West Ham’s Carew needs mini pre-season before he can play

New Hammers striker John Carew will be given triple training sessions to get him fit for West Ham’s Championship campaign, but that will delay his introduction

West Ham new signing John Carew will have to undergo a ‘mini pre-season’ before being launched into their Championship challenge, insisted manager Sam Allardyce.

The Hammers beat off the interest of clubs from both the Premier League and abroad to secure the signing of the 31-year-old Norway international last Friday on a free transfer after he was released by Aston Villa in the summer and the striker is ready for the task that lays ahead of him.

“It is a new challenge which I am very excited about,” said Carew (pictured below) who scored two goals in 13 appearances on loan at Stoke City last season.

“West Ham is a great club, we have some great players here and I am sure with the team the manager is establishing we can get back up.”


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Carew certainly has the pedigree to make his mark for the Hammers. The only question mark will be over his fitness for the task.

During his career he has played at Valerenga and Rosenborg in his native Norway, before plying his trade with Valencia, Roma, Beskitas and Lyon.

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His four years at Villa illustrate just how effective the big centre forward can be. In 133 appearances he grabbed 52 goals, many of them poached in the penalty area, something that West Ham have certainly been missing in recent times.

So why would a player of such experience want to drop down a league?

“It was very interesting for me,” insisted Carew. “For me, West Ham is a great club with its fan base for the Premier League and I am very confident even now that we can get back up very soon, so I wanted to come here and talk, it felt good for me.

“This season, to get back up is the aim and we will work towards that. For me it would be fantastic to be part of all that, that achievement. I am very much looking forward to the season ahead.”

According to Allardyce though, West Ham fans will have to wait before they can see the new signing, who arrives on a one-year deal with the option of an extension at the end of it.

“He won’t be available for some time,” insisted the manager. “We’ve just trained from July 1 to August 8 with the team preparing for this first game and John Carew has just joined us having done no pre-season, so we will have to give him a mini pre-season where he doesn’t get involved in any of the games, but he certainly gets involved in triple training sessions.”

Carew will find it tough over the next couple of weeks, but he insists that he can’t wait to finally don a different claret and blue shirt and run out in front of the fans.

“I have enjoyed playing here at the stadium before, although it has been a difficult place to come,” he said. “I know the West Ham fans are passionate, backing their team and trying to lift them up in a game, so it will be good to be part of that.

“The bigger part I can play, the happier I will be. Playing towards going back to the Premier League is an exciting challenge, I can’t wait to start.”

Waiting is something that Carew will have to come to terms with as he battles for fitness, but if he can find his form when he does get on the field, then West Ham will have a potent weapon in their battle for the Premier League.”

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