When I heard Andy Carroll was joining from Liverpool I thought please don’t let it be for a permanent fee. What would be the point of risking the financial future of the club for just one player who, to be honest, I never really rated. I’m like any other football fan and, when he didn’t hit the ground running at Liverpool, I feared the worst. Personally, a loan deal was always preferable.
I felt optimistic before the Fulham game as they are a mediocre Premier League side who we should be level with. I only got to see the first half on an Italian channel so can only judge by what I saw. Carroll looked like a free man. He had escaped his overlooked prison cell within Anfield’s home of Legends. Here was a man with the weight of the world lifted off his shoulders by Big Sam. Oh, and 80-90K per week!
From the kick off something felt very strange. West Ham were dynamic and the intensity was incredible. Nolan set us on our way but it came from Andy Carroll’s flick on. What an incredible leap that guy has. He was like a man possessed as he flicked onto Vaz Te, who in turn set up Kevin Nolan.
Ok, so now I’m thinking we’ve got 89 minutes to hang onto this. We know we are going to create chances all day long but, one thing we are very much aware of is if we don’t score that second goal the opposition will. I felt so relieved as Winston Read rose to smash his header in for the second and Fulham were completely on the ropes. The ref should’ve stopped the game there and then because only one team were going to win. Fulham offered very little in terms of attacking. Duff looked decent but the rest were poor.
Not only did Carroll look great, everyone looked up for it. Vaz Te looked good on the wing. He did nothing extravagant but kept playing the correct simple pass. Taylor, who I feel hasn’t impressed too much since his arrival, put in a good shift. James Collins won every header.
A mate of mine tweeted me saying ‘this is like watching Bolton.’ Was this because we had five ex-players, or because we were playing long ball? If non-West Ham fans actually watched the game they would’ve seen some great football on the floor at times. Yes, Big Andy was the target man and we used his aerial ability to our advantage. However, the balls from Noble were never aimless hoofs. They were precise and with conviction. Diagonal passes and nodding down from our new striker. If Diame would’ve guided that ball under the bar it would’ve been some goal.
The third goal from Taylor was as a result of the big man’s presence again. Matt Taylor finished superbly and hopefully this could be the catalyst for him to return to his best form again.
I did not get to see the second half but I was so impressed with the first half display. Can we recreate that week in week out, though? It will be difficult but it gives everyone hope. Shame about Carroll’s injury but if we’d have signed him permanently he probably would’ve got a more serious injury – it seems to be a common trend for West Ham! Keeping our best players fit is a challenge in itself!
Against Villa I thought we looked slightly rusty. Against Swansea we looked awful. Against Fulham we were awesome.
Get well soon Andy!