West Ham travel light in absence of Andy Carroll
Sometimes one bad break can ruin a whole summer’s transfer strategy. Having brought in Stewart Downing to add to the service from the wings for Andy Carroll already provided by Matt Jarvis, West Ham looked well placed to build on an impressive 10th position achieved on their return to the Premier League.
In Carroll they had a striker whose qualities had been proven to their satisfaction during last season’s loan from Liverpool, where he was surplus to Brendan Rodgers’s requirements. The one concern was how durable he would prove. He missed three and a half months of his loan season at various times and only really began scoring during a sustained run towards the end of it.
Finishing with seven goals in 24 games convinced manager Sam Allardyce it was worth paying the agreed fee of £15.5m, but now a foot injury has put him out of contention for the immediate future without having played this season. With only the more lightweight Modibo Maiga (two goals in 20 games, mainly as a substitute) as a replacement, Allardyce was forced to consider bringing back Carlton Cole after releasing him, and has now signed Mladen Petric, 32 years old, not prolific either in his one season with Fulham and also a different type of player to Carroll. It leaves the London side looking light in attack for today’s visit to Southampton, as indeed they did in losing 1-0 at home to Stoke before the international break.
Southampton, who splashed out more than £30m in the summer on three players, have yet to score or concede more than one goal in a game, and with West Ham having scored two and conceded one in three matches, this is unlikely be a goal fest. A fully fit Carroll, keen to press his international claims against Rickie Lambert’s, might have made the afternoon’s entertainment a different proposition.
Southampton v West Ham is on Sky Sports 1 today, kick-off 4pm
Marvel has released the first teaser trailer a week early after it leaked online
Latest in Sport
Anderlecht vs Arsenal match report: Kieran Gibbs and Lukas Podolski pounce as Arsenal leave it late
Liverpool vs Real Madrid player ratings: Was Cristiano Ronaldo the star man? And how did Mario Balotelli fare?
Liverpool vs Real Madrid match report: Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema run Reds ragged at Anfield
Arsenal player ratings
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was shirt swapping the real reason?
- 1 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 3 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Couple die within 28 hours of each other after being married for 73 years
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'