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Thursday, October 18, 2012
Hammers midfielder Yossi Benayoun wants his chance against Southampton on Saturday
West Ham loan star Yossi Benayoun is desperate to show the Hammers fans what he can do – starting with this Saturday’s home clash with Southampton.
The 32-year-old came from Chelsea on deadline day after a frustating time sitting on the bench at both Stamford Bridge and at Arsenal where he was on loan last term.
He was keen to get some game time on his return to Upton Park, but so far has been restricted to just two brief substitute appearances.
He was further frustrated when the Capital One Cup clash fell on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, ruling him out.
Now Benayoun has been left out of the Israel squad for the latest pair of World Cup qualifiers and he is keen to finally get a chance to play.
“There is an option to extend my loan,” he said. “My ambition is to be here for a full season and to make it a good one.
“It’s great to be at Upton Park again, but there is strength in depth.”
One man’s misfortune could be another man’s joy however, as Ricardo Vaz Te’s dislocated shoulder against Arsenal means that a place has opened up for Saturday’s Southampton clash.
Sam Allardyce could opt to go for the flair of Benayoun, especially in a home game where the team may have to unlock a stubborn defence.
But he does have other options to look at.
Modibo Maiga is in form and could play in that position, though it would not be ideal.
Gary O’Neil has played many times on the right side of midfield, while Matt Taylor came on for Vaz Te against the Gunners and though left-footed, he made a fair fist of playing there.
It is a nice conundrum for Allardyce to solve on Saturday, but Benayoun will be hoping that he gets the nod at last.
From what the manager is saying however, others may be higher up the pecking order.
“We’ve got some good players ready to step up in place of Ricardo,” he said.
“Matt Taylor has been there and there are others in the squad that haven’t quite played as much, such as Gary O’Neil.
“Whichever option we pick it’s up to them to step up to the mark. They need to provide the attacking opportunities that we need,” he concluded.