The enigma that is Andy Carroll.
There is a divide and there has been one for a while now where certain supporters of the club think we can’t do without him, whilst others just don’t know what to make of the 26-year-old Geordie.
Certainly he was Allardyce’s favourite and with his mate Nolan, they were always the first names on the team sheet or Carroll would have been if he hadn’t spent so long on the treatment table.
That’s not his fault and the lad has been unlucky with injury after injury, but I suspect that there are more fans willing to see Carroll sold on than would keep him.
His style doesn’t really suit Slaven Bilic’s tactics. He’s not a good lone striker like Diafra Sakho. Sakho runs into the channels, makes space for the likes of Manuel Lanzini to pop up with a goal.
His tireless running off the ball, drags defenders with him, whereas Carroll is your old style centre forward who needs a striking partner.
His performances so far haven’t done much to raise the spirit, although an assist at Palace and an off-the-bench winner against Chelsea appear to be the highlights. Against Watfod? Well, let’s not go there.
I’m sure he’s a top player and I’m equally sure that he would like to play for England again, but not whilst he is with us or at least I don’t think so.
One goal and one assist in seven appearances, most as a substitute, doesn’t look like call-up form for me. I like his combatative, get in there style and the fact that he causes chaos in the penalty area, and as I said, he’s the old fashioned striker.
However, it remains that he doesn’t score enough goals and that’s his job.
I admire his tenacity to get back from injury and the work and effort he put in to getting back in the first team and I think even Slaven wants him to succeed, but I don’t think Andy Carroll is anything more than a sub who might score the odd goal and cover for Sakho.
What the club probably needs is to sell Carroll on and buy a forward who would be less injury prone and can score goals. They are a rare commodity and are usually snapped up for double our summer budget by the big boys, but there’s always another unearthed gem somewhere.
Rumours in the past few days suggest that his home town and former club Newcastle are thinking of buying him in the January transfer window.
It’s also rumoured that West Ham would want more than the £15m that we paid for him. That might be too much for them, as that would certainly smash their transfer record of recent times.
In 2005, Newcastle paid out £16million to Real Madrid for Michael Owen, then Alan Shearer (£15million) and Georginio Wijnaldum (£14.5million) the next highest.
Carroll was sold by Newcastle to Liverpool in 2011 for £35million and has scored just 21 Premier League goals since leaving Tyneside. He has only started 26 Premier League games in just over two years and scored just 15 goals for The Hammers.
The stats this season show only three actual starts for Carroll with a 1.2 average of shots on goal per game, which I’m sure you will agree is a sad statistic for a powerful striker looking for goals and for an England place.
Yet, he may still come good and be able to adapt to the Bilic way, but I think he will only be a sub for the majority of the season and that may not be enough for Carroll.
If that is the case, it will be the player asking to leave rather than the club wanting to sell, but there’s no doubt that the owner’s feel they have been stung by this experience.
It could be and I’m only putting a thought forward here, that if we did sell Carroll in January and we did get more than the £15m we paid, that it might open the door for Breez Embolo at Basel or Burak Yilmaz at Galatasaray, or even a cut priced £8m for Charlie Austin? Who knows?
Andy Carroll – Enigma? It could have been so good for us all.