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Player Grade: If Andy Carroll can’t stay fit, then West Ham must quit

The big man misses too much time to be a reliable Premier League player

West Ham United v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Summary

Andy Carroll has been a valiant warrior up front for West Ham United since he first took the pitch after his move from Liverpool. After a disappointing time at Anfield, the loan move that was later made permanent seemed to breathe new life into the big striker, and he was one of the first “big” signings made by the Sullivan and Gold regime after West Ham had gained promotion back to the Premier League.

This season was supposed to be a successful one for the Hammers, and a lot of it rested on the big Geordie’s shoulders. However, as seems to be all-to common with the big man, he was injured and was unable to stay fit for long stretches of time, during which the Hammers struggled.

Expectations

Carroll was supposed to be goal scoring target man that would lack his head onto the pinpoint free kicks, corner kicks, and crosses from Dimitri Payet. He had scored a bunch of goals during the 2015-16 season, including a hat trick at Upton Park against Arsenal, and it was hoped that Carroll had been able to put his injury history and fitness issues behind him to finally take the mantle of one of the best strikers in the Premier League, as was hoped when Liverpool transferred him from Newcastle United for £35 million in 2011.

Performance

He was brilliant, when he was fit. As has been the case throughout his West Ham career, a fit Andy Carroll is one of the best, if not the best, player in the league in the air. He can seemingly win any header he can get himself near, and his value is not only as a target man that can score with his head, his ability to win headers on set pieces and corner kicks makes him an valuable player when the Hammer set up to defend those as well. He scored amazing goals this year, but injury prevented him from playing for months, and in his absence, as we predicted, the team slid down the table and struggled for results. As Carroll went, so did the team.

Highlight and Lowpoints

Highlight? This isn’t even up for debate.

Lowlights?

Next Season

Andy Carroll should be sold. Possibly to China, or whomever else will take him at this point. The guy is a legend, but he can’t stay fit. At all.

He’s one of the best strikers that has played at Upton Park over the past 10 years, but his injury history prevents him from being the dominant force that he could have been. Look for his exit as soon as another striker is announced. If no other strikers are brought in, besides cleaning up from the riot of fans, the team will again stick Carroll up front, only to see him miss half the season again.

Final Grade: C

While it should be an incomplete, since he missed so much time, that really is a cop-out. So I give him a C, since he was a force of nature when he was on the pitch, but cannot be relied on to be a full-time striker at the Premier League level anymore. Half of life is showing up, and if you can’t show up, even if those reasons aren’t your “fault”, then your team will suffer. And suffer West Ham did when he was not on the pitch.