With the Hammers in a pickle at the wrong end of the table, plus many fans calling for the head of manager Sam Allardyce and their club-record signing Andy Carroll yet to play this season, it’s all getting a bit too much for co-owner David Sullivan.
West Ham’s often outspoken owner has admitted he has regrets over signing Carroll for $22.5 million from Liverpool on a permanent deal over the summer.
Carroll was a huge hit during his loan spell from the Reds last season but a double fracture to his right foot and various issues because of that has kept him sidelined for the entire season so far, and there’s no return date set for the 24-year-old England international striker.
“Had we known he would be out for this long, we would not have signed him,” Sullivan told the BBC. “We are not a rich enough club to deal with that. You know any player can get injured, but we can’t buy a player knowing he is going to be out for half the season.”
So far this season Carroll has yet to kick a ball for the Hammers as they sit perilously close to the relegation zone after a poor run of form that’s seen them win just twice in their last 14 games.
On Saturday the Hammers welcome Sunderland to Upton Park as Sam Allardyce’s side badly need three points to stop the rot.
Carroll’s situation means West Ham are likely to play, once again, without a recognized striker and Sullivan admits they’d never have signed him in the summer if they knew the injury was this bad.
“When we signed him we were assured by the medical staff that the very, very latest he would be back was 1 September. That would have meant he would only miss two league games,” Sullivan continued. “He is a fantastic player, don’t get me wrong, but I only wouldn’t have signed him because I can’t have that amount of wages and that amount of transfer fee on a player who isn’t going to play a minimum 20 or 30 games a season, hopefully 38 games a season.”
So far Carroll has missed 16 and counting.
If he’s not back soon, West Ham and Carroll could find themselves suiting up in England’s second-tier as their worrying slid continues.