After a fairly uninspiring beginning to his West Ham career, the goal against Middlesborough should bring some confidence to Jonathan Calleri. And what a great time to get confidence. With Slaven Bilic refusing to sanction bringing in a new striker at the deadline, a lot of responsibility has been heaped on young Ashley Fletcher and Jonathan Calleri.
While the loan deal from Deportivo Maldonado has been scrutinized, the performance of Calleri on the pitch was fairly uninspiring. Along with the loan deal of Simone Zaza from Juventus, most fans viewed the summer search for a striker to be an absolute failure. When Zaza’s deal was cancelled, it was widely assumed that Calleri was next to go. He was even heavily linked with a loan move to Las Palmas in La Liga. However, when the January window closed, there was not a new striker wearing claret and blue. Scott Hogan, who had been linked with a move from Brentford to West Ham, instead went to Aston Villa and Ashley Fletcher, who most pundits and fans assumed would be wearing the colors of Leeds United right now, also stayed put. Bilic stated that he didn’t think that the club needed any new strikers, and that the club already had players that were as good as Scott Hogan in the side already.
On this day in 2007, Carlos Tevez scored this goal against Manchester United to keep West Ham up. pic.twitter.com/C3v7XwieQO— Uber West Ham (@UberWestHam) May 13, 2016
Jonathan Calleri has also revealed that a blast from West Ham’s past, Carlos Tevez, called him and told him to stay in London and to fight for his place at the club. Tevez had a tough beginning to his career at West Ham, but no fan can forget his performance at the end of the 2006-07 season when Tevez seemed to single-handedly keep the Hammers in the Premier League, scoring seven goals in the team’s final 10 matches, including the only goal in a last day win against Manchester United that kept West Ham in the Premier League. Having fellow Argentine Tevez call and tell Calleri to stay at West Ham is great news for the club, as hopefully renewed confidence will lead Calleri to scoring more goals. It is unlikely for anyone to ever have the same effect on West Ham that Tevez did in a single season, but Calleri plays half as good as Tevez did down the stretch, a top half finish for West Ham is easily possible.