Andy Carroll – the new Upton Park hero

3-0 against Fulham on Saturday in Andy Carroll’s West Ham debut! The tall forward has eventually joined the Hammers from Liverpool on a season long loan. And Carroll who renewed his bond from Newcastle with West Ham skipper Kevin Nolan instantly was the star man in a team that really played great football and more than deservedly won due to goals from Nolan, Winston Reid and Matt Taylor.

The performance of the team in which – among others – also Ricardo Vaz Te and Mark Noble shone, let expect a fine season ahead, and in the second half the fans really cheered “ole” to the neat passing the Hammers laid on the Boleyn pitch! It was an unfamiliar feeling for the West Ham fans, but when the the tune of ”Bubbles” was played by match day announcer Jeremy Nicholas after the game, “fortune’s always hiding” came back into our minds as Andy Carroll had limped off in the second half with a torn hamstring. This really gutting injury after an unfair challenge by Fulham’s Brede Hangeland also rules him out of England’s forthcoming world cup qualifiers.

Sam Allardyce has made great signings this window, the last of them Carroll and Yossi Benayoun who returns to West Ham on loan. I think the Hammers have got the strongest squad in recent years now, and we can really look forward to this season in the Premiership. And we’re not only here to stay – with Carroll’s goals we could go for a top ten finish as well!

In his message on Monday the manager said that the 3-0 win was a fantastic team performance. Allardyce said:

“Instead of a 4-3-3, we played a 4-2-3-1 and played Kevin Nolan in the hole to get up and around Andy Carroll. I asked Kevin where he’d like to play and he said to me ‘In the hole’ so that’s what we did. Andy’s going to be our main man and you’ve got to get people supporting him. I thought the support from Matt Taylor and Ricardo Vaz Te was superb alongside Diame. I also really liked the industry of Mark Noble in midfield, who started most things going.

“If Andy scores between ten and 15 goals for us this season, it is going to give us a great chance to be out of the relegation zone. If Andy gets 15-20, we can get in the top ten because all we have to do there is produce enough clean sheets to make sure we get points on the board with the goals that he scores. It is easier for me to know that there is going to be a goal scored in our team nearly every week and then tell the defenders to get that clean sheet.  

I’m also pleased with the signing of Yossi Benayoun, who will add quality to our attacking play. It was a shame Matt Jarvis was out with a slight thigh injury, although we don’t think it will be a problem after this international break.  George McCartney and Jack Collison, who was brilliant for us last season and is a local lad, were also both out through injury. With their additions, we’ve got a really good squad now, which is important as you do get injuries.  Against Fulham we had injuries to our record signit and left-back, but we’ve filled in and been magnificent.”

Now West Ham must keeep that momentum going albeit the two-week international break, and the Hammers will hopefully impress again when they play Norwich away on September 15th, at12:45 (BST).

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