WATCHING West Ham’s impressive start to the season has been a bittersweet experience for injured striker Andy Carroll.
The England international was thrilled by West Ham’s stunning victory over former club Liverpool on Saturday, and has heralded the club’s summer signings and change in playing style.
But Carroll has been forced to appreciate the talents of new arrivals such as Enner Valencia, Cheikou Kouyate and Mauro Zarate from afar, as he continues to recover from an ankle injury suffered in pre-season training. And for the club’s record £15m signing, missing out on the revolution has been a frustrating experience.
Carroll said: “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 has 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 the perfect beginning of a bright future in east London.
Yesterday vice-chairman Karren Brady said the club were aiming to break into the Premier League’s top six – an ambition Carroll shares.
He added: “Obviously it’s hard, but the 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.”