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Crossed Hammers & Three Lions: Andy Carroll

Welcome to the latest in a series of articles designed for international matches – a look back at former Hammers players who wore the Three Lions of England.

Today, as England prepare to face San Marino in a 2022 World Cup Qualifying match at Wembley, we look back at a West Ham United and England centre-forward. Andy Carroll was born in Gateshead on 6th January 1989 and started his footballing career with Newcastle, making his debut in November 2006 as a late substitute for fellow future Hammer Nolberto Solano in a 1-0 UEFA Cup group stage win against Palermo, who had knocked West Ham out of the competition in the previous round. Following a loan spell with Preston for the first half of the 2007/08 season, Carroll scored his first competitive goal for Newcastle on his first ever home start with a 78th-minute headed equaliser against the Hammers in a 2-2 draw in January 2009. Following four goals in eight games for England Under-19s and two goals in five matches for England Under-21s, Carroll made his full England debut for Fabio Capello in a 2-1 defeat to France at Wembley in November 2010.

Carroll signed for Liverpool in January 2011 for a fee of £35m, making him the eighth overall most expensive footballer at the time and also the most expensive British footballer of all time. He scored his first senior goal for his country in a 1-1 draw with Ghana in March 2011 and was named in Roy Hodgson’s squad for Euro 2012, netting a fabulous header to open the scoring in the 3-2 group stage win over Sweden. Carroll has won nine caps for England, scoring twice. Following the arrival of Brendan Rodgers as manager in the summer of 2012, the 23-year-old Carroll joined Sam Allardyce’s newly-promoted West Ham on a season-long loan deal having scored 11 goals in 58 appearances for Liverpool.

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Carroll would make 24 appearances for the Hammers during his loan spell, scoring seven goals. An impressive debut in a 3-0 win over Fulham was cut short by a hamstring injury which kept the striker out for a month. Carroll is pictured above winning his ninth, and most recent, England cap in a 5-0 smashing of tonight’s opponents, San Marino, at Wembley on 12th October 2012 – he entered the fray as a 73rd-minute substitute for Wayne Rooney. It was his only England appearance during his time with the Hammers.

Carroll’s first goal in claret and blue arrived in the form of a consolation in a 3-1 defeat at Tottenham in November 2012 but a twisted knee was to keep him out for six weeks. His second goal for the Hammers was more significant, being the only goal in a 1-0 win over Swansea at the Boleyn Ground. Carroll scored a penalty in a 3-2 home defeat to Spurs and struck twice in a 3-1 win over West Brom, the first a bullet header and the second a stunning right-foot volley as the ball dropped over his shoulder. He also scored with a low drive from a free-kick to earn a point in a 1-1 draw at Southampton. His performances led to the Upton Park faithful serenading him during the final-day win over Reading with repeated renditions of ‘Andy Carroll, we want you to stay’ – the wish was granted as Carroll became the club’s record signing at £15m during the summer break.

Disaster struck when a plantar fascia (the tissue that supports the arch of the foot) injury kept Carroll out until the New Year. He marked his return with an assist for Mark Noble as 10-man West Ham won 2-0 at Cardiff but he was harshly sent off less than a month later in the 2-0 home win over Swansea for a clash with pantomime villain Chico Flores. His two goals in 2013/14 both arrived away from the Boleyn Ground, in a 3-1 defeat at Stoke and 2-1 win at Sunderland.

Torn ankle ligaments sustained on a pre-season tour of New Zealand sidelined Carroll for the first three months of the following season but a burst of five goals in nine games in the winter of 2014/15 saw the striker getting back to his best with two against Swansea, a dinked effort against Leicester, a fine finish following brilliant footwork at the Liberty Stadium and a rebound against Hull. A torn medial knee ligament injury sustained at Southampton ended Carroll’s season in February 2015.

Carroll’s first season under Slaven Bilic was his most productive for the club in terms of both appearances (32) and goals (nine). He scored the winning goals in 2-1 triumphs against Chelsea and Southampton, before scoring the second in a 2-0 home win over former club Liverpool. He was on target in a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge and notched a hat-trick in a 3-3 home draw with Arsenal, before rounding off the campaign with a penalty in a 2-2 draw at Leicester and a goal in a 3-1 home win against Watford.

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Carroll scored against Arsenal and Swansea in December 2016 before a stunning overhead kick against Crystal Palace at London Stadium the following month. He bagged a brace at Middlesbrough and also scored at Southampton and Hull. He picked up his second red card for the Hammers when he was sent off in October 2017 at Burnley.

The Hammers were under the management of David Moyes by the time Carroll opened 2018 with a match-winning brace against West Brom, his second in a 2-1 home win coming deep into added time. Injury kept ‘AC’ out for a further three months but he scored a crucial equaliser in his comeback game, a 1-1 home draw with Stoke.

Carroll missed the first four months of 2018/19, by which time Manuel Pellegrini had taken over as boss. He scored his final goal for the club – a header – in a 2-0 FA Cup third round win over Birmingham at London Stadium on 5th January 2019. His last appearance for the Hammers came in a 1-0 defeat at Manchester City on 27th February 2019, a game which saw him captain the side. Carroll had scored 34 goals in 142 appearances in total for West Ham United before joining former club Newcastle at the end of his contract. The club’s video below shows every goal Carroll scored in claret and blue. Now 32, Carroll is in his second season of his second spell with the Magpies.

England v San Marino

England face San Marino this evening in a qualification match for the 2022 World Cup – it will be the seventh meeting between the two nations. The last World Cup qualification meeting between the pair on English soil resulted in a 5-0 win for the Three Lions in front of 86,645 at Wembley on 12th October 2012. Rihanna was number one with ‘Diamonds’, Taken 2 topped the UK box office while Helmut Haller, a goalscorer at Wembley for West Germany in the 1966 World Cup Final, had died the day before.

Future West Ham goalkeeper Joe Hart and former Hammer Michael Carrick were both involved on a routine night for England against the visiting minnows, who had the Simoncini twins in their starting line-up in the shape of goalkeeper Aldo and centre-back Davide. The Three Lions took the lead ten minutes before half-time through a Wayne Rooney penalty, with Danny Welbeck doubling the lead just two minutes later.

Three goals in seven second half minutes sealed the victory: Rooney grabbed his second with 20 minutes remaining, Welbeck notched his second two minutes later and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain rounded off the evening’s goalscoring. The final strike was a historic goal as it was the first time a father and son had scored for England – Oxlade-Chamberlain’s father, Mark Chamberlain, had scored for England back in 1982 against Luxembourg. The focus of this piece, Andy Carroll, made his only England appearance while a West Ham player when he replaced Rooney with the score at 4-0.

England: Joe Hart (Man City), Kyle Walker (Tottenham), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Leighton Baines (Everton), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Michael Carrick (Man Utd), Tom Cleverley (Man Utd), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Wayne Rooney (captain, Man Utd), Danny Welbeck (Man Utd).

Subs: Aaron Lennon (Tottenham) for Walcott; Jonjo Shelvey (Liverpool) for Carrick; Andy Carroll (West Ham) for Rooney.

San Marino: Aldo Simoncini (Libertas), Fabio Vitaiolo (Murata), Davide Simoncini (Libertas), Cristian Brolli (Folgore), Mirko Palazzi (Rimini), Enrico Cibelli (Tre Penne), Matteo Coppini (Atletico Montecchio), Alessandro Della Valle (captain, Folgore), Alex Gasperoni (Tre Penne), Michele Cervellini (Pennarossa), Danilo Rinaldi (Fiorita).

Subs: Lorenzo Buscarini (Cailungo) for Coppini; Andy Selva (Fiorita) for Rinaldi; Simon Bacciocchi (San Giovanni) for Vitaiolo.

The previous articles in the series are:

Vic Watson
Jack Tresadern
Billy Moore
Ted Hufton
Jim Barrett
Jackie Morton
Ken Brown
Bobby Moore
Johnny ‘Budgie’ Byrne
Sir Geoff Hurst
Martin Peters
Frank Lampard Senior
Sir Trevor Brooking
Alan Devonshire
Alvin Martin
Paul Goddard
Rio Ferdinand
Stuart Pearce
Frank Lampard Junior
Joe Cole
David James
Kieron Dyer
Matthew Upson
Robert Green
Scott Parker
Stewart Downing
Joe Hart

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