Andy Carroll has been in brilliant form for West Ham over the last few games, and Slaven Bilic has been impressed.
Slaven Bilic has suggested that Andy Carroll is the man who has taken the role of West Ham United’s talisman from Dimitri Payet, and has commented on the strength of the squad following the Frenchman’s exit, the Daily Mirror reports.
Payet departed for Marseille during the January transfer window after a brief, but harmful, saga ensued over his future. But since his last appearance for the club – which came more than three weeks before he actually left the London Stadium – the Hammers have put together one of their best runs of the season, winning three of their last four.
One of the main reasons for their recent upturn in fortunes has been the form of Andy Carroll. The striker has scored four across the three victories, and Bilic suggested that the 28-year-old is the man the club can get behind now.
“Yes he is our talisman now – he is brilliant at everything – brilliant on the pitch, brilliant off the pitch, brilliant in the dressing room. He has matured, he has got three kids. Now he is happy,” he said, as reported by the Mirror.
Despite West Ham’s improved form, Bilic insisted that having Payet in their ranks would have made them an even better side.
“It looks like that [they are better without Payet] at the moment but you can judge that only if it continues in the long term. And make no mistake, a really good Dimitri Payet would improve our team. It would be stupid and even not fair to him to say now we are better now,” he added.
While having Payet may have given the Irons a squad that boasted more quality, it cannot be denied that the supporters were almost unanimously behind the idea of letting him go once it became clear that he wanted to leave.
And their form since his last game has arguably confirmed that it was probably a smart decision. The team appear to be much more harmonious on the pitch, and it would not be a surprise if there is more unity off it also.