Cottee column: No goals, but Andy Carroll has proved his worth to West Ham

18:00 08 November 2012

Andy Carroll has not scored in six West Ham appearances. Pic: Rob Newell/TGSPHOTO

Andy Carroll has not scored in six West Ham appearances. Pic: Rob Newell/TGSPHOTO

Rob Newell/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League

“Allardyce won’t be too concerned that Carroll isn’t scoring, he brings so much to the team.”

Another week has passed with Andy Carroll not scoring, but I’m not at all concerned about his place and his contribution to the rest of the team.

I remember Howard Kendall saying to me when I was at Everton: “I know you can score goals, it’s the rest of your game that I’m worried about.”

I think when it comes to Carroll, West Ham manager Sam Allardyce will be looking at what other aspects he brings to the team.

Is he pulling his weight outside the box? Is he holding the ball up? Is he bringing others into play? Is he creating chances and getting into the right positions?

I think the answer is yes on all fronts, so I don’t think Sam will be too concerned that Andy has not scored in his six outings so far.

I think once he gets one, he will go on one of those runs when he gets more and more.

He returns to Newcastle, along with skipper Kevin Nolan, this weekend.

I did enjoy playing against my old clubs. You want to prove you’re still a good player whatever the circumstances around your move.

When I left West Ham the first time and came back with Everton I got a mixed reception. But I think any boos or jeering you get tend to be from people who are disappointed you left in the first place. If there was no noise it’s probably because the fans didn’t think much of you, so really it’s a compliment.

Nolan and Carroll will be really fired up and I think one of them will score.

I’m expecting a good performance from West Ham – we can definitely give Newcastle a test, especially after the performance and result against Manchester City.

It was a fantastic point and come the end of the season I think we will be looking back at the goalless draw and saying what a well-earned point that was.

Of course it could have been more, as Nolan’s early goal was wrongly ruled out for offside.

I watch a lot of football and I always want to see an early goal, because it makes a difference to how every match is then played out.

On Saturday we would have seen City on the back foot early on and then as they pressed to get back into the game and committed men forwards we would have looked to hit them on the counter-attack.

I can understand why the assistant referee didn’t give it, because as he looks along the line the first person he sees is Nolan.

Had he been on the other side the first person he would see is the defender and I think the goal would have stood.

In general it has been a very good start to the season with 15 points from 10 games. If we continue to pick up points at that rate we’ll be just short of 60 and comfortably in the top half.

I thought mid-table is where we would finish, although it’s easy to talk about it and much harder to do, but so far, so good.

The injuries are starting to mount up, but the positive note is that it gives chances to the youngsters.

It gives the players a chance to get on and sometimes you hit the jackpot and someone starts playing so well that you cannot drop him.

The negative aspect is that Sam will be concerned he is starting to lose senior players like James Collins and he won’t want to lose any more. We haven’t got the biggest squad, you look on the back of the programme and there is not the longest list of players.

But with the transfer window shut the young players must seize their opportunity. I made my debut against Tottenham – a massive derby game.

In an ideal world you would want to come on against a struggling team, but in reality you don’t always get that and this difficult run that we’ve got is a great chance for the likes of Jordan Spence to prove himself.

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