Former Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour suggested on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast Show for talkSPORT, that Slaven Bilic could make striker Andy Carroll a key feature of his team.
Carroll struggled with injury under Sam Allardyce last season and Parlour suggests that the forward has the characteristics to be what he would consider a Slaven Bilic type of player.
“He’s definitely an outlet and Bilic will be looking forward to working with him because he could be a Bilic sort of player. They’ve got to back him because he’s a handful,” said Parlour on talkSPORT.
“If he can get fit and stay fit, he can really help the players behind him as well, with the way he holds the ball up, the way he wins headers, people from midfield can run onto it.”
What’s the value in Bilic using Carroll?
The value is that Carroll’s size, presence and aggression means he’s always got that potential to be able to occupy both opposition centre backs.
As Parlour told talkSPORT, that creates opportunities for players to control and influence games from midfield whether they are running beyond him or putting the service into him.
What Bilic will likely play on with Carroll is what makes him unique and he could look to get inside his mind-set, challenging the player to really prosper in terms of his style.
The risk Bilic must consider
What Bilic can’t do is gamble with Carroll’s fitness.
It will be tempting for him to throw him into the team as quickly as possible once the competitive action gets underway.
However, he could be rusty due to the break over the summer, but he does offer a direct option and a simple way of attacking, while Bilic works out a more sophisticated approach which he feels is suited to the squad.