English Soccer: Life may not prove easy for Yaniv Katan at West Ham

West Ham manager Alan Pardew: "I don't intend to keep my strikers happy ... It's about results."

By YIGAL GRAYEFF
January 8, 2006 06:32
3 minute read.
yaniv katan west ham soccer

katan soccer 298 88 ap. (photo credit: )

 
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West Ham manager Alan Pardew has described new striker Yaniv Katan as a "fantastic signing," but indicated that life at the Premier League club may not be easy for the Israeli. "I don't intend to keep my strikers happy," said Pardew on Thursday after Katan's first training session. "I don't want them to be happy. I just want my two strikers to be performing. And if they're not performing then there will be two quality strikers putting them under pressure, ready to come in. So it's not a case of me keeping this set of players happy. It's about results," he added. The former Maccabi Haifa striker signed for the London club earlier this week, bringing to three the number of Israelis playing in the Premier League, with the others being West Ham midfielder Yossi Benayoun and Bolton defender Tal Ben-Haim. Katan faces competition from Marlon Harewood, Teddy Sheringham and Bobby Zamora in the West Ham front line, and Pardew also wants to buy another striker. For his part, Katan promised nothing other than to give his all for the club. "I can just say one thing: All my life I have played from my heart. I give everything for my team, for my friends and this is what I will do on this team," he said. Pardew praised Katan's attitude and believes he has the qualities to succeed. "The thing I like about him is that he's got a good mentality. I've seen him in games when things are not going well and he stays strong. I think that's important. He's got good pace and he's quite naturally balanced on both sides," said Pardew. West Ham paid a cut-price 100,000 for Katan, as his contract was due to run out at the end of the season, which would have allowed him to join West Ham for free. The 24-year old has scored four goals in 13 appearances for Israel and has played in the Champions League for Maccabi Haifa, scoring twice against Manchester United. "Financially, the deal was a no-brainer, due to the experience he's gained already. The fee is minimal and on the upside of that we have a young striker who is hungry to do well," said Pardew. "The ball now lies back in Katan's court, because he needs now to show that he can do it on a Premiership stage. That's what we're going to find out," he added. Katan said signing for West Ham was a dream move and was facilitated by national team mate Benayoun, who joined the club at the start of the season. "Yossi is a good friend and he told me that this is a very good club with very good people. This was my first practice and I think that Yossi is right in what he says," Katan said. "I spoke with Yossi every day and I said to him that I want to come to play at West Ham, and Yossi told that me this is the best place for me," Katan added. "I enjoyed it [the training], seeing the people, seeing the players. To be here today is one of the biggest things in my career," he said. Benayoun also helped put Pardew's mind at rest when the latter was completing the transaction. "As a manager you always want to be reassured," Pardew said. "Yossi's assessment of him was very important to me and reassured me when doing the deal," he added. As for Benayoun, Pardew is happy with his impact at West Ham despite fears that he might prove to be too lightweight for the premier league. "Yossi Benayoun has bought creativity and intelligence to the team," said Pardew. "You only have to look at him to see that size is not an issue - if they're good enough they're big enough," he said. Katan made his debut on Saturday, coming off the bench for nine minutes in the Hammers' 2-1 win over Norwich in the FA Cup.

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