attempts.
• 1935 was the third and last time the Owls won the FA Cup.
West Ham United
• Promotion chasing West Ham are one of three Championship clubs that
were drawn to meet League One opposition in this third round.
• The three times winners, who last lifted the silverware in 1980,
were runners-up in 2006 and quarter-finalists last season.
• Sam Allardyce's side are facing opposition outside the top two
divisions for the first time since Hartlepool in the fourth round in January
2009, but they have not been knocked out by such a club for 13 years since
fourth tier Swansea in a third round replay in January 1999.
AFC Wimbledon complete Callum McNaughton signing
Page last updated at 15:56 GMT, Friday, 6 January 2012
AFC Wimbledon have completed the signing of defender Callum McNaughton on a
free transfer from West Ham. McNaughton, 20, had been on loan at the Dons
since September and has agreed a permanent deal that keeps him there until
the end of the 2013/14 campaign. "Callum has made great progress in the time
he has been with us and will only improve over the coming years," said AFC
Wimbledon manager Terry Brown. "I have no doubt he will have a long and
successful time with us."
Rhodes on song for PL scouts
Filed: Friday, 6th January 2012
By: Staff Writer
West Ham transfer target Jordan Rhodes hit FIVE goals for Huddersfield
tonight - in front of a string of Premier League scouts. As many as EIGHT
top flight clubs are reported to have had representatives at Wycombe tonight
to check the progress of the 21-year-old Scot, who is said to have been the
subject of a £4million transfer bid from West Ham earlier in the week. And
Rhodes put on a fantastic display which will no doubt leave West Ham facing
stiff competition for his signature, scoring all but one of the Terriers'
goals in a 6-0 win - and all within a 50-minute spell (the other goal coming
from Oscar Gobern who opened Town's account after 10 minutes).
The striker has now scored 27 goals this season in just 24 appearances -
including hat-tricks at Exeter and Huddersfield plus a four-goal haul just
three weeks ago at Sheffield Wednesday. Earlier in the day Rhodes had been
named as the npower League One Player of the Month. "I am not surprised
that Jordan has won the award as he was outstanding," said Huddersfield boss
Lee Clark, who insisted yesterday that Rhodes will remain at the Alfred
McAlpine Stadium for the rest of the season.
"It is not just his goals; his overall performances have been of the highest
quality. He has looked like an international player."
Defender move competed
Filed: Friday, 6th January 2012
By: Staff Writer
Callum McNaughton has completed a permanent move to AFC Wimbledon. We
revealed yesterday how McNaughton - whose sole first team appearance for the
Hammers came in the shock home defeat to Aldershot in the Carling Cup
earlier in the season - was on the verge of joining the league newcomers
having impressed manager Terry Brown during his recent loan spell. And West
Ham confirmed this morning that the deal has now been concluded, with
McNaughton - who had been with West Ham since he was 14 - moving to the
League Two club for an undisclosed fee. AFC manager Brown, speaking to
afcwimbledon.com this afternoon, said: "I am absolutely delighted that
Callum has now signed a permanent deal with us. He had made great progress
in the time he has been with us and will only improve over the coming years.
"I have no doubt he will have a long and successful time with us."
Ilunga returns - but for how long?
Filed: Friday, 6th January 2012
By: Staff Writer
Herita Ilunga has returned to West Ham following the culmination of his loan
spell at Doncaster - but it could be a temporary stay. Doncaster boss Dean
Saunders has expressed his desire to bring the Congolese defender back to
the Keepmoat Stadium, where he spent nearly three months on loan until
returning to West Ham this week. However the Hammers - who are desperate to
offload the 29-year-old left back - are unlikely to do business on the same
terms that initially saw Ilunga move north in October, when Rovers
contributed just £1,000 towards his weekly wage. "The problem is that what
we've been paying him has not really benefited West Ham," Doncaster boss
Saunders told The Star.
Ilunga, who played 15 times for Doncaster was anmed in last weekend's
Championship team of the week following his display in the 2-0 win over
Barnsley. Also named in the XI was Ilunga's former defensive partner at West
Ham United, James Tomkins.
Npower Championship team of the week
Frank Fielding (Derby), Alex Baptiste (Blackpool), Aaron Mokoena
(Portsmouth), James Tomkins (West Ham), Herita Ilunga (Doncaster), Gareth
McCleary (Nottingham Forest), Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff), Matthew Sparrow
(Brighton), Matt Phillips (Blackpool), Theo Robinson (Derby), Marcus Tudgay
Sheff Wed v West Ham preview
Last updated: 6th January 2012
Team news for Sunday's FA Cup third-round clash between Sheffield Wednesday
and West Ham. Wednesday boss Gary Megson could be without captain Rob Jones.
The 32-year-old has missed the Owls' last two matches after suffering a back
injury in the Boxing Day defeat at Walsall. Spanish defender Miguel Llera
has been deputising for Jones but has returned to Blackpool following the
end of his loan, so Mark Beevers could start if Jones is not fit, after
returning from a loan at MK Dons. On-loan winger Ben Marshall has been
barred from playing in the FA Cup by his parent club Stoke so David Prutton
or Jermaine Johnsonare in line to replace him on the left. Striker Gary
Madine remains sidelined with a broken toe and defender Lewis
Buxton(hamstring) is another long-term absentee.
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is expected to make changes. Promotion back to
the Premier League remains Allardyce's priority, although he will not want a
repeat of this season's Carling Cup when a much-changed side were dumped out
at home to Aldershot. Youngsters such as Frank Nouble, Robbie Hall and Dan
Potts could feature alongside more experienced names like Freddie Piquionne
and Gary O'Neil, who is building up his match fitness after a long-term
ankle injury. Defenders Herita Ilunga and Callum McNaughton could also come
into consideration after returning from loan spells. Abdoulaye Faye (thigh)
is close to returning but may not be risked while Matt Taylor (calf) and Guy
Demel (thigh) are still missing.
Akabusi is a happy Hammer
By JIM MUNRO
Published: 06 Jan 2012
KRISS AKABUSI has a New Year's resolution: to watch as much of his beloved
West Ham as possible as they attempt a swift return to the Premier League.
The owner of the most famous laugh in sport is fondly remembered for his
gold medal heroics with Britain's 4x400m relay team in the 1991 World
Championships in Tokyo. These days he splits his time between being a
professional speaker, acting as chairman of The Akabusi Charitable Trust —
and watching the Irons. "I daren't say this, but I'm going to," he smiled.
"I think West Ham can win the league. "We've had so many injuries and
suspensions recently but nobody was talking about them and yet we still held
our own. "We're second and getting players back in the team. "It's
inevitable that Southampton are going to get hit at some stage — Richie
Lambert has just picked up a red card — and I don't think they could cope
with the type of injury list we've had."
Akabusi appears regularly as a motivational speaker, but one impromptu
appearance at Upton Park caught him on the hop. "When Alan Pardew was in
charge, an acquaintance met me and my daughter at a home game and somehow he
took me to see the team, just before kick-off. "So I go down, knock on the
door, Pardew opens the door and all the team were there — Nigel Reo-Coker,
all the lads. "We had a bit of a chat, nice to meet you, blah blah blah,
then we're off. But Pardew stopped me at the door and said: "Is that it?" I
said: "What?" He said: "Is that all you've got in your locker? I thought you
were going to give a motivational speech to the boys."
We were at home, West Ham v Millwall. I'd only popped in to say hello. I
thought the players would have never listened to me. More like: "Who are you
grandad?" "I do know though that if the club were ever interested I'd have a
few insights for the boys, that's for sure."
Sheffield Wednesday v West Ham preview: Easy-kneesy for Weaver
Published 22:00 06/01/12 By MirrorFootball
Nicky Weaver has been re-born in the USA – for the second time in eight
years. Back in 2004, Sheffield Wednesday's keeper - then with Manchester
City - had his career saved by top American surgeon Richard Parker, who
transplanted a dead man's cartilage into Weaver's right knee. Now the
Sheffield-born stopper and lifelong Owls fan is playing again after
returning to the States for a SIXTH operation on the troublesome joint.
Weaver,32, had fears for his future while being sidelined for four months
with the knee problem earlier this season. But Dr Parker has repaired
Weaver's torn cartilage - and now he is as good as new. Weaver, whose League
One promotion chasers are out to claim the scalp of West Ham in Saturday's
FA Cup third round clash at Hillsborough, revealed: "It was a worry because
it wouldn't settle down, and there were a few issues because I'd had trouble
with the knee before. "So I was really keen to go to the States to see Mr
Parker, who operated on me and saved my career eight years ago. "He knows my
knee better than anyone, and I was really grateful that the club were able
to send me there. "When I got over to America, they were not exactly sure
what they would find in there until they went into the knee. But they sorted
it out by removing the torn portion and doing a bit of other cleaning up.
"The operation was a success, and they were really hopeful that I would not
only make a full recovery, but carry on playing for years to come. "It was
the sixth operation I have had on the knee, but the first for eight years.
The previous five all came in pretty quick succession. "I played loads of
games without any problems after that and, touch wood, the knee feels great
again now. I work hard to keep the joint strong."
Coming through two games in the space of three days, at Preston last
Saturday and then at home to Tranmere, cemented Weaver's confidence in the
surgeon's work. He said:"Playing two games in three days isn't ideal when
you have been out for so long, but it felt good to get these matches under