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Shep: Carroll dilemma may hinder striker hunt

SHEP graphicAndy Carroll insists he is on course for a return to action within a couple of weeks despite yet another set back scare.
We shall see.
One thing seems clear West Ham can no longer keep on “Waiting for Andy”.
Brian Clough had a strong view on injured  or recovering players .Cloughie  didn’t talk about them and he didn’t want them anywhere near the first team squad until they were ready to return.
Jose Mourinho adopts a similar attitude.
It may sound harsh  especially in this  uber sensitive world in which we now live  but the approach makes a lot of sense.
carroll earA team can lose focus if it constantly pines for an out of action player. Moreover that thought process can also undermine the belief of those players who have come into replace the injured ones.
So in that sense the only time to start talking about Andy Carroll is when he’s back out there on the pitch  in the thick of the action. The constant saga of  rehabilitation bulletins and target dates for his return are tiresome and should be  irrelevant.
But as it stands I just wonder whether the “Carroll Situation” is actually affecting the recruitment of a striker.
Could it be that  at the back of the minds of the manager and owners that they don’t really want to go  out and spend a lot of money (in West Ham terms) on a player who, if Carroll does indeed return soon  , stay fits and plays like the dominant centre forward he can be , then that  new recruit  suddenly becomes an expensive “reserve” ?
Or indeed do potential targets look at the situation and wonder what their role would be if Carroll comes back, given there is also Diafra Sakho about and down the line Enner Valencia to return ?
In both cases that is why Carroll should now be taken out of the equation, almost written off, and if he does return then it should be seen as a bonus.
 After all given his record even if Carroll is back in action soon, will he  stay fit for the long term and will he still be the force he was ?
It is, if you like,the Carroll Conundrum.
Besides if he does  actually come back soon,  even given the extra dimension he offers , and on his day AC can be almost playable, he is not a prolific goal scorer. And that is what this West Ham team needs right now.
With a sharp shooter the Hammers could well have come  back from 2-0 down and won, say  3-2, against Leicester last week  given their second half dominance. But failure to exploit openings in the final third meant it was a 2-1 defeat despite an impressive rally.
In the midweek QPR were 2-0 down at Wolves but won  3-2 a come back sparked by a certain Charlie Austin.
Given the Carroll experience it’s easy to understand West Ham’s reservations about spending £15 million on Austin but personally I would have gone for it.
After all he lasted the distance last season and scored 18 goals in a struggling team.
In a West Ham team he could be  the 20 goal a season plus striker The Hammers  haven’t had since Tony Cottee.
Austin will end up in the PL soon , perhaps at a West Brom, the sort of club West Ham need to be better than.
So who ? Well Manchester United’s Javier Hernandez would be good and could yet happen.
As for the long list of “targets” from the continent the concern is how long will it take them to adapt to the PL.
On that basis there is perhaps a solution  that would require many Hammers fans to let by gones be bygones, because  given Carroll complication , could well be the ideal.
One of the English games great goal poachers of the last decade or so , has it has been reported, been  angling for a move from Sunderland because he is  not being played in his natural position through the middle.
At 32 Jermain Defoe still knows where the goal is and could just be the right, and affordable fit, to become the fox in the box West Ham need ……with or without Andy Carroll.
 

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

5 comments on “Shep: Carroll dilemma may hinder striker hunt

  1. It aint a dilemma,it is one almighty pain in the butt.Im sorry but people can feel sorry for him all they want but i care about results on the pitch.We are consistently finding ourselves short of strkers,the last two seasons gone by have proved that.All this waiting for Andy is a joke.

  2. Andy likes a joke so here’s one for him,
    If you kill yourself, it’s called suicide
    If you kill someone, it’s called homicide
    If you haven’t won a decent cup for 60yrs it’s called Tyneside

  3. Irrespective of Andy Carroll coming back in 2 weeks or 2 months, we need and have needed a quality striker who can play for most of the season.I stated weeks ago as have you that the owners were always going to be very wary of spending big again on a striker and the reason is Andy Carroll..David Sullivan rightly or wrongly has suggested that is the reason we have not bid for Charlie Austin as he feels the same outcome could occur.

  4. There can be no doubt that an Andy Carroll in full flight for a season would be great news .
    He is not on the pitch yet and would take a good couple of months to get match fit . The fact that Sevilla are interested speaks volumes for Carroll .
    Therefore the hunt for a striker is being hindered due to WestHams hesitance when you consider the Carroll issue . All understandable , so far !!.
    But what is not fully understandable is West Hams failure to sign a Striker which we have been obviously in dire need of for the last 4 seasons .
    I just read that Jermain Defoe would be a very suitable signing .. But , there has been no mention of him from any source .. I personally would welcome him back , he is quick , sharp and with a good eye for goal . Other mystery players are being banted about again by DG
    And until there is something concrete to see , I tend to think it’s more a smoke screen than a fact . Still reckon Huddlestone ( although not an out & out striker ) would be good for us .

  5. Valencia been out for over 3 weeks npw Zarate for at least 2 games as for sicknote will je get game time when fit? as he aint the sort of player of Bilic’s ilk as alot of fans seem to love Mr Gold & Sullivan im not keen on them as they harp on there hammer fans surely they can see were 2 strikers short of having a go at top 8 finish & looking at score at half time 0-2 looks like the Austin spat could bite em big time
    2 strikers cant be hard to find surely as jack sullivan jnr says hes dad looking 15-20 hours a day ha ha ha dont go to bed

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