Carroll singing in the rain as West Ham grab three precious points
PUBLISHED: 11:30 03 January 2018
PA Wire/PA Images
West Ham striker scores his first two goals of the season to sink West Brom at the London Stadium
Written off once again, West Ham striker Andy Carroll proved what a potent force he still is as his deadly double sunk West Brom to grab three precious points.
The Geordie giant came in for the injured Michail Antonio, getting the nod over Javier Hernandez, and he proved that it was a good decision.
The victory looked an unlikely one at one stage. The Baggies had conjured up a half-time lead courtesy of a lucky deflected goal by James McClean and the West Ham players had gone off to a chorus of boos.
It was largely deserved. Too many defensive errors had given the lowly visitors chances to add to their tally, with only Manuel Lanzini’s two efforts, superbly saved by Ben Foster, giving them any hope.
But the second half was a different story. Skipper Mark Noble came on and the game changed as Carroll related.
“Coming from 1-0 down is tough,” said the big man. “But ‘Nobes’ changed the game for us. He controlled the midfield and dominated the game. He brought everyone into it and I thought it was fantastic what he did for us.”
That may be slightly overplaying the skipper’s role as this was Carroll’s night.
He levelled the match with a header reminiscent of those centre forwards of the 1950s and 1960s with defenders flying in all directions.
And with seconds left, he showed he has a real touch as he stroked Marko Arnautovic’s low cross into the net from a tight angle.
“It was a great cross by ‘Cress’, he has put it right on a plate for me and any touch and it is going in,” said the striker, who turns 29 on Saturday.
“For the second one, I think ‘Manu’ should have passed to me earlier,” he laughed. “But he went to the other side and it was another great ball in and I put it in with my right foot.”
It has been another tough season for the former Newcastle man and not so much because of injuries.
He has found himself down the pecking order and having to come off the bench and that has been tough for the big man, who added: “It has been very frustrating. I’ve been sitting on the bench and it has been tough, I have been wanting to get out there and start.
“It is hard when you come on with 20 minutes to go. I think I have made an impact when I have done that, but it is not really what I want to do.
“Here when I was called upon, I felt that I needed to show what I was about and push myself back into the starting XI. I think scoring the two goals and getting the three points will help that.”
It certainly will. This was not a vintage West Ham display and the result could easily have gone the other way, with only Angelo Ogbonna’s stunning last-ditch tackle preventing West Brom grabbing the win.
But Carroll believes that they won’t go down this season.
“We know the quality in our dressing room and we are confident that we will not be going down,” he said. “At the moment it is tough down there, but we have real quality among the lads and we will get out of it.”
Tuesday night’s win was the first time they had come from behind to win a game at the London Stadium and the late winner saw huge celebrations on and off the field.
“I think the lads and the fans were over the moon at the end,” he said. “I didn’t know that stat, but it is always great when you can come from behind to win.”
Tuesday night’s game was all about the result and West Ham showed they still have the quality players to get them out of trouble.
West Ham: Adrian 7, Zabaleta 7, Reid 5, Ogbonna 7, Cresswell 6 (Rice 76, 7), Masuaku 5 (Hernandez 73, 5), Obiang 5 (Noble 46, 7), Kouyate 5, Lanzini 7, Arnautovic 8, Carroll 8*.