After a very solid season back in the top flight for West Ham United, and a massive credit to Sam Allardyce and his team for their efforts, Allardyce is going to have a new dilemma. What’s he going to do about the striker situation in the summer, with Andy Carrolls loan coming to an end, and Carlton Cole out of contract.
The Chairmen have promised additions, and with the new TV deal coming into place, it will hopefully free up some funds to strengthen the team and improve on a mid table finish. However, Allardyce has come out and said that loan star, Andy Carroll, may be out of our price range due to the new financial regulations coming in, and the club being able to only spend what it has. Carroll is quoted as saying “Why not” when asked if he wants to stay at West Ham, but he is sure to come with a hefty price tag (£17m is the figure the press have come up with). On top of the fee, is his high wages, again a figure has been suggested that he is on £83k a week.
In recent weeks, Carroll has started to show the form that prompted Liverpool to shell out £35m for him. His two goals against West Brom showed that he has different types of goals in him, and also showed that he is more than just a ‘hold up play’ striker. I think the supporters love him for his tireless effort, his undoubted ability and the fact he has something which his back up doesn’t….goals!
This brings me onto Carlton Cole. Does he deserve a new deal at West Ham? He probably deserves it for the effort and passion he shows for the club, but is he good enough? Honestly, no he isn’t. We cannot afford to get sentimental about players if they are not good enough. If we want to push on as a club, then we need two strikers who we can rotate, knowing that we are going to get the same from them. We know, more often than not, that Cole won’t score when he plays, which then puts pressure on the rest of the team to pick up the slack. However, he doesn’t really add too much more to the team either. The honest answer is that we need to cut Cole loose, and let him start a new part of his career at a club where he will get first team football. The difference between Carroll and Cole is immense – if Carroll doesn’t get the rub of the green with the decisions, then he will fight on, and up his game in order to have some sort of influence. If Cole doesn’t start well, then he drifts out of the game too quickly. It’s also fair to say that his finishing is awful for a Premier League striker. Looking from behind Cole for a chance he had against Liverpool – hit the ball on target and Agger would not have blocked it. Instead, his shot was sliced, and going miles wide. I would never trust him in a one on one situation, to be able to hit the target.
We need better. If Carroll is not able to sign for financial reasons then we have to sign someone within our budget. Is it Chamakh? Is it Bony? Who knows, but one things for sure, I would like two strikers in place in the early part of the transfer window, so they have the summer to bed in, and be fit for the start of the season.