There were plenty of positives to take from West Ham’s draw with Liverpool on Monday: Declan Rice was once again immense; Angelo Ogbonna cut a stoic figure in defence for once and Michail Antonio showed excellent technique to slot home Felipe Anderson’s clever free-kick routine.
However, one thing West Ham fans probably won’t be talking about too much is Andy Carroll’s 11-minute cameo, although it does prove something important to Manuel Pellegrini, who should offer the big hitman a new deal, but only on two conditions.
The 30-year-old is currently behind Javier Hernandez, Lucas Perez and, of course, Marko Arnautovic in the pecking order at the London Stadium and has been told by Pellegrini that he can earn a new deal – his current contract expires at the end of the season – but he will have to prove he deserves it.
At most, the 6-foot-4 striker is a last ditch substitute to be used when the Hammers need to turn a game ugly in the dying minutes in order to grind out a result.
The crocked forward is unlikely to ever fire his way into a starting XI spot, but offering him a new one-year deal could end up being crucial going into the 19/20 season if West Ham’s warning-filled January window is a forecast of what’s to come in the summer.
With Arnautovic, Hernandez and Perez all linked with moves away last month, Pellegrini could find himself short of options next season if the attacking trio sniff out exits again, and the Chilean must scramble for some sort of continuity if he is to lose them all.
Clearing out every single striker would be a catastrophe at a point by which, one assumes, Pellegrini’s Irons machine will be fine-tuned and raring to take the new campaign by the horns.
Equally, tying Carroll down on a bumper new deal would be extremely misguided, considering the former Newcastle and Liverpool man’s injury record. He can still be an asset to the east London side for another year, though, and he showed his commitment to the cause against the Reds earlier this week, running himself into the ground.
Who is West Ham’s worst ever signing? Check out the video below for a pretty strong candidate for the dubious honour…