Arsenal will be rolling up to the Boleyn Ground this Boxing Day and it promises to be quite a game judging by previous encounters, even if we are struggling towards the wrong end of the league and they’re ahead of the pack! At this festive time, I thought it might be quite nostalgic to look back at a couple of famous West Ham wins against our old foes.
Fireworks on Bonfire Night. November 5, 2006. West Ham 1 Arsenal 0
West Ham were in a very similar position to where we are now, and not expected to take anything from the game, with Arsenal flying high. A full-bloodied and pulsating match, played in an electric atmosphere, which seemed to be moving towards a 0-0 conclusion, was sent stratospheric in the 89th minute when Matthew Etherington and Teddy Sheringham exchanged passes before slotting across to Marlon Harewood, who poked home the winner. The match is just as memorable for Arsene Wenger’s touchline strop where he appeared to shove Alan Pardew and then refuse to shake his hand at the end. Sour grapes.
The last team to win at Highbury. February 1, 2006. Arsenal 2 West Ham 3
West Ham found ourselves once again struggling in the relegation zone, but this was to set the foundation for the great escape that year. We’d won the last two matches, but in this one, after half an hour, frankly, it looked like Arsenal might get into double figures, for all their shots and goal and complete domination. But then, somewhat staggeringly, Bobby Zamora scored and we found ourselves a goal up at half time. The second half was much the same pattern as the first, but with a combination of some brilliant saves from Rob Green, a bit of luck and a committed team performance, we secured a third straight win, which ultimately kept us up that year
So for those who are thinking that we’re going to get a pasting this Boxing Day, miracles can happen, and even if we do lose, there’s some nice memories! Hope you have a great holiday season, and here’s to some good results for the Hammers!