It was great to see Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho back together against Manchester United on Sunday and we saw a brilliant team performance.
But let’s not fall into the error of believing that was solely because an injury to Andy Carroll threw the deadly duo back together again.
This discussion has dominated much of the season and I’m not doubting the pair’s superb input whenever they are together but to try brushing Andy aside – as some have been doing – is wrong.
What happens when Diafra and Enner come together is that the rest of the team has to play far better and cleverer football to feed the ball into the front pair.
The manager said on Sunday after the game the strength of our performance was in getting the ball into their feet from midfield and the same has to happen when AC is up top.
I think the rest of the lads can get lazier and tend to lump it when he’s playing. This is not a Carroll problem. It’s a team thing because Andy has great feet and the ball can be played into him as well as the other two.
The problem is when you see a big striker up front there’s a natural tendency to lump it towards him – and that has to stop!
Every game demands a different approach and it was clear that the pace and mobility of Diafra and Enner was ideal for the demands of the United game. They moved the defence around and looked pretty special.
I’d keep them together for the game at Southampton – there’s no point or reason to break up a pairing that is so in form.
But please let’s stop all the talk about Andy Carroll now being the third best striker – it’s not about who is best, second or third best.
It’s about developing a system that works, picking the players to suit it and demanding they play real football as they did on Sunday regardless of who is up top.
And it’s up to the manager to Sam Allardyce to develop it and preach that message.