Arsenal v West Ham United – March 7th, 2020
The club was founded in 1895 as Thames Ironworks and reformed in 1900 as West Ham United. They moved to the Boleyn Ground in 1904, which remained their home ground for more than a century. The team initially competed in the Southern League and Western League before joining the Football League in 1919. They were promoted to the top flight in 1923, when they were also losing finalists in the first FA Cup Final held at Wembley. In 1940, the club won the inaugural Football League War Cup.
West Ham has been winners of the FA Cup three times; in 1964, 1975 and 1980, and has also been runners-up twice; in 1923 and 2006. The club have reached two major European finals, winning the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1965 and finishing runners-up in the same competition in 1976. West Ham also won the Intertoto Cup in 1999. They are one of eight clubs never to have fallen below the second tier of English football, spending 62 of 94 league seasons in the top flight, up to and including the 2019–20 season. The club’s highest league position to date came in 1985–86, when they achieved third place in the then First Division.
The club promotes the popular idea of West Ham being “The Academy of Football”, with the moniker adorning the ground’s new stadium façade. The comment predominantly refers to the club’s youth development system which was established by manager Ted Fenton during the 1950s, that has seen a number of international players emerge through the ranks. Most notably, the club contributed three players to the World Cup-winning England side of 1966, including club icon Bobby Moore, as well as Martin Peters and Geoff Hurst who between them scored all of England’s goals in the eventual 4–2 victory. Other academy players that have gone on to play for England have included Trevor Brooking, Alvin Martin, Tony Cottee and Paul Ince.
Since the late 1990s, Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Michael Carrick and Glen Johnson began their careers at West Ham and all went on to play for much bigger clubs. Most recently, the likes of first teamers Mark Noble and James Tomkins, as well as Welsh international Jack Collison, have emerged through the Academy. Frustratingly for fans and managers alike, the club has struggled to retain many of these players due to (predominantly) financial reasons.
West Ham, during the 2007–08 season, had an average of 6.61 English players in the starting line up, higher than any other Premier League which cemented their status as one of the few Premier League clubs left that were recognised to be bringing through young English talents and were recognised as having “homegrown players.” Between 2000 and 2011, the club produced eight England players, as many as Manchester United and one fewer than Arsenal. Much of the success of The Academy has been attributed to Tony Carr, who was West Ham youth coach between 1973 and 2014.
Arsenal have won the last three home games against West Ham and eight out of the last nine, in all West Ham have only managed to win five away games at Arsenal in the Premier League.
|Arsenal v West Ham EPL Home Games|
Our overall home record is also very impressive with West Ham only winning thirteen out of sixty one games.
|Arsenal v West Ham EPL ALL Games|
Assuming Manchester City cannot overturn their two year ban in Europe a win on Saturday will put us within two points of a Europa League spot in 2020/21.
TA’s Preferred Line-Up:
A big game for us as a win is required and the Hammers will be a step up from the Southern Stokers of last Monday. Our biggest challenges are better defending of set-pieces and create more opportunities. The latter Arteta and the team are working on but I feel we need more height in the team for the former. So I would include either Mari or Big Sok in the team, ideally both. It appears that Mustafi is fit to play and his inclusion would also be welcome.
In midfield we have to do without, under Arteta peripheral, Torreira for the rest of the season, so it will be a choice between the ball magnets of Guendouzi or Ceballos. Both have qualities and are to many pleasing on the eye when running forward with the ball, but the complete package they are not as yet. It may well be that AMN will join the battle for this (or Xhaka’s) position any time soon.
Up-front there is good competition for the CF and RW positions. Nelson had an excellent game against Portsmouth but WH is a different challenge, no doubt. Still, I prefer the one who is most natural with the ball and is able to not just produce penetrating attacks but also hold on to the ball ocassionally, as to win us some time and create space for others. So the highest positioned man at Trafalgar Square it is for me.
I am still a fan of Laca but Eddie just has the momentum at the moment, and his anticipation and positioning in the box is superior to the hard working Frenchman.