Ex-West Ham man salutes unsung heroes as Andy Carroll steals headlines

Former West Ham United defender Tony Gale thinks Andy Carroll can become unplayable but says Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia have also been impressing.

Andy Carroll is very much back in vogue at West Ham United, with the burly frontman throwing his weight around to good effect.

He is back among the goals and causing Premier League defenders sleepless nights after a frustrating spell in which he struggled to shake off niggling knocks.

Carroll is starting to look like a multi-million frontman again and will expect to force his way back into England contention if he can carry his current form into 2015.

He is, however, not the only top-flight star to be shining at Upton Park, with the Hammers’ surge into the top four built around a collective effort.

That is how former West Ham defender Tony Gale sees things, with it is opinion that Carroll has been able to dominate the headlines as teammates such as Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia have been playing important supporting roles alongside him.

He told Sky Sports News: “Everyone’s raving about Andy but Sakho, when he came on (against Swansea City), changed the game. He was excellent. Valencia as well, who they signed in the summer.

“One of them will probably make way for Andy now and Andy’s going to become more of a regular, but Andy also brings something different to the game.

“As long as they don’t get carried away with hitting balls in from the halfway line or halfway in their half and get them in from the areas where it came from (Carl) Jenkinson then Carroll, with today’s central defenders, becomes unplayable. Not many defenders like heading it now.”

West Ham will be hoping that a key trio in the final third can continue to do the business, with around £30 million invested in their talent.

Carroll will be the focal point, due to his size and ability to unnerve back fours, but Valencia and Sakho bring different qualities to the table.

Their movement and goalscoring instincts should serve the Hammers well, with Sam Allardyce looking for them to feed off a central striker and provide an attacking threat from all angles.

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