Don’t forget Andy Carroll’s brilliance despite all his injury problems

On his day the striker was unplayable and we should remember that aspect too

When West Ham supporters think of Andy Carroll, most will think purely of his injuries.

In all honesty I am one of those people at times; for the last few years I’ve often complained at how little time he spends on the pitch whenever he is brought up in conversation without even thinking of what he does on it.

Like many Hammers fans, I feel that letting Carroll leave was the correct decision. It has freed up wages to bring in someone who will be able to have much more of an impact on the pitch, as they will actually be on it

Hopefully, it will also see him go somewhere that he will be able to get games when he is fit.

However, one thing this decision has also done is allow the good times regarding the big man to flood back into the memory, having previously been hidden by annoyance and impatience about the long lay offs, misplaced comments and unimpressive photos that punctuated his time as a West Ham player.

When you really think about it, Carroll was brilliant at times, giving West Ham fans some great moments.

Before we get onto his goals, it should be mentioned just how much he gave on the pitch – especially at the beginning of his time in claret and blue.

The England international was often found charging around the pitch, putting his body on the line to try and get his head on the end of long balls and put the opposition under pressure. He may not have been the most aesthetically pleasing player at times, but he could be very effective.

The game that will of course come to mind for most when thinking of the impact he could make is the one against Arsenal, where the big man’s three goals earned us a draw.

He was indomitable that game, scoring a powerful header either side of the strike where he turned a scrappy situation into an acrobatic finish.

The biggest single moment of brilliance was surely his overhead kick against Crystal Palace.

Michail Antonio had played the ball slightly behind him which should have ruined the chance, but it just ended up making the goal more special.

Carroll shifted his body, flung it into the air and with an elegance which usually escapes him, sent the ball flying into the top corner of the net. It was the type of goal that took your breath away in disbelief that he had pulled off such a moment.

One of his most underrated goals came against West Brom, where he allowed a free kick from deep to float over his shoulder, before volleying it into the far corner.

It was the embodiment of quality timing and technique, highlighting the fact that he could be far more than a mere battering ram. It was a superb strike, which would potentially have been remembered by many more people if it had been scored by someone else.

Then there was his final ever goal for the Hammers: a header against Birmingham City in the FA Cup.

It wasn’t the greatest one by any means, though it did highlight the effectiveness he could show on occasion.

With the score at 1-0 – leaving no guarantee West Ham would win despite having dominated the whole game – Carroll rose above the defender at the back post to head the ball in. It was typical of the man, with it being fitting it was the way he scored in claret and blue for the final time.

There were other great and memorable strikes that will live long in the memory, including his curling effort against Swansea City, the header at Stamford Bridge and his double against West Brom which helped the Hammers steer clear of relegation.

It can be easy to allow the opinion of Carroll to be solely based around the amount of time he spent unavailable, though reminiscing on times such as these can bring the realisation that he did have a large impact for the club at times.

While there was plenty of frustration surrounding Carroll when he was a West Ham player, there will likely be many Hammers fans wishing him the best now he has departed.

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