A Pictorial History

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WEST HAM UNITED

Steve Marsh & Stuart Allen

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2007-08 Barclays Premier League

Premier League Blue

MANCHESTER CITY : Barclays Premier League

Upton Park

0 - 2

11th August 2007

Att: 34,921

Referee: P. Walton

Green

Spector

Ferdinand

Upson

McCartney (Ashton)

Ljungberg

Bowyer (Mullins)

Noble

Boa Morte (Etherington)

Zamora

Bellamy

Sven-Goran Eriksson enjoyed a victorious start as Manchester City boss, after new boys Rolando Bianchi and Geovanni condemned West Ham to defeat. After making eight summer signings and the possibility of more to follow, it would have been difficult for Curbishley to predict what team the former England boss would put out. One of the signings, Elano, enjoyed a superb introduction to the English game. Deployed just behind lone striker Rolando Bianchi, Elano found space intelligently, never lost his composure and always threatened to cause problems. The 26-year-old had already signalled his intent by firing one shot just over. However, when he collected Stephen Ireland's short pass, few had time to blink before Elano ran straight at Matty Upson. The Brazilian international skipped round him before firing in a low cross-shot, which invited a far post finish. Bianchi - fourth highest scorer in Serie A last term - was on hand to tap home. The introduction of Matthew Etherington at half time instantly brought the Hammers more threat. Ljungberg was an inch away from turning home the winger's cross but, with just under half an hour remaining Curbishley called on Ashton, who had not played since breaking an ankle on England duty 12 months ago. The moment our returning hero had been waiting for arrived 11 minutes from time, as Etherington picked him out with a deep cross. The striker took aim from 10 yards, only to see his first-time volley skim the crossbar. It was the nearest West Ham came to spoiling Eriksson's day before substitute Geovanni rammed home number two four minutes from time, following great work from substitute Nedum Onuoha.

IN THE NEWS : 16th August 2007

Blades to launch legal fight for relegation compensation

Sheffield Utd plan to sue West Ham

Sheffield United have announced they plan to sue West Ham for the cost of their relegation from the Premier League. The Blades failed last month in their high court bid to force new Premier League disciplinary action against West Ham over the Carlos Tevez affair; they had hoped to pave the way for a retrospective points deduction that would send West Ham down while keeping United in the top flight. Once that avenue of attack was cut off, they revealed they would consider suing West Ham for compensation of between £30m and £50m.

 

"After consideration and discussion with our legal advisers Sheffield United are today initiating legal proceedings against West Ham United as we seek substantial compensation for our relegation from the Premier League," said Toby Craig, a member of the club's legal team.

 

"This action is distinct from the arbitration proceedings between the club and the Premier League during the close season," he continued. "We have always said that we will do everything in our power to secure justice for Sheffield United and restore the integrity of English football which has been tarnished by this affair. Once proceedings have been issued we will await a response from West Ham before making any further statements."

 

United were relegated to the Championship after finishing three points behind the Hammers, whose only penalty for including banned clauses in the contracts of Tevez and Javier Mascherano - and then deliberately concealing them from the Premier League authorities - was a £5.5m fine. By maintaining their Premier League status this season, West Ham secured a share of the television rights money worth in excess of £30m.

Manager: Alan Curbishley

IN THE NEWS : 31st August 2007

Solano and Camara sign for Hammers

West Ham make a deadline day double signing. Minutes before the transfer deadline closed the Hammers secured the transfers of Nolberto Solano and Henri Camara. Solano has signed a permenant deal with the Club putting pen to paper on a one year deal with a one year option. Camara has signed on a season long loan from Wigan. Neither player will be eligible for tomorrow's trip to Reading. Alan Curbishley was desperate to bring in a right-sided midfielder after summer signing Kieran Dyer suffered a broken leg. Earlier in the summer, Magpies boss Sam Allardyce insisted he had no intention of letting Solano leave but circumstances have changed with the versatile player heading to Upton Park. Solano was recently recalled by Peru after an absence of more than two years.

07_08_11 WHU v. Manchester City

BIRMINGHAM CITY : Barclays Premier League

St. Andrews

1 - 0 (Noble pen)

18th August 2007

Att: 24,961

Referee: M. Halsey

Green

Spector (Gabbidon)

Ferdinand

Upson

McCartney

Dyer

Mullins

Noble

Etherington

Zamora

Bellamy

07_08_18 Birmingham City v. WHU

Craig Bellamy was at the centre of controversy as the Hammers claimed their first win of the season at St. Andrew's. Bellamy was brought down by Blues' 'keeper Colin Doyle for a 68th minute penalty, but Birmingham's players were aggrieved, as they felt Bellamy had dived to win the spot kick. However, television replays showed later that it was a clear cut penalty. Mark Noble stepped up to convert from the spot and give the Hammers all three points. The Hammers felt justice was done as they believed they should have had a penalty in the first half, when debutant Kieron Dyer was brought down by Stephen Kelly.

The Hammers almost went ahead after 25 minutes but Mark Noble's fierce drive thumped against Doyle's post. Birmingham's best attempt of the opening half came in injury-time when Robert Green parried Radhi Jaidi's shot after Forssell's initial attempt had been blocked following a Larsson free-kick. After the break West Ham looked more dangerous. Matthew Etherington saw his effort well saved by Doyle while Bobby Zamora then had two good chances in quick succession. Zamora lofted the first over the bar after controlling a long Ferdinand ball and then volleyed over from close range after a good run by Etherington.Once the Hammers had taken the lead City substitute McSheffrey forced Robert Green to tip a skidding 30 yard free-kick around the post. But it was the Hammers who looked most likely to score again as Bellamy and Dyer were both denied late on.

WIGAN ATHLETIC : Barclays Premier League

07_08_25 WHU v. Wigan Athletic

Upton Park

1 - 1 (Bowyer)

25th August 2007

Att: 33,793

Referee: A. Marriner

Green

Neill

Ferdinand

Upson

McCartney

Dyer

Noble

Mullins (Bowyer)

Etherington

Zamora (Ashton)

Bellamy (Boa Morte)

Lee Bowyer rescued a point for the Hammers with a rare goal nine minutes from time. Wigan's Paul Scharner looked to have won it for Chris Hutchings' side when he sent an acrobatic overhead kick past Robert Green with just 12 minutes remaining. But the Hammers could and perhaps should have had this game wrapped up long before Scharner's spectacular strike. Wasteful finishing from the home side meant they are still without a home win this season. Kirkland's crossbar with the aid of a deflection. Mark Noble   shaved the foot of the post with a shot after following up from his own free-kick, 10 minutes into the second half. And Paul Scharner also skimmed the woodwork at the other end before Robert Green pulled off a great save from substitute Julius Aghahowa. Bobby Zamora missed two good opportunities, sending one shot across goal for a throw-in and then letting Kieron Dyer's cross run under his foot with only Chris Kirkland to beat in the 21st minute. Craig Bellamy was denied by an offside flag when he latched onto Dyer's pass just after the half-hour mark. But it was left-back George McCartney who went closest for the Hammers. His 37th minute strike just cleared Dean Ashton was sent on for the last 30 minutes but he had two efforts blocked. But it was Wigan who eventually broke the deadlock, with Scharners effort, before substitute Lee Bowyer showed the Hammers how to do it.

BRISTOL ROVERS : Carling Cup (Second Round)

07_08_28 Bristol Rovers v. WHU CCC2

Memorial Stadium

2 - 1 (Bellamy 2)

28th August 2007

Att: 10,831

Referee: M. Jones

Wright

Neill

Gabbidon

Ferdinand

McCartney (Collins)

Dyer (Noble)

Mullins

Bowyer

Boa Morte

Bellamy (Cole)

Zamora

The Hammers' progression to the third round of the Carling Cup was overshadowed by a horrific injury to Kieron Dyer. The midfield man broke his leg in the 13th minute following Joe Jacobson's challenge. Dyer was stretchered off and taken to hospital, where it was confirmed he had sustained a double fracture to his right leg. It left Alan Curbishley feeling angry and frustrated as Dyer is the fourth of his summer signings to be sidelined. However, the good news for Curbishley was that Craig Bellamy scored his first goals for West Ham to ensure there was no Carling Cup humiliation for the Hammers against League One opponents Bristol Rovers. His double strike in the opening 45 minutes were his first goals since his £7.5million summer switch from Liverpool. Bellamy's first was a fantastic strike. The Welshman was all of 30 yards away from the Rovers goal when he let fly with an unstoppable strike which left Rovers' 'keeper Steve Phillips with no chance. And it was a typical Bellamy change of pace which created the second goal in stoppage time after Lucas Neill sent a long ball over the Rovers back-line. The home side had seen off Crystal Palace in the previous round and although their 14-match unbeaten run was coming to an end, they refused to go down without a fight. Rickie Lambert was denied by Richard Wright 10 minutes into the second half. Rovers kept battling and eventually grabbed a lifeline through substitute Andrew Williams. Williams scored a sublime solo goal, taking a great touch to evade Anton Ferdinand before smashing the ball past Wright with the outside of his foot. It made for a rousing finale and although there were chances at either end in the closing minutes, the Hammers held firm and go through to face Plymouth Argyle in the third round.

READING : Barclays Premier League

Madejski Stadium

3 - 0 (Bellamy, Etherington 2)

1st September 2007

Att: 23,533

Referee: H. Webb

Green

Neill

McCartney

Ferdinand

Upson

Noble

Mullins

Etherington

Bowyer (Spector)

Bellamy (Boa Morte)

Ashton (Cole)

The Hammers continued their 100% away record with an impressive 3-0 win at Reading's Madejski Stadium. The result and performance was a far cry from the Hammers' last visit to the Berkshire club, when they were thrashed 6-0 on New Year's Day, and this victory went a long way to erasing that memory. West Ham never looked back after Craig Bellamy had given them an early lead and Matthew Etherington added two more in the second half, with Robert Green saving a penalty in bewteen Etherington's strikes. Bellamy had netted his third goal in a week withing seconds of the whistle. Lee Bowyer dispossessed James Harper in midfield and set Bellamy away with a well weighted pass. The Welshman rifled a low drive past Reading 'keeper Marcus Hahnemann. The Hammers continued to look dangerous on the break and Dean Ashton, making his first start since the 2006 FA Cup Final went close to doubling the lead. Mark Noble sent a drive just wide from the edge of the box. Reading went in search of an equaliser though and Brynjar Gunnarsson saw a shot blocked before Michael Duberry headed just wide. Stephen Hunt came closest though, when his effort bounced off the top of the crossbar just before half time. Etherington finally doubled the Hammers' advantage just four minutes into the second half. He played a clever one-two with Bellamy and beat Hahnemann with fierce shot. Reading missed a perfect opportunity to get back in the match when Robert Green saved a penalty he had conceded himself. Green had upended Kitson but guessed correctly to stop Doyle's spot-kick. And Etherington put the result beyond doubt in stoppage time with a well taken goal at the end of a solo run.

MIDDLESBROUGH : Barclays Premier League

Upton Park

3 - 0 (Bowyer, (o.g.) Ashton

15th September 2007

Att: 34,361

Referee: S. Bennett

07_09_01 Reading v. WHU 07_09_15 WHU v. Middlesbrough

Green

Collins

Upson

Neill

McCartney

Etherington (Boa Morte)

Bowyer

Noble

Mullins

Bellamy (Cole)

Ashton (Ljungberg)

West Ham were on top from the start with Matthew Etherington quick out of the blocks with an early cross which was cleared by George Boateng, before Bowyer burst through the midfield only to run into Jonathan Woodgate on the edge of the area. Ashton thought he had opened the scoring after 12 minutes, only to be denied by a linesman's flag after he had latched on to Craig Bellamy's through-ball. However, Boro came even closer in the 18th minute, when Mido sent Aliadiere racing through, but the Frenchman's shot hit the post. That ended a rather humdrum first half but the Hammers had to wait just 25 seconds after the break to open the scoring. Bowyer sprinted forward to get on to Cole's one-touch pass and volley sublimely past Schwarzer for his second goal of the season. Just five minutes later we doubled our advantage when Cole shrugged off Downing and crosseed towards Mullins, only for Luke Young to steer the ball past Schwarzer with his out-stretched right boot. Boro should have pulled a goal back just before the hour, when Julio Area's long ball sent Tuncay clear. Green charged off his line, only for Tuncay to deftly lob the ball over the keeper but see it bounce agonisingly off the top of the crossbar. Tuncay threatened again after being put through by Mido but Green pulled off a fine save at his near post. However, shortly afterwards DeanAshton got the biggest cheer of the day when he wrapped up the points following another flowing move. Mullins sprayed the ball out to Etherington, who skipped past Young with ease before producing a marvellous cross for Ashton to sweep home at the far post.

IN THE NEWS : 18th September 2007

Eggert Magnusson relinquishes West Ham role

Eggert Magnusson is to step down as West Ham United’s executive chairman, it was announced today. Magnusson will remain as the club’s non-executive chairman and the Hammers’ Icelandic owner Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson is to take a more hands-on role in the club.   Gudmundsson is to appoint an executive team to handle the day-to-day running of the club, but Magnusson will continue to be heavily involved and will keep his own stake in the club. The shake-up is the next step in West Ham's masterplan to break into the top four in the Premier League, and includes moving to a new stadium. The club insist the changes will have no impact on manager Alan Curbishley and his coaching staff, who will remain in control of all football matters. “I am so proud of what we have achieved since becoming involved with the club and I am grateful for Eggert Magnusson’s contribution to West Ham throughout this time,” Gudmundsson said. “Of course there have been challenges but we have made real progress and can be confident about the future.   “It is now vital for our longer-term ambitions to become one of the leading clubs in England playing for honours both at home and in Europe that we strengthen the senior team at the club and build a truly professional management structure for the future.” Magnusson said the time was right to “stand back a little”. “We have worked hard to create stability and optimism sometimes in very difficult and trying circumstances,” he said. “I think it is now important to broaden the management team so that we can deliver the bright future that is opening up for the club. “I have enjoyed my time as executive chairman but feel the moment is right to stand back a little as we move into a new and exciting period.”   Gudmundsson will remain chairman of the board of West Ham United Holding, with his close aide Thor Kristjansson as both vice-chairman of the holding company and executive vice-chairman of the club. Scott Duxbury remains chief executive and an expanded executive team will be announced in the near future.

NEWCASTLE UNITED : Barclays Premier League

St James' Park

1 - 3 (Ashton)

23rd September 2007

Att: 50,104

Referee: M. Riley

Green

Ferdinand

Upson

Neill

McCartney

Etherington (Spector)

Bowyer

Noble

Mullins (Ljungberg)

Ashton

Cole (Camara)

Mark Viduka got Newcastle off to the perfect start when he opened the scoring in just the third minute. Charles N'Zogbia curled in a delicious cross and Viduka lapped it up greedily with a superb, Shearer-esque, diving header. However, West Ham were still very much in the game at this point and Steve Harper had to be alert to deny Noble and Bowyer with smart saves. Therefore, it was no real surprise when we levelled the match after 32 minutes. Lucas Neill launched in a long throw and eventually Carlton Cole leaped highest to nod the ball down towards Ashton. The bleach blond striker showed no hesitation in grabbing his second goal in as many games, as he smashed a volley into the bottom corner. Yet our lead lasted less than ten minutes and, once again, it was N'Zogbia who created the goal. The winger flew past Bowyer on the left after picking up Rozehnal's clearance, before crossing to the far post for Viduka to bundle home his second goal of the game and his third in a black and white shirt. The second half saw half-chances at either end, with both Green and Harper making fairly routine stops. The closest any side had come to scoring again was Bowyer's fierce effort in the 72nd minute but, again, Harper was up to the challenge.

Just four minutes later, the home side wrapped up the points and nobody deserved a goal more than N'Zogbia. He exchanged passes with Obafemi Martins and got on the end of the Nigerian's cross to make it 3-1. Martins himself should have really finished things off three minutes from time but after rounding Green, he somehow contrived to hit the side netting.

IN THE NEWS : 2nd September 2007

Freddie not ready for Danish clash

Freddie Ljungberg has pulled out of Sweden's squad for the Euro 2008 qualifier against Denmark next Saturday because of injury. The 30-year-old midfielder has been struggling with a groin problem and tests have confirmed the West Ham player will not be fit in time for the Group F clash with their Scandinavian neighbours. Ljungberg is the second player to pull out of the Sweden side this weekend, with Matias Concha also forced out by a thigh injury.

07_09_23 Newcastle United v. WHU

PLYMOUTH ARGYLE : Carling Cup (Third Round)

Upton Park

1 - 0 (Ashton)

26th September 2007

Att: 25,774

Referee: P. Dowd

Wright

Collins

Gabbidon

Neill

McCartney

Parker (Noble)

Ljungberg (Bowyer)

Mullins

Boa Morte

Cole (Reid)

Ashton

07_09_26 WHU v. Plymouth Argyle CC3

The first notable action of the game came when Danny Gabbidon played a weak backpass, which forced stand-in goalkeeper Richard Wright into a hurried clearance with Sylvan Ebanks-Blake bearing down on him. After that initial moment of uncertainty however, we managed to get a stranglehold on the game and almost opened the scoring when we forced a corner in the 14th minute. Ljungberg swung the ball straight to James Collins, whose header was cleared off the line by Halmosi at the far post. Ashton should have put the Hammers ahead in the 23rd minute when he collected Lucas Neill's pass and turned superbly on the edge of the area, but drilled his shot narrowly wide. Shortly afterwards though, Akos Buzsaky, Argyle's tricky Hungarian midfielder, gave the hosts a scare with a 20-yard drive which flew inches over Wright's crossbar. Boa Morte then missed a gilt-edged chance to fire the Hammers ahead when he played a one-two with Hayden Mullins only to dink the ball over the advancing McCormick and wide. The Argyle keeper then saved well from Ashton's first-time shot before, at the other end, Neill had to back-pedal onto the goal-line to keep out Halmosi's free-kick with his chest shortly before the break. The second half begun at a frenetic pace but neither side really looked like breaking the deadlock until Ashton grazed the top of the crossbar with a free-kick, which took a heavy deflection off the wall and spun high into the air. But in the 91 st minute Ashton's moment came when substitute Kyel Reid sent over a low cross from the left, which the striker expertly volleyed across McCormick and into the corner of the net.

ARSENAL : Barclays Premier League

Upton Park

0 - 1

29th September 2007

Att: 34,966

Referee: A. Wiley

Green

Ferdinand (Gabbidon)

Neill

McCartney

Upson

Parker (Mullins)

Noble

Bowyer (Boa Morte)

Ljungberg

Camara

Ashton

We have enjoyed good form against the Gunners recently, with two victories last season, but Arsenal are in fine form at the moment and again started brightly. Inside the opening two minutes the visitors broke quickly down the left, with Abou Diaby cutting the ball back to Emmanuel Adebayor, who drilled a low shot just wide from 15 yards. However, Ashton was leading the West Ham line with plenty of aggression, and soon turned to drill a 20-yard shot just over. Arsenal, though, were ahead on 13 minutes as Adebayor held the ball up well on the right side of the area and fed a pass out to Alexander Hleb. His centre flew across the six-yard box, where Van Persie arrived at the far post to glance a header past Green, who was at full stretch and could only push the ball onto the post and in.

 We continued to try to take the match to Arsenal, but the visitors were playing with a high defensive line and used the offside trap well. Van Persie came within inches of putting the visitors 2-0 ahead on 54 minutes. The Dutchman sidestepped marker Gabbidon on the edge of the area, and drilled his shot towards the top left-hand corner. Green was again at full stretch and got his fingertips to the ball, which this time bounced back off the post and away. Moments later it should have been 1-1 after Bowyer chipped the ball into the area from the right. Ashton had timed his run perfectly to get a free header at the back post, only to then put it straight at a grateful Manuel Almunia. This was a good spell for West Ham, Ljungberg did hit the net but was wrongly denied by a linesman's flag when he was level with the last defender. However, Arsenal were dangerous on the break as Van Persie and Adebayor exchanged passes on the edge of the West Ham box, which sent the Togo striker clear and Green came to the rescue with a fine reaction save low to his left. Towards the end of the game, Van Persie booted a downward header from Ashton clear in front of his own net as the Gunners closed out the match to stay ahead of the chasing pack. Green rebuffed Arsenal with a series of saves including a brilliant tip onto the post from van Persie's shot.

ASTON VILLA : Barclays Premier League

Villa Park

0 - 1

6th October 2007

Att: 40,842

Referee: S. Tanner

Green

Neill

McCartney

Gabbidon

Upson

Etherington (Boa Morte)

Mullins (Noble)

Bowyer

Ljungberg

Camara (Cole)

Ashton

This was a third successive league defeat for the Hammers, with Freddie Ljungberg posing the main threat with a series of crosses whipped Into the box. Yet the first decent opening fell to the hosts after just five minutes when the impressive Ashley Young turned past Danny Gabbidon and sent over an Inviting low cross. There was a let-off for the Hammers though, as Luke Moore, still searching for his first Premier League goal of the season, failed to make proper contact with his attempted volley. Just four minutes later, Henri Camara had the ball in the net for the Hammers but he had done so with the most incredible example of a diving handball, which turned in Matthew Etherington's centre and the Senegal international was yellow-carded. The action showed no sign of abating and Villa looked to have strong claims for a penalty after 13 minutes, when Lucas Neill appeared to tug at the shirt of Young as he burst into the Hammers box. But it was turned down by referee Steve Tanner to leave Martin O'Neill incensed on the touch-line. It was no surprise when, after 24 minutes, Craig Gardner struck for the second time in five days to put Villa ahead. Agbonlahor was brought down right on the edge of the Hammers box by Gabbidon and Gardner drilled the resulting free-kick through the Hammers' wall and into the net via a deflection off Gabbidon. West Ham tried to hit back quickly and Ljungberg steamed in to meet a cross by Etherington but his flying header was well saved by Carson who was perfectly positioned. Yet it was Villa who were soon back in control as they attacked a packed Holte End in the second half. However, they almost gifted West Ham an equaliser after 55 minutes when a poor clearing header by Mellberg only went straight to Cole just outside the six yard box but he failed to make proper contact and Carson was able to save away to his left. It was a big let-off for the home side and neither team created any clear cut chances, until Green denied Agbonlahor at close range with five minutes remaining.