Having Andy Carroll back has been a big boost for the club Having Andy Carroll back has been a big boost for the club. He showed his importance to the team in that gruelling defensive display away at Chelsea and looked like he was getting back to being the player the club laid out a record transfer fee for. We saw the best and the worst of it against Swansea City.
For 60 minutes he had completely dominated the game, snuffed out the Welsh side’s passing abilities and provided two great knock down assists for his old pal Kevin Nolan, who looks a different player when Big Andy’s on the pitch. But then Swansea defender Chico Flores took matters into his own hands.
The incident was not one of a red card, though that is what referee Howard Webb deemed it to be. I will not say that Carroll was completely innocent. He should have known better than to leave an arm swinging, especially when involved in a tussle with a character like Chico, who has plied his trade in the European leagues where diving and off-hand tactics have been commonplace for far longer than the Premiership. Big Andy had clearly frustrated Chico Flores beating him to every ball and he had clearly ruffled the Swansea defender’s feathers.
To the point where in the entanglement that led to Carroll’s sending off, Chico was all over the Englishman as if he were a climbing frame. It could be argued that it was a petulant swing from the West Ham striker, but he is off balance and had just had an opposing player clambering all over him so it is unsurprising his arm caught Chico.
What is unforgivable is the despicable way the Swansea defender took to the floor rolling around as if Big Andy had beaten seven shades out of him, I understand this is modern football but it is rather disgraceful that the footballing world has come to accept this. It is typical old West Ham though, just as we’re showing glimpses of promise it is snatched away from us, usually from injuries but every now and then it’s a referee eager to flash that red card .
Andy Carroll was just getting back to full match fitness, providing those knock downs and holding up the ball greatly in the first half against Swansea, the big forward pressuring their defence meant the midfielders could push up and join him, it really is a far cry from the days of having to lump it to Maïga and watch the ball roll away to the opposition .
With Carroll in the side we have a great chance of surviving, the England centreforward will be looking to fire the Hammers to safety and repay the faith shown in him by the club. The red card will be a small blip in the season if he can lead the line and rescue us from relegation trouble.