This week in history twice brought us 4-1 victories against a Manchester City side that were, as yet, unable to reap the benefit of Arab millions. The first was back in 1959 and then more recently in 2000 in what turned out to be Rio Ferdinand’s last home game as a West Ham player before his transfer to Leeds United.
There have been four 3-3 draws during this week of which two were home games against West Bromwich Albion in 1961 and 1977; the others being away at Arsenal in 1963 and at home to Nottingham Forest in 1988. Adding to the goal rush there were three games that ended 4-3 and although only one of these ended in the Hammer’s favour it was a satisfying away victory at White Hart Lane in 1966 where Jimmy Greaves missed a penalty for the hosts. The two 3-4 reverses were at home to Leeds (2002) in the Roeder relegation season and also at home to West Brom the following season which included one of want away Jermaine Defoe’s three pre Christmas red cards. The first half of the Leeds game was maybe one of the worst 45 minute performances I have ever seen; featuring a level of incompetence from Repka and Dailly that would be difficult to match it ended with the Hammers 1-4 in arrears. Unfortunately a spirited (but ultimately unsuccessful) second half comeback inspired by Di Canio probably saved Roeder from loosing his job there and then.
Hard to imagine that just three games against West Bromwich Albion had yielded a total of 19 goals and if you want more you could throw in a 5-2 win in the 1988 Full Member’s Cup for good measure.
A rare away romp in 2007 saw West Ham thrash hapless Derby County who would go on to record just one win and 11 points all season. The Hammer’s goals coming from Bowyer (2), Erherington, Solano and an OG.
Finally an encounter that is often up there with the greatest ever games played at Upton Park; the League Cup clash with Don Revie’s title chasing dirty Leeds in 1966. It was a great week for the Hammers which started with a 6-1 home victory against Fulham and would end with the win described above at Tottenham a week later. Sandwiched in between on a misty Monday night in east London was the League Cup 4th round tie.
Back then it wasn’t practice to rest players for League Cup games and although Leeds were missing Sprake and Lorimer through injury they fielded a strong side including the usual uncompromising suspects of Charlton, Hunter, Bremner and Reaney.
The West Ham performance that night was described at the time as “irresistible”, “breathtaking”, “awesome” and having the “gloss of greatness”.
The Hammers were a goal up within two minutes when Byrne set up John Sissons to curl his shot into the corner of the goal. More good work by Byrne on the half hour released Brabrook whose cross was side footed home by Sissons for 2-0 before the same player completed a first-half hatrick five minutes later. Hurst added a fourth just before half time to make it 4-0 at the interval. A four goal advantage at half time is not necessarily a guarantee of victory for West Ham but in the second half Byrne set up two more goals for Hurst while in between Peters scored another. The final score was West Ham 7 Leeds United 0. Hatricks for Sissons and Hurst and a mesmerising individual performance by Budgie Byrne as he taunted and destroyed the Leeds defence.
Standen, Bovington, J Charles, Peters, Brown, Moore, Brabrook, Boyce, Byrne, Hurst, Sissons.
This week’s birthdays:
8 November Peter Brabrook (79)
8 November Joe Cole (35)
8 November Alan Curbishley (59)
8 November Martin Peters (73)
10 November Vic Watson (d 1988)
11 November Pop Robson (71)
12 November Carlton Cole (33)