By Laura O'Leary

24th Nov, 2017 | 6:02pm

Peter Crouch delivers verdict on West Ham striker after in-game incident

Peter Crouch has provided West Ham striker Andy Carroll with a defence following the criticism the striker received after footage was released of him catching Watford’s Marvin Zeegelaar with his elbow.

In his latest column for the Daily Mail, the former England international addressed the issue of fouls when two players compete for a header, and referenced the debate over Carroll.

“I have never, ever gone out with the intention of ‘doing’ another professional and I’m pretty sure that attitude exists among almost all footballers in the Premier League,” admitted Crouch before adding, “and I include Andy Carroll in that statement.”

The Stoke striker continued: “Accidents will happen, players will get hurt but I don’t believe they are being swung intentionally; all you want to do, whether it is Andy Carroll, me or whoever, is be aggressive and win the ball.”

Carroll’s elbow struck Zeegelaar in the face, six seconds into the Hammers game with Watford, and the referee did not issue a card for the collision.

The 28-year-old eventually got a yellow card for fouling Richarlison in the second half of the game, that West Ham eventually lost 2-0, but fans were suggesting Carroll should have seen red for his earlier elbow.

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The 6ft 4in striker had only just returned from a suspension, after he received a red card against Burnely for elbowing Ben Mee.

Carroll’s manager David Moyes commented on the elbows, insisting that referees needed to protect the striker from wrongly being accused of making fouls due to the way he plays.

The striker is available for selection by Moyes for West Ham’s next game against Leicester City on Friday night.

In other West Ham news, pundit Martin Keown has warned what Moyes has got to do to keep the dressing room at his new club.

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