Watching West Ham’s impressive start to the season has been bittersweet experience for injured striker Andy Carroll.
The England international was thrilled by West Ham’s stunning victory over Liverpool on Saturday, and has heralded the club’s summer signings and change in playing style.
However, an ankle injury sustained in pre-season training has meant Carroll has been forced to appreciate the talents of new arrivals such as Enner Valencia, Cheikou Kouyate and Mauro Zarate from afar.
And for the club’s record signing, missing out on the revolution has been a frustrating experience.
It’s been great to see. I was over the moon with the result against Liverpool.
I’m just dying to be back out there. I’m getting a lot closer now and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I want to be there and be there soon.
Looking out of the gym window and seeing all the lads playing, doing what I want to do - it’s been a nightmare.
The signings this summer have been fantastic. The whole outlook of the team is a lot stronger. Even in training you see there’s more bodies there, there’s more people fighting for places. You can see it in the games - a lot’s changed.
When you’ve got a big team and a good squad, I think that’s a good thing to have; to have to fight for your place and not expect it.
Carroll, who missed the majority of last season with a foot problem, believes West Ham’s strong start to this campaign could be just the start of a bright future for the club.
On Tuesday vice-chairman Karren Brady said the club were aiming to break into the top six of the Premier League and establish themselves in Europe - an ambition Carroll shares.
Obviously it’s hard, but they way we’re going, and the players we’ve signed and with this stadium coming along I don’t see why we couldn’t.
Before I came I spoke with Sam and he actually said top six and get into Europe.
The striker has resumed running ahead of schedule, and hopes to be fit again by December.