By support

11th Feb, 2017 | 11:03am

Danny Gabbidon highlights major West Ham weakness this season

By Dominic Toner

Danny Gabbidon believes that Andy Carroll’s return to fitness has been crucial for West Ham as they have been poor in front of goal this season.

The 28-year-old has recovered from a knee injury to score four goals in his last four Premier League games and boost the Londoners.

They have moved up to ninth-place table in the league table and have wiped away any early season concerns of relegation.

However, Slaven Bilic’s side have lacked a natural goalscorer during the absence of injury-prone Carroll and have scored a modest 32 goals in 24 league games.

Ex-Hammers defender Gabbidon claims West Ham’s attacking area has been a major weakness this season and Carroll’s return has saved them.

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“Obviously he (Carroll) was injured in the first part of the season, and the players they brought in such as [Jonathan] Calleri or [Simone] Zaza just haven’t done the job,” Gabbidon told Standard Sport. “Defensively, they’ve been poor but one of the main issues was that no one was putting the ball in the back of the net. For Carroll to come back at a really important time, it’s key.”

West Ham face West Brom in the league on Saturday and will hope to continue their good form, winning three of the last four games.

Carroll’s return to the side has helped the team improve offensively, but they have looked a shadow of the team they were last season.

Bilic will be hoping that he can keep Carroll injury free until the end of the season as he is a proven Premier League goalscorer, but may look to bolster his attacking options in the summer.

In other West Ham news, Mark Noble has bitten out at the Premier League on Twitter.

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