Time for Carroll to teach Stoke how it's done?

Andy Carroll could easily beat Stoke City at their own game this weekend.

West Ham United go to Stoke City full of anger and bitterness after losing to local rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the closing stages earlier on this week.

Andy Carroll was in that team and he’s not the sort of player to take a defeat lightly, which is unfortunately very bad news for Stoke.

Stoke will play their usual game against West Ham which means utilising their height, strength and power as they bombard the West Ham penalty area looking for knock downs.

How should West Ham counter this? Well, they could do the exact same thing.

When Carroll is fired up and really up for a match, as he should be for this fixture, then as long as he’s not giving away silly fouls, he can be pretty much unplayable.

Stoke have a very big defence as well as a very big front line so Carroll has to embody everything which has become associated with Stoke in order to be effective during the match.

He’ll have to use every trick in the book because despite his size and power, Stoke will still try and bully him off the ball because this is a basic way they defend.

It means backing into defenders to try and hold the ball up, grappling in the area at set pieces and trying to get on the end of any sort of cross which comes into the box.

He’s scored three goals in 12 starts which is not a record he will want to go back to Liverpool with, without improving it drastically.

The injury to Kevin Nolan on Monday night against Spurs also means that West Ham will be one key and influential figure short so Carroll not only needs to step up in terms of his performance, he has a job to do to make sure his team don’t get bullied.

It may even be right up his street because Carroll knows the exact way that Stoke are going to try and deal with him. They don’t have another method which in effect makes Carroll’s life easier because he won’t have to adapt to changing tactics.

It seems like a game which should be right up his street because he can hold his own against any team that is looking to bully him and his side.

A win for West Ham takes them back up to near the top half of the table while a defeat may see them dragged further down into the relegation fight.

Do you think Carroll can dominate Stoke?

image: © andrew_j_w

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch