West Ham’s recent history is littered with poor strikers completely over shadowed by the ghosts of the past the next big thing has often crumbled under the pressure despite big reputations and even bigger pay packets here is part one of 3!
Benni McCarthy 2010-2011, 3 (11) Apps
South Africa’s top scorer and the first South African to win the Champions League, McCarthy came with a big reputation and an even bigger waistline.
The South African poacher came to West Ham after a successful spell with Blackburn for £2.5 million in February 2010, he made three starts and 11 substitute appearances without scoring. West Ham’s squad at this time was threadbare, full of over paid players who were not up to the grade and McCarthy was another poor signing in a run of results and off field decisions which would lead to relegation in 2011. His contract was terminated by mutual consent in 2011 and McCarthy was reportedly given a £1.5 million pay off.
McCarthy missed the 2010 World Cup in his home country because of his lack of fitness and unprofessionalism. Like so many strikers West Ham have signed he did have pedigree and potential but fell some way short of expectations in an admittedly poor West Ham team.
Lee Chapman 1993-1995, 40 apps
Chapman led Leeds United to the First Division title and was also a great striker for the last of Brian Clough’s Forest teams in the late eighties. Chapman was in the twilight of his career when he joined the Hammers in 1993. Harry Redknapp sold Julian Dicks and bought in three players of which Chapman was one, and he made instant impact scoring in the surprise victory at Blackburn on his debut. Chapman was a good striker but his powers were on the wane and his lack of mobility was often exposed so much so that Redknapp replaced him with a supporter at a pre-season friendly at Oxford City.
Chapman had a big reputation and rightly so, and he did play part in stabilising the club in the Premier League, he moved on to Ipswich after 40 appearances and his career slowly petered out.
Mido 2010 5 (4) Apps
2010 was not a good season for strikers. West Ham signed Mido on loan from Middlesbrough and was so determined to prove himself that he took a pay deal of £1,000 a week and to be frank he wasn’t worth that! His attitude on the pitch was questionable, to say the least, and he didn’t appear to be doing any sort of training to speak off, if you look at the teams he has played for its an impressive CV but just before he joined West Ham he failed at an Egyptian Premier League side Zamalek which perhaps should have acted as a warning.
Mido took one of the worst penalties in West Ham history in his last game against Everton in a crucial game and the club decided not pursue their interest in the Egyptian, what West Ham fan wouldn’t shudder at the prospect of a Mido and McCarthy strike partnership.