West Ham All-Time Premier League XI – Strikers

West Ham striker, Paolo DiCanio. Mandatory Credit: Phil Cole /Allsport
West Ham striker, Paolo DiCanio. Mandatory Credit: Phil Cole /Allsport /
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Fan-favorite, but controversial Paolo Di Canio joins Tony Cottee up top as the injury-plagued Dean Ashton rounds out the West Ham Premier League XI.

West Ham fans from around the world were asked to vote and determine the players to be in West Ham’s All Premier League side. Some players were shoe-ins to make the squad while the debate raged heavily for other positions within the team.

In order to have been eligible to make this team, a player must have played for West Ham for at least one season during the Premier League era. Therefore, legends such as Bobby Moore, Trevor Brooking, and Billy Bonds were ineligible to make this team.

With the help of our friends at American Hammers Network and COYIrons, along with 8,500 West Ham fans, a full squad was chosen. This week’s instalment will focus on the strikers to make the squad. To see the positions we have announced before, see below:

Goalkeeper: Starter – Fabianski; Bench – Miklosko

Fullback: Starters – Dicks, Potts; Bench – Glen Johnson

Centre-Back: Starters – Ferdinand, Martin; Bench – Collins

Midfielders: Starters – Noble, Parker; Bench – Rice

Wingers: Starters – Rice, Cole; Bench – Sinclair, Antonio

Starting Striker: Paolo Di Canio

Joined West Ham: January 1999

Fee: £1.5 million from Sheffield Wednesday

Debut: January 1999

  • HOTY: Winner (2000); Runner-up (2001)
  • Stats

    : 137 appearances; 51 goals; 14 assists

    Hot. Fabianski quietly going under the radar for West Ham. light

    Unlike some of the other players in the All-Time West Ham Premier League XI, Paolo Di Canio was very well known by West Ham fans as he was purchased from Sheffield Wednesday for £1.5 million in January 1999. However, he was known for all the wrong reasons.

    He had not played football since September of 1998 after he pushed referee Paul Alcock after Alcock sent him off. He was suspended by the FA for eleven matches and never played for Wednesday again.

    Harry Redknapp took a chance on Di Canio citing the Italian’s obvious attacking talent. Di Canio’s first goal for the Hammers came during his fourth appearance for the club in February 1999, against Blackburn.

    He was essential in West Ham finishing 5th in 1998/99 season as he scored five goals and provided one assist in the latter half of the season. To date, that is West Ham’s best-ever Premier League finish.

    Di Canio was a bright talent that put many balls in the back of the net. In fact, he still holds the record for the most goals (47) for West Ham in the Premier League era.

    His best goal was one of the best goals ever scored in the Premier League as he took a right-wing cross from Trevor Sinclair, hit the ball in mid-air as it came across his body and hit it into the opposite side-netting. You must watch it as it was voted Premier League Goal of the 2000s.

    Di Canio also received a FIFA Fair Play Award as he caught a cross in mid-air when Everton goalie Paul Gerrard suffered a gruesome knee injury as he came out of the box to kick a ball. He received a standing ovation at Goodison Park.

    As much as his performances lit up the Boleyn Ground, his last season in East London was a tumultuous one. He had a public row with manager Glenn Roeder and was dropped from the first team.

    He did come back at the end of the season as Roeder resigned due to health reasons and Sir Trevor Brooking took over. However, West Ham were still relegated and Di Canio left on a free transfer to Charlton Athletic.