Slaven Bilic may have dropped a big hint that Andy Carroll will get the shout to start upfront today by claiing big centre forwards are back in fashion.
And he adds that he and Romelu Lukaku are following in the footsteps of his former Everton team-mate Duncan Ferguson (top right).
The Belgium striker has scored six times in his last six games against West Ham, including a 93rd-minute winner in the East End in May and Bilic has backed Carroll to win back his England place if he retains his form and fitness.
Bilic said: “Those strikers were like very popular when we played, now they are back in business.Everybody loves to have a big No 9 because the midfield is so thick and so closed that it is very difficult to go through there by passing.
“But they can’t be the one-dimensional players that they were 30 or 40 years ago. Now, they have to be versatile. They can’t be static. They have to be basically complete players like Drogba and Ibrahimovic.
“They are only old-fashioned because of their size. They are very quick and very mobile players for that size. That is why it is so hard to find them.”
Bilic signed for Everton from West Ham for a British record £4.5m fee for a defender in 1997 before Scot Ferguson left for Newcastle the following year.
“He was really underestimated,” Bilic recalled.
“All right, he said he wasn’t interested in playing for the national team and he was his own worst enemy.
“He’s an Everton legend, but he could have achieved a lot, lot more.