Brooking - We need our big strikers back among the goals


Sir Trevor Brooking believes West Ham have shown they have the capabilities to compete with the big teams in the Premier League and feels the return of key strikers such as Andy Carroll and Andre Ayew will transform the way the team is performing.

Brooking was at London Stadium to see the Hammers suffer a disappointing home defeat against Arsenal last Saturday and knows it could have been a different story if Slaven Bilic had been able to call upon his established forwards if they had been fully fit.

The Hammers manager has suffered a number of injury problems this season, particularly to his forward line and has been forced to do without the services of Carroll, Diafra Sakho and Club record signing Ayew for the majority of the season.

Brooking certainly knows a thing or too about getting on the scoresheet, having scored over 100 goals for the east London Club and feels the return of players such as Carroll and Ayew will make the Hammers a much stronger outfit ahead of a crucial period of games.

Brooking said: “You can see the capability that the team has after we played so well to get a victory over Chelsea in the EFL Cup and no-one has beaten them in recent weeks.

“But we have suffered a number of injuries, so the form of certain players has not been as strong and scoring goals has been a big issue. We have just got to be patient.

“We have got a flurry of games coming up and we need to see how the team emerges going into the New Year and that will give us a clearer picture of what is ahead.

“We need more goals and I was really upset that Diafra Sakho got injured again because he came back really well and made a difference in the Tottenham game.

“He scored against Manchester United at Old Trafford but then got injured again. He is a player who can turn defences around and it is a big loss.

“We saw last season what a threat Andy Carroll can be and he needs to stay fit. When he is fit he is a handful and our biggest challenge has been to score sufficient goals.

“I hope Andy can gradually come back and Andre Ayew can start to show his best form. We also need to get Diafra fit again because he was starting to show what we can do when we have a decent striker up there.”

Brooking would love to see West Ham repeat what they achieved at Anfield last season when they ended 52 years without a victory to secure a memorable 3-0 win over Liverpool.

But with Jurgen Klopp's side going for the title this season, the Hammers legend knows the difficult task facing his former Club and hopes they can get something before they face two massive home games against Burnley and Hull.

Brooking added: “Liverpool have got a couple of injuries at the moment but it is not an easy place to go and they are a bit like Chelsea this season that they don't have European distraction and were always going to be challenging for the title.

“They have got a lot of strength in depth and it will be a tough game. We had great result there last year but I can't remember having the best of times at Anfield during my playing days.

“The only game I can remember something positive from was when little Pop Robson was playing for us and we were 2-0 up with ten minutes to go but they came back and got a draw, even though we played them off the park.

“It is always a great place to play and the atmosphere and banter between the fans is great.

“You normally look forward to it, but with the ways things are going and the gaps in the squad, we want to emerge from it without to much damage.

“The next two home games against Burnley and Hull are massive and we want to try and get back on a winning run.”