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Dave Evans, West Ham Correspondent
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Hammers loan striker Andy Carroll was denied a first goal of the season at Newcastle, but his skipper and best mate thinks it is only a matter of time
Andy Carroll’s first goal in claret and blue is not far away according to team-mate and best mate Kevin Nolan after Sunday’s 1-0 victory at Newcastle.
The West Ham skipper scored the only goal on his return to St James’ Park, but he also almost put in Carroll for a second, only for the big striker to see his close-range effort blocked by the keeper.
“Timmy Krul pulled off an absolutely fantastic save,” said the skipper. “I think Andy did everything right, but he is a top keeper, so unfortunately it wasn’t to be against Newcastle, hopefully he is saving it for the next game.”
Carroll was booed by the Newcastle fans during the game, but Nolan thinks that many Geordies still respect the 23-year-old after his £35 million move from St James’ Park to Anfield.
“Although he does get the boos, I think the fans respect him for the money that he raised in him leaving,” he said. “He has helped put Newcastle back where they belong by allowing them to get in the quality players that they have.”
He may not be scoring, but Carroll’s partnership with Nolan as well as his efforts all over the pitch is proving rewarding for the Hammers.
“Everyone around him knows Andy for his hard work and his defensive skills, what he brings to the team. Everybody knows what he is about and I think he put in a great performance for us against Newcastle and hopefully that goal is not too far away.”
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is certainly appreciative of the role Carroll is playing, especially his partnership with Nolan.
“Even though Andy is not scoring, they work in tandem and know where each other are,” said the boss. “For most of Sunday’s game they were together when they were needed and held the ball up.
“The only disappointing aspect was that Andy didn’t stick the ball in the back of the net for his first goal. That’s not being critical of him as it was a fantastic save, but overall it was Nolan who was the man-of-the-match and he showed the Newcastle fans what they were missing.”
Hopefully both Newcastle and Liverpool will witness what they are missing with Carroll too – a striker who hits the back of the net.