Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Carroll Won't Be Spooked by Ghosts of Past; West Ham's New No1 Is Shrugging off His Reputation for Mistakes and Looking Forward to Helping Keep the Club Up, Says Ken Dyer

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Carroll Won't Be Spooked by Ghosts of Past; West Ham's New No1 Is Shrugging off His Reputation for Mistakes and Looking Forward to Helping Keep the Club Up, Says Ken Dyer

Article excerpt

Byline: KEN DYER

ROY CARROLL may have his critics but he has every chance of being more popular than the last Northern Ireland international goalkeeper to play for West Ham.

That was Allen McKnight, who joined the club full of optimism for [pounds sterling]250,000 from Celtic in 1988 and swiftly earned the nickname McNightmare from the unforgiving fans, following a depressing string of mistakes.

Carroll, who has 15 caps for his country, also knows what it is like to be vilified. The 'goal' that never was against Tottenham last season, plus errors against Lyon and AC Milan, prompted his critics to describe him as Clanger Carroll, Blunderkeeper and other similarly disparaging epithets.

That, as he is eager to point out, is all in the past. The image of Carroll diving deep into his own net to scoop out Pedro Mendes's 45-yard lob remains vivid but the Enniskillen-born keeper wants to be remembered for more than that.

Tonight he makes his second start for his new club, following his summer move from Manchester United, when West Ham meet TSV Munich 1860 in the Allianz Arena, the stadium which will host next year's World Cup Final.

Carroll, 27, who began his English football career at Hull, really cemented his reputation in four years at Wigan, where his performances persuaded Sir Alex Ferguson to sign him for [pounds sterling]2.5million in July 2000.

The 6ft 2ins keeper enjoyed, and endured, an erratic spell at Old Trafford, sometimes in the first team but often out of it.

His departure from United encapsulated his time there, the two parties playing cat and mouse over a contract before Edwin van der Sar arrived in Manchester and Carroll knew the time was right to move.

West Ham manager Alan Pardew must have seen Carroll's colourful goalkeeping displays for United last season but still needed no convincing that this was who he wanted.

A terrible knee injury sustained by Jimmy Walker in the playoff final left the Hammers light in the goalkeeping department and Pardew wasted little time in persuading Carroll that a bright future awaited him in East London. …

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