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Bilic’s Carroll love-in a low percentage goals affair



By Dave Gilbert

It seems a foregone conclusion. If Andy Carroll is fit, Andy Carroll starts!

I can see Slaven Bilic making his the first name on the team sheet  regardless of how anyone else is playing or as we have seen,even if it means others not being in their right positions.To a certain extent you can understand it. Carroll does offer a very dangerous aerial threat that most defenders would find frightening, but that about sums it up. Yes, he can sometimes show some good touches with the ball, but let’s be honest; he’s a pretty one dimensional player.

For Carroll to be dangerous in the air, he needs a lot of good quality crosses to attack, and he just isn’t getting those. And then we come to his headed knockdowns. Now, this isn’t unique to Carroll, but it’s such a low percentage ploy.

How many times do you see a tall striker knock the ball down with his head and it goes nowhere near a teammate, usually ending up at the feet of a defender. When it works, it’s great, but invariably it doesn’t.

The problem is that Bilic has convinced himself that Carroll has to play and that he’s a real difference maker when he’s fit. I think part of the reason for this is that he’s  nervous that West Ham simply can’t create goals any other way.

At the back of his mind he’s thinking that if Carroll can just get one good header on target, we just might win the game. Much like the rest of us, Bilic just doesn’t know where the next goal is coming from, and I think playing Carroll gives him a certain amount of comfort because failing all else, they can just lump the ball into the box and see if Andy Carroll can get his head on it.

Here’s what the West Ham manager had to say about Carroll recently:

“He is a player that can lift the whole team, we have been saying that for two years now.

“I have said is a hundred times, now 101, he is the player everyone knows, the crowd knows, the opponent knows, you cannot ignore.

“Whether you are playing with him or against him. You always know what he is going to give you and what are you going to get from him.

It’s not only Bilic who puts  Carroll on some sort of pedestal. You often here pundits and journalists referring to him as one of the best headers of the ball in England if not the whole of Europe. They talk of him as being such a dangerous player and someone who can change the game.

It all may or may not be true but let’s be honest – we are living on a hope that he does actually do this. He usually just ends up isolated, frustrated at the lack of balls to attack and calling for a foul every time he loses an aerial battle.

Carroll has made 185 appearances for West Ham and has scored 50 goals for us. 23 of those goals have been headers which demonstrates just how one dimensional he is. Bear in mind, he is in his 5th season with the club and that sort of scoring record is really not good enough. And he doesn’t really create that many chances for others, having only assisted 18 goals during his time at West Ham. His shooting accuracy is pretty woeful at just 32%.

I know they are different players entirely, but if you look at someone like Sergio Aguero, you will see that Carroll’s record doesn’t justify him being an automatic starter. Aguero has made 186 appearances for Man City and scored 127 goals with a shooting accuracy of 42%.

And we haven’t even mentioned Carroll’s injury problem which is so  embarrassing it’s truly best not to go there with even Bilic declaring that is he million dollar question. Reality check Slav… it’s simply not good enough for our supposed main threat to miss so many games.

Alas, I don’t expect things to change any time soon. Bilic has clearly put all his faith in Andy Carroll, and I would be very surprised if he doesn’t carry on playing him up front on his own and sticking what could be our best ever striker out on the wing.like many of you

It’s truly criminal that Bilic cant, or refuses to find a way to play Javuer Hernandez in a position where he can actually score goals. He is thefox in the box, and thrives on attacking balls. He is totally wasted out on the wing and  I just don’t know why Bilic has persisted with this strategy.

Truth is Bilic is too scared not to play Carroll. It’s as if he wouldn’t sleep at night if he didn’t put him in the starting eleven. He perceives Carroll as more of a threat than he actually is. And instead of changing formation or tactics, he just throws Carroll onto the field in the hope that he might just find a goal.

Much like our football this season, it shows a nervousness and a lack of ambition that really will see us struggling for the rest of the year, unless changes are made. Be brave, Slav!!

These are the individual views of the blogger and don’t necessarily represent those of ClaretandHugh


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About Hugh5outhon1895

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

9 comments on “Bilic’s Carroll love-in a low percentage goals affair

  1. I feel this is a little unfair.

    Carroll has started the last 2 games and we’ve played much, much better.

    The ball tends to stay up top rather than coming straight back again.

    He tried Hernandez in his best position against Newcastle and we lost 3 0.

    I don’t like Hernandez on the wing but can’t deny we’ve performed alot better with the new formation.

  2. Wow,Dave is mind reader..he know what Slaven thinks..can you guess what I am thinking about your writing..😛

  3. Until Lanzini is fit and then I do not know,
    could they not play 3 4 4 with Cicorito and Carroll plying as joint strikers and Antonio and Arnou on the wings?

  4. Why not play 4-4-4 ! Much more solid all-round 😂

  5. We’re consistently more of a threat to the opposition with AC in the team, and a better bet to get the odd goal, or two, to boot! If only he could stay fit long enough, all those AC moaners would see what an asset he is , and no one can doubt his commitment (which is probably why he’s injured so much). Stiil, nice to have a few alternatives, now that he’s back (for now!).

  6. I much prefer my team with Andy Carroll in it. Not only does he scare the s**t out of defenders but his work rate is fantastic. He can hold the ball up and his ground play is a lot better than he is given credit for. In addition I feel a lot happier when we are defending corners with him in the team, he is immense.
    If he could only stay fit.
    Antonio & Carroll would be the first two on my team sheet.

  7. P***ed myself laughing at this, especially when Dave compares AC to Aguero at MC. Let me think for a second who Sergio has around him, oh yeah, Silva, Jesus, De Byrune……..
    When AC is fit he is dangerous, but let’s cut to the chase, he seldom is and much of it is his own making. It’s this which makes him a bloody liability!

  8. There is a reason why Man City prefer Aguero to AC, and its not about the surrounding cast of players.

    As for the improvement in our last two matches, that has more to do with Hoble’s absence than AC’s presence.

  9. The author credits Carroll with fifty goals for us but I can only recall thirty. The club site only credits him with thirty so I am curious about where the twenty bonus goals came from. He also states Carroll is in his fifth season with the club. It’s his sixth season with us.

    Not too much here we can rely on.

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