Football: On the evidence of recent results and reflecting on a series of flat and lifeless performances from Sam Allardyce’s men, the West Ham United faithful have every reason to be concerned by the manner in which their side’s form has dipped so dramatically following a promising start to the season.
This victory, West Ham’s first since New Year’s Day, may have brought welcome relief but they travel to Aston Villa on Sunday knowing that they must build upon this win.
Against Swansea City, striker Andy Carroll made his mark upon his return to the West Ham starting line-up following a long injury lay-off by scoring the only goal of the match.
This wasn’t pretty to watch, and certainly at times in the first half the home supporters made their feelings clear. Groans of disapproval greeted every loose pass or attempted cross that overshot its intended target.
Their opponents Swansea, who themselves had started the season well, weren’t thrilling by any stretch of the imagination but were able to keep West Ham’s forward line at bay in a tight match.
Swansea’s goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel was responsible for some commendable saves, especially before the interval.
However it was Carroll who was the difference between the sides.
As you would have expected from the England man, he was typically making a nuisance of himself in the Swansea penalty area and the goal, which came on 78 minutes, came as a result of him leaping above Swansea’s defenders to convert a cross from midfielder Mark Noble.
“As long as Andy can stay fit and get as many games as he can, there’s a lot more to come,” Allardyce said of the on-loan Liverpool striker.
“It has been disappointing for him with the injuries he has had so it would be great for us and him if he finished on a high.”
The Welsh side now have just the one win in six matches ahead of their match against QPR this weekend.