Friday 30 September 2016

Bilic delighted to welcome Carroll back

Published 19/10/2015 | 02:30

West Ham's goalscorer Manuel Lanzini celebrates with the provider Andy Carroll and Aaron Cresswell
West Ham's goalscorer Manuel Lanzini celebrates with the provider Andy Carroll and Aaron Cresswell

The precise role of a fit Andy Carroll among West Ham's sudden embarrassment of attacking riches will be a headache for Slaven Bilic, but having created West Ham's second goal in a 3-1 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday, the striker's manager is in no doubt about his talents.

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"He's got something that is very hard to cope with," he said. "I played as centre-half. In that position, when the ball comes in, it's more about him than it is about you. Against most strikers, you are the one who has a better chance, if you are good in the air.

"When the ball comes to him, it's more down to him than it is up to you as a defender. And that's how we scored. He is skilful, he has good vision, ideas. He is a great player. We are so lucky and happy that he's back."

For Alan Pardew, this was a match decided in no small part by referee Mark Clattenburg, whose decision to issue a second yellow card to Dwight Gayle at the end of the first half changed the game.

"They (referees) have got to think about the incident," the Palace manager said. "He knew he'd been booked, that's for sure. And therefore that second challenge, was it a cast-iron yellow card? In my opinion it wasn't.

"I'm not saying he was biased. I just think that particular decision was rash on his part, and I think that's fair.

"I'm in a good position as a professional manager to make that call after a game, so I don't see a problem in that, and nor should the FA have a problem with that."

Jamie Vardy's stellar start to the season continued as he scored twice to salvage a point for Leicester at Southampton.

Saints looked safe after first-half goals from Jose Fonte and Virgil van Dijk, but the division's top scorer made it nine for the season, pouncing in the 67th and 90th minutes.

Half-time tinkering by manager Claudio Ranieri saw him send on Nathan Dyer and Riyad Mahrez.

Dyer set up Vardy to head Leicester's first goal, then Mahrez played a fine through-ball to the forward to score the equaliser.

"They (the substitutes) made a brilliant impact," said Vardy. "It showed the competition we have in this squad."

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