Expectations high for new signing Carroll
My former club West Ham spent a record fee of about £15.5 million to make loan player Andy Carroll’s move to the club a permanent one and now the expectations will be high for the former Newcastle striker to justify that price tag.
Only time will tell if he is worth that fee, a bargain compared to the £35 million Liverpool paid for him a couple of years ago when they reinvested a chunk of the £50 million they received from Chelsea for Fernando Torres.
In today’s market the money paid for Carroll by West Ham is the going rate for a good striker. We actually got a good deal compared to what Liverpool paid for him. That was good business.
Some may question whether Carroll is a West Ham-type of player but you must understand there isn’t a West Ham style at the present time. West Ham are used to playing very attractive football but now we’re playing Sam Allardyce-type football which is what he likes and you can’t knock him for that.
Carroll fits into that mould. He’s big, plays up front, strong, can head the ball and score goals, so as long as Sam is there the boy is going to be in good stead.
I’m a product of the West Ham way and our way was to play attractive football. All Carroll has to do is go out there and let people know he can play and he’ll be okay. He’s a typical English-style centre forward and those types of centre forwards have been disappearing for a while.
It’s nice to see them coming back because if you can head the ball in soccer you can be a threat. And if you have persons who can give you good service then you can benefit from that. As you saw last year when Carroll was fit, we definitely benefited from the way he played, his enthusiasm, work rate and being very good in the air. I just hope he can live up to the price tag, go out and show the people he can play and score many goals. I think he will if we give him the service.
Carroll’s signing coincides with the release of another striker, Carlton Cole, at the end of his contract. If you’re making big bucks and are a goalscorer and you are leading the pack you’ve got to be scoring 20-25 goals a year. If you can’t do that it’s going to be tough to hold on to your place. Let’s hope he is able to go somewhere, have a good season and show people he can play. People were talking about him when he was a young boy at Chelsea.
Fans have to realise that as a goalscorer your job is to do one thing score goals and lots of times teams play with just one person up front and that is hard to do. Cole and Carroll didn’t play much together so we will never know how good a partnership it could have been. I like when you have two strikers up front because at least you get good linkage at the top.
Nowadays managers play with just one lone striker and pack the midfield and I think that is because a lot of them are afraid to get beaten. I’m sure that playing up front by yourself makes your job that much harder.
In my day we wouldn’t play with one person up front, but with two or three. I don’t like it, to me it looks very defensive when you have five people across the park in midfield. Having said that, good players make the adjustment. I’m a firm believer that if you have good technique then it will last a lifetime, but if you’ve got average technique you will be found out.
The schedule for the new season was released this week and David Moyes, the new Manchester United manager, has a tough first month with games against Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City in their first five matches. It’s going to be difficult for him. He’s a very nice man and I hope he’s able to deliver. At Manchester United we know what it’s like. When Sir Alex first went there some wanted him out but they persevered with him and look at what he was able to deliver.
I just hope the new manager has the same opportunities to get the same results. United are a big club and are used to winning. It’s sports today, everybody wants instant success, nobody wants to be patient. When they are spending big money they want success right away. Sometimes you are not able to do that.