With the signing of Andy Carroll, on a six year deal, confirmed yesterday, West Ham United have entered a new era. While much has been made on this site of the ambition displayed by owners David Gold and David Sullivan as well as manager Sam Allardyce, yesterdays acquisition was the surest sign yet.
Yes there are those who are already moaning about the cost of Carroll, making the point that seven goals in twenty five appearances does not make the lad worth the money. Skepticism seems to remain at the forefront of many a supporters life, so they can be forgiven for taking this view point.
Truth is any time a club splashes out this kind of cash, it’s a risk. There are, as in life, no guarantees in football. How many club record signings have turned out to be a complete bust in the end? Attaching a monetary value, whether big or small, is no sign as to how the player makes out at his new club.
It’s no secret we live in an age of mercenary players searching out the biggest wage regardless of where they end up. As long as the money is right they’ll go. Allegiance and loyalty to a club no longer mean a thing for most modern footballers. In Big Andy, there seems to be a glimmer of a real live person.
Carroll has been adamant since he first arrived at Upton Park that the supporters and his teammates have been incredibly welcoming. He seems to have developed a genuine affinity and respect for the club, which had to have helped sway his opinion.
He has left behind a dire situation for his career. Playing at a club whose manager is no longer interested in employing the type of tactics that Carroll was built and bought for, he was made to feel unwanted almost as soon as Brendan Rodgers stepped in the door.
A consequence of managerial instability at Liverpool he was cast away to what appeared to be a side who’d be struggling all season, our beloved West Ham. His spot in the English side gone, Carroll had to be at a low point in his career.
The East End seemed to reinvigorate him. Yes, it took him awhile to score his first for the club in a season broken up by injury. But even in those matches where he didn’t score he was a daunting task for any defender to handle.
You don’t win battles in the air with Andy. There’s very few attackers who defend with so much gusto. He’s willing to run himself ragged for the good of the team. For a player we once thought of as a bit of a prima donna, he proved that to be far from the truth.
So great, he’s a forward that was doing everything but score. And that’s why he was brought in after all, wasn’t it? This is where we admit a weakness. He simply did not score enough last year. Be it down to any number of reasons, his job is to put balls in the back of the net and that didn’t happen enough.
But what seems to be forgotten when opponents of the transfer trot out the statistic of seven goals in twenty five games is that seven of these strikes were in the run of sixteen games. He improved near the end of the season and started scoring with regularity. He took awhile to settle but once he did he become even more formidable.
You likely have your own opinion either way on the transfer. A lot of supporters seem to think it’s a great move, the more skeptical say its too much investment for not enough return. At For The Suits we can only see it as a good thing.
We had him for a season on loan already, the clubs management and ownership has come to know him. Big Sam isn’t the type to put up with players opposed to a bit of hard graft, as he’s demonstrated throughout his career. If he didn’t think Andy was the right man for the job, he would have never been pursued with such vigour.
That, more than anything, is good enough for us.