Andy Carroll vs
24 Age 29
6’3” Height 6’2”
West Ham United Career
30/08/2012 Joined 05/07/2006
Loan Fee £1,000,000
12(2) Appearances 165(72)
3 Goals 59
01/09/2012 Debut 19/08/2006
Fulham Opposition Charlton Athletic
26/11/2012 Debut Goal 19/08/2006
Tottenham Hotspur Opposition Charlton Athletic
12(2) Appearances 13(10)
3 Goals 2
0 Assists 1
61.31 Capello Index Rating 59.51
37 Attempts on Goal 33
2.6 Attempts per Game 1.4
21 Chances Created 10
1.5 Chances Created per Game 0.4
226 Aerial Duels 206
145 Duels Won 98
64% Won 48%
404 Passes 377
240 Successful Passes 223
59% Successful 59%
Since Andy Carroll cemented his place in the Newcastle United first team back in 2009/10, both he and Carlton Cole have spent three seasons in the Premier League, and one in the Championship.
In that time, Carroll scored 44 goals in 134 club appearances, a rate of one goal every 3.0 games. Cole has managed
128, one in every 3.3. So, in terms of goals scored, neck and neck.
On paper, Carroll is exactly the sort of player that should thrive under Sam Allardyce. With a reputation of being excellent in the air, Carroll should be perfect for a manager who has a reputation of getting his teams to kick the ball into the air.
This season, Carroll & Cole have contested a similar number of aerial duels, Carroll’s 226 to Cole’s 206. Carroll, though, has won 145 (64%) of these duels, whilst Cole has won just 98 (48%) of his.
Carroll’s undoubted ability in the air has led to questions about whether his presence encourages the team to play long ball tactics more readily when he is on the pitch. Despite the concerns from certain sections of the support, this does not seem to be supported by the stats.
In the 12 games in which Carroll has started in the Premier League this season, 16.2% of passes have been long balls, whilst 16.1% of passes have been long balls in the 12 league matches that Cole has started.
In fact, the three games in which the highest proportion of long balls were played were all games in which Cole started (Aston Villa (H) 21%; West Bromwich Albion (A) 22%; Everton (H) 23%).
One area where there does seem to be a marked difference between the two is the way in which they bring others into play. A criticism of Cole since Sam Allardyce’s appointment has been that he struggles to bring his team mates into the game, and the team lacks a cutting edge as a result.
This is another area in which Carroll doesn't seem to struggle quite as much. Despite not registering a direct assist this season, Carroll has created an average of 1.5 shooting opportunities for his team mates this season, and has an average 2.6 attempts on goal per game himself. In comparison, Cole creates 0.4 chances per game for his colleagues, and hast just 1.4 per game himself.
Many of Cole’s supporters have claimed that this lack of creation and cutting edge can be put down to a lack of support from team mates, with Cole often cutting an isolated figure when playing the lone striking role. However, when looking at average player positions, it becomes clear that this isn't always the case.
The following images show two games in which Carroll started, and two in which Cole started. There is one home, and one away game each. Both home games were clear victories, whilst both away games were poor defeats.
What is clear from the images is that Carroll (# 8) plays a far more advanced role than Cole (# 9). With Cole player in a far deeper position, closer to his midfielders, he is far less likely to make an impact.
West Ham United 3 - 0 Fulham: Andy Carroll #8
West Ham United 3 - 1 Chelsea: Carlton Cole #9
Aston Villa 2 - 1 West Ham United: Andy Carroll #8
Sunderland 3 - 0 West Ham United: Carlton Cole #9
Based on the information available, it’s easy to say that Andy Carroll is more conducive to West Ham’s style of play. He might not score enough goals, but if 16% of our passes are long balls, it makes sense to have a striker who wins over 60% of aerial duels he goes into.
Similarly, a striker doesn't necessarily need to score goals, provided he is laying them on for his team mates. Okay, so Carroll doesn't actually have any official assists this season, but he has created numerous chances for his team mates, and has been directly involved in the build up for plenty of other goals.
Having said that, it is difficult to justify a £17m price tag for a player whose goal scoring record has decreased year on year since he first experienced regular first team football, and who seems to spend an increasing amount of time on the sidelines.
As for Carlton Cole, I’m a big fan of his. I love that he loves the club, and I love that he took a pay cut to play for us in the Championship last year. I don’t, however, love his regular contributions to the team. For me, it might be time to say goodbye to
He may have been the clubs top goalscorer for each of the past four seasons,
but you have to remember that there has been little to no competition to him in
each of those years.
If only one can stay, it has to be Carroll. But, come August, it wouldn't be at all surprising to see both of them representing other clubs.