What to do with the man who scored the goal that brought us back into the top flight of English football?
The man is Ricardo Vaz Tê and there have been a lot of grumbles on the terraces and forums that the former Bolton and Barnsley man doesn’t have what it takes to mix with the big boys of the Barclays Premier League. West Ham United owe a lot to Vaz Tê, because if it wasn’t for his 87th minute goal slamming into the roof of the net at Wembley against Blackpool, then there would have been a massive chance that the Hammers would still be lingering in the Championship heading to the likes of Huddersfield and Sheffield Wednesday, respectively.
To be fair to those that have criticised Ricardo Vaz Tê’s performances this season, he has struggled to settle down in the Premiership and this was certainly not helped by the shoulder injury he suffered against Arsenal. An inconsistent season by Vaz Tê to say the least, but it definitely hasn’t been all bad as he and Guy Demel have a good understanding and he recently got the assist for Collison’s winner away at Stoke.
There are players in the squad who should be more at risk of their places in the West Ham United side, Vaz Tê might just need a season back in the English elite to compose himself for next season and show the form that saw the Portuguese forward score 12 goals after joining in January 2012 and get the club promoted. The 26-year old has had a difficult career to date, with a promising start at Bolton Wanderers hampered by injuries that led to his loan move to Hull City before his eventual release from the Northern club.
Vaz Tê then turned up in the Greek side Panionios where he spent six months of a three year contract before a mutual termination of his stay by club and player. The next stop for Ricardo was to be Scottish side Hibernian, scoring one goal against Edinburgh rivals Hearts and this brief stay led to his platform back to English football through Barnsley. After a trial at the club he signed a season-long contract and impressed in the Championship with his skills and trickery scoring into double figures in 22 appearances before his deadline day move to West Ham United.
Vaz Tê lit up the Boleyn Ground after his move with some top class goals and one special performance against Brighton and Hove Albion where Ricardo Vaz Tê penned his first hat-trick for the club and the first scored by a West Ham player for six years. The forward has been inconsistent this season but deserves to keep his place in the squad as he offers something slightly different to the likes of Jarvis, Nolan and Joe Cole, with Vaz Tê the club and supporters must be patient, he should still come good in the Premier League for the claret and blue.