West Ham United Logo West Ham United 2 - 1 Everton
Half-time: 1 - 0
Everton Logo
FA Carling Premiership 1998-99 – Game 18
Saturday 19 December 1998
Upton Park, London
Att: 25,998
« Southampton (h) Ref: Rob Harris Derby County (h) »
1998-99 Fixtures & Results League Position: 15th Premiership Results & Table
  GOALSCORERS Final Match 
West Ham United: Keller (19), Sinclair (75)
EVERTON: Cadamarteri (71) Mickael Madar
  LINEUPS Subs Not Used
West Ham United: Hislop, Dicks, Ferdinand, Pearce, Lomas, Berkovic, Lampard, Sinclair, Keller, Wright, Hartson. Forrest, Breacker, Potts, Omoyimni, Lazaridis.
EVERTON: Myhre, Ward (75 Collins), Unsworth, Materazzi, Bilic, Dacourt, Hutchison (c), Grant (64, Barmby), Cleland, Madar (64, Branch), Cadamarteri.
Unavailable: Ball, Dunne (suspended); Bakayoko, Farrelly (flu); Short, Watson, Williamson, Phelan, Parkinson (injured); Gerrard, O'Kane, Spencer (on loan).
Simonsen, Farley.
  Yellow Cards Red Cards
West Ham United: Lomas, Sinclair, Wright.
EVERTON: Bilic, Dacourt, Hutchison, Cadamarteri.

Lyndon Lloyd Wanted: 90 mins of consistency
THE SUNDAY TIMES Rio shines as Hammers win
by Andrew Warshaw
Sinclair atones in spectacular style
by Ronald Atkin
THE TIMES Ferdinand highlights the dilemma for West Ham
by Nick Szczepanik
ELECTRONIC TELEGRAPH Sinclair keeps a cool head to calm West Ham's jitters
by Steve Curry
THE EVERTONIAN Link to the latest Match Report

THE GUARDIAN Link to Football Unlimited Match Report
SOCCERNET Link to SoccerNet Match Report
CARLINGNET Link to CarlingNet Match Report

Wanted: 90 mins of consistency
Lyndon Lloyd
Unbeaten in four, 10 points from 12, Everton were busy turning another of their many corners until Smith's plans for this game were decimated by flu and suspension. Any team that loses Bakayoko, Collins and Ball would have struggled but, in his customary style, Walter added an extra challenge with another bizarre tactical experiment.

Alex Cleland was shunted onto the left side of defence and while it was no surprise that a player who is all right foot was taken apart by a mediocre West Ham attack, there was genuine bewilderment at the fact that it took over an hour for Smith to switch him back to the right – and then only because of a substitution.

The pre-match debate centred on how we were going to win without the above players absent and whether Branch or Madar would get the nod to partner Cadamarteri, himself returning from a one-match ban. The Frenchman got the nod and lasted an hour before being replaced by Branch. He doesn't really look that arsed any more and the sooner he gets his free back to France the better I say.

The Blues lined up with a defensive unit of Myhre, Ward, Materazzi, Bilic, Unsworth and Cleland, a midfield of Hutchison, Grant and Dacourt with Cadamarteri and Branch up front. It was our first viewing of the much-anticipated Bilic-Materazzi pairing and I can't say it was all that inspiring, not because of Marco (who was excellent, again) but because Bilic looks a million miles away from the player who was wowing us at the beginning of last season. Perhaps it was the atmosphere upon returning to Upton Park but I don't recall many great reviews last week either.

Anyway, things weren't too bad to start off with. Everton were just about adequate but were containing the Hammers quite easily. By full-time the hosts could secretly thank the referee and a shovel load of luck, the first helping of which was delivered on 19 minutes. What looked like a clear foul on Grant by the half-way line went unpunished by the referee and Keller advanced before launching a cross that arched agonisingly over Myhre's despairing fingers and in off the post. Typical.

It was difficult enough working out where Everton might get any goal from, let alone the two now required to win. Building on their fortune and the almost blatant bias of the referee, the Hammers nearly doubled their lead when Ian Wright was put clear but he fired wide. The Blues' profligacy in terms of possession continued with Unsworth embarrassing himself again with his clueless distribution.

Half-time brought the hope of a change in tactics that would relieve Cleland from his nightmare but Smith persisted for some reason. Thankfully, the completely abysmal display served up by Everton in the first half was replaced by a combative and, at times, skillful effort that, with a bit more luck, would have salvaged a point.

Hutchison came into his own, Grant suddenly woke up and Dacourt began running the show in the manner we've come to expect. Cadamarteri positively revelled in it. I lost count of the number of times he skinned Julian Dicks down the right; gone were the aimless runs and headless chicken impersonations, replaced by a superb awareness of the movements of the midfield. Nevertheless, the final ball was lacking on too many frustrating occasions and while the Blues pushed up, West Ham exploited the spaces at the back. Wright, Lampard, Sinclair and Hartson all came close (a better team would have murdered us) but either Myhre was equal to the task or the strikers shot wide.

Then, welcome movement from the bench. Barmby and Branch strip off and are brought on for Madar and Ward. The impact was almost immediate. Barmby gave Everton a much needed sense of purpose and within a few minutes he had helped create two chances for Cadamarteri.

The first saw Danny's shot saved by Hislop's legs as Everton pressed but a few minutes later, Sinclair was dispossessed on the left and Barmby fired a perfect cross across the area which Cadamarteri despatched in off the 'keeper to spark delirium in the Centenary Stand behind the goal. The rest of Upton Park fell silent while the travelling support – excellent throughout I might add (the couple of racist twats aside; "Ian Wright, you nigger." Hmmm, can you say Dacourt, Cadamarteri and Bakayoko?) – raised the roof.

Our joy was short-lived, though. Keller made another raid down their left and crossed at the perfect height for Sinclair to head into the ground and send the ball looping over the helpless Myhre. More evidence of West Ham's luck.

Nevertheless, Everton just got on with the job of trying to level the scores again after Collins was thrown on in place of Grant. The game opened up then with large spaces left behind Everton's advances. Dacourt had a wonderful 25-yard effort well saved by Hislop while at the other end, Wright went too close on a couple of occasions before finding the net only to have it chalked off for a foul.

Everton's efforts were, sadly, not rewarded. One last agonising moment remained when we won a free kick on the edge of the box which Hutchison left for Dacourt. His strike was placed beautifully height-wise but perhaps a bit low but it still looked destined for the net all the way up until Hislop parried it clear by his right-hand post. You knew then it wasn't going to be our day.

I suppose, if I'm honest, West Ham deserved to win on two counts: they had more chances and they played consistently throughout. Everton just cannot go on playing so abysmally one half and trying to rectify things in the second. Invariably it will be too late. If we could play well for 90 minutes we would be in the top six! Probably.

That aside, we are becoming an attractive team to watch when coming forward. I don't care what you say, we are far better without Ferguson. We just need some cash to plug a few areas of mediocrity. Of course, the press focused entirely on West Ham and Rio Ferdinand (he was nothing special if you ask me) and most reports have omitted our late flurry of chances. Still, we're used to that, aren't we?

Individual performances:

  • Myhre 7 Couldn't really fault him for either goal. Keller admitted it was meant to be a cross and I would put it down as bad luck.
  • Cleland 5 Don't ever play him at left back again, he was awful.
  • Unsworth 6 I've kept quiet all season to give him a chance but I maintain what I said when we re-signed him. Defensively he is fine but his distribution is atrocious. We didn't need him then and we don't need him now.
  • Materazzi 9 The guy is an absolute gem. You can keep your Ferdinand's, Marco is the absolute business. The Sunday Times accredited Bilic with keeping Wright and Hartson quiet but Materazzi was superb and when they did break through it was usually because of Slaven!
  • Bilic 5 Not impressed. Can you say "saleable asset"?
  • Ward 6 Erm, in the shop window, perhaps? Can't think of any other reason why he'd be playing.
  • Grant 6 The penny dropped for me during this game. Most of the time Grant just hasn't got a clue what to do in the final third. His final ball is still majorly lacking.
  • Hutchison 7 He has been a different player since Ferguson left and although he still makes the odd howler every now and then he deserves the run in the team he has been enjoying of late.
  • Dacourt 7 Very quiet in the first half but buzzed positively in the second when he became our biggest threat. Welcome back, Olly, and please don't go!
  • Madar 5 He's a lazy bugger and his positional sense seems to have disappeared during his absence.
  • Cadamarteri 9 (MOM) Another great game by the youngster. He is becoming the figurehead on which our attacks rely but it is all played on the ground which is so much better than the aerial wastage we endured with Duncan. DC is getting better with every game.
  • Branch 6 Plenty of effort but not enough time to effectively judge how much progress he has made.
  • Barmby 8 Did enough to stake a claim to a recall to the starting line-up and almost turned the game as he did in this fixture last season. Now if Walter would just ditch the 5-3-2 system and play four midfielders....
  • Collins 6 Did well enough while he was on, which wasn't long really.

Team: First Half 4; Second Half 7

Quite why Smith cannot get his team to play consistently for 90 minutes is beyond comprehension. If we had played as well in the first half as we did in the second, we would have won this game. So, instead of knocking on the door of the Top 10, we are "back in the bottom six" as the Times reminded us. But when we DO play well, things do look very positive.

 Rio shines as Hammers win
by Andrew Warshaw, The Sunday Times
POOR old Slaven Bilic. Will he ever be forgiven by the West Ham faithful for taking the money and running to Merseyside? [Nice to see this idiot swallow the West Ham propaganda so blindly... Ed]

The Croatian international, making only his second appearance of the season, was booed as soon as the Everton team sheet was announced yesterday. He didn't even have to touch the ball.

To his credit, the man whose theatrical reaction to Laurent Blanc's innocuous push [Actually, it was a punch in the face, you blind incompetent hack... Ed] in the World Cup semi-final cruelly robbed France of its captain for the final in July, had a good game for Everton at Upton Park. The problem was that not many of his teammates did although, thankfully, Everton's other less-than-happy ex-Hammers, David Unsworth and Don Hutchison, were spared any barracking.

Booked in the first half for a foul on Ian Pearce, Bilic sufficiently recovered his composure to keep Ian Wright and John Hartson under wraps. Unfortunately for Everton, it was West Ham's wide players who won the day.

Marc Keller, a Frenchman who arrived on a Bosman free transfer from Karlsruhe in Germany, scored the first somewhat fortuitously. Keller's cross-shot from the left totally deceived an embarrassed Thomas Myhre in Everton's goal and the ball entered the net off the far post.

But there was nothing lucky [Except perhaps a very lucky bounce?... Ed] about Trevor Sinclair's winner 15 minutes from time that lifted West Ham back into the top six after two successive defeats. The former Queens Park Rangers favourite went in bravely where others might not have dared and headed Keller's centre into the top corner with defenders all around him.

His goal came three minutes after Danny Cadamarteri had equalised for Everton, put through by substitute Nicky Barmby. But the visitors didn't deserve a point for all their effort and second-half possession. Their manager, the less-than-effervescent Walter Smith, admitted as much.

How Everton are missing Duncan Ferguson, now strutting his stuff on Tyneside [Absolute bollocks, you ignorant pillock. Everton were missing Bakayoko from a bout of flu... Ed]. How West Ham, conversely, treasure Rio Ferdinand. The 19-year-old England defender was tremendous yesterday, even by his own high standards.

It was not a great game, but plenty of impressive individual performances, surprising given the number of absentees. West Ham were without the suspended John Moncur and Neil Ruddock and the injured Paul Kitson while Everton's defence lacked both Craig Short and Dave Watson while suspension ruled out Michael Ball and a flu bug struck down the likes of £4.5m signing Ibrahim Bakayoko and, crucially, John Collins.

Collins did come on a substitute late on but by then Everton were playing catch-up again and he was unable to stamp any kind of style on a match that was slipping away from the Merseysiders.

Walter Smith was, understandably, disappointed, especially as Everton appeared to have turned the corner after three wins from their previous four games. They now find themselves back in the bottom six, having picked up 54 bookings, the worst record in the Premiership. "Overall, they probably deserved to win," he conceded.

Nobody could fault Everton for their hard work, but in the last third they were poor. Shaka Hislop in West Ham's goal had been a virtual bystander for an hour before he was called into action to make two smart saves from Dacourt, Everton's most dangerous player going forward, the second one completing the last action of the 90 minutes.

Like his manager, former Hammer David Unsworth had no complaints about the result. He too paid tribute to Ferdinand, saying: "That's the best performance I've seen from a defender - ever."

Report © Times Newspapers Ltd

 Sinclair atones in spectacular style
by Ronald Atkin, The Independent on Sunday
Trevor Sinclair is making a habit of spectacular rescue operations for West Ham. Three weeks ago his two goals thwarted Tottenham and sent his team to the dizzy heights of second in the Premiership. Yesterday another timely intervention, with a diving header, was enough to snuff out Everton's second-half revival and end their unbeaten run of four matches.

Sinclair's winner, a quarter of an hour from the end, was just about what West Ham deserved after a lively first half and a spirited finish, sandwiched between Everton's belated spell of self-belief. It also snapped them out of a run of two defeats, so was doubly timely. With Everton's options decimated by flu, injuries and suspensions and West Ham also down to the bare bones - albeit welcoming back Julian Dicks - there may have been a slight shortfall in the talent department, but the rivalry between the clubs ensured there would be no lack of commitment.

The keenness was exacerbated by the fact that three of the Everton team – Don Hutchison, David Unsworth and Slaven Bilic – were former Hammers and were assured of a warm welcome, especially Bilic. The only time the Croatian earned a cheer was when he became the first of the seven bookings issued by the referee Rob Harris. Though a couple of these decisions verged on the fussy, they were perhaps in the end merited since the cauldron never quite boiled over, despite the spirited efforts of Ian Wright and Dicks for West Ham and Bilic and Mitch Ward for Everton.

John Hartson caught the eye early on with his ability to hold the ball and defend possession against all comers. One space-earning move gave him time for a cross which Wright headed over. The closest West Ham came to an early goal was the Steve Lomas shot from outside the penalty area to which Dicks applied a deliberate deflection, taking the ball a foot wide of the upright.

Any agonising was brief as West Ham went in front after 19 minutes with an outrageous fluke goal. Marc Keller got away down the left and aimed a deep cross. Thomas Myhre moved to his near post in readiness to deal with any shortfall, only to watch helplessly as the ball floated over his head and into the far side of the net.

With Eyal Berkovic oozing quality in midfield there could have been more before half-time. "We played some excellent football at that stage, popping it around brilliant," said the West Ham manager, Harry Redknapp. "But in the end I was pleased we got through."

The reason for that was Everton's decision to come out and show what they were capable of after the break. Danny Cadamarteri had earlier looked the only player likely to earn them anything, but as Olivier Dacourt and Hutchison began to venture forward with the ball they had West Ham in trouble.

The turning point for Everton came with the arrival of Nick Barmby from the substitutes' bench in the 64th minute. Shaka Hislop, previously unemployed, was suddenly very busy indeed. Only just before Barmby's arrival Hislop had made his first save of the match, a full-length dive to his left to deny Dacourt's 30-yard effort.

Then Barmby slid an inviting ball through to Cadamarteri, whose shot was bravely blocked by Hislop. As West Ham tried to get the ball clear Sinclair was guilty of giving away possession, Barmby found space on the left and got to the byline for a cross which this time was volleyed home joyously by Cadamarteri.

"I was hoping we would be able to consolidate for a little while after the equaliser," said the Everton manager, Walter Smith. It was not to be. Keller, a French free-transfer import during the summer, found operating space on the left four minutes later and his waist-high cross was met with Sinclair's diving header, the bounce totally deceiving Myhre.

"Trevor's done well for us since he has been here," said Redknapp, "but today he gave their goal away and then bounced back to get the winner, good for him."

The rest of the match was gripping end-to-end stuff as Everton went flat out for a second equaliser and West Ham tried to snatch another goal on the break. The closest they came was a long run by Berkovic and a shot turned away for a corner by Myhre.

Sinclair was not Redknapp's choice for man of the match, though, that accolade went to Rio Ferdinand. "He was outstanding. For a 19-year-old he's so good it's frightening. You have to build a team around people like him."

Report © The Independent

Ferdinand highlights the dilemma for West Ham
by Nick Szczepanik, The Times
THE FA Carling Premiership table from three weeks ago, showing West Ham United in second place, was still pinned up in the Upton Park press room before Saturday's game. The old order has re-established itself in the interim, and even victory over an Everton team weakened by suspension and illness only pushed West Ham back up as far as sixth at the final whistle.

On Friday, Harry Redknapp, the manager, said that gate-crashing the top seven on a permanent basis requires resources which, one suspects, are beyond a club that sells a player for £1.6 million – chicken-feed in Premiership terms – in order to satisfy a spending plan, as West Ham did a month or so ago in the case of Andrew Impey. How, then, can they satisfy players such as Rio Ferdinand, who distinguished himself once again?

Ferdinand is committed to the West Ham cause, as his reaction at the final whistle demonstrated, but you wonder how long he will be content to settle for lesser rewards at club level than colleagues in the England team in which he seems sure to be a regular. Redknapp has been asked that question every day since Ferdinand's potential emerged, and on Saturday finally admitted that it will be a problem for the club.

"If you can double your wages somewhere else and go to a team that will win things, it's not easy to stay with a club," he said, but stressed that West Ham hope to break into the group of potential trophy winners thanks to the emergence of a number of the young players.

By the time they are ready, Ian Wright will probably be concentrating on his new career as a chat-show host, and there were signs on Saturday that his sharpness is waning, unless he was saving himself for his return to Highbury on Boxing Day. In a game full of chances, a result of continual squandering of possession as much as carefully crafted passing from the likes of Eyal Berkovic, Wright missed a hat-ful, although the close attention he received from Marco Materazzi was partly to blame. Materazzi, mobile for a man of his height, was unflappable under pressure, and as strong a contender for the man-of-the match-award as Ferdinand.

With John Hartson faring no better than Wright, West Ham found an unlikely scorer in Marc Keller, whose driven cross deceived Thomas Myhre before dropping in via the far upright after 19 minutes, and a more familiar one in Trevor Sinclair, who headed a Keller cross beyond Myhre four minutes after his error allowed Nick Barmby to provide Danny Cadamarteri with a 71st-minute equaliser.

Myhre redeemed his earlier error with saves from Berkovic, Frank Lampard and even Julian Dicks, whose recall may reveal more about West Ham's lack of resources than any player sales, although Shaka Hislop also denied Dacourt twice, and Ward blasted a presentable chance over. "We had to give up a few opportunities in the search for an equaliser," Walter Smith, the Everton manager, said.

"Exciting stuff," Redknapp said. "It was vital we bounced back after two defeats." Bouncing back up to second place may prove far more difficult.

Report © Times Newspapers Ltd

Sinclair keeps a cool head to calm West Ham's jitters
Steve Curry, Electronic Telegraph
OLD habits die hard. West Ham United's penchant for leaving their fans in suspense was never more clearly demonstrated than in this clash at Upton Park. They should have been cruising by half-time, but they frittered their chances and allowed Everton to equalise before Trevor Sinclair secured victory.

West Ham have suggested they have no head for heights. No sooner did they climb into a challenging position than things began to go wrong, successive defeats away to Leeds and Middlesbrough following a run of five matches without defeat.

While the Londoners had plunged from second place to seventh, Everton, with a victory over Southampton and a draw with Chelsea, had been coming the other way almost to meet them.

The scorer of the winning goal against Southampton, Ibrahima Bakayoko, missed this game because of flu, while the virus forced midfielder John Collins to start yesterday's game on the substitutes' bench. Another notable absentee was the suspended Michael Ball, but manager Walter Smith was able to field Slaven Bilic, whose departure from Upton Park for what he believed were the sunnier climes of Merseyside still causes resentment in these parts.

Everton's defence contained two other former Hammers, Don Hutchison, who was captain in place of Collins, and David Unsworth.

Suspensions had disrupted the home side, with Neil Ruddock beginning a three-match suspension and John Moncur also missing. This accommodated a return for popular hard-man Julian Dicks.

Everton's improved confidence was evident in terms of appetite and possession though they found it hard to penetrate a defence well marshalled by Rio Ferdinand. The young defender looked assured and must have impressed England manager Glenn Hoddle, who was among the spectators.

Ian Wright may have been short of goals in recent matches but there was nothing wrong with his desire and he was on hand to head a John Hartson cross over the bar in the first two minutes.

Hartson then tried a header from Dicks's centre but could get no real purchase on his effort while Steve Lomas's shot clipped the heel of Dicks before looping just a foot the wrong side of the bar.

Eventually, they broke through. The goal from Frenchman Marc Keller was quite unintentional – his speculative cross to the far post sailing into the net – although the pass from Lomas that released him down the left flank was superbly timed.

Everton, who had won three of their previous four games, now needed to regroup. But there was a sign of their anxiety again when Olivier Dacourt clumsily brought down Wright 25 yards from goal and also had his name entered in referee Rob Harris's book.

Frank Lampard's free-kick was blasted into the Everton wall and hacked to safety.

West Ham might well have increased their advantage in the 31st minute. Eyal Berkovic seemed to control the ball with his arm but was allowed to slide it through for Wright who drove his shot wide. It was then Hartson's turn to squander a chance, stepping on the ball inside the six-yard area as he shaped to side-foot Berkovic's centre into the net. The contest should really have been settled by those two opportunities.

West Ham continued to fritter excellent chances in the second half, dangerously extravagant when you are only a goal ahead. Wright was again a culprit, sliding his shot wide of the far post after Lampard had set him up superbly.

The former Arsenal striker also had a goal ruled out for a foul by Hartson and the feeling grew among the home supporters that victory was far from assured.

When Shaka Hislop made a fine save to his left from Dacourt after 61 minutes, it was the first time he had been forced to make a stop in the game. And with their second chance, Everton equalised.

Nick Barmby had been on as a substitute only five minutes when he drove in a centre from the left which Danny Cadamarteri fired low and hard into the net. West Ham, kicking themselves for their squandered chances, took only three minutes to regain the lead.

The cross from Keller came into the heart of the area and Sinclair, launching himself forward, headed the ball down for it to bounce over Thomas Myhre and into the roof of the net.

Report © The Electronic Telegraph

RESULTS  (Game 18)
Saturday 19 December 1998
Chelsea  2                         Tottenham Hotspur  0    34,881
Poyet 80, Flo 90
Coventry City  1                   Derby County  1         16,627
Whelan 16                          Carsley 50
Liverpool  2                       Sheffield Wednesday  0  40,003
Berger 18, Owen 33
Manchester United  2               Middlesbrough  3        55,152
Butt 62, Scholes 70                Ricard 23, Gordon 31, Deane 59
Newcastle United  1                Leicester City  0       36,718
Glass 61
Nottingham Forest  2               Blackburn Rovers  2     22,013
Chettle pen:22, Freedman 30        Blake 49, 90
Southampton  3                     Wimbledon  1            14,354
Ostenstad 11,68 Kachloul 64        Gayle 76 
West Ham United  2                 Everton  1              25,998
Keller 19, Sinclair 73             Cadamarteri 70

Sunday 20 December 1998
Arsenal  3                         Leeds United  1         38,025 
Bergkamp 28, Vieira 53, Petit 82   Hasselbaink 66

Monday 21 December 1998
Charlton Athletic  0               Aston Villa  1          20,043
                                   Rufus og:3

LEAGUE TABLE (after 21 December 1998 )
Club                          P    W    D    L   GF   GA   GD   Pts
Aston Villa                  18   10    6    2   28   17   11   36
Chelsea                      18    8    9    1   29   17   12   33
Manchester United            18    8    7    3   36   23   13   31
Middlesbrough                18    7    9    2   30   21    9   30
Leeds United                 18    7    8    3   29   17   12   29
Arsenal                      18    7    8    3   20   11    9   29
West Ham United              18    8    5    5   22   22    0   29
Wimbledon                    18    7    5    6   23   29   -6   26
Liverpool                    18    7    4    7   29   22    7   25
Newcastle United             18    6    6    6   22   21    1   24
Leicester City               18    6    6    6   21   20    1   24
Derby County                 18    5    9    4   18   17    1   24
Tottenham Hotspur            18    6    5    7   23   28   -5   23
Sheffield Wednesday          18    6    4    8   20   19    1   22
Everton                      18    5    7    6   12   17   -5   22
Charlton Athletic            18    3    7    8   22   28   -6   16
Coventry City                18    4    4   10   15   26  -11   16
Blackburn Rovers             18    3    5   10   17   26   -9   14
Southampton                  18    3    4   11   15   35  -20   13
Nottingham Forest            18    2    6   10   17   32  -15   12

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Last updated: 29 December 1998