He said: “You don't want to take it [his physical style of play] away from him, that's why he is Andy Carroll. It's his biggest enemy but also his biggest quality, that he rolls up his sleeves and he goes straight in the box, gives the centre half and goalkeeper a bit of a strange look - that's why he's like that. You want to moderate that a little bit, maybe 10 per cent, tell him not to go for those crazy challenges, but you don't want to take that away because then he would be half the player.'
Carroll has slowly been making his way back into the first-team set-up at the Boleyn Ground, having recovered from an injury which kept him out of action for all of pre-season.
However, fears were raised last weekend, after he came off the substitutes bench in the West Ham’s 2-2 draw with Norwich City. The 26-year-old played a key role in the Hammers’ late equaliser - in what was his third appearance of the season - but he took a heavy challenge to his ankle.
There are not expected to be any issues, and Carroll is ready to play this weekend, but it is the striker’s fearlessness which has often been behind his injury issues.
He is willing to attack aerial duels with 100% desire, but this puts his body on the line, and this leads to injury problems.
Bilic has admitted that he wants to see Carroll retain this aspect of his play, as it is undoubtedly the forward’s main strength, but he has admitted that he wants to moderate his physicality, making him more reserved so he doesn’t injure himself due to his style of play.
Carroll has all the talents to be a real star for the Hammers, and he would be wise to listen to Bilic’s advice if he is to get over his long standing issues and return to a consistent selection in the Premier League.