Who Are West Ham’s Biggest Rivals? Top 5 Ranked

West Ham United Football Club is an English professional football team based in Stratford, East London. This club was established In 1895, and they currently compete in the Premier League.

West Ham has won five major honors, including three FA Cups and a European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1965. They’ve consistently remained in the top tiers of English football, with their highest league finish being third in the 1985-1986 season.

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West Ham’s Top 5 Rivals

1. Millwall F.C.

West Ham United Football Club boasts a historic and heated rivalry with Millwall Football Club, often considered its biggest rival.

This intense rivalry traces back to the early days of both clubs, with their foundations rooted in local communities and workplaces. Founded by employees of local companies, the clubs shared players who resided in the same neighborhoods.

During their early encounters, West Ham proved to be the most successful team, achieving victories over Millwall that led to their promotion at the expense of their rivals.

However, the rivalry intensified in the 1920s amidst strike action when Millwall, based in the Isle of Dogs, refused to support the industrial action.

This decision bore bitterness between the two sets of supporters, with feelings of betrayal enduring for years to come. Tragically, the rivalry between West Ham and Millwall has been tainted by violence.

One of the most notable incidents occurred in 1972 when a Millwall supporter lost his life at New Cross station after a confrontation with West Ham fans.

This event also fueled the hatred between the two fanbases, contributing to the renown of their rivalry within the football community.

West Ham’s home ground, Upton Park, witnessed clashes between rival fans both inside and outside the stadium. The violence resulted in serious injuries, property damage, and numerous arrests.

In the aftermath of the violence, West Ham faced repercussions for the behavior of their supporters, including fines for incidents such as pitch invasions. Contrarily, Millwall was cleared of any wrongdoing.

2. Tottenham Hotspur

West Ham United’s biggest London rival is widely considered to be Tottenham Hotspur. The hate between these two football clubs has roots in the transfer history and managerial appointments.

Over the years, players like Michael Carrick, Martin Peters, Paul Allen, Jermain Defoe, and Scott Parker have made moves from West Ham to Tottenham.

One notable factor contributing to the rivalry was the appointment of Harry Redknapp, a former manager of West Ham, as the manager of Tottenham Hotspur.

This move intensified the hatred between the two clubs, as it was seen as a betrayal by some West Ham fans. The rivalry between West Ham and Tottenham is characterized by intense matches on the field and passionate support from the fans.

Matches between these two teams often produce strong emotions and develop a charged atmosphere in the stadium.

The geographical closeness of the two clubs is another factor that contributes to their rivalry, as they are both based in London. This proximity fuels local pride and competition between the supporters of West Ham and Tottenham.

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3. Chelsea F.C.

Despite not being geographically close, the hatred between these two teams runs deep with historical events and player transfers.

The rivalry dates back decades, with occasional periods of calm overshadowed by moments of intense hostility. Frank Lampard’s controversial move from West Ham to Chelsea in 2001 exemplified the bitterness between the clubs.

Lampard’s departure produced strong reactions from West Ham supporters, who saw it as a betrayal and a loss of talent to their London rivals. And his return to Upton Park often stirred boos from the home crowd.

Despite initial backlash, Lampard’s successful spell at Chelsea, including winning multiple Premier League titles and a Champions League triumph made him one of the best players In the club’s history.

However, both clubs have seen a drop-down in fortunes over the years, with West Ham’s resurgence under manager David Moyes fueling the competition.

Despite the geographical distance and the presence of other local rivals, such as Fulham and QPR, the rivalry between West Ham and Chelsea is one of the most fiercely contested in English football.

4. Sheffield United F.C.

West Ham United’s rivalry with Sheffield United F.C. has been labeled the ‘Carlos Tevez derby,’ owing to circumstances in English football history.

In the 2006/07 season, West Ham faced imminent relegation from the Premier League, only to stage a remarkable comeback in the final two months.

This dramatic turnaround involved Argentine player Carlos Tevez, whose exceptional performances played a big path in West Ham’s survival.

Sheffield United, meanwhile, found themselves relegated, ending their brief spell in the Premier League.

The bitterness between the two clubs originated from Sheffield United’s belief that they were unfairly denied a place in the Premier League due to West Ham’s actions, particularly regarding Carlos Tevez.

Tevez and fellow Argentine Javier Mascherano joined West Ham in a surprising move from Corinthians. While Mascherano’s time at West Ham was unremarkable, Tevez’s impact grew significantly towards the end of the season.

Despite a slow start, Tevez’s goals pushed West Ham to crucial victories, including a memorable win against Tottenham Hotspur.

As the season drew to a close, West Ham’s fate hung in the balance, with survival dependent on the final match against Manchester United.

Tevez once again proved instrumental, scoring the decisive goal that secured West Ham’s stay In the League. However, Sheffield United’s loss to Wigan Athletic on the same day condemned them to relegation.

The rivalry intensified as Sheffield United blamed West Ham, particularly Tevez, for their relegation. Despite a respectable run of form earlier in the season, Sheffield United faltered towards the end, failing to secure crucial points when needed.

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5. Arsenal F.C.

Another of West Ham United’s biggest rivals is often considered to be Arsenal F.C. This rivalry has been shaped over the years by intense matches and competitive encounters between the two clubs.

When analyzing their head-to-head matchups, it becomes evident that both teams have a history of closely contested games.

Looking at recent encounters between West Ham United and Arsenal F.C., the two teams have had their moments of success.

In the 23/24 Premier League season, West Ham suffered a significant defeat at the hands of Arsenal, with Arsenal emerging victorious with a resounding 6-0 win.

However, West Ham had previously secured a notable victory over Arsenal in the same season during an EFL Cup Fourth Round match, where they defeated Arsenal 3-1.

The rivalry between West Ham United and Arsenal F.C. is not only about the results on the pitch but also about the passion and dedication of the fans supporting their respective teams.

Fans of both clubs eagerly anticipate these fixtures, as they provide an opportunity to witness exciting football action and potentially key moments in the season.

While West Ham United may have experienced both triumphs and defeats against Arsenal F.C., the competitive spirit between the two clubs continues to drive this longstanding rivalry.

Is Tottenham vs West Ham a derby?

Tottenham vs West Ham is not typically considered a derby match in the traditional sense of the term. A “derby” usually refers to a match between two teams from the same city or region who share a historical rivalry.

While Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United are both London-based football clubs, their rivalry does not have the same intensity or historical significance as some other London derbies, such as Tottenham vs Arsenal or West Ham vs Millwall.

That said, matches between Tottenham and West Ham can still be fiercely contested affairs with passionate fan bases on both sides.

The rivalry between the two clubs has developed over time through various competitive encounters, including league matches, cup competitions, and memorable moments on the pitch.

Tottenham’s White Hart Lane (now Tottenham Hotspur Stadium) and West Ham’s former home ground, Upton Park (now London Stadium), are relatively close to each other in East London.

This geographic closeness can contribute to the intensity of the matches and the atmosphere in the stadium when the two teams meet.

While the Tottenham-West Ham rivalry may not carry the same historical weight as some other derbies, it still holds significance for the supporters of both clubs.