Not every new summer signing has to come with a long list of successful clubs behind him and a massive transfer fee. No, some can come for free with a chequered personal history and a feeling that his best days are behind him.
So, welcome back into the spotlight Lee Bowyer. Unsurprisingly released by Newcastle United, more surprisingly he has ended up back at West Ham, where he spent six months three years ago. That spell at Upton Park was not brilliant and the Hammers were relegated.
Subsequently, Newcastle took him on board but Sir Bobby Robson and Graeme Souness failed to extract the best out of the midfielder and were left with a snarling, disgruntled player who fought his team-mate Kieron Dyer on the pitch.
Pardew therefore had to work hard to convince his directors that Bowyer, 29, was not damaged goods. He said: "It was not difficult to persuade Lee to come here but it was more difficult persuading the board. There were a few apprehensions about him because of what happened the last time he was here."
He added: "I've always been desperate to get him, from the moment I first arrived here, but I was never able to do it. He's back to where he should be."
Bowyer set up all his side's goals, helped by Djimi Traoré's sending-off after 27 minutes for two yellow cards. That opened up the right flank and despite falling behind to Darren Bent's penalty, West Ham were dominant. For the first, Bowyer's cross was luckily glanced on to Bobby Zamora at the far post and then he again supplied Zamora for the second. Having hit the post, Bowyer then supplied Carlton Cole who had only been on the pitch for eight seconds. It was not Iain Dowie's ideal start in charge of Charlton. Never mind, he only has Manchester United at home on Wednesday.
Goals: D Bent pen (15) 0-1; Zamora (52) 1-1; Zamora (66) 2-1; Cole (90) 3-1.
West Ham United (4-4-2): Carroll; Mears (Pantsil, h-t), Ferdinand, Gabbidon, Konchesky; Bowyer, Reo-Coker, Mullins, Benayoun; Zamora (Sheringham, 82), Harewood (Cole, 90). Substitutes not used: Walker (gk), Collins.
Charlton Athletic (4-4-2): Carson; Young, El Karkouri, Hreidarsson, Traoré; Ambrose (Sorondo, 30), Faye, Holland, Hughes (Reid, 71); Hasselbaink (M Bent, 64), D Bent. Substitutes not used: Myhre (gk), Rommedahl.
Referee: H Webb (Yorkshire). `
Booked: West Ham Konchesky; Charlton Athletic Young, Traoré.
Sent off: Traoré (26).
Man of the Match: Bowyer.
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