By London correspondent Tony Hughes
Slaven Bilic has warned Andy Carroll to be “totally dedicated” to his career in order to maximise his potential.
Bilic’s advice came in the wake of Carroll’s stunning eight-minute hat-trick for West Ham in Saturday’s 3-3 thriller against Arsenal.
The 27-year-old’s lifestyle and commitment to football has frequently been questioned during a career that has been marked by regular injuries and absences from the team.
Carroll started for West Ham for only the eighth time in their 32 Premier League matches this season on Saturday but demonstrated what an asset he can be when he is fit and firing.
“Andy Carroll has everything. It’s impossible to stop him,” Bilic told the media afterwards, as quoted by the BBC website. “His work rate, watch how many times he tried to get the ball off them. He was keeping the ball, laying it off. Heading, he’s maybe the best in the world [but] he has to stay away from those injuries.
“He’s professional but he’s got to be totally dedicated to his career and football.”
Carroll scored only the second hat-trick of his professional career in an extraordinary eight-minute spell either side of half-time, with two of his goals bullet headers from wide crosses, as Slaven Bilic’s side came from two down to go 3-2 ahead.
Laurent Koscielny, who had been bullied in the air by Carroll, pulled one back for the visitors, who ended the match 10 points adrift of leaders Leicester in the Premier League title race.