Andy Carroll: an apology


It’s a well known fact that I have not been a great admirer of Andy Carroll’s game in the past but I owe him an apology.

For having viewed last night’s s match – or the goals from it several times – I have clearly missed much that’s in his game and thus this blog.

If you follow the build up to the three Hammers goals it’s clear that the big man plays a crucial part in all three, either by mere presence, an important pass or – as in the third – by his absence.

During the build up to the game I felt it difficult to subdue a smile when he said that there was more to his game than goals and the normal sarcastic mental attitude kicked in.

But a close study of last night’s game and those three crucial strikes proves him right and you can take a look for yourself in the video above.

Goal 1 shows a minimum of four Spurs players – one holding him – marking AC at the near post as the corner comes in demonstrating the danger he represents and the attention he receives as a matter of course.

Having seen the ball cleared and a shot fired to the far post they are all out of position to deal with the spilled ball by the goalkeeper which falls to Ayew to score.

Goal 2 sees Carroll again helping out with the headed flick which allows Lanzini to set up the assist for Ayew’s second.

Goal 3 shows him seemingly playing no part and that is a clever ploy as it allows Ogbonna to arrive very late into the position he would normally occupy and score with a great header.

The point is though that with no Carroll to mark the defenders look in far more relaxed mood – leaving far too much room for Oggy to cash in via a top piece of tactical thinking.

So sorry AC you win your case as far as I’m concerned your case is proved.

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon


  • Hammer64 says:

    Great stuff Hugh. Just what some if us have been saying for 5 years. On his day, when fit etc etc etc!! I have to admit that,although I saw his knock on for Number 2, I had missed his part in the other two. Also, I have felt that he has not been back to his best since coming back this season. Let’s just hope that he starts scoring some goals now. Would still like to see him with Hernandez but don’t ask me what formation would suit playing them together.

  • Stow-hammer says:

    There is no question about his ability on the day but
    1) Impact on the 9verall style of play can be negative.
    2) While it would be wrong to blame him for getting injured, I suspect that he has a relaxed attitude to getting fit again. Reported drinking sessions for example.
    So generally for me, sell him or use him tact8cally but not as the default – first name on the team sheet.

  • Stow-hammer says:

    Fat fingers. Sorry.

  • West Ham Fan No 32 says:

    Good job its in whispers, he is World Class at what he does and when he plays as he did in the second half he is a handful for any defender in the World, but he is an idiot at other times as displayed by his sending off, he is also slower than a milk van with a flat battery, Noble looks like Usain Bolt in compariison, in certain situations he is the go too man but had there been another forward playing the first 45 mins nobody would have noticed his loss. Over the course of the season if we had a Sakho type forward (which we do but never see) and have Carroll in reserve we would most likely get more consistent results. Maybe like some others in the team Carroll likes to come from behind, there is probably a rude joke in there but lets not go there, in which case again, use him as plan B when we need to get a goal or two back.

  • Innocuous Sparrow says:

    I also played no part in goal three(or the other two!). Does that make me a valuable contributor?

  • jj61 says:

    Nice gesture Hugh,something that is rarely seen these days..👍

  • In your case as Meatloaf once sung – two out of three ain’t bad. Sigh

  • Roytheboy says:

    Thought he had a very lazy game, just wondering around aimlessly in midfield for the first hour and only looking like he cared when the first goal went in. Usually a fan but I think it’s near the end for him.

  • John Rippengale says:

    Hasn’t been great this season, but having got ourselves in front last night, it was good to see the big man winning some big headers in defence, granted he was too knackered to get up the pitch, however when we needed him he was working for the team. Great night last night.COYI

  • doc66 says:

    What we have is a mixture of different styled forwards. Carrol who prefers high crosses in to the box. Hernandez who generally scores if the ball is cut back from the byline or played in to the box along the floor. Sakho who is capable of taking on players and dribbling in to the box and Ayew who…. not quite sure how he does it, but is more of a Defoe poacher type scorer.
    All of that means nothing if you don’t play the right formation and system behind them. And i’m not sure Slav does?
    Lets see what he puts out against Palarse on Saturday and make your own minds up from there!!

  • jimbo says:

    I’ve gone back and watched the goals three times now. Mainly because my recollection of AC’s performance was one of complete indifference. I now believe we beat the spuds 9-2 by the way!
    In all seriousness, Hugh actually has a point, especially for the second and third goals. Carroll’s header to Lanzini for the second is excellent, and yes you can see their defenders all gathering around him when Lanzini is taking the corner,leading to Ogbanna’s header.
    I can make an argument for the first, where I don’t think Carroll is involved at all as we didn’t score directly from the corner, but that’s splitting hairs. Yes he clearly has influenced our goal scoring opportunities and far more than I realised when watching live. About time!

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