Stat’s a Fact


Andy Carroll’s Betway Cup double suggests the towering centre forward is set for a prolific 2016/17.

West Ham United’s No9 is fit, happy and firing on all cylinders as the countdown to the new Premier League campaign approaches zero.

Carroll ended last season in the best goalscoring form of his Hammers career, netting six goals in his final ten top-flight appearances.

That spurt, including a superb hat-trick against Arsenal at the Boleyn Ground in March, saw the 27-year-old tipped for a return to the England squad for UEFA Euro 2016.

That call-up never materialised and the absence of Carroll’s unique aerial ability was notable as the Three Lions stumbled out of the tournament at the Round of 16.

With his former West Ham and Newcastle United manager Sam Allardyce now in charge of the national side and his current Hammers boss Slaven Bilic clearly full of faith in his ability, Carroll is arguably playing the best football of his career.

The Gateshead-born front man netted four times in pre-season – a smart first-time finish at Carolina RailHawks, an accurate header into the top corner against German side Karlsruher SC and two typically powerful finishes against Italian champions Juventus on Sunday.

While warm-up fixtures are not considered to be official when it comes to the record books, Carroll has now scored ten goals in his last 16 appearances in Claret and Blue.

Add in assists for Winston Reid in Carolina, Cheikhou Kouyate against NK Domzale in the UEFA Europa League at the London Stadium and it is clear that the striker is going into the new season in superb form.

There has been much talk of West Ham’s need to sign a prolific attacker, but Carroll has scored a wide variety of goals in recent months, suggesting he is far more than just a target man.

At the tail-end of last season, he thumped home at Chelsea, headed in two and scissor-kicked another against the Gunners, neatly volleyed in against Watford, and calmly converted a penalty at Leicester City.

This pre-season, Carroll has again shown poise and power to score his four against the RailHawks, Karlsruher and the Serie A title holders.

While it would be foolish to forecast that Carroll will continue his outstanding recent scoring rate for the whole of the upcoming campaign, an increase in his goals/game ratio very much looks on the cards.