West Ham lose Andy Carroll for three months after striker’s foot surgery

• Manuel Lanzini also could be out for weeks with hamstring injury
• David Moyes to reassess transfer targets, including Jonjo ShelveyWest Ham United will be without Andy Carroll for three months after the striker underwent surgery on a foot injury. The club also fear Manuel Lanzini could be absent until the end of February after damaging a hamstring. The loss of the attacking pair could influence the club’s transfer policy. Carroll had hoped a period of rest, wearing a protective boot, might speed rehabilitation from the fracture, apparently sustained in the victory against West Bromwich Albion this month in which he scored his only goals of the campaign, only for a second specialist to advise surgery as the best course of action. Continue reading...

Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

Romelu Lukaku is weighing in with some key contributions, Christian Benteke is not and Tottenham are showing how much weaker they are without Christian Eriksen Sergio Agüero has had a curiosity of a campaign. He has been injured, benched and below par at times. He has been outscored by Raheem Sterling for much of the season. Yet his hat-trick on Saturday meant he has scored 20 goals for a fifth successive campaign. Further milestones await: Agüero is nine away from becoming the first man to score 200 for City. He is 11 behind his career-best tally of 33 and, with successive cup ties against Championship opponents, Bristol City and Cardiff, he has the chance to make further inroads before Gabriel Jesus is fit again. Besides the numbers, the encouraging element for City is that, after an autumnal slump, Agüero looks to have regained his sharpness. He produced purposeful, elusive dribbling, Continue reading "Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action"

Chelsea’s hunt for a medieval big man adds intrigue to football’s space race | Barney Ronay

Seeing Andy Carroll or Peter Crouch at Chelsea is too good to hope for as it could confirm suspicions about the basic numbers of effectiveness and opportunity in elite teamsIt is nearly 40 years since a famous photo emerged that left the nascent Indian space programme an object of widespread mockery. The photo, published in 1979, showed India’s brand new state-of-the-art communications satellite being wheeled out for its launch – on a bullock cart. For political opponents the picture exposed the space programme as a matter of grandiose ambition undercut by agricultural thinking, a bullock cart culture. That same year the Indian government announced it would also be spending $6bn on bullock cart research, with the idea of entering the white heat of a new industrial age via more efficient bullock carts. Continue reading...

West Ham’s Reece Burke finds finish to end Shrewsbury’s resistance

West Ham finally saw off Shrewsbury in added time of their FA Cup third round replay but it took a thumping volley from a rookie centre-half to do so. Reece Burke scored his first goal for the club with seven minutes remaining of the added half-hour at a chilly London Stadium. He smashed home Marko Arnautovic’s cutback off the underside of the bar, just when the match looked like heading to penalties without a single goal in either tie. Continue reading...

Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

Arsenal have hit an all-time low under Arsène Wenger, Chelsea could go for Andy Carroll and Sam Allardyce needs a result Chelsea have endured three successive goalless draws for the first time and it is inconceivable the scouting department is not exploring forward options. Something has clearly put them off the pursuit of Alexis Sánchez, whom they courted in the summer. Perhaps they believe he is set upon a reunion with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. Maybe they feel they cannot compete with the financial package Manchester United could offer. Possibly they deem the costs excessive. Yet, if that avenue is blocked, and with Crystal Palace unlikely to entertain offers for Christian Benteke, there remains the possibility Chelsea will explore Andy Carroll’s availability. Antonio Conte had hoped to secure a targetman over the summer and is apparently an admirer of Carroll, for all the 29-year-old’s patchy injury record. Such a Continue reading "Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action"