Allardyce defends Carroll decision


Published: Saturday 6th December 2014 by The News Editor

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West Ham boss Sam Allardyce insists his decision to sign Andy Carroll over Wilfried Bony was the right choice.

Both of the strikers were available to Allardyce in the summer of 2013, with Bony having been scouted by the Hammers during a prolific spell at Vitesse Arnhem whilst Carroll had already spent a year at Upton Park on loan from Liverpool.

Financial constraints meant West Ham could only afford to bring in one of the talented frontmen and Allardyce opted for Carroll, who was already familiar with the club and the Barclays Premier League.

The Hammers broke their club transfer record to bring in Carroll – but the England international has struggled with serious foot and ankle injuries and is yet to show the sort of form that Allardyce would have hoped.

He has scored only twice in 19 league appearances since his loan move was made permanent whilst Bony, who instead moved to Swansea, has hit 22 in 48 appearances and is the leading Premier League goalscorer for the calender year – but Allardyce still thinks the best is to come from Carroll.

“I think so,” Allardyce replied when asked if he was confident he got the better deal.

“Hopefully, in the end, it will be Andy that is not picking up injuries and starts getting back to what we know he can do.

“His first season in the Premier League at Newcastle he scored 11 goals in 16 or 17 matches. That showed at that young age he was a massive goal scoring threat against anyone.

“He has done it before. Because of the injuries he had, that career hasn’t blossomed as it should have done. If he gets a run without injuries, we are in for a player of his capabilities.

“There is always a risk of any player that comes from abroad. No matter how small or how much you pay it might not work. The risk is always greater. Of course in Swansea’s case it has paid off handsomely.”

Allardyce revealed it was a case of signing either of the players, rather than bringing in both to form a potent partnership, as West Ham broke their transfer record to land Carroll.

“We signed Andy Carroll and it was one or the other,” said the 60-year-old.

“It couldn’t be both and we ended up getting a deal done with Andy so our interest ended because we couldn’t do both. We didn’t have enough money in the budget that year.

“We spent big money on Andy and the rest had to be proportioned out for the considerable amount of other players we needed at the time.”

Allardyce is hoping to have a trio of players fit and ready to feature.

The game may yet come too early for midfielder Mark Noble (calf) but Allardyce believes both Diafra Sakho (back) and Alex Song (knee) could play some part against the Swans.

With Enner Valencia making his own comeback from injury in the midweek victory at West Brom and Carroll fit, Allardyce will now have all of his attacking options available as he looks to guide the Hammers to an eighth league win of the campaign.

Swansea’s 2-0 home win over QPR in midweek took them into seventh spot, two places and two points worse off than West Ham, who have enjoyed back-to-back victories over Newcastle and West Brom in the past week.

“West Ham have done incredibly well, they’ve been up there from the very start and pushing all the way,” manager Garry Monk said.

“They’re a very good team with good quality throughout their squad and I’ve watched a lot of them this season.

“Credit to the manager and club when you consider the noises coming out of there last season. Sam has done an exceptional job there.

“They have tweaked a few things and do possibly try to play a bit more football.

“But they can play direct as well with Andy Carroll and they’ve got a mixture of both.”

Taylor misses the trip after picking up his fifth booking of the season against QPR in midweek.

Defender Taylor has been ever-present in the league this season and, with no natural cover at left-back, Dwight Tiendalli or Jazz Richards are likely to deputise with Angel Rangel restored on the right after being rested from the Rangers victory.

Monk will assess how Leon Britton came through his first start of the season after three months out with knee trouble before finalising his side at Upton Park, but Argentina defender Federico Fernandez is still not fit enough to make the matchday squad despite returning to training this week after a calf problem.

Published: Saturday 6th December 2014 by The News Editor

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