Arsenal v West Ham – December 9th, 2019
West Ham Utd joined the Western League for the 1901 season while also continuing to play in the Southern Division 1. In 1907, West Ham was crowned the Western League Division 1B Champions, and then defeated 1A champions Fulham 1–0 to become the Western League Overall Champions. The club continued to play their games at the Memorial Grounds in Plaistow (funded by Arnold Hills) but moved to a pitch in the Upton Park area in the guise of the Boleyn Ground stadium in 1904.
West Ham’s first game in their new home was against fierce rivals Millwall (themselves an Ironworks team, albeit for a rival company) drawing a crowd of 10,000 and with West Ham running out 3–0 winners, and as the Daily Mirror wrote on 2 September 1904, “Favoured by the weather turning fine after heavy rains of the morning, West Ham United began their season most auspiciously yesterday evening; when they beat Millwall by 3 goals to 0 on their new enclosure at Upton Park.”
In 1919, still under King’s leadership, West Ham gained entrance to the Football League Second Division, their first game being a 1–1 draw with Lincoln City, and were promoted to Division One in 1923, also making it to the first ever FA Cup Final to be held at the old Wembley stadium. Their opponents were Bolton Wanderers. This was also known as the White Horse Final, so named because an estimated 200,000 people came to see the match; spilling out on to the pitch, which had to be cleared prior to kick-off, by “Billie,” a giant white horse (actually grey) being ridden by PC George Scorey. The Cup Final match itself ended 2–0 to Bolton. The team enjoyed mixed success in Division 1 but retained their status for ten years and reached the FA Cup semi-final in 1933.
West Ham supporters are famous for their rendition of the chorus of their team’s anthem, “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles” introduced to the club by former manager Charlie Paynter in the late 1920s. A Pears soap commercial featuring the curly haired child in the Millais’ “Bubbles” was well known at the time. The child resembled a player, Billy J. “Bubbles” Murray, from local schoolboy team, Park School, where the headmaster was Cornelius Beal. Beal was known locally for his music and rhyme and wrote special words to the tune of “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles” whenever any player was having a good game.
The 1975 FA Cup version – which contains the original lyrics, and features vocals from the team’s then-current players – is always played before home games, with the home crowd joining in and carrying the song on after the music stops at the verse line “Fortune’s always hiding”. Bubbles were published as a waltz whereas during the game the crowd sing it in common time.
When the players come onto the pitch, and at other times of celebration, as the song I’m forever blowing bubbles is being sung, around 60 bubble machines produce copious bubbles that rise high into the stadium.
On 22 May 2018, the club appointed former Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini as the new manager on a three-year deal contract. In his first season in charge, the Hammers finished 10th, once again suffering from inconsistent form.
West Ham have been very inconsistent at home this season they have a record of –
W2, L4, D1, GF10, GA14, GD -4. They have not won at home since September 22nd when they beat Manchester United 2-0.
|Arsenal v West Ham EPL Away Games|
|Arsenal v West Ham EPL ALL Games|
|Division I Total||9||14||15||58||70||-7|
Our Premier League record away to West Ham has been positive but we have not beaten them since December 16th, 2016.
Maybe a game away from our nervous home crowd is the tonic the team needs to gain a modicum of confidence; Freddie will need to work hard both behind the scenes and on the side-line.
TotalArsenal’s Preferred Line-Up
Don’t make too many changes, stick with the team and work hard on the basics. Win the battle in midfield and become hard to beat. Learn to pass the ball again and enjoy the football when attacking. The Hammers will leave space and the attackers to benefit from this are Auba, Saka and Mesut, and if in good form, Pepe.