“I see myself as a lion,” Ricardo Fuller says. “Everyone has always said I have the heart of a lion. I’ve got a tattoo of that to remind myself what I am.”
Monday, January 25, 2010
Ever since Gold and Sullivan took over the club with 50% ownership, they have been very active. Active in gaining fan support and eagerly showing each other off as lifelong Hammer fan. Truth be told, G&S are possibly the best recipient of a club in "haemorrage" (as they have put it). The spin that they have been putting on in the hunt for that prolific striker have been feverish and the media have lapped this up eagerly. Early this season, West Ham was in the news for all the wrong reasons. Now, the Irons are rarely out of the news and it's positive as the owners look to bolster the depleted attack line.
A number of strikers have been linked with West Ham since then, Benni McCarthy, Benjani, James Beattie, Eidur Gudjohnsen, Juan Carlos Menseguez and even the unlikely Robbie Keane. Let's face it, there was hardly any chance that Ruud Van Nistelrooy would relish a Premiership relegation scrap, is there? As good a master goal poacher, Van Nistelrooy is, I believe that he is only effective when chances are created for him, he is not a scrapper.
And that's the reality of the situation West Ham have found themselves....we have to scrap for survival. Therefore, we need terrier-like strikers, strikers who would fight for every ball, impose themselves on the game and generally give opposition defenders no rest. A Carlos Tevez-like striker is what we need and we need no reminding the huge performances and workrate that he put in to keep West Ham in the Premiership in 2006/2007. I am convinced that's the quality and attitude we need to bring in.
Over the weekend, I watched the Stoke vs. Arsenal FA Cup match and one player stood out from the rest. Ricardo Fuller was the difference in that match. His tireless running, constant harrying of defenders and immense workrate make him my desired addition to the West Ham squad. He has that never-say-die mentality and is all-action - a poor man's Carlos Tevez if you like.
Looking at his goal scoring record, it's pretty respectable. He's been Stoke's top scorer for the past two seasons, with 15 goals and 11 goals respectively. He hasn't been prolific this season but he is a better all-round footballer than Benjani. And he will give the club his 110% commitment.
The Benni McCarthy signing will be a gamble, seeing that the once much sought-after striker goalscoring record seems to be on the decline and he's not even match fit these days! If Gold & Sullivan were to gamble, why not put their £100,000 per week on a certain Michael Owen who is warming the Manchester United bench? Now that's a move that is sure to generate some excitement.
With a look to the future and to hedge against the possible loss of Carlton Cole in the summer, a sneak move for the impressive Jermaine Beckford could prove to be a major transfer swoop. Beckford has been brilliant in the FA Cup rounds against top Premiership clubs and he is reportedly available for around £2.5m.
Having said that...with only two more weeks to go before the end of the January transfer window, even bringing in Roman Pavlyuchenko (14 goals in 27 matches last season) on loan sounds pretty good right about now.
The two new owners promised the signing of two strikers before the end of the January window, they'd better hurry up as time is running out.
Wonder who's next in this West Ham strikers conundrum?
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