When Andy Carroll received red card after an innocuous tangle with Chico ‘Cheating’ Flores, you could sense the deflation of Hammers fans who realised that the following three games would be crucial to determining the outcome of a stuttering season – and without Carroll, both offensively and defensively we would be up against it.
However, all the talk about Carroll had distracted from the much more significant factor that had contributed to a series of bad results – the lack of a solid defensive platform had left Allardyce’s troops with no base from which to build results. However, just as AC was being sent to the sidelines, Collins, Reid and Tomkins were finding match fitness again after a variety of injuries.
Against Villa we simply had more to give, and with a little good fortune and assistance from the woodwork, we headed for home with a precious away victory. Then Norwich came and despite bossing possession, we ultimately prevailed with a performance that was more typical of visitors than the home team. And then today, we pushed onwards with a confidence that comes from a series of good results. Even though we fell asleep for Southampton’s opener in the eighth minute, we hit back and with Matt Jarvis, Carlton ‘Killer’ Cole and Captain Kev all scoring we pushed into the top half of the table and towards freedom! And all that despite only 31% possession as the home team!Next up are Everton at Goodison. Never a happy hunting ground for the Hammers but right now anything is possible. Put your money on Carroll starting on the bench. Sadly (!?!), not such a good day for the Hammers reserves, as Green, Maiga, Benayoun, and new recruit Ravel Morrison lost to lowly Charlton and slipped further down the Chumpionship table. Hmmmm.