Thursday, August 31, 2006

West Ham Kidnap Tevez and Mascherano

I feel like I’ve woken up in bizarro football world. West Ham United, the one English Premiership club that I actively follow, has ended up sneaking away with the highly coveted Argentinean striker phenom Carlos Tevez and wily midfielder Javier Mascherano. Who would’ve thought it possible? Tevez, who has been AWOL from his Brazilian team Corinthians, has long been linked with a number of big European clubs such as Manchester United, Arsenal, Bayern Munich, and AC Milan among others, has now thrown in his lot with the scrappy meat and potatoes lager-fuelled East London Hammers. It was originally reported that Tevez and Masherano—the latter player also played for Corinthians and was a vital component in Argentina’s failed bid for World Cup glory—were going to West Ham on loan. But word has trickled out that the two Argentineans have signed permanent contracts with the club for undisclosed, no doubt big, big deals.

Why would these two uber-talented dynamos hitch up with West Ham, you’re probably asking, and not a more prominent team in the Premiership who could viably knock Chelsea (West Ham’s arch-rival) down a peg? I don’t know. But West Ham, if any of you doubters will care to remember, placed ninth in the Premiership last season (after being relegated to the Championship league the season before) and were runners-up in that spectacular FA Cup final against Liverpool where they subsequently lost on penalties. Do I actually think that the Hammers have a chance in beating down Chelsea off the top perch? Honestly, not really. But I do think they’ll have a realistic go at reaching fourth place and also winning the UEFA Cup, especially when striker Dean Ashton hopefully returns from his broken ankle injury in November.

Also today, Hammers’ manager Alan Pardew signed the highly touted 16 year-old Czech goalkeeper, Marek Stech from Sparta Praha. I know nothing about him, but I’m eager to learn more.

Oh, don’t think I can’t hear the snickers out there. But even you doubters will have to concede that West Ham’s new signings give them an even more daunting strike force (Harewood, Zamora, old man Sheringham, Cole) and a creative, strong, flexible midfield (Etherington, Benayoun, Reo-Coker). They may not be the prettiest football juggernaut out there, but the Hammers are determined to change minds this season, if not loyalties.

Tevez not angry no more.


eeore said...

expect to see West Ham owned by MSI in the very near future.

Zach Dundas said...

Spectacular signings, whatever the backstage skullduggery may have been...if it brings down Chelsea (thus opening the door for Liverpool) I'm all for it.

Derek said...

Damn if you weren't right, eeore. I just read more about the deal in the Guardian. Thanks for the early warning on that one!