Galey backs Bowyer to be a success

Tony Gale believes that Lee Bowyer can be a big success in his second spell at Upton Park.

The Poplar-born midfielder returned to his roots yesterday in a move from Newcastle United, three years after leaving Upton Park, and our former defender insists that Alan Pardew has signed a player of international quality.

"There's no doubt about it, when he is on top of his game and in the right frame of mind, Lee Bowyer is a great talent, an England international," says Tony.

"This move really is the last chance saloon for him and, if he doesn't do the business now, then he never will. I think Lee realises that, and I'm sure Alan Pardew has put that point across.

"He finished the season very well with Newcastle and, when fully fit, he is a player who can do everything. He can fill almost every midfield role, has a fantastic engine, and also has a pretty decent strike rate in front of goal.

"I remember seeing him burst on to the scene with Charlton when I started commentating with Capital Gold - he scored one of the best goals I've ever seen in a match against Crystal Palace once - and that kind of quality is still with him.

"He can definitely be an asset to the team, but it really is up to him now to prove that he has learned all his lessons and is ready to knuckle down and perform consistently well in the Premiership."

Tony also admits that the former England midfielder will also face a battle to win over some Hammers fans following his previous spell at Upton Park, but insists that he will be joining a far better environment this time around.

"Lee will know that he has got to do it from the word go," says Tony. "The fact that he didn't have a very good spell here a few years ago means he will have to impress the fans right from the start, and there is no reason why he can't do that.

"He is joining a very different Club to the one he signed for three years ago. Back then, he came on board a sinking ship, with a few problems in the dressing-room. Now, the team spirit and camaraderie in the squad is first class, and it will be up to him to take the opportunity to become a part of it.

"He is coming into a young team who will hopefully establish themselves in the Premiership next season and, at 29, it's time for him to take on a senior role. He will be one of the older players in the squad and, hopefully, that will push him to lead by example and help the youngsters.

"He needs to earn the respect of the players and the fans immediately, and I am sure he is determined to do that."