West Ham United 3 West Bromwich Albion 1 match report: West Ham feel safe as Andy Carroll comes good

 

upton park

All of a sudden, things are looking a lot more comfortable for West Ham. To go with their stadium move and new home, they now have a much more secure standing in the table. This fine win over West Bromwich moves them up to 11th. And, six points clear of the relegation zone, Sam Allardyce's side have surely made certain of safety.

Even more importantly and impressively, this did not look like a team at all nervous about the problems and dropped points of the last few weeks. Nor did Andy Carroll look like a striker struggling for goals. Quite the opposite. Both the forward and his team provided such an assured – and, given the quality of the goals, occasionally exquisite – display that a frustrated Youssuf Mulumbu was agitated into what must be one of the stupidest red cards of the season.

Under pressure from Gary O'Neil in injury time, the West Bromwich midfielder stopped, turned, picked up the ball and drop-kicked it at the West Ham player's backside. The laughs from the home fans summed up the silliness of the act.

So, other than an unfortunate recurrence of substitute George McCartney's medial-ligament injury, which will likely keep him out for the season, Allardyce was left to reflect on a "great day" and "thoroughly deserved win" – which the West Bromwich manager Steve Clarke agreed with.

West Ham played with an ease and confidence that we haven't really seen since the opening few months of the season. In goal, Jussi Jaaskelainen pulled off a fine early save from a deflected Romelu Lukaku free-kick to set the tone. In front of him, James Collins was dominant. In midfield, the immense Mohamed Diamé demonstrated the kind of touches and dynamism that initially brought such interest from the Champions' League clubs. He was crucial to West Ham as his clever touches eased pressure on the defence and began attacks in the same movement.

Then there was the link-up between the resurgent Ricardo Vaz Te and O'Neil for West Ham's gorgeous second goal. After a jinking run, the winger fed an expectant O'Neil, who swept the ball into the corner of the net with a curled chip to make the score 2-0.

And then there was Carroll who, in stark contrast to those opening months, finally added goals to all his effort in a West Ham shirt – his fourth and fifth in the League this season.

They were also strikes of the highest quality. For the first, after just 16 minutes, Carroll rendered Jonas Olsson's marking an insignificance as he thundered a header past Ben Foster. For his second and West Ham's clinching third, he turned on a lofted Collins free-kick to volley into the bottom corner beautifully. Allardyce admitted it was probably Carroll's best display for the club. "You'd have to say yes because he's put two goals on the end of a good performance. He's put good performances in for us before, but he's shown what he's all about today with his ability outside the box and his ability inside the box, which we've been waiting patiently for.

"He's in a good frame of mind now and, finally, after a long wait, his match fitness is why we're seeing the goals and performances. I hope this kicks on in the next eight games."

As to whether Carroll will remain at the club beyond that, Allardyce said he was keen but, with so much involved in a transfer, this wasn't the time to discuss it.

Clarke said much the same about Mulumbu's red card. Indeed, Graham Dorrans's fortuitous late penalty after a soft Lukaku fall clearly didn't calm West Bromwich.

"I would guess it's frustration," Clarke said. "The time to have a chat is probably tomorrow morning. I just said to the group in general that you have to control your frustration. It was frustrating afternoon for us."

For West Ham and Carroll, though, it was an eminently fruitful one.

Voices
voices
News
general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
News
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born daughter, their second child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on 2 May 2015.
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before