Had the Hammers came a cropper against the Swans, it would have undermined the heroically-grabbed point at Stamford Bridge. Thankfully, we picked up another decent result, beating the Swans 2-0.
The only downside from the match though, which I’m certain most fans would agree on, was the straight red card given to Andy Carroll for the apparent elbow on Chico Flores. The majority inside the ground were booing Chico’s every touch from that point on. The general consensus from the support was that the reaction from the Spaniard was what got the striker sent off. Certainly the commentary team on the BT Sport coverage of the match also said that Howard Webb’s decision seemed very harsh.
Big Sam later confirmed in his post-match news conference that the club would be launching an appeal and they had hoped to have the three-match ban overturned. Although Carroll is not 100% match fit yet he is a real impact player and his presence will be missed as we now face a month of crucial fixtures which includes games at home to both Norwich City and Southampton
After the win away at Cardiff City there was praise for the impact that Carroll made when Big Sam introduced him, not least when he set up Mark Noble’s for the second goal to secure all three points and send the away support travelling back to the East End with, at last, a reason to cheer. The impact of the former Newcastle United man has also had an effect on teammate and club captain Kevin Nolan. They worked so well as a partnership at St James’ Park and showed signs of the same against Swansea.
Their deadly instincts should continue now they have reunited in East London as Carroll set up both goals for the skipper to take his tally to four goals for the season. The other positive to come out of the game other than three points was the return to first-team action of defender Winston Reid, who has been out with a long-term ankle injury. He was named on the bench and came on to replace Matthew Taylor and he certainly typified what the team have been missing in his absence .
It seems that Allardyce made the correct call in not rushing the New Zealander back as he replaced the injured Joey O’Brien with George McCartney in the starting line-up. From the performances the team have shown in the last few games, providing the manager can keep the nucleus of the side together, that team should have enough quality to retain the club’s Premier League status