Why West Ham cannot rely on Andy Carroll despite David Gold's backing

West Ham United simply cannot rely on injury-prone striker Andy Carroll anymore despite co-owner David Gold giving the former Liverpool man his backing.

Hammers co-owner David Gold has taken to Twitter to reassure fed up fans that Carroll will be available for the start of next season. He has gone as far as to back the sicknote striker to make a 'meaningful contribution' when he does return.

Responding to fans who asked for a status update on the striker, Gold said: "He will available for the first game next season. I am hopeful that Andy Carroll will make a meaningful contribution to next season's campaign. He is working hard."


No-one is doubting the target man's work ethic. But it is a story West Ham fans have heard all too often before.

When Carroll was signed on loan from Anfield by Sam Allardyce in 2012, it seemed a match made in heaven. The club even inexplicably wasted more than £10million on flop Matt Jarvis to provide the ammunition for the 6ft 4 star.

Here was a player who cost Liverpool a record £35 million just the year before leading the attack at the Boleyn. Things could not have started much better for the big Geordie as he set up two goals during a towering display in 3–0 home win against Fulham.

But a lengthy injury, two words that have cast a shadow over the 26-year-old's career so far, restricted him to just 24 appearances and seven goals that season.

He made a long awaited comeback in the following February and scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Swansea. But in the last game of that season at home to Reading, he was injured yet again.

Nevertheless the Hammers were unperturbed and pressed ahead with sanctioning an £18 million permanent deal on a six-year contract. It is a deal which outspoken West Ham co-owner David Sullivan has since admitted he wouldn't have done with the benefit of hindsight, as reported by BBC's Football Focus.

Two years on, and four long-term injuries later, Carroll has become little more than an expensive bonus for West Ham. He always gives 100% and even told the London Evening Standard recently he blames his full-blooded approach for the injuries he has suffered.

When he is fit and firing there are not many better all-round forwards in the Premier League. But that is half the problem, he very rarely is.

In the two years since making his move to Upton Park permanent, Carroll has made just 27 appearances, scoring seven goals.

If the England international had stayed fit this season, who knows where the Hammers would be now after spending the first half of the campaign in and around the top four?

Many West Ham fans have started to give up on the club's most expensive ever signing and whoever is manager of at the Boleyn next season simply cannot afford to rely on his availability, let alone shape a team or squad around him.

Should West Ham cut their losses on Andy Carroll?
Yes, get rid and move on
No, he is still an asset
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