Sam Allardyce declares West Ham's Andy Carroll fit and firing for England duty after Arsenal defeat

West Ham United 1 Arsenal 3

For those new to the Premier League the lessons are hard learned. Even for older hands like Sam Allardyce, forewarned is not necessarily forearmed. "Whenever my teams have won against top teams in the past we have always punished the opposition when we had the opportunity," he said. West Ham's failure to make the most of those chances on Saturday cost them a first home defeat since promotion as Arsenal broke out after seizing possession to score two late goals through Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla with breathtaking counter-attacks.

In punching above his weight for many years at Bolton, Allardyce particularly enjoyed getting under the skin of Arsène Wenger. Yet their pre-match handshake, accompanied by broad smiles, indicated a level of mutual respect, as did Allardyce's praise for the visitors' "fantastic way they move the ball around".

His team had somehow been ahead against the tide of the game with Mohamed Diamé's cleverly scooped shot but conceded at a crucial point just before half-time to Olivier Giroud. Their most dangerous moments tended to involve Andy Carroll, one climb way above the goalkeeper to head George McCartney's cross just wide drawing gasps all round the ground. The managers' mutual admiration extended to Wenger saying: "You can never control Carroll for 90 minutes. He was really up for it."

It was Carroll's first full game for a month but Allardyce, unlike some managers, is happy for his man to play another one in the international break over the next 10 days: "What I will speak to Roy [Hodgson] about is his fatigue level. He should be fine for Friday [against San Marino] and hopefully he will get a game at some stage to improve his match fitness. He's an unbelievable player and can only get better as time goes on. As long as we keep giving him the service, I think he's going to be a tremendous asset."

Wenger could say the same about the dazzling Cazorla. Asked if the Spaniard made Walcott a better player, the Arsenal manager responded: "He makes everybody a better player. It is just a pleasure to watch him and I hope every young football player in England watches him."

Walcott is another Englishman hoping for an opportunity over the weekend, having already declared that his goal, smartly curled between Jussi Jaaskelainen and the near post, was "the way to answer your critics". His follow-up about hoping for "a nice run in the team" may draw a wry smile from Wenger, who continues to use Gervinho and even Aaron Ramsey ahead of him. The unspoken lesson may be that the manager will decide his best position and Walcott should concentrate on making the team.

Goals: West Ham Diamé 21. Arsenal Giroud 41, Walcott 77, Cazorla 83. Subs: WH Taylor (Vaz Te, 63), Tomkins (Demel, 73), Cole (Diamé, 82). Ars Santos (Gibbs, 56), Walcott (Gervinho, 61), Koscielny (Podolski, 85). Booked: WH Diamé, Reid, Taylor. Ars Gervinho, Walcott. Man of match Giroud. Match rating 7/10. Poss: WH 31%. Ars 69%. On target: WH 3. Ars 7. Ref P Dowd (Staffordshire). Att 34,974.

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

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital
In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty