Andy Carroll’s West Ham career has burst back in to life in recent games as Hammers fans begin to hope against hope his injury troubles are behind him.
A match-winning brace against Swansea rubber-stamped his return to form and it’s time to begin pondering just how many league goals a fit Carroll could be worth this term.
To gain a handle on his goalscoring potential the history books are the obvious place to start and his 19-game/11-goal watershed spell at Newcastle in 2010/11 sets the upper limits of expectations.
Similar numbers this term are bubble-blowing pipe dream according to the bwin odds moguls, who go just 3/5 about under 9.5 league goals for Carroll this term.
However, there’s reason to believe that he can recapture the form that convinced Liverpool to blow £35m on his services if remaining fit, making the 6/5 about ten goals or more for the seldom-seen Hammer a titillating proposition.
The best seasonal goals-per-game average he posted during the career nadir that was his Anfield sojourn equated to him netting once every four outings.
Strictly speaking he fared even worse in 2013/14, taking 16 appearances to equal the two league goals he notched against the Swans last weekend.
However last season was marred by injury, with the Newcastle native only making more than three successive starts in the final ten games of the campaign after having missed all of pre-season with a heel problem.
The final three months of Carroll’s loan campaign at the Boleyn Ground represent a fairer comparison period.
He struck six goals in 13 starts during the 2012/13 run-in, a ratio of virtually a goal every other game for a side that had every right to slack off after to all intents and purposes securing survival by mid-April.
Given the exponential improvement in the creativity behind him this season and his manager’s late-flowering love of attacking football it would be far from unreasonable to expect better still from the England international in 2014/15.