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West Ham Season Preview #15: Can Andy Carroll finally give us a great season?

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The big man up top claimed he could be the 20 goals a season striker West Ham needs. Can he actually?

Middlesbrough v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Last Season

Before last season began, West Ham was looking for a world class striker that could get them 20 goals a season. Well, Andy Carroll didn’t seem to think they needed to look far.

To be fair to big Andy, he’s not completely wrong. He had 7 goals in 18 appearances last season, which could get him close to 20 goals a season. The issue is that number 18. With just 18 appearances, Andy Carroll once again showed his ability as a striker, but his inability to stay healthy. He came through with some important goals as he always does, but it was frustrating to watch another season go with a quality striker in a West Ham shirt only playing half the season.

Oh yeah. He also did this.

Current Team Placement

Where Andy belongs in the first team depends on the formation Slav will run this season. If he plays with a lone striker, Andy won’t get the starting position over Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, but I believe he’d be very successful starting alongside the Mexican international. The combination of size and speed between the two of them could be very successful, especially with Lanzini sitting behind them in the midfield.

Goals for the Season

The main goal for Andy Carroll this season is to stay healthy. He is a talented player, and even the biggest West Ham hater can’t doubt that. We have seen what Andy Carroll can do when he plays. But that is the biggest issue. Slaven Bilic has already shown signs of frustration over his injury troubles, and Andy is still only 28 years old. If he can’t put together a consistent season without injury troubles, I could see West Ham getting him off the books at the end of the season.

I don’t want that. I love watching Andy Carroll play. He’s dominant in the air, and he has a nose for goal. He has a place in this West Ham squad. He just needs to be there for more than half the season.