Sam: ‘We stay two up when AC returns’


CarSam Allardyce claims Andy Carroll could be just three weeks away from a first team return…MAX!

Mind you that in itself is hardly news – what is that when he returns the manager has made it clear he will be playing him alongside another striker – Hallelujah!

Carroll has been back taking part in five-a-side games with the rest of the squad and Allardyce plans to set up some behind-closed-doors games within the club.

It could even be that he will have him as an option against Aston Villa on November 8.

Allardyce said:  “It’ll be another two-three weeks if he has no niggles or problems before we talk about playing him in the team at any level.

“We’ll try to get him through three or four behind-closed-doors games and if that goes all right then we would hope to have him back.

“We’ll try to mix up the under 18s and the under 21s, start getting him playing in game situations. As we all know, training is fine, but we’ve got to get some game time into him before we really put him back into the squad.”

He added: “It’s been a long, hard road again for Andy and one he’s been too familiar with recently, sadly.

“You are always get fearful when you first come back until something happens that you just go and play and maybe go into a block tackle without realising it you have a little doubt in your mind for that particular time. Then you realise it’s no problem and you can push on from there.


Allardyce is absolutely determined,to make a fully-fit Carroll an integral part of his plans but the manager will not sacrifice the two up system that has served him so well this season..

He said: “He’ll have somebody up top with him. I will explain to the players – ‘I haven’t brought Andy Carroll back so you can play it to his head, you know. I brought him back so you can play it to his feet or chest!

“Because if you do that, nobody can get it off him because he is so broad. He’s five foot across. So we can start making our run as soon as Andy gets the ball because you know he is going to control it. Really open the opposition up.

“If it goes up to his head, you’ve no idea where it is going to go. If it goes up to his feet or chest, we can all move forward, the opposition retreats and it opens up more spaces.

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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!"

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