Former Player Blog - Ian Bishop

Former Hammers and Manchester City midfielder Ian Bishop looks forward to another big encounter at the Boleyn Ground

Former West Ham and Manchester City midfielder Ian Bishop made over 400 appearances for the two clubs during a memorable career and is now relishing the chance to see them battle against each other for possibly the last ever time at the Boleyn Ground.


I am gutted that I will not be back in England this weekend for possibly the last ever game between my former clubs at the Boleyn Ground.

I live in America, but for once I would much rather be in England as we have got a blizzard here and they are expecting up to two foot of snow in Virginia over the weekend.

Hopefully the electricity will not go down and I will be able to watch the game!

I had such a great time at both clubs and it is always hard when I have to watch them play against each other.

The love that the fans have for both teams is the best in the country and I feel very fortunate that I was able to spent the majority of my career playing for both the Hammers and City.

I will never forget the day Manchester City won the title against West Ham back in May 2014 and I was fortunate enough to be there.

One of my biggest memories was seeing the West Ham fans stay behind after the game to applaud the City players and supporters and I had tears in my eyes seeing that gesture.

No other club would do that and and I genuinely believe the two sets of fans are very similar and have a lot of admiration for each other.

I couldn't be any happier for the two clubs this season and they are both enjoying a good run of form.

I was at the Etihad Stadium back in September and saw the Hammers come away with a 2-1 victory. I thought it was well deserved and they showed the quality they have in the team.

My former team-mate Slaven Bilic has done an amazing job this season and he has got the best out of his players.

I have managed to get back for a couple of games this season and was able to sit and have a chat with Slaven in his office after the recent victory over Southampton.

I am so happy for him and Julian Dicks and we still have a big laugh when we meet up. I had not seen Slaven for a number of years but the banter never goes away and it was great to be back with my former team-mates.

It will be a tough game against a Manchester City side who I believe will fight for the title with Arsenal.

If Aguero and Silva managed to stay fit, they have a massive chance of winning the league again.

My only concern for them is if Kompany remains injured for a long time as they are not the same team defensively when he is missing.

West Ham always stand a chance when Payet is playing and he is a special talent. I just hope he has a long future with the club and becomes an even bigger hero.

He has settled in straight away and the Premier League suits him.

I also have to say a special word about Mark Noble who has once again been fantastic for the club this season and has been such a loyal servant.

It is amazing to see the consistency from him at the heart of the midfield and it is such a rarity that one player stays at a football club for the length of their career.

I spent nine-years with the Hammers and didn't think many would follow me after that.

I didn't leave because I fell in love with the club and I think it is the same for Nobes. I just cannot believe he has not been called into the England squad.

He has invited me back for his testimonial and I would love the chance to step back out onto the famous pitch one last time.

I'm not sure how long I will last but it is something I am really looking forward to.

I will have to sit on the fence for the game on Saturday and will go for a 2-2 draw.

I think there will be plenty of goals and hopefully it will keep me well away from the snow !!