Sunday 17 November 2019

Big Sam hails Carroll impact

Peter Smyth

Andy Carroll gave his team's fight against relegation a much-needed shot in the arm as West Ham edged past Swansea to record just their second win of 2013.

Swansea city 0

Andy Carroll gave his team's fight against relegation a much-needed shot in the arm as West Ham edged past Swansea to record just their second win of 2013.

Making his first start since November, Carroll was an effective battering ram for the Hammers and their long-ball tactics. Sam Allardyce's men regularly launched the ball up to the England striker, and while it was not easy on the eye, the tactic worked.

The former Newcastle man wore down the Swansea defence and stole away from his marker towards the end of the second half to head home Mark Noble's corner for just his second goal in claret and blue.

Carroll was central to every attacking move West Ham put together. The towering striker linked up well with his close friend Kevin Nolan, who had two good chances to score from Carroll knock-downs.

Allardyce was impressed with how Carroll came through the match, given that his only other appearance in the last two months was a brief cameo off the bench at Fulham in midweek.

"It was his first full 90 minutes in nine weeks,'' said Allardyce. "But when you looked at him it didn't look like any fatigue was there. He looked like he was enjoying himself and Nolan always seems to know where to go (when Carroll plays). He could have had a couple, but their keeper (Gerhard Tremmel) had a stormer.''

West Ham looked like being dragged into the relegation zone after a run of one win in 11 matches, but this victory lifts them nine points clear of the bottom three.

"We were under big pressure to produce a result,'' added Allardyce. "I thought we thoroughly deserved the win. The way we've been playing at home has been fantastic all season. It brought us victory, but it was a shame it wasn't by more.''

West Ham's play might have been ugly at times, but it was effective. Swansea, on the other hand, played some pretty football, but rarely tested Jussi Jaaskelainen. Wayne Routledge gave Matt Taylor a torrid time down the right flank, but Swansea's final product was poor. Free-scoring hitman Michu had a rare off day.

The defeat means the Swans' seven-match unbeaten run has come to an end, but manager Michael Laudrup was not too downhearted about outcome. "We dominated quite well in the first half,'' said Laudrup. "Nobody likes to lose. We're not used to losing after the last seven weeks.''

Irish Independent

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