Mind you, Carroll does give the air of being impregnable as well as often unplayable. 'He's a beast', said a West Ham mate of mine during the Boleyn game of a fortnight back - said so not quite admiringly neither. And Carroll's off-the-pitch manners are a big matter for concern, no question. But as Arsene Wenger put it in his programme notes on Sunday, 'Andy Carroll has stature, charisma and quality...' Over 90 minutes on the park, in other words, he is exactly What The Boys Want.
Photograph: Stephen Pond/EMmpics Sport