Search

How do West Ham solve a problem like no Andy Carroll?

PUBLISHED: 08:50 14 August 2014 | UPDATED: 13:24 14 August 2014

Andy Carroll. (Photo by Simon Watts/Getty Images)

Andy Carroll. (Photo by Simon Watts/Getty Images)

2014 Getty Images

Here we go again! Hammers boss must deal with striker problem better than he did last season

West Ham United's manager Sam Allardyce rubs his eye as he waits to be interviewed following their victory in a penalty shoot outWest Ham United's manager Sam Allardyce rubs his eye as he waits to be interviewed following their victory in a penalty shoot out

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce faces exactly the same problem he had to deal with this time last season – he has to select his team without star striker Andy Carroll.

How he deals with it this time round is likely to define the team’s Premier League season as well as his own future in the Upton Park hot-seat, because he simply cannot afford to make the same mistake he did last year.

Allardyce’s great plan in August 2013 was to simply substitute another striker into that Carroll role.

Modibo Maiga was drafted in as the lone striker and proved once and for all that he is not capable of playing in that way. In 19 appearances, he scored just two goals before his campaign in claret and blue ended with the 5-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest and the 6-0 hammering by Manchester City. He was then shipped out to QPR, where he also failed to impress.

It was clear from the first couple of games that Maiga was not suited to the role. West Ham had a fairly soft run of early-season fixtures, but in the opening 11 games, they had managed just nine goals and much of that was down to the tactics that Allardyce adopted.

Mladen Petric was also given the role on a couple of occasions, with limited effect, before the Croatian simply disappeared with a calf injury that never healed.

To be fair, Allardyce did change his tactics. But only to introduce the famous “false nine” formation!

Whatever you want to call it, the tactic worked a treat at White Hart Lane where Spurs were caught completely by surprise and a magnificent 3-0 victory ensued, but the joy didn’t last long as opposition teams soon worked it out.

A goalless draw at Swansea should have been a win, and to play the false nine at home to Aston Villa and away at struggling Norwich City was ridiculously negative and plunged West Ham deeper into trouble.

So now Allardyce has to look to solve the problem of a Carroll-free line-up once again and you can’t help but fear that he will try to do exactly the same again.

Before Saturday’s clash with Sampdoria, the manager had been content to play either Carlton Cole, Ricardo Vaz Te or even pint-sized Mauro Zarate up front on their own, ending in inevitable defeats.

Enner Valencia, when he is fit, may well come in to play that role, but he will take time to find his feet in the Premier League and to find his match fitness, and it sounds like a recipe for disaster.

The only way to replace Carroll is by using two strikers, maybe Valencia or Cole and Zarate. Ricardo Vaz Te deserves a go, as does the patient Elliot Lee.

We all know that West Ham have a solid defence, but unless they have the firepower at the other end to score the goals, we will be faced with exactly the same scenario as last season.

Perhaps against the Italians on Saturday we saw the first signs of a new attacking West Ham as ordered by the co-chairmen for this season.

Three at the back from the start was one of the themes of the World Cup so maybe it will become the fashion of the Premier League this season. If so, the Hammers certainly have three very capable centre backs to fulfil that remit.

But it is still at the other end where the work needs to be done. They may have hinted at two up front on Saturday with Cole and Zarate, but to many it looked very similar to last season with Zarate playing in the Kevin Nolan role.

It seems clear that replacing Carroll is a two-man job, but whether Allardyce agrees remains to be seen.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford Sports News

Yesterday, 22:15

Raiders skated to victory over their Peterborough rivals in National League Division Two on Saturday.

Hornchurch picked up only a second point in six Bostik Premier outings with a hard fought draw against high-flying Worthing.

Everyone Active Raiders came back from two goals down in the final period before snatching a thrilling overtime win over National League leaders Bracknell at Romford’s Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre.

Yesterday, 18:06

Stopper became a father for second time just hours before winning man of the match award in win over Fylde

Yesterday, 17:01

Vanarama National League: Dagenham & Redbridge 2 (Wilkinson 28, Munns 64) Fylde 1 (Bond 1)

Fri, 14:00

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane says his side are not a million miles away from breaking their bad run of form in recent weeks.

Fri, 12:00

Boro were without a competitive game last Saturday, instead taking on landlords East Thurrock United in a friendly

Fri, 11:00

East Women’s One South: Upminster 7 Chelmsford seconds 0

PROMOTED CONTENT

From November, The Mercury in Romford begins to celebrate Christmas. The mall has plenty of gift ideas, fun events and activities for everyone

Vauxhall has completed its sport utility vehicle range with the third, and largest, Grandland X. We put the SUV, now available at Tony LeVoi in Romford, to the test.

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

News from your area

Competitions

A Romford photographer impressed the judges of a national creative photography competition with a picture of a stunning sunset.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now