West Ham fans split over future of record signing Andy Carroll

Ivanovic Injured - Chelsea v West Ham

West Ham United fans are split down the middle over what they think the club should do with record signing Andy Carroll.

Last week Hammers co-owner David Gold took to social networking site Twitter to reassure fed up fans that Carroll will be available for the start of next season. He even went 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 forward, 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."

Despite Gold's backing, many fans feel Carroll has become an expensive luxury for West Ham having made just 27 appearances and scoring seven goals in the two years since making his move to Upton Park from Liverpool permanent.

But one thing West Ham fans will tell you is that the former Newcastle No.9 always gives 100% and when he is fit and firing there are not many better all-round forwards in the Premier League. The problem is, he very rarely is fit and firing.

Things are not clear cut as Carroll still has four years remaining on his contract at the club.

And it seems Hammers fans are split right down the middle on the issue. That's according to the result of a poll we conducted on HITC which asked 'Should West Ham cut their losses on Andy Carroll?'

The result could not have been much closer, with 50.6% (151) of fans voting to 'Get rid of Carroll and move on' and 49.4% (150) saying 'No Carroll is still an asset'.

Fan JohnBSheff says there is 'no way' you can build a team around Carroll and thinks his under pressure manager Sam Allardyce should take most of the blame.

He said: "He is definitely a "yesterday player" someone whose name has relied on a few good seasons at Newcastle and never lived up to it since!

"Sam must take responsibility for paying what we did for him, there is no way we will ever recoup anything like what we paid, but the longer we keep him he will have no value at all, his salary is a complete disgrace, he should never have been paid so highly until he proved himself again and showed he was injury free, how long will he last at the start of the new season before he trips over a piece of grass? if Newcastle want him let him GO!"

Another user likened Carroll's situation to the man who replaced him at Anfield, fellow England international Daniel Sturridge.

Brandy said: "Exactly the same as Sturridge at Liverpool, they both cause defences problems and score goals but they are never fit. Half the time they are getting paid for nothing and their wages are massive for injury prone players."

Hammers fan Steve S defended the 6ft 4 target man, though, insisting the club should simply sign better quality back-up strikers.

He said: "I agree that we cannot build a team around him, but when he is fit he is one of the most hard working strikers in the league, he is a handful for any defender and an asset to any team. Keep him but get back-ups. Cannot have a season with just (Diafra) Sakho and Carroll, need more. COYI."

There you have it, the fans are divided and it remains to be seen whether the Gateshead-born 26-year-old, or indeed Allardyce - the man who brought him to West Ham - have long-term futures at the club.

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