In our latest instalment of the Flashback series, we take a look back at a certain moment and look at how things might have changed those initial reactions.
If you find a listicle of the Premier League’s biggest surprise transfers, there is a good chance it will be headed by a photo of a very smug-looking Alan Pardew standing with Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano, the two Argentinians holding up West Ham United shirts with their names on the back.
For many Hammers fans, this was the cause of much excitement, a coup for the club that had seen them beat European giants to a signing, but there was no indication of the significance this would eventually hold.
The deal itself got a lot of media attention for its nature, rather than the talent involved, as the pair were part-owned by companies run by Kia Joorabchian, with it being reported by BBC Sport that the Hammers struck a deal with him.
In the case of Mascherano, this probably wasn’t worth all the hassle, as he managed just five Premier League games, often not even making the bench, as per Transfermarkt.
But then there was Tevez: running into the crowd shirtless after scoring a free-kick against Tottenham Hotspur, the free-kick against Bolton Wanderers, then the goal against Manchester United that kept the Hammers in the Premier League.
The moments alone were worth all of the effort in the minds of many West Ham fans, but the productivity was even more important for the campaign’s outcome.
It took the Argentinian, 22-years-old when he signed, 16 Premier League games to get his first goal involvement for the Hammers, but in the last 10 games of the campaign, he managed a season-saving 7 goals and 4 assists.
To so many, it felt like the man was unstoppable, capable of anything, and it turns out that season he was, as West Ham stayed up and sent Sheffield United – yesterday’s opponent – down.
To many of those associated with the Blades, Tevez will be seen as one of West Ham’s dodgy deals who robbed them of their rightful place in the Premier League.
The length of time since this happened has not diluted the sense of bitterness from those at Bramall Lane, with The Yorkshire Post writing about how the wounds of their relegation still hurt in 2019.
Therefore, when the two sides meet on Saturday, there should be far more rivalry in the air than you would usually get with two clubs who are based roughly 169 miles apart.
You can likely expect to see Tevez masks across London Stadium and while a lot of the enjoyment from this will come from winding up the away supporters, plenty of pleasure will be had from remembering what the Argentinian did during his season in claret and blue.
West Ham fans, how fondly do you remember Tevez? Join the discussion by commenting below…
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