Holed up inside the brick abode erected by Davids Gold and Sullivan, Sam Allardyce – 1/5 to be the next Premier League manager to lose his job – trembles as, not just one, but a whole pack of blood baying wolves huff and puff in attempt to topple the once-steady standing structure.
His gaff is more resistant than stick and straw houses the likes of Malky Mackay and Andre Villas-Boas were stationed inside, but the cement holding the stone in place is beginning to dislodge.
Huddled in a corner, Big Sam reaches for the phonebook. He frantically flicks from section to section, seeking a striker who can score the goals – the thing wolves fear the most – to come and chase the slobbering beasts away. Having located Inter Milan’s number, he guides an unsteady hand over the keys and hits the dial button.
Andy Carroll, with freshly tied back hair, strides to his rescue, but the lumbering Geordie alone will not be enough to save his boss’ skin. Further reinforcement is required and it’s hoped that the Nerazzuri’s young Algerian forward Ishak Belfodil can provide sufficient firepower.
The former Lyon trainee showed glimmers of his talent last term at Parma, scoring eight goals in 22 Serie A starts.
So impressed were Inter that, after a solitary season on l’Crociati’s books, Walter Mazzari’s side forked out €7.5m to tie him to a five-year deal.
At just 21 years of age, first-team chances have been hard to come by for Belfodil, who has been afforded a single league start this season and is yet to notch wearing the famous black and blue of the Italian side.
This is largely down to the form of Argentine line-leader Rodrigo Palacio, who has plundered 10 goals in 18 appearances so far, confining the young pretender to a place on the bench.
First team football in the Premier League must appeal and West Ham are desperate to boost their goalscoring prowess; it seems the perfect match.
With Carroll bringing a fair helping of brawn to the table, pairing him with a forward of Belfodil’s pace and finishing ability could be the tonic that assists the Hammers to win a relegation battle they’re currently priced at 11/8 to lose.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date