He fat – he’s round – he earns 38 thousand pounds…..
West Ham United striker Benni McCarthy still a weighty problem for manager Avram Grant
Avram Grant has admitted that West Ham forward Benni McCarthy is still not fit enough to play for the club, despite losing eight kilos (17.6 pounds) in weight.
The state of the 32 year-old South African striker, signed in January from Blackburn Rovers for £2.2 million, would appear to sum up West Ham right now. It’s not only a club where the fat needs to be trimmed but where greater effort needs to be put in.
“I was surprised he was like this,” Grant said. “He was brought here to perform and then there was the World Cup in his country.
“I can tell you he’s a very nice guy, I don’t know why he was like this. But he’s lost eight kilos and is a very good player and I’m sure he will help us – and that’s what’s important. If I look at the past about many things I will be like many people here at the club who always say ‘last year was not this, not that’… I say to everybody ‘I don’t care what happened. I’m looking forward’, and so is Benni McCarthy.”
West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan said he expected the striker — who he threatened to fine a week’s wages (£38,000) if he failed to lose a kilo in weight every seven days — will be fit in two to three weeks.
Since he joined he has made just seven appearances, with no goals, playing just 180 minutes. Given West Ham have scored just three times this season — in five games — then his failure to be fit is even more shocking.
He is not the only West Ham player suffering. The form of Robert Green and Matthew Upson, after difficult World Cup campaigns, has collapsed and Grant said it was “part of life” that supporters turn on players.
Green suffered the ignominy of ironic cheers from West Ham supporters every time he held the ball after his first-half blunder gifted Chelsea a goal. “Sometimes supporters love you, sometimes they are against you. You need to do your job anyway,” said Grant, who had attempted to sign an experienced goalkeeper in the transfer window to provide back-up for Green.
“Rob is a tough guy. He’s a good goalkeeper and he needs to react like a man, which he is doing. What happened in the World Cup, even if he’d been the best player, the most important thing is to react – not just him, any player.
“He’s a good goalkeeper. Let’s say he was not happy with his performances sometimes, but this is part of the game.”