In Andy Carroll we have the best header of a football in the English league and he is not to be dismissed on his floor playing ability either. It was not long ago he twist and turned John Terry before rifling in for Liverpool in their FA cup tie with Chelsea.
Allardyce is completely right into utilizing our strengths which at this moment in time is our physical presence. This combined with great passers and crossers in the likes of Matt Jarvis, Mark Noble and Mo Diame mean our dynamite skipper Mr Kevin Nolan is able to do what he does best and be in the right place at the right time and score goals. Andy will be a natural outlet and can release great pressure from the bigger teams and when we are under the cosh will be someone to hit and make a nuisance of himself. So we can expect some more long direct football as we have come accustomed to from our year in the championship.
So why should we not be classed as a ‘route one’ football team? Simply because history shows we’re not. Why Carroll’s arrival doesn’t mean route one Words: Sam Weaver We’ve had previous ‘big men’ up top but it did not stop the West Ham way of getting the ball down on the floor and playing:
1. David Cross – Cross bullied defenders with his aerial presence and physique. He spent five years with the club scoring 77 goals in 179 appearances. Not afraid to put his head in where it hurts, Cross was loved by the fans largely for his great touch and finishing. Played alongside Trevor Brooking, Alan Devonshire and Frank Lampard Snr.
2. John Hartson – Powerful striker who immediately showed his worth in 96/97 season teaming up with fellow recruit Paul Kitson when he joined from Arsenal for £3.3million. Great finisher that loved the ball in the box, combining with the likes of Trevor Sinclair, John Moncur and someone he knew too well playmaker Eyal Berkovic.
3. Dean Ashton – Injury was the only thing stopping Deano from being a Hammers great. Never managed to recover from his horrific ankle break suffered on international duty with England. Played a key role in helping the hammers reach the 2006 FA cup final. West ham’s free fl owing football was fast and direct with the likes of Matthew Etherington, Nigel ReoCoker and Yossi Benayoun.
4. Clyde Best – One of the first black players to grace the British league. Best scored some of the finest goals in the sacred claret and blue. Skilful for his size, he was a part of the squad that included England trio World Cup winners Geoff Hurst, Martin Peters and Bobby Moore.
5. Frederic Kanoute – Harry Redknapp signed him on loan from Lyon and he struck a formidable partnership with Paulo Di Canio. Not necessarily a target man as his all round play was exceptional but he scored many headers with his 6ft 4 frame.