Well suddenly it all makes sense doesn't it? We were scratching our heads wondering why a German international with 50 plus caps ended up at West Ham...and now we know! The guy is the latest in a line of damaged goods bought off the back of a lorry, with no money back guarantees.
I remember the sense of utter amazement when Stewart Robson, a projected Arsenal and England captain joined us for £700,000 in January of 87. It seemed like a late Christmas present at the time, but it turned out that Arsenal knew the lad was carrying a deep seated and career threatening injury. 61 games later, spread over four and a half seasons, and Robson was sent to Coventry on a free. True he was Hammer of the Year in 88, but the injury was a ticking time bomb that exploded in our faces.
Then there was Ashton, who arrived wrapped in more bandages than an Egyptian mummy. Once again, there was this sense of "Bloody hell" when we landed him for a tasty £7.25m. This boy was good. This boy would play for England. This boy belonged at Liverpool or Manchester United. But this boy was as fragile as a porcelain bowl in a bull ring and the clubs in the know nodded sagely and allowed dopey West Ham to take the gamble. True, again, it looked like a major coup for a while, but after just 43 starts in all competitions, Ashton's career was over.
And don't forget Nigel Quashie. Who could forget Queasy? £2m and £20k a week for a man relegated with three different clubs! Thank God injuries limited him to just 8 starts!
And then came Ljungberg, the man who collapsed at a whiff of cheese! £3m to buy, £4m to buy out his contract, and £5.5m in wages, all in return for 25 starts and 2 goals!
And along came Dyer too, for a fee of between £6m and £7m and an annual salary of over £4m. Now in his fourth season, Kieron has made just 13 starts and has not yet completed 90 minutes. This one had "Fragile, handle with care" written all over him but what the hell, we bought him and paid him a King's ransom regardless.
And then in waddles McBenni! Pound for pound, a bargain at £2m and £43k per week for an eighteen stone striker! Two starts, five appearances as a sub and no goals to date! And we mustn't forget Mido! He was only being paid a grand a week but that was a grand a week too much!
And now we have Dyer's German equivalent, less Der Hammer and more Derr Heishandicapped! When we landed him, we were assured that Hitzs had fully recovered from his injury problems and was raring to go. But, like Dyer, he performed in a handful of pre season friendlies and then, when the real action was just about to start...oops there goes another thigh muscle!
There are others of course. Bellyache missed more games than he played. Upson was bought to save us from relegation but only made two starts in the Great Escape season. Boogers was on day release from an asylum. Jimmy Greaves was a piss head when we took him from Tottenham. Dale Gordon managed just 9 starts after being bought for £750,000; he left for Bournemouth on a free. Don Hutchison made just 13 starts after we resigned him. Gary Charles was signed for £1.2m and made 3 starts! Ilunga was unbreakable when on loan but once he had that full time contract his body suddenly fell apart. Rob Jones managed just one start after joining from Liverpool. Savio had nappy rash and Taricco lasted half a game, a defeat to Millwall of all teams!
We should know by now: if it looks too good to be true, it bloody well is. This is West Ham!