“I Didn’t Really Expect It” – Hammers Striker Carroll Surprised By Support During Foxes Win
West Ham United striker Andy Carroll has admitted that he was surprised by support he received from travelling Hammers fans when he came on as a substitute during Saturday’s crucial Premier League victory over Leicester City.
Carroll was introduced at the King Power Stadium with just under 20 minutes to play and contributed a handy cameo, on the afternoon that the East Londoners secured their position in the Top-Flight for another season.
Speaking to the club’s Official Website WHUFC.com earlier in the week about the occasion, the team’s third triumph on the road this campaign, the ex-Liverpool star had the following to say.
“Saturday was brilliant, for me personally, coming on after they were singing my name while I was warming up on the touchline was really good. I didn’t really expect it, to be honest, but our fans chose to get behind me and it was nice to hear,” stated the former England International.
“It was a good game for us. The lads stuck together and we deserved it, really. I thought we played well and it was a good day all around. The fans were brilliant, we were brilliant and the other results went our way, too.”
The match was only his third appearance since returning from an ankle injury that had kept him out of action since the early part of the year, previously coming off the substitutes’ bench last month against Stoke City and Arsenal.
In the first of those short stints on the field, Carroll opposed up with a vital goal, a last-gasp equaliser to avoid dropping three points against the now relegated Potters at London stadium.
The well-taken volley was added to his other two goals in 2017/2018 and they also arrived when he came off the bench on his return from a lengthy lay-off in Early January, scoring twice for David Moyes’ side to clinch all three points against West Bromwich Albion on home soil.
However, mid-last week, it was looking unlikely that the forward would even be part of the matchday squad that travelled to the Midlands to face the Foxes after being fined by the club for leaving the bench and going down the tunnel early during the thrashing by Manchester City in late April.
The Sunday before last’s incident then reportedly spilled over to the training ground the next morning as Carroll and boss Moyes clashed, although he apologised the next time that the squad came together.
This was believed to be the reason the target man, who will have been in East London for six injury-warped years this summer, wasn’t expecting a warm reception from the vocal Claret & Blue Army on Saturday.
But, he did get one as the supporters applauded him and sung his name over the closing stages of a truly special 90 minutes for them, while he helped the Hammers to close out the 0-2 win.
Carroll may not have been able to add to his scoring tally for the term on the day, but one man that did was his captain Mark Noble and, in some style, too with an incredible second-half volley to out his boyhood club two goals into the lead.
Many have argued the sensational strike, a 25-yard first-time effort that gave Leicester goalkeeper Ben Hamer no chance, to be West Ham Goal of the Season, an Award that had already been given to Pedro Obiang, but what did Carroll and Noble’s fellow teammates think about their skipper’s thunderbolt?
“We laughed after the game as we reckon it was probably his first goal from outside the box, but he told us it wasn’t and that he used to do it all the time,” the tall forward joked.
“He never normally shoots from there as he usually controls it and lobs it back into the box, so he must have had a rush of blood.”
The intimidating front man continued, “To be fair to him, it was a hell of a strike, the best goal of his career and it was his birthday on Tuesday, so he’s had a good week so far. He’s 31 now, so he’s getting on a bit.”
However, the outing could have been better still for the Newcastle United Academy product and Moyes’ men if he had been able to add a third in the last 20 minutes.
Carroll was presented with an opportunity when the ball fell to him in the box but he just couldn’t bring it under control and decided to take it to the corner to shield it instead, in the same Interview, Carroll gave his thoughts on the missed chance and announced his hopes for the end of the season.
“I could have had a goal, but I decided I’d take it out wide instead and hold a couple of their players off by the corner flag in front of our fans, just to show off my strength, being serious, I should have probably taken a better touch and scored,” he proclaimed.
“It would be nice to have some more minutes on the pitch. Getting 15 or 20 minutes the other day was good, so it would be nice to get out there again in the last two games and get a goal or two.
“After that, I’ll take Billi and the kids away for a nice chilled holiday and keep myself ticking over before coming back in for pre-season training.”
The East London outfit will have very little time to reflect on securing safety with two games to spare after a worrying few months as they play twice in the space of four days to close out the campaign, albeit, now pressure-free.
The Hammers have the chance to end a turbulent season on and off the field on a high in those two fixtures, against Manchester United and Everton at the London stadium on Thursday and Sunday respectively and Carroll will have his own mission with his faint hopes going to the FIFA World Cup with England this summer hanging in the balance, also.
You can follow tomorrow evening’s Premier League visit of Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United to the London Stadium to face David Moyes’ West Ham United right here on West Ham Matters, as we bring you a Live Blog of the eagerly-anticipated fixture, featuring live and exclusive build-up, text commentary and reaction from the Press Box of the former Olympic Stadium, from 5:45 PM BST.