Monday 19 August 2013

Five strikers who would not break the wage cap

As West Ham desperately try to free up resources to allow for a back-up striker to bolster their offensive capabilities, we look at five strikers who would ‘do a job’ for the Bubbles boys for limited financial reward and could thus provide the ideal solution to messers Gold and Sullivan’s latest conundrum.

1. Carlton Cole: ‘Killer’ Cole has been a most loyal servant for the past few years and even took a pay cut in order to stay with the club after our inconvenient relegation two years ago. Rumour has it that Carlton was offered ‘a fantastic deal’ by the board but decided to look at options in Turkey and some former CCCP state where it’s horribly cold and people rarely smile. Unfortunately, Carlton’s meagre scoring record, especially over the past year would mean that he might need to take a more radical complete pay cut in order to meet the approval of the Hammers management. Moreover, the chants of BOOMERANG that fans wold use to taunt him would be likely to be a further major deterrent to any ‘fairytale’ return.

2. Mido: The Egyptian striker is well known to Hammers faithful after his remarkable spell at the club in 2010 when he signed on a four month contract and agreed to play for a ‘miniscule’ £1000 a week. Ultimately, this proved pretty poor value for money as after a whopping 9 appearances with no goals and a penalty miss he was let go. Perhaps his most memorable contribution was when Hammers fans called for him to receive a red card after a particularly abject performance against Everton!


3. Tony Cottee: The diminuitive striker is a Hammers legend having been part of the terrifyingly  prolific Boyz of ’86 partnership with Frank McAvennie. TC later returned to the Boleyn for a second stint during the twilight of his career and performed decently. After 115 goals in 273 appearances for the club, he has subsequently tried to stay as involved as possible with all things claret and blue and even led a consortium who tried to purchase the club a few years back. Unfortunately, all this good work was undone by two subsequent appearances for Millwall that left his career hopelessly tarnished and firmly closed the door on any possible return.

4. Patrick Meagher: ‘The Paxman’ or ‘Shabbice’ as he is known in footie circles would jump at the opportunity to help Big Sam in this time of great need. Rumoured to be a distant cousin of George Weah, his rather unremarkable career on the bench for Portroe Celtic in the North Tipperary Tuesday night C league would be a useful experience for sitting on the bench whilst ‘Wild horse’ Andy carroll batters all round him. However, unfortunately the Paxman’s poor first touch, amateurish one-footedness, lack of any meaningful aerial presence and general inability to handle even minor pressure pose major obstacles to any dream call up.

5. Benni McCarthy: Benni Mc C had a rather disappointing intial stint at Upton Park that was marred by a variety of dietary issues and unpleasant verbals with the Hammers management who suggested that he should eat more greens and get a bit of exercise from time to time. Having joined the Hammers for £2.2 Million in 2010, he accepted a 1.5 million pay off after 14 months during which he failed to score and was fined £200,000 for failing to lose weight. He responded to criticism from Vice Chairman Karren Brady by saying that it made him want to ‘throw up’ which proved too little too late in order to save his Hammers career. After costing the club £5 million he may want to try and repay their generosity by making his services available for free.

VERDICT: This shabby lot highlight that cheap often equates with nasty rather than cheerful. Carlton Cole is just to ‘gone’ to return, whilst Mido and Benni McCarthy pose too great a risk of upping the offside count due to their immobility and tendency to forage for food up at the opposing teams end. Tony Cottee is too old and has a reek of Sarf London about him that lingers. That’s it- after much consideration it’s clear that Pax Meagher represents the best option for Messers Sullivan & Gold. They won’t even need to shell out for a jersey as he has invested in one himself.

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