It's a pretty strange situation isn't it? Andy Carroll will be playing for Allardyce and West Ham, whilst desperately trying to impress Pardew and Newcastle. He wanted to stay at Liverpool, he would have preferred to go home to Newcastle, but he ended up at the Boleyn. And as each goalless game goes by, his chances of getting a dream move to Newcastle or Spurs, or whoever, recedes. As long as he is crap, we keep him! Brilliant!
Logically, we should be tonked. West Ham have never travelled well and a game in the northern extremes is usually guaranteed to see us hammered. Remember two seasons back? Carroll was not available to Newcastle then but even with Lovenkrands and Best (who and who?) leading the line for the Geordies, we were still caught between a Northern Rock and a hard place and we were thumped 5-0. Mind you, we did have Ben Haim and Gabbidon in the full back positions - and even O'Brien and McCartney are better options! - and Sears, Kovac and Piquionne also started. Look back at that team and you shudder!
Of course, Nolan was in Newcastle colours that day - and scored. Now Captain Kev returns with a point to prove, along with Carroll. And, of course, Allardyce has a point to prove too. He would hate to lose to Newcastle under former West Ham favourite Pardew and will be keen to avoid a repeat of the inept showing at Wigan.
Newcastle played on Thursday too, which helps.
Can we win it? Unlikely, and I would be delighted with a point, but the Nolan, Carroll and Allardyce factor should make it interesting. And that's before the name of Ba is mentioned!