A lot has been mentioned of our dependence on Andy Carroll and a question that I feel is over looked by many people far too often is; do we depend on him because he’s good enough to carry the team, or because he is more physical than other potential players and our play style is modelled on him?
While a question like that is something that is open to many perspectives, and could cause a conflict of interest, I feel it is something that warrants being analysed statistically. But looking at statistics blindly is what many football fans use as fuel to an argument, without ever seeing the individual actually play. And I feel adding a full understanding of all leagues and playing styles with a proper knowledge of statistics by taking all variables into account is the best way to go about it.
In this instance, with Carroll, I feel stats like ‘proportion of goals’ would be of much use as he is, although I’m sure many wouldn’t want to hear it, always going to be a focal point of attack under Sam Allardyce.
Stats that, in my opinion, should be looked at are the usual; percentage of shots to goals and points per goal. These can be compared with players of similar stature and value that could potentially replace or partner him.
So below are some stats for this season, only from first 10 games as that’s how many Andy Carroll has played to date:
The stats show that Remy is both more clinical, as well as scoring at crucial times. While Benteke is the most clinical of the three target men, but does so at more unimportant times and has not earned as many points with his goals as either Carroll or Remy.
Of those three players Carroll was the most expensive at a reported £17.1million. Benteke cost Aston Villa £7million and Remy, despite now being on loan, cost QPR £11million from Marseille.
With that in mind, Carroll seems poor value for money. This would have been caused by a number of things such as: as a club made it obvious that he is who we wanted and did very little in term of looking for a replacement when his initial loan ended and, therefore, Liverpool named their price and we paid it, also being English is something that raises fees.
Despite this, however, I feel that because of how ridged Allardyce is with his system, he is needed if we are going to progress as a club.
And, with his immense ability in the air, I feel that with a stronger team around him and a slightly more expansive attacking style, he will improve with the team and therefore prove his worth to an, as ever, sceptical west ham crowd.