Carroll’s heroic but Sakho’s a phenomenon



Match verdict

By Hugh Southon

Look beyond the Andy Carroll Show – because that’s almost what it was – and there’s a West Ham United team the like of which I haven’t seen for many years.

It was an afternoon of exploding myths as the team again came from a goal down to win – this time with a quite magnificent second half performance.

And that – by and large – was down to the second half teaming of Carroll with the extraordinary Diafra Sakho who appears to slot in alongside whoever he’s teamed up with.

The received wisdom until today was that the fleet-footed Enner Valencia or Mauro Zarate would make a more natural partner for the club’s record signing

Then comes Sakho to show industry, pace, trickery, the ability to get behind defenders and score goals…this guy is a diamond who doesn’t read the same script as anybody else – a footballing law unto himself.

sakho-diafra_3214372He took his goal with absolutely no anxiety and twice hit the posts showing enough skill to burn off the attentions of his markers.

He  has aggression, attitude and the ability to bounce back like few players I’ve ever seen. He comes straight off the bench to form an amazing partnership with a bloke he’s never played alongside before. What a player.

After a slow first half, we saw the new Irons in all their glory with Stewart Downing pulling strings and the two full backs galloping forward to the manner born.

This is a team to die for. Just when you thought it was all about Sakho and Valencia, the plot changes and more options arise – suddenly it’s all about the Senegal international and Andy Carroll.

Sam Allardyce said before the game this team had the capability of becoming the best he has ever managed. He might – for once 🙂 – have been a little modest. It might already be that.

Tonight we sit in third place behind Chelsea and Manchester City with 27 points. Safe by Christmas and ready to push on? When was the last time any of us were able to say that?

These are unbelievable times – for God’s sake enjoy them!

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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


  • West Ham Fan No 32 says:

    Couldn’t agree more Hugh, Swansea were absolutely blown away by both Carroll and Sakho, Sakho could have scored 4 goals in just 45 minutes, he is a phenomonenal talent as you say. Certainly as any of us know its way too early to think of Europe but for once fortune is on us rather than hiding so lets enjoy it for as long as it lasts COYI!!

  • philtheiron says:

    You have to hand it to Sakho and feel sorry for Valencia.

    what a performance from Sakho! Only he can come on, score, hit the post twice and be involved in everything good that happened in the match!

    Not to mention be the only person who could have possibly upstaged AC on the day he scores two fantastic goals and was almost back to his unplayable best! Swansea were in a state of panic(again), everytime the ball came anywhere near him!

    Valencia was his usual self, all action an unselfish endeavour for the team. But he looked a bit ring rusty and definitely needed the game.

    By contrast as soon as Sakho comes on, BANG! It was like he was never away!

    What a partnership Sakho and carroll could be! And how high now must valencia and zarate raise their game to get a look in! COYI!

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