Background information and team news ahead of Sunday's match at the Cardiff
CARDIFF CITY v WEST HAM UNITED
SUNDAY 4 MARCH 2012
FULL AUDIO AND TEXT COMMENTARY - WEST HAM TV
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• Cardiff City will be issuing vouchers for Standard/Family Section/Family
Package/Ambulant purchases which are to be exchanged for match tickets at
Cardiff West Services at Junction 33 of the M4, approximately seven miles
from Cardiff City Stadium, from 11am on the morning of the game. Supporters
should note that the voucher exchange system implemented by Cardiff City for
this fixture was out of the Club's control and we apologise for any
inconvenience caused. Wheelchair/Carer tickets will be distributed from West
• West Ham United travel to Cardiff City looking to maintain their lofty
position in the npower Championship table. Last weekend's results saw
Southampton reclaim top spot with a 3-0 win at Watford while the Hammers
drew 0-0 at home to Crystal Palace. The Saints play host to Leeds United on
Saturday afternoon, looking to extend their one-point advantage before
second-placed West Ham play.
• The Hammers go into Saturday's game on four-match unbeaten run, having won
two and drawn two since being defeated at Ipswich Town on 31 January. That
run includes the fantastic 4-1 win at Blackpool on their last game away from
the Boleyn Ground, which was one of three consecutive games they were
reduced to ten men. The Hammers had to finish games against Millwall,
Southampton and Blackpool with ten men after seeing Kevin Nolan, Matt Taylor
and Robert Green sent-off respectively.
• The home side will be looking to get back to winning ways after losing a
dramatic Carling Cup final to Liverpool on penalties last time out. The
Bluebirds lost the shoot-out 3-2 after a 2-2 draw after extra-time at
Wembley. In the npower Championship, the Bluebirds have been on an
indifferent run of form with just one win in five. Their most-recent league
encounter ended in a 3-0 defeat at Ipswich Town, with their last home game
concluding in a 3-1 win against Peterborough United.
• West Ham United's biggest-ever wins at Cardiff City came in 1928 and 1966,
when they won 5-1 on each occasion - the first in Division One and the
second in a League Cup semi-final.
• The first-ever game between the two sides in Cardiff was on 20 September
1920. The teams shared a goalless draw in Division Two that day.
Us and Them
• Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay played for West Ham in the 2004/05
season. He made 18 appearances and scored two goals.
• Others to have played for both clubs include Craig Bellamy, John Burton,
Clive Charles, William Charlton, James Collins, Danny Gabbidon, Jobi
MacAnuff, Keith Robson, Bill Stephens.
The last meeting between the two clubs was the reverse fixture at the Boleyn
Ground back on 7 August - the opening day of the season. That day a
last-minute Kenny Miller goal spoiled a good performance from the Hammers as
Cardiff City left east London with a 1-0 win. The teams that day were:
West Ham United: Green, O'Brien, Ilunga, Reid, Tomkins, Noble (Collison 74),
Parker, Nolan, Sears (Barrera 82), Taylor, Piquionne (Cole 75)
Subs not used: Boffin, Faye
Cardiff City: Marshall, McNaughton, Taylor, Hudson, Gerrard, Whittingham,
Gunnarsson, Cowie (Mason 75), Conway, Miller, Earnshaw (Gestede 67)
Subs not used: Heaton, Quinn, Parkin
Goal: Miller (90)
Last six meetings
(Championship unless stated)
7 August 2011 - West Ham United 0-1 Cardiff City
6 February 2005 - West Ham United 1-0 Cardiff City
2 November 2004 - Cardiff City 4-1 West Ham United
28 February 2004 - West Ham United 1-0 Cardiff City
25 October 2003 - Cardiff City 0-0 West Ham United
23 September 2003 - Cardiff City 2-3 West Ham United (League Cup)
Overall record v Cardiff ( all competitions) W 24 D 15 L 9
West Ham United
2010/11 Premier League 20th (33 points)
2009/10 Premier League 17th (35 points)
2008/09 Premier League 9th (51 points)
2007/08 Premier League 10th (49 points)
2006/07 Premier League 15th (41 points)
2005/06 Premier League 9th (55 points)
2004/05 Championship 6th (73 points - promoted to Premier League via
2003/04 Championship 4th (74 points)
2002/03 Premier League 18th (42 points - relegated to Championship)
2001/02 Premier League 7th (53 points)
2010/11 Championship 4th (80 points)
2009/10 Championship 4th (76 points)
2008/09 Championship 7th (74 points)
2007/08 Championship 12th (64 points)
2006/07 Championship 13th (64 points)
2005/06 Championship 11th (60 points)
2004/05 Championship 16th (54 points)
2003/04 Championship 13th (65 points)
2002/03 Division Two 6th (81 points - promoted to the Championship via
2001/02 Division Two 4th (83 points)
2000/01 Division Three 2nd (83 points)
West Ham United
• Manager Sam Allardyce has a strong squad to choose from for Sunday's match
with everyone raring to go following a warm-weather training break in Dubai.
The only players to miss the trip were those away on international duty.
• Skipper Kevin Nolan returns following his three-game ban for being
sent-off against Millwall, while Taylor serves the final game of his
three-match ban for being red carded against Southampton on Valentine's Day.
• Midfielder Papa Bouba Diop and right-back Guy Demel are West Ham United's
only major injury doubts. Winston Reid's fitness will be assessed after
coming off at half-time in New Zealand's home game with Jamaica.
• George John has returned to MLS club FC Dallas after his two-month loan
ended on Friday.
• Pablo Barrera and Jordan Spence are on season-long loans at Real Zaragoza
and Bristol City respectively. Marek Stech (Leyton Orient), Freddie Sears
(Colchester United), Olly Lee (Gillingham), Cristian Montano (Notts County),
Peter Kurucz and Paul McCallum (both Rochdale), Callum Driver (Burton
Albion) and George Moncur (AFC Wimbledon) are all out on temporary loans.
• Cardiff City had no less than eight players away on international duty
this week and will be hoping all have returned in good shape.
• Mackay confirmed that nobody has suffered any ill-effects from the 120
minute marathon against Liverpool, although Stephen McPhail will definitely
miss the game through illness.
Last time out
Saturday 25 February 2012
West Ham United 0-0 Crystal Palace
West Ham United: Green, O'Brien, McCartney, Faye, Reid, Tomkins, Noble,
Collison, Faubert (Cole 46), Vaz Te (O'Neil 58), Maynard (Baldock 73)
Subs not used: Potts, Lansbury
Sunday 26 February 2012
Carling Cup final
Liverpool 2-2 Cardiff City
(Liverpool won 3-2 on penalties, after extra-time)
Cardiff City: Heaton, Taylor, McNaughton (Blake 106), Turner , Hudson
(Gerrard 99), Whittingham, Cowie, Gunnarsson, Miller, Gestede, Mason (Kiss
Subs not used: Naylor, Marshall, Conway, Earnshaw
Goals: Mason (19), Turner (118)
• Saturday's referee is Chris Foy. It will be Foy's first time in charge of
a Hammers game this season.
• Foy last refereed a West Ham game when they lost 1-0 at home to Birmingham
City in the Premier League on 6 February last year. Previous to that, he had
taken charge of the 2-1 loss at home to Newcastle United on 23 October 2010
and the 3-1 defeat by Chelsea at the Boleyn Ground on 11 September 2010.
• Foy has been a Barclays Premier League referee since 2001, having
originally made the Select Group list of assistant referees in 1995.
• In 2007, Foy officiated the FA Trophy final at Wembley, before returning
to the Home of Football a year later to act as fourth official for
Portsmouth's FA Cup final victory over Cardiff City.
• West Ham United will play host to Watford on Wednesday evening with
selected Band 3 Adult tickets available for just £20. Cardiff City will
travel to Brighton and Hove Albion the same night.
• For more ticket information, click here.
• Sunday's forecast is for a wet day in the Welsh capital. Temperatures will
peak around the 8C (47F) mark.
Big Sam on: Cardiff City
Sam Allardyce is hoping West Ham United can get back to winning at Cardiff
City on Sunday
Sam Allardyce was in determined mood as he faced the media ahead of Sunday's
npower Championship game with Cardiff City. The West Ham United manager and
his squad returned to Chadwell Heath this morning following a few days of
warm weather training in Dubai. A tricky afternoon in Cardiff now awaits,
although the Hammers will be boosted by the return of captain Kevin Nolan
Firstly how was the warm weather training in Dubai?
I think getting a bit of sunshine in at this time of the year is always very
important for the squad in order to prepare them for the final end of season
push. Being a manager who, for the last ten years, has always been an
advocate of a winter break I've always made sure that whatever club I've
been at I've always found the time to give the lads a little break both
physically and mentally from the stresses and strains of playing football.
Hopefully it will get them ready for the final push and the big 14 games we
have left in our season so that we can achieve our goal of promotion.
Next game is Cardiff; they took Liverpool to extra-time in the Carling Cup
on Sunday evening. What are you expecting at the Cardiff City Stadium on
It was obviously a massive effort by the Cardiff players to take Liverpool
to extra time and I'm sure they'll be very disappointed they lost in the
manner that they did. It was a valiant effort by Malky and his players so
there may be a hangover from that. It will depend on what the management
staff have done with the players this week; whether they are still hungry or
not to achieve what was their main goal at the beginning of the season -
promotion. They are still in a very good position to achieve that so it's
expected from my point of view to be one of the most difficult away games we
will face this season even after their disappointing defeat last week.
Cardiff won 1-0 at the Boleyn Ground on the opening day of the season. Just
like West Ham, they have kept that momentum going all season haven't they?
Yes they've been there or there abouts all season just like us. When you're
in for the long haul, right from the start of the season, then you want to
maintain it and finish the job off. That's the main reason we took the warm
weather break, to keep the minds and the legs of the squad fresh. If we can
find any weakness or tiredness in Cardiff as a result of their Carling Cup
exploits then hopefully we can capitalise on that.
Both teams are going to be fired up for this game; even though it's an early
kick-off on a Sunday I'm sure we will have our usual fantastic away support
tripping down to Cardiff with us. We want to deliver a similar performance
to the one away at Blackpool but with eleven men and not ten. Blackpool was
our best performance of the season, even when we went down to ten men. Let's
hope we can achieve that type of performance once again away from home and
if we can then we will make ourselves very difficult to beat.
Kevin Nolan is back from suspension, what difference do you think this will
make to West Ham?
I hope it will have a positive impact. It's fair to say we haven't missed
him results-wise which is a great achievement for everyone else in the
squad. We have had some real trauma to deal with since Kevin's red against
Millwall but we have maintained an unbeaten run under extraordinary
circumstances. It's good to have him back and if there is one thing I would
love for him to do is to get back in amongst the goals.
We want to see him getting into the box again and scoring the goals we know
he can because that has been one area in which we've lacked in the games he
has missed. Against Crystal Palace, after achieving such great goalscoring
form against Blackpool, we couldn't find the same against Palace and that
was a great disappointment. Kevin gives us firepower in front of goal as
well as the other strikers we have at the club.
In terms of goals, Henri Lansbury scored two great goals for the England
Under-21s on Wednesday evening didn't he?
Yes, from a goalkeeper keeping a clean sheet to goal hero for the Under-21s!
It's a measure of Henri's good attitude and it will give him a lot of
confidence playing for the Under-21s and scoring two goals. Hopefully when
he plays for us again he can show the same sort of scoring form. He will
certainly be playing for us in the very near future, if not at Cardiff, due
to the heavy schedule we have to deal with in March.
Portsmouth are in a lot of trouble at the moment financially and may not be
able to fulfil their fixtures. This could lead to West Ham being deducted
the six points they
have gained from Portsmouth this season. What impact do you think that could
have on the race for promotion?
Massive. It's a very concerning situation when you're in a position like
ours. When you have worked so hard all season and then by default you may
lose out on what you should actually get, I think is totally unfair. The
Football League generates enough revenue to make sure all clubs should be
able to fulfil all fixtures. We shouldn't let this deduction happen, not
just for the sake of this football club but for football in this country.
If it did happen, other clubs around the top, Southampton, Birmingham and
Reading, have only played Portsmouth once meaning West Ham stand to lose
more points than their rivals?
That's the unfairness of it all, you work so hard during the season and
Portsmouth isn't an easy place to go. To get a victory there was a big
result for us so to have those ripped away from us would be devastating. If
you're going to lose out on promotion you need to do it by your own failings
not by somebody else taking it away from you.
U18s ready for Bristol City test
West Ham United continue their FA Premier Academy League season at Little
Heath on Saturday
West Ham United Under-18s continue their FA Premier Academy League season by
welcoming Bristol City to Little Heath on Saturday. The fixture, which
kicks-off at 12noon, will see the Hammers take on the Robins in the first of
five inter-Group fixtures to finish the 2011/12 campaign. West Ham sit
fourth in Group A, while Bristol City are eighth in Group B, having won just
four of their 22 league matches. Academy Director Tony Carr said the squad
were in positive mood following a thumping win at Ipswich Town last weekend.
"Looking back to our 4-1 win at Ipswich Town on 25 February and I think we
played very well," said Carr. "We were a little bit stronger and older than
them in certain areas, but our football and the goals we scored were very
good. "Elliot Lee got a hat-trick and Blair Turgott scored one but we could
have got a few more with the really good chances we created. Overall, the
hangover of the Chelsea FA Youth Cup defeat was put well and truly out of
our systems. "We're going into Saturday's game against Bristol City full of
confidence after last weekend. We don't know a lot about them, to be honest,
because this is one of the inter-Group games we play at the beginning and
the end of each season. Hopefully we can continue where we left off against
Ipswich and finish as high up the table as we can."
Admisson and parking at Little Heath on Saturday are both free.
Cardiff v West Ham
2 March 2012
Last updated at 15:30
Venue: Cardiff City Stadium Date: Sunday 4 March Kick-off: 1245 GMT
Continue reading the main story
Cardiff manager Malky Mackay has confirmed that none of his players picked
up any new injuries during their Carling Cup final defeat to Liverpool.
However, because of the international week, Mackay will wait on late fitness
tests before naming his team. West Ham manager Sam Allardyce welcomes back
captain Kevin Nolan after the midfielder completed a three-match ban.
Striker Carlton Cole may also return to the starting line-up after coming
off the bench against Crystal Palace.
Having taken English giants Liverpool to the brink of the unthinkable less
than a week ago, Cardiff eventually lost the Carling Cup final by nothing
more than the width of a post. But Malky Mackay's brave team won an army of
new admirers - beyond their fanatical corner of south Wales, beyond the
Principality itself - all of whom will now be willing them to achieve
promotion to the Premier League after entertaining a nation with what was
widely considered one of the great Wembley displays.
That battle to end their frustrating 50-year absence from the top flight
starts back on home territory against a team who are looking to bounce back
straight away after last season's crushing relegation.
Neither club lacks in ambition. Having eventually got their finances in
order Cardiff finally moved to a glistening new stadium last season, the
crumbling Ninian Park now but a cherished memory for their proud supporters.
How they pray they might be able to forget about the play-offs come the end
of the season proper, having been agonisingly denied in the nerve-shredding
ties in the past two years. Yet, sixth in the table, it looks like they
might have to tackle their hoodoo head on yet again if they are to reach the
Promised Land of glamour ties against the Manchester clubs, Arsenal - and
Automatic promotion is the true target for second-placed West Ham, who
proved savvy in employing a manager of real pedigree in Sam Allardyce last
summer. New England captain Scott Parker played last time the clubs met on
the opening day of this season - when Cardiff won for the first time at
Upton Park since 1950 - but, despite having lost his services, they remain
determined to attract players of the highest calibre. Promising Ravel
Morrison joined from Manchester United and they even tried to snare
Chelsea's misfiring £50m World Cup-winner Fernando Torres in the January
Outside of the Premier League, this match is about as big as it gets. Both
clubs yearn to be contesting this fixture with the eyes of the world
watching next season - and will be heart-broken if they don't.
• Cardiff and West Ham are going toe-to-toe for the 49th time in
league and cup. The Hammers lead by 24 wins to nine, with 15 finishing
• Former Hammers defender Malky Mackay got off to a winning start in
charge of Cardiff with a 1-0 triumph at Upton Park on 7 August, courtesy of
a 90th minute goal from Kenny Miller. It was the Bluebirds' second win in
three meetings with West Ham, after completing 13 in league and cup without
• Cardiff have never done the league double over the Hammers.
• The Carling Cup losing finalists resume their push for promotion,
having won one of the last five Championship matches.
• But they have won seven and lost two of the last nine at the Cardiff
• Mackay's men have not had a man sent off in this league campaign,
and boast the best disciplinary record, with just 37 yellow cards.
West Ham United
• The Hammers are targeting their 19th victory of this
promotion-chasing season, having accumulated their highest total of league
points after the first 32 games in 20 years.
• They are conceding a goal a game on average; 32 in 32.
• Only Cardiff have opened the scoring in more Championship games this
term than West Ham; Bluebirds 22, Hammers 19.
Filed: Friday, 2nd March 2012
By: Staff Writer No.2
American centre half George John has returned to parent club FC Dallas. The
24-year-old defender arrived on loan during the transfer window with a view
to a subsequent permanent permanent deal if all went well. However, during
his two-month spell with the Irons John failed to make the first team squad
and appeared only twice for the Development Squad, though he did score on
his debut for Ian Hendon's side. With FC Dallas commencing their MLS season
in just over a week, it was decided not to take up the option to extend the
deal and John will go into the Dallas squad due to face New York Red Bulls
on 11th March.
Cardiff City v West Ham Utd
Filed: Saturday, 3rd March 2012
By: Preview Percy
After he managed to upset all 350,000 inhabitants of a certain London
borough last week we weren't totally sure about letting Preview Percy loose
on a whole country. However, since we couldn't find anyone as cheap at short
notice to do a Cardiff preview we thought "what the hell, it's only Wales".
John Northcutt restores some much-needed sanity with his stat round-up...
Next we go all international as we cross the frontier to Wales where Cardiff
City will be our hosts for Sunday's 12.45pm kick off in a match that nobody
is referring to as "The Gavin & Stacey Derby".
If you think such early kick-offs are a pain in the proverbial when we're at
home, just wait until you look at the fun and games required to be at the
ground in time for this one. Firstly, train travel. You'll require an early
start to get to Paddington in time for the 07.57 which is the first train of
the morning to Cardiff. The usual journey time for the trip by train is a
tad over two hours. However, on Sundays they close the Severn Tunnel,
presumably in an attempt to stem the constant cross-border flow of human
traffic heading west to east.
The diversionary route goes via Gloucester and, as if the added mileage
weren't enough, the train stops at places so obscure that even the people
that live there are barely aware of their existence. 'Kemble', anyone? No,
Me neither. This means that the 7.57 will arrive in Cardiff at 11.06. Which,
even allowing for the annoyance of being diverted via Chigley, ought to be
enough time for a pint or two. Er, no, the authorities have other plans for
You see back in August, on the opening day of the season Cardiff's
supporters were made by the authorities to go on some sort of magical
mystery tour culminating in a trip to South Mimms service area on the M25 in
order to pick up their match tickets for the fixture at the Boleyn. The
local Heddlau have decided, in their infinite wisdom (irony fully intended)
that we should be treated in identical fashion. We will therefore be
required to meet up with representatives from the local constabulary at
Cardiff West service area at Junction 33 of the M4.
Tickets will be distributed between 11-11.30 so, if you're arriving by train
on the 11.06 arrival, you'll be pushing it to get to the "RV point" (as the
ticket vouchers call it) by the cut off point of 11.30, bearing in mind that
that the service area is about 5 miles from the city centre. When you get
there, distributing 1800 or so tickets in 30 minutes means that they will
have to knock them out at a rate of one ticket a second, which is some
going. If you're driving, there will be the added expense of the £6 toll
payable to enter a pretend country that you could probably buy on EBay for
£4.50. All in all one could be forgiven for getting the impression that the
authorities would rather we didn't go at all.
Our opponents are currently in sixth place as I write this, though there may
be changes by full time on Saturday night as other fixtures are completed.
They are currently in the final play off place on goal difference over
Brighton and Boro', both of whom also have 53 points. That's 8 points behind
us at present. Their current form is best described as 'variable'. Their
last six in the league have seen them win two (3-2 at home to Pompey and 3-1
at home to Peterborough) drawn one (1-1 at the Tom Daley Diving Academy or
"Southampton" as they are known) and lost three (3-1 at home to Blackpool,
2-1 away at Leicester and 3-0 away at Ipswich).
Some of the blame for this form (or lack of it) has been placed by those who
like to place blame for such things on the fact that their minds may have
been otherwise occupied on the then forthcoming trip to Wembley for the
League Cup final. It's an interesting theory and, certainly, their only win
since beating Palace in the semi final was the home victory over Posh.
However it should be noted that the six matches immediately prior to the
last six weren't exactly postcard to the folks territory either, with two
each of wins, losses and draws.
It remains to be seen how much of a hangover their Wembley exertions will
have left them with. It was certainly a spirited performance against a
Liverpool team who got more than their fair share of the rub of the green
over the course of the afternoon, though the Bluebirds will have cause to
rue late chances of their own. If they have – even unconsciously – had that
cup mentality it may be difficult to change that mindset now that league
points are the priority. Though of course that may all be amateur psychology
twaddle and I may be talking out of my backside (or "doing a Dalglish" as it
is generally known".
Goalkeeper Tom Heaton was nearly the hero in what, in all honesty, must go
down as one of the worst penalty shoot-outs of modern times. His save from
the obnoxious Steven Gerrard was one of the high points of the day and the
look on the midfielder's face was even more sour-faced and miserable than
usual as he trudged away in search of a pick-me-up. Heaton has been the
usual first choice in goal for the League Cup side, though David Marshall
has normally got the nod in the league. Elliot Parish has also been on the
bench for the league side in recent weeks, with Heaton having suffered from
an ankle injury that threatened his participation in the final.
It was, of course, another member of the Gerrard clan that effectively
decided the destination of the League Cup. Cousin Anthony's spot-kick miss
was the last nail in the Cardiff Cup coffin, though he will have at least
have the consolation that nobody from the rest of the family will be coming
around to inflict 'self defence' (as a beating from the Gerrard clan is
legally known) on him.
Cardiff's current owners have brought much-needed stability to the club.
Admittedly this was not a hard thing to do in the light of Peter Ridsdale's
previous involvement, after which a drunken week wearing roller skates on an
Italian cruise liner would seem quite stable. However, it's clear that the
Malaysian interests now at the helm were willing to back manager (and
ex-Hammer) Malky McKay in the recent transfer window. Bids were apparently
made for Blackpool's Matt Phillips, Brighton's Craig Noone and Watford's
Martin Sordell. Blackpool rebuffed the Bluebirds' bid for Phillips on the
grounds that Cardiff wasn't a big enough club to sell to. Brighton rebuffed
the Noone bid on the grounds that they just didn't want to sell, whilst
Sordell ended up going to Bolton.
In the end the only window arrival was Kadeem Harris who came in from
Wycombe Wanderers in return for either £150,000 or £300,000, depending on
which version of the so-called "undisclosed" fee you believe. The 18
year-old (real surname Mathurin-Harris double-barrel fans) is presumably
being looked at as a future prospect, though MacKay is not averse to giving
youth a run out as evidenced by the progress made by young striker Joe
Mason, who netted their first at Wembley the other day.
There's a bit of quality in the midfield in the form of Peter Whittingham
who, in my opinion, is one of the classier acts in this division. Joint top
scorer with 10 goals, he has a way with a dead ball and has a decent pass on
him as well. One that we will need to keep an eye on.
The other top scorer is Kenny Miller, whose late miss on Sunday is one that
every Cardiff supporter will be mentally replaying until their dying days.
Miller also missed one of the penalties in the shoot-out and, though he did
have good news in the form of his international call-up, that had to be
tempered (in classic 'good news/bad news' style) by the realisation that he
is still Scottish. Still, it could be worse. Had he not left Ibrox for
Turkey a while back he could now be on a Glasgow street corner selling the
Big Issue, as I believe the Rangers match day programme is now called.
Admirably, McKay merely requested that those players called up for
international duty were spared overwork from International managers this
week, as opposed to inventing fictitious injuries and withdrawing his
players in the style favoured by Man Utd, Liverpool and the like over the
years. In the case of Miller, it was a call that was heeded by Sweaty boss
Craig Levine, who gave Miller a wee bit over 15 minutes in the 1-1 draw with
And so to us. On his own admission, Mr Allardyce made something of a
selection error in sticking with the Blackpool side against Palace last
weekend. This error was twofold really. Firstly there was the fatigue factor
– three hours or so of ten-man football was bound to take its toll
eventually and so it proved. Secondly the selection of Maynard as the sole
striker didn't really work for me.
Up at Blackpool the home side's somewhat cavalier attitude to defence
allowed Faubert & Vaz Te to continually bomb forward to make up the 'three'
that the management insists our 4-5-1 actually is. It worked because Maynard
almost always had support and someone close by to whom the ball could be
laid off. However Palace's game plan meant that the idea of those two
pushing forward was stifled, leaving Maynard isolated. It was noticeable
that when we had two up front in the second half (Cole/Maynard and later
Cole/Baldock) things improved to the extent that we were by far and away the
more likely winners in the second half.
This being an away match against one of the better sides in the division I'd
expect the solo striker system to be employed once more. If that's the case
Cole ought to get the nod if fit. I still maintain that it's not the best
use of Cole to employ him in this manner. However, his form in the role has
improved enough in recent weeks to suggest that if we really have to play
with just the one up front then he ought to be that one - he's certainly a
better option for the job than Maynard.
Injury news is that Carew is still struggling with some unspecified knock,
though quite how far up the pecking order he would have been anyway is a
question to which I reckon he doesn't want to know the answer. Demel? The
usual. Winston Reid is another worry having bashed his bonce during New
Zealand's midweek match against Jamaica. Rob Green had a night off and was
therefore safe from the injury blitz that took place at Wembley the other
night. Otherwise, those members of the squad not involved on international
duty went off to get a spot of sunshine in Dubai, a venue considered ideal
for preparation for a trip to Wales, presumably on the grounds that it's
abroad and broke.
Prediction? Well I usually weigh up the pluses and negatives for each side
and base my guess, er, I mean highly scientific consideration of the
prognosis, on that. However, each positive angle for either side could also
be looked at negatively. For example, the fact that they lost the League Cup
final could either be viewed as a negative point (damaged morale, extra-time
induced fatigue etc) or as a positive (minds now focussed on promotion –or
"able to concentrate on the league" as it used to be called). I'm therefore
tempted to put absolutely no money whatsoever on a 2-2 draw which is a
result that will do nobody much good unless you are one of those who still
sends money off to Littlewoods every week.
Enjoy the game!
When Last We Met: Lost 0-1.
Referee: Chris Foy. When he incurred the wrath of the Spurs support earlier
this season loads of them decided to bombard him with 'Tweets' on his
Twitter account. Of course the collective vacuum between the ears that seems
to be a prerequisite to be a Spurs supporter meant that it was poor old
Olympic cyclist Sir Chris Hoy who got it in the neck from the hard of
thinking rather than the referee. Hilariously, they carried on with the
abuse long after anyone with half a brain cell might have realised the
error. Foy has his unreliable moments and, if he displays too many of these,
I shall be straight on to twitter to complain to Victoria Pendleton who,
whilst not having nearly as many medals as Sir Chris Hoy, is at least a lot
more pleasing to the eye.
Danger Man: Peter Whittingham – arguably one of the best midfielders in the
division. It might be interesting to see where he is this time next season
should there be no promotion for Cardiff.
Daft fact of the week: Despite the claims by its inhabitants to the contrary
Wales is NOT a proper country (look, really, it isn't – come back and debate
the point when you have a Queen at the top rather than a mere Prince who, in
any case, is more interested in Cornwall).
Wales does, however, have its own language. This was invented in the 13th
century by sheep farmer Owen The Snotty, who, suffering from a near
permanent cold caused by the perpetually lousy weather that exists west of
Offa's Dyke, successfully passed off the sound of a sneeze whilst
simultaneously clearing his throat as a word meaning "Overjoyed" in a game
His opponent and wife, Gwyneth The Slightly Suspicious, went along with the
charade once she realised that a) her husband's sneeze had knocked all the
tiles with the vowels on them down the back of the sofa; b) replacement
tiles might be difficult to come by what with the game still being seven
centuries away from being invented; and c) the perpetually lousy weather
that exists west of Offa's Dyke meant it highly unlikely that the word
'overjoyed' would otherwise evolve naturally in that part of the world.
Stat Man John: Northcutt's Corner
Pld 48; West Ham Utd 24, Cardiff 9, Draws 15.
25th September 1920: Cardiff 0-0 West Ham Utd (Ninian Park, Division Two)
Last Five Meetings
7th August 2011: 0-1 (Boleyn Ground, Championship)
6th February 2005: 1-0 (Boleyn Ground, Championship)
2nd November 2004: 1-4 (Ninian Park, Championship)
28th February 2004: 1-0 (Boleyn Ground, Football League Division One)
25th October 2003: 0-0 (Ninian Park, Football League Division One)
Just the one: 17th August 1988. We won 4-3 (a) with goals from Kelly (2),
Slater and Keen.
They Played For Both
Clive Charles; Craig Bellamy; James Collins; John Burton; William Charlton;
Ian Feuer; Danny Gabbidon; Jobi McAnuff; Keith Robson; Bill Stephens.
Cardiff v West Ham preview
Last updated: 2nd March 2012
Team news ahead of Cardiff's Championship clash with West Ham at the Cardiff
City Stadium on Sunday (Kick-Off 12.45) Cardiff manager Malky Mackay hopes
to have the vast majority of his squad available for the visit of West Ham
in the Championship on Sunday. Despite the exertions of last weekend's
valiant Carling Cup defeat to Liverpool on penalties, Mackay has insisted
none of his players have picked up any new injuries as they take on the
second-placed Hammers at the Cardiff CityStadium. He told Wales Online:
"Everybody is feeling a lot better and 99.9 per cent of the problems at
Wembley were down to cramp. There is nothing major."
However, Mackay will have to wait to find out if any of the eight members of
his side who went off on international duty during the week - including
first-team regulars Kenny Miller, Aron Gunnarsson and Don Cowie - sustained
knocks. Midfielder Stephen McPhail will be absent for Cardiff. The
32-year-old is continuing his battle against Sjogren's Syndrome and,
although he is confident he will be able to play some part in the run-in,
the clash comes too soon.
Kevin Nolan returns to the West Ham squad for Sunday's trip to Cardiff.
Nolan has completed a three-match ban for his sending-off in the derby win
over Millwalllast month. Boss Sam Allardyce is expected to reinstate his
captain in the starting line-up despite the Hammers' creditable displays
without him. Fellow midfielder Matt Taylor serves the final game of a
three-match ban for his red card in the draw with Southampton. Striker
Carlton Cole could return to the starting line-up after dropping to the
bench for the first half of last weekend's goalless draw against Crystal
Palace. Defender Winston Reid will be assessed after suffering a head injury
playing for New Zealand, midfielder Papa Bouba Diop is still out with
hamstring trouble and forward John Carew is struggling with a knee problem.
John heads out of Hammers
Centre-back returns to FC Dallas after loan spell
Last Updated: March 2, 2012 8:38pm
West Ham have confirmed that George John has returned to FC Dallas after his
loan spell came to an end. The 24-year-old American joined the Hammers in
January on a short-term deal during the Major League Soccer close season. He
made two appearances for the development squad but was unable to break into
Sam Allardyce's first team. John was starved of opportunities due to the
fine form of James Tomkins, Winston Reid and Abdoulaye Faye in defence, and
the centre-back has now headed back across the Atlantic. FC Dallas start
their 2012 campaign with a game against New York Red Bulls in little over a
Cardiff v West Ham Preview: Mackay urges quick recovery
Published 08:31 03/03/12 By Phil Cadden
Malky Mackay has warned his Carling Cup battlers to get over their final
heartache and focus on promotion. Cardiff return to league duty against West
Ham, seven days on from the penalty shoot-out loss to Liverpool at Wembley.
And Mackay knows it is vital his players do not waste time wondering what
might have been. Mackay said: "The season doesn't stop. The final has gone,
we have to park that and focus on the team in front of us. "I have a very
hard-working, honest group of players and the experience we had at Wembley
will make them stronger people. "The way they handled themselves and
performed should give them belief moving forward. "I don't see why my
players would down tools when we are in the top six with 14 games to go. It
would be against everything that footballers think about doing every day –
which is winning."
The Hammers flew out to Dubai following last week's goalless draw with
Crystal Palace. And striker Nicky Maynard said: "It was good to get away and
to recharge our batteries ahead of the important run-in. Everyone is looking
forward to Cardiff. It's an important game and the main thing is that we get