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The tale of two talismans

By ESPN Staff

Tevez hopes to emulate Spurs' Argentine legends

West Ham striker Carlos Tevez believes he and fellow newcomer Javier Mascherano can do for the Hammers what Ricky Villa and Ossie Ardiles did for Tottenham nearly 30 years ago.

In an exclusive interview to be broadcast tonight on Five's John Barnes' Football Night, Tevez outlines his commitment to West Ham and determination to bring success to Upton Park.

The 22-year-old also assures West Ham fans he will not bring any south American histrionics - no diving, no brandishing of pretend yellow cards - to the Premiership.

He wants to carve out a reputation like Ardiles, who moved to Tottenham with Villa in 1978 and helped Spurs win two FA Cups and the UEFA Cup in 1984.

'Hopefully we can achieve something similar to them, they are legends,' said Tevez, who has already won 25 caps for Argentina.

'We shouldn't get carried away, this is a different story, but we feel the support of everybody at the club starting with the manager.

'All we can say is that we are desperate to succeed in the Premier League and we are extremely proud to have signed for such a big club.

'I would love to win the Premier League with the club and repay all the trust and care that everybody has been giving us from minute one.

'It seems to us that West Ham is like a big family and we would love to repay their confidence in us with success and by winning something.'

Since Ardiles and Villa, south Americans have not been a resounding success in English football with Gus Poyet, Juninho and Manchester United defender Gabriel Heinze rare exceptions.

Tevez has spoken to Heinze and former West Ham defender Lionel Scaloni to get a feel for what the Premiership is like.

Tevez is a stocky, powerful striker whose game should suit English football but he has asked for patience while he makes the adjustment.

'They told us that Premier League is a no-nonsense league, with plenty of tough tackling and challenges. I'm sure we can cope with it, we just need time to adjust to its high tempo,' said Tevez.

'We know we have to learn many new things. We know that here we don't talk to the referee, don't dive and other tricks very common in South American football but we will get better with the games.

'I sincerely hope I can repay everybody at the club with some good performances. I just hope I can adapt quickly and start doing so as soon as possible.'

Tevez and Mascherano stand accused of using West Ham as a shop window to secure a big-money move to another Premiership club next summer.

Both players left Corinthians under a cloud after falling out with the club's directors.

But they insist their commitment to West Ham is absolute and, despite having been at the club less than a week, they have found manager Alan Pardew inspiring.

Tevez claimed the duo's first impressions were 'the best to be honest, especially regarding the manager.

'He told us he wants us to get in the best possible form as quickly as we can. He's aware of the trouble that we've been through lately and he stands by us to adapt quickly and that's very important for us.

'Everybody at the club has been terrific in assisting us with all the different needs that we could possibly have and that can only help us to make this move to the Premier League as smooth as possible.'

Tevez and Mascherano face a major language barrier at Upton Park. Yossi Benayoun speaks Spanish from his time at Racing Santander and will at times have to translate.

But Tevez said: 'We are not allowed to make silly excuses because we have everything at our disposal to do our job well and that's what I'm here to do.

'I know everything is new for me and that it's not going to be easy but I'm sure I can cope with it and I can write a successful chapter of my life here.

'It's a new country for me, miles away from home, with a language that I don't speak, but I'm confident I will learn and succeed on and off the pitch.'