After his £15m move to West Ham from Liverpool, I am expecting big things from Andy Carroll next season.
He seemed to lose his way after his £35m transfer to Liverpool from Newcastle; I feel he felt that the price tag added to the fans' and media expectations.
This in turn affected his performance, especially when the media talked about his transfer as being one of the biggest wastes of money in recent history.
However, after his troubles at Liverpool and new manager Brendan Rogers not seeing him as part of his first-team plans, a loan move to West Ham last season allowed the giant striker to regain some form.
He went on to score seven goals in 23 appearances and also helped to gain assists due to his aerial prowess. I feel that now this move has been made permanent and Carroll will begin to feel settle he can now build on his loan move and continue to improve his performances.
The idea of Carroll and West Ham just seem to be an ideal combination. This is due to the type of player Carroll is, in terms of a physical individual who likes an aerial battle.
This type of player coupled with the tactics which Sam Allardyce employs, which is to try and get balls in the box and focus on set pieces, means that Carroll’s performances should continue to improve.
In addition to this he seems to have a strong relationship both on and off the pitch with club captain Kevin Nolan. This relationship means that they have an innate understanding of where each other will be on the pitch and has meant Carroll can flick on an aerial ball into Nolan’s path.
This ability to find each other under pressure from the opposition has proved quite effective throughout last season and enabled West Ham to gain a top-half finish on their return to the Premier League last season.
Even though he was only on loan Andy Carroll seemed to be an instant fan favourite, due to his desire to win and his competitiveness to in every aerial battle that he entered.
The fans could see his desire and passion to try and win games for the club and in turn they showed their support for the England international.
I feel Andy Carroll is like any player: he needs confidence to perform to the best of his ability and he would gain confidence from the reception of fans on the terraces at Upton Park.
At Liverpool the fan support began to diminish and therefore reduces Carroll’s confidence in his own ability which just made his time at Anfield unbearable at times.
I think that he has now turned to, no disrespect to West Ham, a smaller club than Liverpool he will show signs of his form at Newcastle.
He will prefer to be a big fish in a small pond and will love the attention he will get from the fans and grasp the responsibility to get the goal to ensure West Ham win games next season.
Overall if as predicted Carroll will find a return to form this can help West Ham to definitely remain in the Premier League and possibly go on a cup run.
In addition to this if he can find form, this will be a timely reminder to Roy Hodgson of his ability particularly with the World Cup being at the end of the season.
If Carroll can match the expectations of him to perform well at West Ham, he could be able to book himself a place on the plane to Brazil as he offers England a different dimension to strikers such as Daniel Sturridge or Jermain Defoe.
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