BBC pundit Garth Crooks believes there is an air of David Cross about West Ham new boy Sebastien Haller. The French striker was the first Hammer to be named in Crooks’ team of the week feature this season.
Haller hit a brace against Watford to lead West Ham to victory. His two second-half goals earned the Irons a 3-1 win and Crooks was suitably impressed. Having watched him, he concluded that he was more like Cross – a Hammers star of the late 1970s and early 1980s – than more traditional West Ham forwards.
Garth Crooks on Sebastien Haller
Crooks wrote: “Haller is not what I would call a West Ham player in the traditional sense. There is nothing of the Bryan ‘Pop’ Robson or the Frank McAvennie about him but more of the David Cross.
Haller will know little or nothing about those former West Ham goalscoring giants, but trust me, if he does half as well as any of those he will be an enormous hit with the fans.”
David Cross at West Ham
Like Haller, Cross was a club-record signing when he joined from West Brom in 1977. The physical Lancastrian had played for Rochdale, Norwich City and Coventry City before joining West Ham and he soon became a fan favourite.
While West Ham were renowned for having stylish strikers, Cross bucked the trend. He was tall, strong and physical so this is what Crooks is getting at when he says Haller is more like him than ‘traditional’ Hammers strikers.
Cross played over 200 games for West Ham over five years and scored 99 goals. Nicknamed ‘Pyscho’, Cross was a Hammers hero – especially for his four-goal haul in the 4-0 win over Tottenham. Haller will be fondly remembered if he can match Cross’ goalscoring record in East London.