Garth Crooks underlines Andy Carroll’s importance to West Ham United

Former Tottenham Hotspur Garth Crooks suggests that Andy Carroll could be key to West Ham United’s chances of a European finish in the Premier League this season.

Former Tottenham Hotspur forward Garth Crooks has been singing the praises of West Ham United striker Andy Carroll.

The England international was on fire on Sunday as he scored twice against Swansea City at the Boleyn Ground.

They were the 25-year-old’s first competitive goals for the Hammers since March and saw the London outfit ease to a 3-1 win in the Premier League.

West Ham are currently third in the league table with 27 points from 15 matches, leading Crooks to hail their performance and underline the importance of Carroll.

“I find myself constantly checking the Premier League table to make sure I'm not seeing things,” the 56-year-old wrote on BBC Sport.

“West Ham are third in the table and in a Champions League position? It's fifteen years since the Hammers did anything like this and if they can keep Andy Carroll fit then who knows what they can achieve.

“The former Liverpool player wreaked havoc in the 3-1 win over Swansea, whose defence tried everything they could to restrain him but failed. His two goals were a testimony to his aerial power in the opposition's box.”

Carroll has only just returned to first-team action following months out with injury and is not guaranteed a place in the starting line-up, but the former Liverpool and Newcastle United striker appears to be on song at the moment.

West Ham do have a strong squad capable of challenging for a top-five finish in the Premier League this season, and Carroll is bound to play his role.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch