May 25 2013 Latest news:
Ricardo Vaz Te leads the celebrations for West Ham - Blackpool vs West Ham United , npower Championship Play-off Final at Wembley Stadium, London - 19/05/12 - MANDATORY CREDIT: Rob Newell/TGSPHOTO - Self billing applies where appropriate - 0845 094 6026 - email@example.com - NO UNPAID USE..
Dave Evans, West Ham Correspondent
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
West Ham striker Ricardo Vaz Te did not hesitate when offered the chance to come to Upton Park and he hasn’t looked back since
The arrival of striker Ricardo Vaz Te at Upton Park was a marriage made in heaven.
He scored 12 goals for Barnsley leading up to the transfer window, but the lure of a potential promotion campaign in London, as well as reuniting with boss Sam Allardyce, was too good to resist.
“I never doubted the move for one second,” said the 25-year-old Portuguese marksman after he had smashed home the winner in Saturday’s play-off final at Wembley.
“I came and I knew everything about the club. I knew what direction they wanted to go and I felt that I wanted to be a part of that.
“I thank everyone for giving me the opportunity and I hope they remember this moment.”
Few will forget the ball falling for Vaz Te with just three minutes to go at Wembley and crashing the ball in for his 24th goal of the campaign and his 12th in claret and blue.
“I thought that ‘Coley’ was going to score and I saw him take a dip, so I just took a gamble,” revealed Vaz Te, who by this time had moved from the wing to be an out and out striker as the game reached its climax.
“He managed to nick it round the keeper and set it up perfectly for me and I just made sure that I hit the back of the net.
“It was a trememdous feeling, I am delighted to be part of it, delighted to get the winning goal for the team and it is just an amazing moment to be part of this.”
Manager Sam Allardyce would certainly agree with that. He took a gamble on his former Bolton Wanderers protégé back in January and the striker has turned into a magnificent buy.
“When you take into account the number of goals he has scored and the relatively small fee we got him for, he is possibly my best ever signing,” admitted the ecstatic manager.
“I’ve signed some good players in my time, but he’s been great for us all season and I have got to be pleased with his winning goal here, because this is my first time as a Wembley winner.”
Vaz Te will be the first to admit that he did not play as well as he has done this campaign, but he insisted that West Ham deserved to win the match.
“Blackpool were always going to be a terrific opponent,” he said. “Obviously we didn’t play at our best today, but we have a lot of experience, we stayed cool and we made sure we took our chances when they came along.”
He certainly did that, much to the delight of the West Ham fans and now he is hopeful that the team can perform when they return to the top flight.
“I think we have to be optimistic,” he said. “We have to view it that way because West Ham is a massive club and everyone should get their heads around that and make sure that we are the team to beat.”
Few would disagree with that.