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Analysing Andy Carroll’s impact for West Ham United against Huddersfield Town

Jake Jackman

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Carroll

Andy Carroll made his first appearance of the season as West Ham United triumphed over Huddersfield Town. It was the club’s first win of the Premier League campaign and it relieved the pressure on Slaven Bilic, who has been a talking point in the media recently. A loss against the newly-promoted Terriers could have spelt the end for the Croatian, but the Hammers were comfortable 2-0 winners in the end.

The game-plan was clear from the first minute, as they looked to bypass the Huddersfield press and use the aerial ability of Carroll. Javier Hernandez and Michail Antonio were playing alongside him. Both have the pace and mobility to cause problems, but it was the 28-year-old striker that was expected to win the knockdowns for the two of them. The number nine fared well and had an influential role as the home side finally managed to get off the mark for the season.

His aerial ability was the reason he was selected and he didn’t disappoint. Huddersfield are a physical team and they hadn’t conceded a goal all season until yesterday. They were full of confidence, but Carroll managed to win 14 aerial duels and ended the match with a 78% success rate in the air. This shows how he can dominate and the tactical value he offers to a team when deployed correctly. The visitors were always going to try to press high up the pitch, but the Hammers successfully bypassed that and that was a personal victory for Bilic

Carroll doesn’t even have to be involved in the play to cause problems. His presence on the pitch draws attention to him from set pieces and West Ham offered a bigger threat from them as a result of him being selected. The second goal came from one and this is going to be an avenue that West Ham look to exploit as the season progresses.

Although he didn’t get on the score-sheet himself, he wasn’t short of confidence in front of goal and attempted six shots during the match. This was an encouraging sign and if he can stay fit, it is likely that he will score goals this season. Despite his size, he takes up good positions in the final third and is more than useful with his feet. There were a couple of occasions where he shifted away from a challenge to get a shot away and that will encourage his manager.

The arrival of Javier Hernandez does cause a selection issue for Slaven Bilic and his choice of shifting the Mexican onto the wing isn’t a long-term answer. It is possible that he can strike up a good partnership with Carroll as a two and that could be worth exploring. The big man, little man front two is a thing of the past, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be effective now. Based on this performance, the 28-year-old has a huge role to play when he is fit. The Hammers just need to find a system to best utilise what he offers.

Jake is a journalist based in the South East. He is a Newcastle United fan and has a keen interest in Dutch football. Jake can be found on Twitter here - @jakejackmann.

West Ham United

Manuel Pellegrini move for former player Willy Caballero makes sense

The Argentine goalkeeper is currently at Chelsea but West Ham may make a move.

Mathew Coull

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West Ham United need a new goalkeeper this summer. Last year they signed Joe Hart to replace a reasonably in form Adrian. The England stopper flopped at the London Stadium. Adrian, however, has not shown some of his previous better form since coming back into the side.

The Hammers can now start planning for the upcoming season and begin thinking about potential transfer options. They have appointed a new manager and Manuel Pellegrini is expected to get plenty of backing in the transfer market this summer.

One player that he might want to consider signing is a man he has worked with on two separate occasions in the past.

Willy Caballero is currently the back-up to Thibaut Courtois at Chelsea. The Argentine stopper may be 36-years-old, but he still has plenty to offer. When it comes to saving penalties, there may not be anyone better in world football today.

(Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Pellegrini is the man who first brought the veteran stopper to England. The Chilean signed his fellow South American as back-up to Joe Hart back in 2014. He has also previously worked with him at Malaga and, as reported by The Sun, a reunion at West Ham does now seem like a possibility.

It would be a smart piece of business for West Ham. Caballero is surely not happy sitting on the bench at Stamford Bridge. At West Ham, regardless of whether they bring in another new face or not, he is more likely to get first-team football and enjoy the latter stages of his career.

It is a deal that makes sense on paper and would not come at a heavy price for West Ham. Fans should hope that Pellegrini can put this one together in the coming weeks.

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Everton

Everton should forget Luis Muriel and target his team-mate Wissam Ben Yedder instead

Everton are said to be interested in the Colombian striker again this summer.

Mathew Coull

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Everton are reportedly interested in the signature of Sevilla striker Luis Muriel. It is being reported in Spain that the Toffees are keen on signing the Colombian international this summer in order to strengthen their attacking options.

Fichajes and Estadio Deportivo in Spain have both reported the news and Everton have of course been linked before. Last summer, before Muriel made his switch to Spain it was reported by numerous sources, including Marca, that Everton wanted to bring the forward in from Sampdoria.

On the one hand, Everton fans will be happy the club are looking into new recruits for next season. However, Muriel is not the player at Sevilla that Everton should be targeting.

(Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

The 27-year-old managed just nine goals and four assists in 46 appearances for the Spanish side last season. That sort of form should hardly have Everton reaching for the chequebook.

If Everton are going to look at a forward from Sevilla, then they should be targeting French striker Wissam Ben Yedder instead.

The 27-year-old has been a far more impressive player this season, despite often coming on from the bench. He scored 22 goals and assisted five in 42 games, a much better rate than the man Everton are apparently chasing.

He also clearly loves English opposition. He scored a famous double against Manchester United to knock the Red Devils out of the Champions League and also scored three times in two appearances against Everton’s Merseyside rivals Liverpool in the Group Stage.

(Photo credit should read CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP/Getty Images)

Everton do need to make improvements across the camp, but it is hard to see how Muriel would make a significant difference to the Everton strikeforce.

Ben Yedder, on the other hand, would be a much more impactful arrival and he could hopefully continue his fine form against English sides but in an Everton kit.

With talk of Everton flop Sandro Ramirez heading the other way as part of the Muriel deal a fee could easily be negotiated to bring in the French forward.

If Everton are targeting a Sevilla striker this summer, then Ben Yedder is the man they should be going for, not Muriel.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Alderweireld out, De Ligt in and £25m up would represent a Tottenham transfer masterstroke

Tottenham Hotspur look set to lose the Belgian this summer.

Mathew Coull

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It seems just a matter of time now before Tottenham Hotspur lose their Belgian defender Toby Alderweireld. The 29-year-old has rejected the club’s offer of a new contract, reported by the Mirror to be worth around £120k-a-week. Despite the doubling of is wages he is said to be unhappy at the length of any deal and now appears set to leave.

The Mirror report this morning that Spurs want a fee near the £75 million Liverpool paid for Virgil van Dijk. Tottenham still consider Alderweireld to be among the best defenders in the Premier League, despite an injury struck campaign. Therefore, a fee must match that paid for the Dutchman.

Spurs, according to the same report, have also identified the man they want to replace Alderweireld in North London. Once again they will apparently turn to Ajax. Following on from bringing Davinson Sanchez to the club last summer, 12 months on they are set to target Matthijs De Ligt.

(Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

The fee for the 18-year-old is said to be in the £50 million region and if these two deals pan out as reported than Daniel Levy and co have done fantastic business for Tottenham Hotspur.

Alderweireld is undoubtedly a world-class defender. However, injury concerns are a concern, especially as he approaches his 30s. A fee of £75 million would be more than fair compensation for his services at this place in time.

As for De Ligt, he is probably the best young defender in world football. Despite his tender age, he is already a full Dutch international, recently making headlines for a stunning performance v Portugal. He kept Cristiano Ronaldo out at one end whilst his marauding style in a back-three also saw him bag two assists in a 3-0 win for the Dutch.

(Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Many in his homeland are comparing him to Dutch legend Ronald Koeman and the similarities are obvious to see.

Some of the biggest clubs in world football are keen on De Ligt. Tottenham do however have an advantage due to their good working relationship with the Dutch champions – who they have done business with over Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen and Sanchez.

If Tottenham can bring in De Ligt and still have £25 million to spare from the Alderweireld deal then there is no doubt they have pulled off a masterstroke in the transfer market. Such a scenario will definitely pay off in the future when De Ligt is lighting up the Premier League.

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