Pardew admits Wickham will never compare with Andy Carroll in the air

Alan Pardew

The Crystal Palace boss has been discussing the West Ham striker.

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew has heaped praise on West Ham United target man Andy Carroll, suggesting the 26-year-old is 'unplayable' at times, according to the Daily Mail.

Indeed, Pardew has compared Palace's Connor Wickham to the West Ham man but admits he will never be able to match him in the air.

Wickham does have the edge technically and in terms of speed, however, in Pardew's eyes. But the Eagles boss is still in awe of Carroll - and isn't the only one.

The Crystal Palace boss is quoted as telling reporters: "He's unplayable at times. There aren't many strikers who are completely unplayable, and he's one of them. In recent years in the Premier League, as an attacker of the ball in the air, there has been no one better than him.

"I see a lot of similarities in Connor and Andy. I don't think Connor will ever be quite as powerful in the air, but he's got a bit more pace and technical play."

Will West Ham finally see a consistent Carroll?

A key phrase in the Crystal Palace boss's quotes is one echoed by Kenny Dalglish when Carroll was at Liverpool: 'at times.'

Indeed, there's no doubt the Hammers forward is unplayable 'at times.' But it's about consistently producing and, for the money West Ham paid for Carroll, that hasn't yet happened anywhere near enough.

Obviously, the target man's fitness and injury luck has let him down. If the 26-year-old can finally stay injury free for at least a few months, though, West Ham fans will have far fonder memories of the striker than the occasional glimpses of brilliance so far.

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