Belfast Telegraph

Hammers' ace Andy Carroll back to terrorise Arsenal defence

By Andy Simms

Slaven Bilic is ready to unleash Andy Carroll on Arsenal. The big frontman is back in the West Ham squad for the first time since August and set to lead the line against the Gunners when they clash this evening.

Carroll's return should strike fear into the hearts of Arsenal's defenders with the memories of his hat-trick against them in April still fresh in the mind.

The 27-year-old terrorised Arsene Wenger's back four that day as West Ham battled back from two goals down to earn a thrilling 3-3 draw at Upton Park.

Sadly for the Hammers, Carroll suffered a knee injury against Astra Giurgiu in the Europa League at the start of the season which kept him out for three-and-a-half months.

But the former Newcastle and Liverpool striker is finally fit again, and under-pressure Hammers boss Bilic will pin his hopes on Carroll firing them away from relegation trouble.

"He will be in the squad, so he's ready," said Bilic, who is desperate for a big scalp.

"He's a player that offers something special, he is one of the reasons why we were so prolific last season in front of goal, why we were so versatile, so dangerous, why we scored so many goals and why we finished so high.

"He played a great game against Arsenal where we didn't start well, we were two down and didn't play good.

"It was basically him who brought us back in that game before half-time with two goals, and he went on to score a hat-trick.

"If you ask me what he's capable of, that's one of the greatest examples."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph