As the old saying goes, luck normally prevails upon the third time of asking.
Or, in the case of West Ham United’s very public, and sometimes, simply embarrassing pursuit of a proven goalscorer under Messrs Gold and Sullivan, it is thirty-third time lucky!
Not since the days of John Hartson have The Hammers had a striker score twenty plus goals in a single Premier League season. And this was nineteen years ago.
But the stunning capture of Javier Hernandez may have finally brought to an end a seven-year search that has seen the two David’s sign ’strikers’ from every corner of the globe.
Some may say the signing of the former Man. United and Real Madrid striker has been worth the wait.
However, as many West Ham supporters will confirm, it has been one hell of a struggle!
The previous thirty-two incumbents to the West Ham forward line makes for painful reading, especially for the claret and blue faithful.
But here they are nonetheless, the best, of the worst strikers since 2010.
Benni McCarthy – 14 appearances/ 0 goals
As a key part of Porto’s successful Champions League winning team in the mid noughties, McCarthy’s stock was high. A prolific goalscoring spell with Blackburn Rovers thereafter prompted the newly appointed Gold and Sullivan to make the South African one of their first signings. Oh my, they wish they hadn’t!
The only thing prolific about McCarthy was his weight, which resulted in a series of fines and a spat with Karen Brady who branded the five million pound signing ’a big fat mistake’.
Clearly not fit enough McCarthy hardly made it onto the pitch, managing just fourteen appearances during his time at Upton Park, one for each month he was at the club.
To add insult to injury, Gold and Sullivan had to cough up 1.5 million British sterling to shed Benni from the wage bill. Not a good start!
Mido – 9 appearances/0 goals
After conjuring a ’pay as you play’ deal for the Egyptian, co-chairman David Sullivan heralded the signing back then as ’one of the most amazing deals of all time.’
Eyebrows were, quite rightly, raised!
Just like McCarthy, it was evident health and nutrition wasn’t a priority for Mido either.
Oversized and laughably overhyped by Mr Sullivan, Mido left at the end of the campaign after a handful of games and a return of, you know it, zero goals!
John Carew – 19 appearances/2 goals
As a Championship outfit back in 2011, West Ham were never going to be able to attract the biggest of names to lead their line.
But many believed the signing of the big Norwegian would bring a different dimension as the club adapted to life in the second tier.
How wrong they were. Carew struggled big time to assert himself, converting only twice all season hence his subsequent release the following summer.
Modibo Maiga – 45 appearances/7 goals
Maiga become the second Malian to play for West Ham, following in the footsteps of Frederic Kanoute, fondly remembered by the Upton Park faithful for his goalscoring exploits between 2000 and 2003.
But no such luck for Maiga who, despite his best efforts in front of goal, failed to reach the heights set by his fellow countryman.
Maiga will always evoke at least one happy memory among West Ham fans however after nodding home a late winner against Tottenham in a cup quarter-final back in 2013, sparking pandemonium in the away end at White Hart Lane.
Simone Zaza – 11 appearances/0 goals
Fresh from missing THAT bizarre penalty during Italy’s Euro 2016 exit to Germany, Zaza was welcomed with open arms by West Ham, who signed the Italian on a fairly expensive loan deal.
Hoping that he’d show signs of the Zaza at Sassuolo which preceded his big move to Juventus, Hammers fans were feeling optimistic about signing an international striker used to life on the big stage.
But what did they get instead? A disillusioned player still mentally scarred from costing his side a place in the semi-finals of the European Championships and having to cope with the barrage of abuse thereafter.
Zaza was, quite understandably, sidelined by the club midway through his season-long loan deal in order to avoid activating a purchase clause of twenty million euros. Ciao Zaza!
Other notable mentions:
Brian Montenegro – 1 app/0 goals
Wellington Paulista – 0 apps/ 0 goals
Marouane Chamakh – 3 apps/0 goals
Mladen Petric – 4 apps/0 goals
Marco Borriello – 3 apps/0 goals
Emmanuel Emenike – 16 apps/2 goals
Jonathan Calleri – 18 apps/1 goal