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In Review: The Official West Ham United Dream Team

Filed: Saturday, 8th May 2004
By: Graeme Howlett

Adam Ward and Dave Smith (Hamlyn)
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The age-old argument concerning the best players ever to appear in the claret and blue of West Ham rears its head once again in Ward and Smith's new release, 'The Official West Ham United Dream Team'.

However the difference here is that those players selected have been chosen by Hammers fans themselves, following a poll on the club's website (nothing new there of course, as KUMB ran a similar poll back in 2000). But it's a nice touch by the authors to list the names of everyone who took part in the poll in the back pages of the book - so much so that the likes of 'essex_sexgod' and 'Grebo' get a namecheck too - which is nice.

As expected, the results are pretty similar to KUMB's select XI. Without wishing to give too much away, don't expect to see too many surprises (although there are certainly one or two in the 'Runners Up' and 'Third Place' spots for each position, which make interesting reading and certainly help to pad the book out a little.

In addition to the best players, Ward and Smith also asked pollsters to vote on their favourite game. The top three choices are listed here, with a nice wrap-up on each game. Surprises? At least one choice in the top three can be considered so.

The content of the book is pretty run-of-the-mill stuff - and can hardly be considered breaking new ground - but it's the pictures and artwork used within that makes this one stand out. The pictures contained within are of the highest quality, and not just the standard stock pics that we've all seen a million times before. The book itself - which you may described as 'hard softback' due to its strengthened cover - is colourful and thoughtfully laid out - a real treat on the eye, in fact.

To summarise - don't expect to see anything revelatory by purchasing this book. But as a companion to idle away lazy hours it's a welcome addition to any Hammers book collection.

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