Andy Carroll’s West Ham career so far has been a strange one to say the least.
Since arriving on an initial season-long loan deal from Liverpool in 2012 the striker has struggled to keep himself fit for long periods of time, instead having to make do with several long stints on the sidelines.
When he has played, though, there is no denying how much of impact he has had on the team. The striker’s overall return of 30 goals in 115 first team appearances is, of course, not to be sniffed at when you consider his injury worries of old.
However, the fact he’s made those 115 appearances over five and a bit seasons says a lot about the stop-start life he’s had in East London thus far.
In this five appearances this season, Carroll has been a positive asset to have on the pitch, evident in the role he played in the side’s 2-0 home victory over Huddersfield in September.
But his reckless red card in last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Burnley proved that while the former Newcastle striker can be priceless player to have at your disposal, he can also be a liability.
Carroll is a physical centre-forward and no one can criticise him for that, it’s what makes him so unplayable on his day. But his recent dismissal was also evidence of his inability to know when to reel it in a little.
Many will say that it was Carroll that cost West Ham all three points on Saturday, with his teammates having to play on for over an hour with a man down – and they wouldn’t be wrong.
Quite rightly, Slaven Bilic admitted that he is absolutely fuming with Carroll for the way in which he picked up two yellow cards in the space of just 99 seconds for identical aerial challenges. Reports on Monday morning have suggested he will be fined two weeks wages as a result.
It’s that kind of action from Bilic and the management that hints at the beginning of the end of Carroll’s West Ham career. Betting odds don’t currently offer any hints as to whether that is the case, but that’s surely going to change soon give recent developments.
His injury problems in the past were bad enough, but his recklessness on the pitch in a period in which he could have a real positive effect on the team’s fortunes surely cannot be tolerated.
It means Bilic can no longer trust him, or so it may seem at face value. With rumours of interest from Premier League clubs for Carroll in January, you have to wonder whether Bilic may cut his losses and allow the striker to leave in January for a hefty fee and allowing him to reinvest the funds in weaker areas in the squad.
Watch this space, Hammers fans.