Video of the Day: West Ham United vs Manchester United, October 1982
The first weekend of the Premier League season comes this afternoon with the match from Old Trafford between Manchester United and West Ham United. The home side come burdened with the weight of expectation on their shoulders. Money has been spent, and the pre-season has brought mixed results, up to and including their defeat at the hands of Real Madrid in the European Super Cup, a match which demonstrated the gulf between Europe’s handful of current elite clubs and those that would seek to rejoin them. Never mind winning the Premier League – this is Manchester United’s ultimate ambition.
West Ham United, meanwhile, settle into the Olympic Stadium for a second season, and one would hope that it passes off more peaceably than the club’s arrival did. West Ham are safely ensconsed in the Premier League at the moment, but they’ve always had an element of the yo-yo about them. One particular downturn came with three seasons in the Second Division between 1978 and 1981. Although punctuated with an FA Cup win in 1980 and a League Cup final in 1981, this period saw John Lyall’s team finish in fifth and seventh places in the table before lifting the title in 1981.
This return was marked with a a creditable ninth placed finish at the end of the 1981/82 season, and by the time took to the pitch at the Boleyn Ground at the end of October 1982, they were lucked away in lower mid-table, with one eye on the possibility of perhaps even snatching a place in the UEFA Cup. The visit of Manchester United always had a habit of bringing a little spice with it – a habit which continued to the ground’s closure in 2016 – but this match comes from the middle of Manchester United’s fallow period, with the club having won just the won major trophy – the 1977 FA Cup – in the previous fourteen years. A further FA Cup would follow at the end of this season.
You can support independent football writing on Twohundredpercent by supporting us on Patreon.