West Ham captain Kevin Nolan has stated that Andy Carroll deserves to be playing every week, and that they are lucky to have secured his services.
The on-loan Liverpool striker nodded down a long ball for Ricardo Vaz Te to set up Nolan's opener, West Ham's quickest goal in over seven years - coming after only 53 seconds - before then playing a part in his new side’s two other goals in a blistering first-half performance.
"After the disappointment of last week it was important we bounced back," Nolan told Sky Sports. "And after this week, getting the big lad [Carroll] in late on, it just gave all the lads a huge lift and I think you've seen that at the start.
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"Obviously [Carroll's] a great lad and we get on really well off the pitch too. We've been so lucky to get him and everyone knows that. You see with his performance today, it was absolutely fantastic, and he deserves to be playing every weekend.
"I said to him before the game, he's got nothing to prove to anyone. Everyone knows his capabilities. All the players, even at Liverpool, know his capabilities.
"I think he's disappointed with what went on up there, but he showed today that he's a top striker in this league."
Nolan also believes that the Hammers have done good business in the transfer window, and is confident for the rest of the campaign.
He added: "Not only Andy [Carroll] and Yossi [Benayoun] last night, but the lads he brought in early doors as well. You know, Jussi [Jaaskelainen], [Mohamed] Dimae, [Modibo] Maiga... we've got a few young boys as well.”
Meanwhile, Fulham boss Martin Jol has attributed the heavy loss to his team’s inability to cope with West Ham’s long-ball tactics.
“When you analyse teams like Manchester United and Chelsea it’s difficult but with West Ham it’s easy. You know they will play that long ball and look for the knockdowns,” he told reporters.
“If you’re 5ft 8in or 5ft 10in you’ve maybe got a problem, but I thought we should have coped with him [Carroll]. We couldn’t cope with him and that’s disappointing.”
Regular starters Clint Dempsey and Moussa Dembele have recently made the short trip across London to join Tottenham, while striker Bryan Ruiz failed a late fitness test to face the Hammers, and Jol has lamented the subsequent lack of “creativity” the trio’s absence caused.
“Of course we missed players in the creative department,” Jol continued.
“Ruiz couldn’t play and Dembele has gone. It was a concern for us but we’ll be fine.”