Captain Mark Noble has joked that he’s always known Andy Carroll is a better finisher with his right foot, after the striker scored the winning goal with his supposedly weaker side against West Brom.
The Baggies – managed by former Hammers boss Alan Pardew – had taken the lead in the first match of 2018 at London Stadium after James McClean’s deflected strike found the back of the net, but two second half efforts from Carroll gave the Irons the victory.
The first was a trademark Carroll header, with the forward rising between the West Brom defenders to nod home his first goal of the season on the hour mark, while his second came in the last minute of the game, as the 28-year-old swept home from a narrow angle with his right boot.
And Noble believes the stoppage time winner proves his belief that Carroll is, in fact, better with his right foot than his left.
I've always said Andy's right foot is better than his left foot. I think he's proved it there!
“I’ve always said his [Carroll’s] right foot is better than his left foot!” A beaming Noble laughed after the match. “I think he’s proved it there with that finish!”
The skipper continued: “I truly believed that if we got a goal then it would be tough for West Brom to hold out. West Brom haven’t won in a long time, although to be honest, when Marko Arnautovic flashed our last counter-attack across the goal I thought the game was over.”
Carroll joined Noble for the post-match interview and admitted he was relieved to find the net, after a late run into the box saw him in the right place to win the match.
Carroll admitted: “It was tight at the end but if I didn’t get in the box I would have got some stick so I had to keep up with play!
“It’s been a while. I haven’t started the last couple of games so it’s good to get on the pitch again and get the goals. I’m relieved.”
The striker added: “It was a tough game. We are disappointed with the goal we gave away and then obviously we had to keep battling on, to keep pushing them, which we did.
“We came out second half and got the goals. It’s nice to get the points at home. The fans deserve that and we gave them a good game.”
Noble was full of praise for his teammate and friend, hailing Carroll’s work ethic and determination up front for the Irons.
The midfielder said: “I sit next to him every day in the changing room and I know that scoring goals means a lot to him, as it does to every striker. He’s dug in and deserved that today.”