Andy Carroll now an undoubted burden

When your star striker, the club record signing, has played only barely half of the games over a three season period, there’s something wrong. More than just an unlucky spell of injury, this indicates a severe, recurring problem. Andy Carroll, former England international and occasional West Ham player, is the poster boy for hamstrung talent, […]

The Hammers reign supreme in the air

  Jonathan Wilson perhaps summed up Andy Carroll best, or just most simply: “A terrifying force in the air”. Barney Ronay, when it was his turn to wax lyrical about Carroll’s oeuvre, turned a typically luscious phrase: “Football as interpreted through the eyes of a rearing, drizzle-soaked highland stag”. Carroll’s reintroduction to West Ham’s starting […]

The Secret to Greatness? Availability.

Any footballer can have talent. Most of them do; you can’t reach the higher tiers of the sport without it. Slogging through youth systems, taking your chance at scouting meets, or catching the eye of a visiting luminary is next to impossible without a hefty serving of aptitude. Sure, having truckload of natural ability is […]

A Bad Start

Things are tense at Upton Park. Andy Carroll is injured, again. The pre-season trip to New Zealand resulted in two embarrassing losses to A-League opposition. The manager is obviously uncomfortable working to the new, attacking brief set by the owners, who themselves haven’t helped matters by accidentally ‘favouriting’ tweets calling for Allardyce’s removal. Ravel Morrison, […]

A Striking Sense of Deja Vu

A club record signing. A English striker in his mid-twenties. A player of precocious power, with more than enough ability to lead the line. A few England caps and some impressive moments at international level. A physical style that attracts foot and ankle injuries, injuries that seem to come with regularity. A debut season restricted […]

The Renaissance of the Target Man

The return, not to mention the subsequent success, of the physical centre forward in European football is a phenomenon not many would have foreseen before the last couple of seasons. Over the previous 4 years, Guardiola’s Barcelona underlined their tactical supremacy by winning just about everything in sight, setting up with either strikerless formations, or […]