West Ham United have had a slow start to the new season, with new faces taking time to find their feet in London and an inconsistency that has frustrated the fans.
While playing the first handful of games away from the London Stadium has not helped the Hammers’ cause, Slaven Bilic and his men will hope for an upturn in fortunes as the Premier League returns this weekend after the international break.
One area that the West Ham boss needs to find a winning formula is in attack, with the Irons only scoring seven goals in as many games this season so far.
The summer signing of Javier Hernandez was heralded as a coup, with the Mexican hailed as the man to fire the London outfit into top-six contention.
However, despite the predatory striker’s potential to score regularly for West Ham, fellow forward Andy Carroll still has an important role to play at the club.
The England international has proven on his day he can be a real handful for opposition defences, with his aerial threat, hold-up play and presence an attribute for the Hammers.
But, the problem has been that these days have been too few and far between, with Carroll struggling with debilitating injuries during his time in the English capital.
The targetman has been reintroduced to the West Ham team of late and will have been using the international break to build fitness, undertake strength training at the gym and take protein powders to get into top shape.
While the 3-4-2-1 formation that Bilic has used of late has ostracised Hernandez in a support role, it shows that the Hammers boss still feels Carroll is the man to lead the line at the London Stadium.
A tweak in system to play two up front in a 3-5-2 set-up of sorts seems like the most sensible option for West Ham, who would then benefit from the little and large strike partnership of their two most-dangerous offensive weapons.
Carroll will hope to prove his doubters wrong and there is no reason that a return to top form would not earn him a place in the England squad for next summer’s World Cup in Russia.
However, before the 28-year-old can dream of representing his nation again, staying fit and starting to hit the net are essential for his individual cause and for West Ham to get back on track.