West Ham attacker banned from taking penalties
By Alex Taylor
Simone Zaza will be banned from taking penalties for West Ham after missing a crucial spot-kick for Italy in the quarter-final of Euro 2016 against Germany.
Zaza, 25, gained notoriety this summer with an awkward shuffling run-up to a penalty that he fired embarrassingly over the crossbar.
The former Sampdoria forward joined the Hammers on loan from Juventus in the transfer window for a fee of £4.3million, but won’t be taking a penalty against Watford this weekend.
“No, no,” Bilic told the Daily Mail when asked if Zaza would be allowed to take a spot-kick. “We have a good penalty taker already, a great one. And we don’t get that many penalties.
“Of course we aren’t going to judge him based on one game or whatever. But on paper, on DVDs and whatever and when you talk to him he’s got all the qualities that we need from a centre forward and hopefully he’s going to click straight away.”
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Mark Noble, the Club’s designated penalty taker has scored 27 times from the spot throughout his career, missing on just three occasions against Chelsea, Tottenham and Hull City.
In contrast Zaza has not scored a penalty since the 2014/15 season and after his attempt at the European Championships this summer, may well have to wait a while before he is afforded to opportunity to try again.
The strikers general goal-scoring record is good though, the attacker has bagged 70 goals and 12 assists in 190 career appearances and can play both as a centre-forward and as a right-sided midfielder.
West Ham take on Watford at 3pm on Saturday afternoon and have picked up three points from their first three games against Chelsea, Bournemouth and Manchester City this season.
In other West Ham news, Bilic is set to welcome back Euro 2016 star Dimitri Payet to the starting eleven after recovering from injury.