Andy Carroll red card could have huge impact for West Ham - and the relegation battle as a whole

The England striker could miss the next three games if the ban is not overturned

West Ham will not be the only club sweating on the verdict of a Football Association disciplinary panel that convenes tomorrow to discuss whether Andy Carroll’s three-match ban for his sending off against Swansea on Saturday should be overturned.

With the powerful striker being so important to their hopes of escaping from the bottom three, all the relegation contenders – which means every club in the lower half of the table – have a vested interest in the result.

A neutral view would be that Carroll, while annoyed by the clumsiness of Chico Flores’s challenge, was not lashing out in retaliation and that his brushing of the Spaniard’s forehead produced a ludicrous over-reaction, convincing Howard Webb and his assistant on that side of the pitch, Scott Ledger, that Carroll was guilty of what Law 12 calls “violent conduct” or “serious foul play”.  

Losing the former England striker for matches against Aston Villa, Norwich and Southampton would be a heavy blow to West Ham – and consequently a boost to their rivals in distress – at a time when he is just returning to full fitness after missing the first five months of the season. Carroll dominated Swansea in the air and set up both goals in the 2-0 win with headed assists for his former Newcastle team-mate Kevin Nolan.

“It will be absolutely diabolical if it is not overturned,” Nolan said. “They have got to do the right thing. If someone is going to say that red card should stand, then that is just silly and there is no point in having these appeals.”

Swansea’s manager Michael Laudrup has spoken to Flores before about play-acting and promised: “If he was over-reacting, then of course I will speak to him.” But the Dane is not convinced that this leopard is capable of changing his spots. “We are what we are, we don’t change our personality,” he added.

If Carroll avoids a ban and stays fit, with Matt Jarvis and Stewart Downing supplying crosses from the flanks and Nolan picking up the second ball – the strategy that Sam Allardyce planned last summer – West Ham have an excellent chance of avoiding financially ruinous relegation two years before they move into the Olympic Stadium.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee