Hammers Carroll has missed us all as much as we have all missed him!
17:30 14 January 2014
PA Archive/Press Association Images
Hammers striker comes out talking!
Perhaps an even bigger surprise than Andy Carroll returning to action at Cardiff City on Saturday was his welcome williness to speak to the waiting media afterwards.
How the normally shy and reserved 25-year-old must have missed the whole cut and thrust of the Premier League in his eight-month hiatus.
He must have even missed us journalists for him to volunteer a word or two.
“I can’t stand it on the sidelines, it just drives me crazy” admitted the England centre forward, who played 19 minutes in the 2-0 win.
“It is just a great feeling being out on the pitch at any time, but obviously when you have been out for eight months, you get frustrated and it has been terrible for us really.
“So coming back now, I can just forget about all that and concentrate on my football.”
Carroll’s first appearance since the final game of last season was certainly an eventful one. His first touch was to miscontrol a forward pass, while he also let another ball go through his legs and off for a throw.
But Carroll showed his worth in injury time as he set up Mark Noble to make it 2-0 and secure the three points.
“I had a few dodgy touches, so I needed to do something to forget about those,” said Carroll about his assist.
So how was the injury? Did he come through unscathed? It seems yes.
“I felt great,” he insisted. “But I have to ease my way back.
“It was my first game back and I have only had a handful of training sessions. I’ve got to carry on doing what has got me back into this shape, keep it like that and work from there.”
With Carlton Cole back to goalscoring form and the Hammers hopeful of signing Lacina Traore on loan this week, the need for Carroll to step straight into the starting line-up is not such a priority.
Carroll believes the team have been unlucky without him.
“I just think the lads have been great,” he said. “It has been tough, we have had our chances this season in games, but we haven’t taken them.”
One game back and West Ham are out of the bottom three.
“It couldn’t be better,” he smiled.
He is probably right.