COMMENT By Dominic Toner
West Ham forward Andy Carroll can be the catalyst to turn the club’s poor form around.
The Hammers manager Slaven Bilic is under extreme pressure and Sky Sports claim he will hold crisis talks with the club’s chiefs on Monday.
He will need vast improvement on the pitch if he is to remain the club’s manager, with West Ham currently a point above the relegation zone in 17th.
They suffered a crushing 5-1 home defeat against Arsenal on Saturday and have just three victories in the opening 14 Premier League games.
West Ham need a regular goalscorer to drag them away from a relegation battle as they have scored just 15 league goals, meaning Carroll could become even more important than talisman Dimitri Payet.
Carroll marked his return from a long-term injury with a consolation goal against Arsenal and is set to be crucial for Bilic in the next few weeks.
The 27-year-old had been sidelined with a serious knee injury and had not featured since the opening day defeat against Chelsea.
He is now back in contention and is the obvious choice to spearhead the West Ham attack.
The Hammers have been extremely poor in attack, with loan singings Simone Zaza and Jonathan Calleri yet to score between them.
Diafra Sakho has been unfortunate with injuries and youngster Ashley Fletcher is still developing, but Carroll is a proven goalscorer and offers Bilic’s side a great focal point.
He has scored 24 goals in 97 appearances for West Ham and will only improve if he can avoid injury setbacks.
The striker’s best spell in English football came at Newcastle, where he scored 33 goals and supplied 21 assists in just 90 appearances.
West Ham will be targeting a strong points haul during the rest of their December games, with matches against Liverpool, Burnley, Hull, Swansea and Leicester.
In other West Ham news, Danny Higginbotham has highlighted why the club are struggling.