Welcome back to our digital matchday programme for our home clash with West Ham United.
The in-form Hammers arrive as a genuine Champions League contender and Pep Guardiola will be well aware of the threat they pose this afternoon.
Credit to David Moyes because it’s been a long time since West Ham fans dreamed of European football, and this will be a difficult 90 minutes.
But there aren’t many teams in world football who would fancy taking on City at the moment.
With 19 wins in succession, we are privileged to be watching a very special football team.
The rhythm and form so many of our players are in is incredible and the football they play is something else.
They are a source of great pride for us all.
In this edition, we have Pep’s look ahead to the game and Buzzer’s thoughts on where we are at and what has happened since our last home game.
We have an in-depth look at the Hammers' season so far, and our history against them over the years.
We also have the always entertaining Marc Riley and Kev Cummins columns, plus Andy Hinchcliffe shares his Dream XI.
Enjoy the game!
The manager's pre-game thoughts...
Good afternoon and a warm welcome to the Etihad Stadium to West Ham manager David Moyes and his staff.
Having managed and played at Preston North End and previously managed at Everton and United, David is no stranger to this area and to this ground.
His side arrives in great form and currently occupying one of the UEFA Champions League qualifying places for next season. They are a team that keeps on improving and they deserve to be in the conversation when it comes to the top four.
Our job today is to continue our great momentum and stop theirs.
Since we were last at home for the Spurs game, we have won at Everton, at Arsenal and then on Wednesday night in Budapest against Borussia Monchengladbach.
Those victories took us to a record 12 consecutive away wins and to 19 in a row overall. However, as I have been saying in these notes for a while now, the last game only serves to increase our belief and our confidence it does not guarantee that just by stepping out on the pitch today that we will get another victory.
In all the last three away games a big part of winning was the ability of players to come in and out of the side and immediately adapt. Our work rate without the ball has been excellent and the movement with it has allowed us to make chances and score goals.
In the Champions League game in midweek, we could have been more clinical in front of goal and that is something to work on. In that competition, in particular, one bad 90 minutes in front of goal and you can be going home.
But we continue to focus really well, to play at a high level and show our personality and we have many options which is important as we continue to fight on four fronts playing every three or four days.
We have found different ways to win and that is important, too. Our consistency has been amazing. People talk about the records we are setting and the victories that we are accumulating but to do this you have to win games in many ways. It is not always about three or four goals because that is not possible. Our last Premier League victory at Arsenal was an example of that. We won 1-0 and played a very tight game. Again, on Wednesday we did not offer the opposition many chances on goal and controlled things very well.
Now we must do that again this afternoon. It has been a quick turnaround but the UCL has been put aside for a few weeks. The only thing has mattered since the final whistle on Wednesday is getting another three points and moving a step nearer to regaining the Premier League title.
Enjoy the game everyone and stay safe.
Our Club Ambassador's column
When the time finally comes that we can all sit together at the Etihad again, I’d love for all our fans to just stand up and clap for a minute to say thank you to Pep Guardiola, his players, and staff when they come down the tunnel.
We can finally see an end to the lockdown and may even be able to have fans back at grounds – in limited numbers – at the end of this season, but I think we all want to show our appreciation for the fantastic football that’s help keep us going over the past year or so.
It’s been hard for everyone, but the players have kept going and entertaining us and the football we have played has been nothing short of incredible.
For us to go on such a long unbeaten run and win 19 games in a row is testament to what a special manager we are lucky to have and what a gifted bunch of players he has brought together.
The players have travelled here, there and everywhere over the past 12 months, lived like prisoners at times and been away from their families on many occasions as well as being continually tested, and yet they go out and play beautiful football time and time again.
I have nothing but admiration for all of them.
And in Pep, we have one of the greatest managers of all-time. I’ve said many times that I think he is a genius, and this season, he has proved it again and again as he continually tweaks and tunes the squad.
So, when we have a full Etihad again in the not-too-distant future, let’s rise as one and just say thank you, because they deserve it – I’d like to think the supporters of whoever we are playing will join in that ovation, too.
On to West Ham and I am predicting perhaps one of our toughest games of the season.
David Moyes has done a superb job and he’s got a very strong side now who are athletic, organised, and dangerous.
I’ve seen them a few times this season and they are fourth in the table on merit and this could be a very difficult 90 minutes because we had a tiring midweek trip to Budapest while West Ham haven’t played since last weekend.
Hopefully, we can continue our great run but it definitely won’t be easy.
Take care and stay safe.
west ham united:
THE SEASON SO FAR
When Premier League football resumed in September, the omens didn’t look promising for West Ham United.
A 2-0 opening day home defeat to Newcastle United was not the start David Moyes wanted, and though a 3-0 Carabao Cup win over Charlton Athletic followed, a 2-1 loss to Arsenal left the Hammers third-bottom with two games played.
It’s amazing how pressure can quickly grow on a team, but the Carabao Cup again brought some relief as Hull City were swept aside 5-1 and when it was followed by a 4-0 Premier League home win over Wolves, things looked much brighter.
Everton ended West Ham’s Carabao Cup hopes with a 4-1 win at Goodison Park, to round off a busy first few weeks back.
October looked tricky for Moyes’ side – Leicester away, Spurs away and City at home, but it turned out to be a really good month.
A 3-0 win against the Foxes was hugely impressive, but all the hard worked looked like being undone as they trailed 3-0 to Spurs in the next game with just 16 minutes gone! The scoreline remained the same until the 82nd-minute when the Hammers began an amazing comeback that ended with Manuel Lanzini’s thunderbolt in added time that earned a 3-3 draw.
Then, it was City and the London Stadium had become one of our favourite away days with a 100% record in league and cup – but this was anything but a stroll in the park and only Phil Foden’s equaliser earned us a 1-1 draw.
This was a different West Ham United, and one that was growing in confidence.
Though the next game – a visit to Anfield – ended in a 2-1 defeat, it had still been a good performance by Moyes’ side.
November underlined the improvement, too, with the Hammers winning all three games against Fulham, Sheffield United and Aston Villa by single goal margins.
A 3-1 home defeat to Manchester United – after being ahead at the break – was disappointing and December as a whole was poor.
Though a 2-1 victory away to Leeds United kept the Hammers in touch with the leaders, just three points from the next four games (3 draws, one loss), was a set-back.
Draws against Crystal Palace, Brighton and Southampton – with a 3-0 defeat to Chelsea sandwiched in-between – left the Irons in tenth spot.
But there was a steely resolve about the team – one not seen for many years – and January proved particularly productive.
A fine 1-0 win away to Everton was followed with a hard-fought 1-0 victory against Stockport County in the FA Cup.
Antonio then scored the winners against Burnley and West Brom before Doncaster were beaten 4-0 in the FA Cup 4th round.
A 3-2 win at Crystal Palace put the Hammers back in the top four, so there was frustration that an out-of-sorts Liverpool took all three points after a 3-1 win at the London Stadium at the end of the month.
Anyone expecting the Irons' bubble to burst in February would have been disappointed as Moyes' men kicked on again.
Another impressive away day saw Aston Villa beaten 3-1 by the (very) happy Hammers and a 0-0 draw with improving Fulham at Craven Cottage was not to be sniffed at.
Manchester United needed extra time to see off Moyes’ side 1-0 in the FA Cup 5th round, but successive home wins over Sheffield United (3-0) and Spurs (2-1) mean West Ham arrive at the Etihad in fourth spot, just four points off second-placed Manchester United and Leicester.
They have won six and drawn three of their 12 away games this campaign and are one of the form teams of the Premier League.
CITY V west ham:
City and West Ham have met 113 times in all competition, and it’s fair to say there has always been an admiration between the two clubs over the years...
For many years, neither side won much in the way of silverware, but enjoyed playing football attractively their loyal fanbases demanded.
We’ve also shared a number of crowd favourites over the years (see ’10 Connections’) and both swapped ageing stadiums for new homes on the back of successful athletic events (Commonwealth Games and the London Olympics).
The first meting wasn’t until 1924, so the fixture isn’t even a century old yet.
City won the first three games and the first 11 meetings would see a 6-5 win ratio in our favour with no drawn games.
West Ham had the better of City for 17 years between 1929 and 1946, winning six, drawing two and losing none of the games against the Blues.
City edged the 1950s, just about, winning three and losing two of the five meetings, but the Hammers resumed control in devastating fashion in the 1962/63 campaign, winning 6-1 at Maine Road and then 6-1 at Upton Park as George Poyser’s men lost their top flight status.
It took a couple of seasons for City to win promotion back to Division One and West Ham’s welcome for the 1966/67 campaign was to beat Joe Mercer’s side 4-1 at Maine Road! It meant the happy Hammers had bagged 10 goals in two visits to Moss Side.
The Blues fought back in the title-winning season of 1967/68 with a first league double since 1951, but in 1970 the East Londoners showed their liking of playing at Maine Road with a 5-1 win and a goal that Joe Corrigan would rather forget after his punt upfield was volleyed straight back over his head as he walked back to his line by Ronnie Boyce.
But overall, the 1970s were City’s, with 10 wins, two draws and four losses in the 16 meetings between the clubs.
The 1980s were much more even, with both teams winning three, drawing four and losing three and the 1990s were also equal with four wins each and a draw.
The Hammers ushered in the new millennium with a 4-1 thrashing of Joe Royle’s City and they would win four of the six matches up to 2006 – but from there on, City have largely dominated.
Between 2006 and 2014, City won 13, drew five and lost just one of our tussles with the Hammers, home and away.
That included a two-legged Carabao Cup clash that City won 9-1 on aggregate when Sam Allardyce was in charge.
Our final visit to Upton Park ended 2-2, but our trips to the London Stadium have been fairly spectacular, winning the first five matches there with an aggregate of 22-1!
In fact, City are unbeaten in the last 12 games against the Hammers, winning 10 and drawing twice and the past 25 meetings have seen City triumph 19 times, draw four and lose just twice and what was a fairly even historical aggregate has swung very much in our favour, with 58 wins to West Ham’s 37 and 18 draws overall.
KEVIN CUMMINS COLUMN:
Celebrated rock photographer Kevin Cummins recalls a memorable Hammers visit...
In the final season at Maine Road, today’s visitors, West Ham, were our penultimate opponents at the famous old stadium. The exterior shots are pre-match, including Shaun Goater arriving at the Maine Stand entrance. I later spent a bit of time hanging around the players tunnel, and managed to get a shot of this impromptu hug between Marc Vivien Foe and Steve Lomas - who of course had been team-mates at the Boleyn Ground the previous season.
Lomas started his career with City and spent six years at Maine Road between 1991-97, before moving on to West Ham for £2.5million.
West Ham’s then ‘keeper, David James - man of many hairstyles - joined City from West Ham in the January transfer window in 2004.
I’d argue that David James was one of our best ever ‘keepers, and we’ve had many good custodians at City. However he’ll also be remembered for the final day of the 2004-05 season, when Stuart Pearce put him up front v Middlesbrough, to try to get us into the UEFA Cup.
Daniel Taylor in The Guardian described it thus: "With James charging around like a headless ostrich, his cameo role incorporated a hilarious air-shot …”
Finally, this was Trevor Brooking’s first game in charge of the Hammers. Kevin Keegan and Trevor Brooking were of course long time England colleagues. Brooking, hadn’t quite got the hand of managerial protocol, and at one stage wandered over to Keegan’s technical area for a chat. Unfortunately for Keegan - and for us - relegation threatened West Ham won, with the only goal of the game scored by Freddie Kanoute in the 81st minute.
West Ham of course are looking to consolidate their place in the top four this season. How fortunes have changed for both our clubs since 2003.
Premier League Stats
Squad number: 11
Hit woodwork: 6
Headed goals: 2
Right-foot goals: 16
Left-foot goals: 3
Penalties scored: 1
Free-kicks scored: 0
On target: 77
Shooting accuracy: 41%
Yellow cards: 15
Red cards: 0
Clubs: Manchester United, Leicester City (loan), Birmingham City (loan), Brighton (loan), Derby County (loan), West Ham United (loan)
International caps (England): 24
International goals: 4
Club career appearances (all comps): 264
Club career goals (all comps): 48
It’s amazing how many crowd favourites have played in the colours of both City and West Ham United – more than perhaps any other club, in fact...
There are many more than 10, but here are the players we’ve selected for this feature.
Ian Bishop joined City in 1989 from Bournemouth and became an almost instant crowd idol at Maine Road.
The long-haired Merseysider brought a touch of class to a young City side and played a huge role in our 5-1 win over Manchester United – but before halfway in his first season, he was sold to West Ham against his wishes and those of the supporters.
He would stay nine years at Upton Park before returning for a second spell with City from 1998 to 2001.
Trevor Morley also joined the Hammers when Bishop did.
He had spent two seasons at Maine Road but enjoyed six years with the Hammers, making more than 200 appearances.
Mark Ward was the player new manager Howard Kendall wanted and the Hammers winger swapped Upton Park for Maine Road as Bishop and Morley went in the other direction.
Ward was a talented player and he fit the more aggressive style that Kendall believed necessary to keep City in the top division.
In the 18 months he played for the Blues, he made 67 appearances and scored 16 goals – many of them crackers.
Carlos Tevez was a cult figure among Hammers fans, staying just one season and helping them avoid relegation with a dramatic last day win at Manchester United.
He moved to the Reds for a couple of seasons before City pulled off a transfer coup, bringing him to the Club for four fantastic seasons.
What a player.
Goalkeeper David James spent three seasons with West Ham and then three seasons with City – playing 102 times for the Hammers and 100 times for City before moving to Portsmouth.
Frank Lampard’s playing career in England was bookended with spells at West Ham and City.
The England and Chelsea legend enjoyed five years at Upton Park, playing 187 times between 1995 and 2001 and came to City in 2014, staying a season and making 38 starts before moving to New York City.
Popular winger Michael Hughes was at City between 1988 and 1992 before leaving for French side Strasbourg.
He returned to England with West Ham, initially on loan, and made more than 100 appearances with the East London side.
Trevor Sinclair was a boyhood City supporter who first made his name with Blackpool before moving to QPR – from there he joined West Ham.
After six years and more than 200 games for the Hammers, he joined City in 2003, staying four seasons and playing just shy of 100 games.
Stuart Pearce’s long career included the last two stops at West Ham and City.
The former Nottingham Forest star had two seasons at the Boleyn Ground, playing 50 matches before spending one memorable campaign with Kevin Keegan’s City side that swept all before them en route to the second tier championship.
Last – but certainly not least – Pablo Zabaleta.
Zaba became a Manchester City legend in every sense during his nine years at the Etihad, winning six trophies and making 333 appearances.
He finished his playing days with the Irons, staying just under three years at the London Stadium and making 80 appearances before announcing his retirement.
That’s a lot of crowd favourites!
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Our mascot for today...
Name: Mya Auld
Favourite player: KDB
One of our best left-backs of modern times, Andy Hinchcliffe came through City’s youth system and was part of the 1986 FA Youth Cup-winning team along with Paul Lake, Paul Moulden and Ian Brightwell – among others!
Now one of Sky Sports’ most popular co-commenters, Andy reveals his all-time City XI.
Will any of his fellow youth team members make the cut? See the graphic below to find out the answers…
MARC'S NEW Q&A SERIES FOR BLUES FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE - NEXT UP, SEAN RILEY...
Welcome to another episode of the Mixed Grill.
The intention of this series is to display different experiences and attitudes towards life as a Man City supporter taking in all different aspects of fandom. I’ve approached celebrities, supporters, fans with links to the club and ex-players. Some of these I know well…some are acquaintances and some of them I have met only in a ‘cyber-stylee’…as in online…Twitter to be specific.
Todays subject falls into the latter category.
Sean Riley, pictured below (no relation) is a life-long Blue who commands much respect from his fellow City supporters. His loyalty to City and knowledge of our rich history is to be applauded. As does his heroic determination.
In a recent Manchester Evening News article this was on full display.
It told the story of the now infamous Tuesday night match against Millwall in 2001 at the new ‘Den’. This place was never a hospitable place to go for an away supporter, but following a previous flare up at Maine Road, Blues were told to stay away from the match that night for fear of their lives. Understandably nearly every City supporter erred on the side of caution and stayed at home.
But there were a handful of intrepid City fans in the Den that night. All wearing Millwall colours, all disguising their Mancunian accents, all fearful of being uncovered, and perhaps most pertinently all, very aware of the fact a City goal and an ensuing involuntary celebration would have led to certain carnage.
I think the word to describe our lads demeanour that night would be ‘edgy’.
To Sean and his fellow fearless City friends… I SALUTE YOU!
So…its over to Sean we go….
WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY OF GOING TO A CITY MATCH?
A very vivid one!! My first game (I had just turned 9 years old) was the Denis Law back heel derby victory at Old Trafford 27th April 1974 , the game didn’t even finish due to the crowd invasions. I remember being stood on my seat in the Scoreboard End, City scarf held aloft in the air, with my dad protecting me from all the trouble in the stand, the adrenalin rush seeing my first ever goal scored by a City player will live with me for ever – memorable!
WHAT IS THE MOST PECULIAR OR MEMORABLE THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED TO YOU AT A MATCH?
When we lost 5-0 away to Newcastle in 1983-84 season in Division 2. St. James' Park was always a hostile place to visit. Their home games were always sold out in the Keegan/Beardsley/Waddle era. We had tickets for the game, but there were thousands of ticketless Geordies outside the ground and it was impossible to get in unscathed. The police, to their eternal credit, offered to take us in to our end, in the back of their Black Marias! We all gratefully accepted it, the vans were rocked by the crowds as we made our way through, they were banging on the sides of the van, we thought they would turn it over! Fortunately they didn’t, we got into the match safely, but unfortunately we were hammered on the pitch, Newcastle had a great team that season….
IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME AND PREVENT ONE MATCH FROM BEING PLAYED -WHAT MATCH WOULD THAT BE - AND WHY?
CSKA Moscow away a few years ago, because it was played behind closed doors, through no fault whatsoever of City as a Club, 500 or so of us Blues who were planning to go to the game were denied by bureaucracy, the game should have been moved to a neutral venue and City fans allowed in - it had been done before for other clubs, but we were left high and dry, quite a few fans, myself included, were forced to miss a match for the first time years/decades…..
WHICH TEAM ARE YOUR LEAST FAVOURITE OPPONENTS - AND WHY?
It used to be United, because for 30 years our record against them was terrible! Similarly with Arsenal and Liverpool. Thankfully, the last decade has seen us redress the balance, long may that continue!!
WHAT IS YOUR MOST FAVOURITE MAN CITY TERRACE SONG OR CHANT - AND WHY?
'Na na na na na na na naaah ,City !!' (Hey Jude) – when the whole ground does it – sends tingles down your spine! Love it…
BEST GOAL EVER SEEN?
Dennis Tueart’s overhead kick to win the League Cup v Newcastle at Wembley – 1976. I felt like the luckiest kid in the world to be there that day – magical!!
HAVE YOU EVER MET ONE OF YOUR MAN CITY HEROES… IF SO - WHO… AND HOW WAS THE EXPERIENCE?
Yes, I’ve been very fortunate in that respect – Kenny Clements came to our house back in the 70s, he was a pal of my dad’s and he lived down the road from us in Moston. More recently, my wife Jane and I had the pleasure of an unannounced house visit by Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan, which had been organised by City as part of their #Nothingwithoutyou tribute from the Club to the fans. It was surreal, but have to say they were so well mannered, polite, and respectful. We were so proud to see for ourselves how City not only sign great players, but great people too…..
IF YOU COULD INVITE ANY MAN CITY PLAYER - PRESENT OR PAST - TO YOURS FOR TEA AND BISCUITS - WHO WOULD IT BE - AND WHY?
Dennis Tueart, his insatiable appetite for the game, running down the wing in front of the Kippax, scoring spectacular goals for fun, what a fantastic player, he had it all for me. How he only got six caps for England will always remain one of life’s great mysteries to me and thousands of others, His love and passion for the Club, too, since he retired, he ‘gets’ what it is all about being a Blue in the City of Manchester.
HAVE YOU EVER SHED A TEAR - OF JOY - OR PAIN - AT A CITY MATCH?
Cried tears of joy at the League Cup final win in ’76. Shed a tear when Aguero scored after 93:20 to win the league against QPR – as much in relief, as in joy, to contemplate the unthinkable that we’d been about to blow it on the biggest stage of them all, thankfully it all came good for us, in the end…!!! 😊
WHAT DO YOU MISS MOST ABOUT MAINE ROAD?
The walk up to the ground pre match – and the old Kippax with its vast terracing. I had my own little patch of concrete which I stood on, every other week. If anybody ever stood in it, I would politely say, ‘do you mind, this is my spot..?!’ Worked every time……. 😊
WHO DO YOU THINK WOULD WIN IN AN ARM WRESTLING MATCH…
YAYA TOURE - OR KYLE WALKER?
I’ll go for Ya Ya (sorry Kyle! But I reckon you’d beat him over 100 metres…. 😊)
IF YOU COULD PICK ONE CURRENT CITY PLAYER TO BE ON YOUR PUB QUIZ TEAM - WHO WOULD IT BE - AND WHY?
Kevin De Bruyne, if he sees questions like he sees a pass, we would win every time…..!
UP THE BLUES!!!!
Happy to be Blue!!