Search

Hammer Down Under: Carroll is key as West Ham face crucial fortnight

13:01 12 October 2012

Andy Carroll has overtaken Carlton Cole in the West Ham pecking order. Photo: Stephen Pond/EMPICS Sport

Andy Carroll has overtaken Carlton Cole in the West Ham pecking order. Photo: Stephen Pond/EMPICS Sport

EMPICS Sport

Of the three promoted teams from last season you’d be hard pressed to find someone who would disagree with you that West Ham have made the best start in the Premier League.

About our blogger

Name: Matt Rossleigh

Twitter handle: @Matt_Rossleigh

Regular attendee living in London this year from Australia

Favourite player: Mark Noble

Most memorable game: 2012 Championship Playoff Final

Predicted Finish: Mid-table

Three wins, two draws and two losses is impressive but the next two weeks are crucial for the club – including tonight’s World Cup qualifier between England and San Marino.

It is already noticeable how important Andy Carroll is to the formation which manager Sam Allardyce prefers, and if anything were to happen to the striker tonight at Wembley then it would put a serious dent in West Ham’s bid for top flight survival.

In reserve Big Sam has Carlton Cole – it’s his birthday today - who has struggled in the top flight as a lone striker, and Modibo Maiga is untested in that role and may be of better use as a winger.

Why are these two weeks so crucial then? Well if you fast-forward past the next fortnight and have a glance at the Hammers’ fixture list, this is what you see:

"It is already noticeable how important Andy Carroll is to the formation which manager Sam Allardyce prefers"

Matt Rossleigh

Manchester City (H)

Newcastle (A)

Stoke City (H)

Tottenham (A)

Manchester United (A)

Chelsea (H)

Liverpool (H)

Now of those seven matches how many points can you realistically see West Ham achieving? Anything over six or seven would be a bonus, I’d say, and the club must prepare for the possibility of losing a majority of those.

That’s why Southampton at home next weekend and Wigan away the following Saturday are so crucial. If four or six points were to be taken it would mean there would be less pressure for the matches against the big guns in November.

Lose both those games and the Hammers could be dragged back towards the scrap at the bottom, especially with the tough fixtures to follow.

There’ll be a bit of extra spice in those two matches with the rivalry between West Ham and the Saints during last season’s Championship promotion race, and the curse of the DW Stadium, when the Hammers last played Wigan in the Premier League – although only a handful from the current squad were there when the club was relegated.

If the team plays like they did against Arsenal last week then there is a real possibility of upsetting some of the big boys. The Hammers had a great chance to at least take a point from the Gunners and if so many chances weren’t squandered then it could have been a famous victory.

If Mohamed Diame, Kevin Nolan, Mark Noble and Carroll stay fit then there is enough quality to not be involved in a relegation battle this season. However recent developments on Merseyside in the past 24 hours with Fabian Borini’s injury could throw up the possibility of a loan recall for Carroll.

I guess if that were to happen I’d have to write a blog on where West Ham’s goals will come from.

Related articles

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

12:00

Mauricio Pochettino says it has been difficult for Moussa Sissoko to get into a rhythm at Tottenham and show his best form after three months of interruptions.

09:15

Mauricio Pochettino admits Tottenham were a little hasty in selling Gylfi Sigurdsson to Swansea, conceding that the Iceland international would have been a “perfect player” for his squad.

Yesterday, 22:30

Mauricio Pochettino says Harry Kane’s latest contract extension shows the striker is motivated by a love of Tottenham rather than money.

Yesterday, 14:15

Mauricio Pochettino admits he is concerned about Erik Lamela’s hip injury, which is not improving as quickly as expected, while centre-back Toby Alderweireld is still not certain to return against Swansea on Saturday.

Yesterday, 09:00

Two heads are better than one, the saying goes – and that’s certainly been the guiding principle behind the establishment of Blacksmiths FC.

Yesterday, 07:00

Sean Cronin says Wingate & Finchley’s free-scoring run of form has lifted the pressure that burdened their defence earlier in the season.

Wed, 15:35

Hampstead & Westminster’s men were involved in a seven-goal cracker on Sunday – but the entertainment factor was scant consolation as they lost their final game before Christmas.

Wed, 15:30

Mark Stephenson grabbed his second goal in as many games but Islington & Camden Under-14s had to settle for a share of the points as they drew 2-2 at Haringey.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now