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
News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Extras
indybest
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

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?