Video of the Day: West Ham United vs Manchester United, October 1982
By 1982, West Ham United were back as an established First Division football club. Relegated from the top flight for the first time in two decades in 1978, the club had responded by winning the FA Cup against Arsenal from the Second Division in 1980 and then getting promoted back as Second Division champions whilst reaching the final of the League Cup before losing to Liverpool after a replay the following year. Getting promoted back wouldn’t cause the club any significant problems on the pitch, either. In their first season back the team finished in ninth place, and would go one place higher at the end of the 1982/83 season. Indeed, at the end of the 1985/86 season, West Ham would remain in a title battle until the very end of the season, fuelled by the goals of Tony Cottee and Frank McAvennie.
Their visitors to The Boleyn Ground on this chilly October afternoon in 1982 were Manchester United. It was now five and a half years since United had lost won a major trophy and, whilst the replacement of Dave Sexton with Ron Atkinson in 1981 and a clutch of expensive new signings – most notably Bryan Robson, who followed Atkinson from West Bromwich Albion – had initially filled the red half of Manchester with considerable confidence that the 1980s might be a more fruitful decade for their club than the underwhelming 1970s had been, by the opening weeks of the 1982/83 season there seemed to be little significant sign that Atkinson’s team was going to topple the all-conquering Liverpool team of the era any time soon. At the least Atkinson would end his trophy drought this season. Having lost the League Cup final in extra-time to Liverpool in March 1983, Manchester United returned to Wembley a couple of months to lift the FA Cup after a replay against Brighton & Hove Albion. Commentary for this match comes from Brian Moore.
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