Carroll: It feels good to be back on the scoresheet
Andy Carroll had every reason to celebrate his 30th birthday after scoring his first West Ham United goal in a year in Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup third-round win over Birmingham City.
The No9 climbed off the substitutes’ bench to produce a typically whole-hearted performance at London Stadium, capped by a trademark far post header to complete the Irons’ 2-0 victory.
Carroll contributed in both penalty areas, not only scoring but going close on two other occasions and making a number of vital defensive clearances and blocks.
I’ve been waiting for a ball like that. It was a little floaty cross and Mick put it in and it was perfect, I got up and got the goal
“It does feel good,” he confirmed. “I worked hard, had a couple of chances and could have scored five minutes before then, but you’ve got to keep going when you’re a striker and I got another chance and put it away.
“It was a good ball. I’ve been waiting for a ball like that. It was a little floaty cross and Mick put it in and it was perfect, I got up and got the goal.
“I’ve been working for a few months trying to get my fitness up and the gaffer has been giving me 30 minutes or 45 minutes, so it was good to get 70 minutes this time around.
“Both teams played well. We played well. I thought they had a couple of chances and were especially dangerous from corners and I cleared one off the line as well, so it was a good game.
“I think I’m good in both boxes but people just see the other side of it, but we won, so it was a good result.”
Carroll is eager to earn more minutes going forward and is hoping Manuel Pellegrini hands him another Premier League start at home to Arsenal next weekend.
However, the centre forward knows competition for places is fierce, with Marko Arnautovic also scoring against Birmingham, Samir Nasri impressing on debut and West Ham’s young players shining regularly.
“It would be nice to get a start next week, so we’ll start from there,” he said. “I definitely feel the squad is massive and everyone can play in it. You saw the young lads too, Xande Silva coming in and playing and Grady Diangana getting Man of the Match showed his level of performance, so it’s good we’ve got youth playing as well.
“I think you could see Samir was not fit at all when he first started training but he’s been working, really, really hard and you knew straight away his technical ability hadn’t gone and it will never go and he’s really, really good on the ball.”
Whether he starts or not, Carroll believes West Ham are in a good place overall, sitting tenth in the Premier League and awaiting their Emirates FA Cup fourth round opponents when the draw is made on Monday evening.
“The gaffer has come in and changed a lot of things around with the players he’s brought in and the tactics he’s using,” he observed. “With the money the Chairman has spent as well, the Club is only going one way.”