Carroll's appeal flounders as Rat leaves the 'sinking ship'

Posted by Peter Thorne

With news coming in that Andy Carroll's appeal of his dismissal against Swansea was rejected by the FA, many Hammers fans are feeling that the inevitable bad luck that always seems to lurk in the shadows around the Boleyn is once again conspiring against the claret and blue.

I've already made my feelings known about the incident, which saw the England striker see red following a "clash" with Chico Flores, but what is particularly interesting is the anger it seems to have garnered amongst football supporters who have no feelings whatsoever for the Hammers.

For once, everyone seems to stand together on a disgusting decision that makes a mockery of the game that spends millions of pounds in promoting "respect" and "fair play."

Even Michael Laudrup was reported to be "having a strong word" with Flores after admitting he was appalled by the actions of his defender, but, now that Laudrup is no longer Swansea manager, the player might not even get a club censure and will get away with his questionable actions.

With Carroll now missing three vital and winnable games in February, there are many who are wondering if the fates are once against conspiring against West Ham.

The FA's decision to uphold referee Howard Webb's decision has overshadowed West Ham's transfer dealings at the end of the January window, which closed late on Friday night, leaving barely anyone to catch their breath before a full Premier League program which began just more than 12 hours later.

Coming in to the club on loan for the rest of the season is Napoli and Colombia defender, Pablo Armero, who joined another two imports from Serie A.

AC Milan midfielder Antonio Nocerino and Roma striker Marco Borriello both joined earlier in the month, meaning West Ham have strengthened the squad considerably without spending any money in transfer fees; that is quite a contrast to other relegation scrappers who splashed the cash in an attempt to shake up their squads.

West Ham Manager Sam Allardyce seems to have maintained the line that he has had all season: His squad is good enough if they all work together and stay fit. Only in May will we know if it was a good call, but early signs already suggest that -- as he has done previously -- Big Sam is playing an odd game with his latest acquisitions.

Armero was signed too late to be in contention for the game against Swansea, but neither of the two Italians have figured much beyond some late substitute appearances, and Allardyce has already suggested that Borriello isn't really match fit.

Many supporters are exasperated with the manager's transfer dealings since he joined the club. Players are seemingly signed and dumped at will, with little suggestion that they have been given much of an opportunity.

Meanwhile, the news that West Ham tried to beat Fulham to the signature of 12.4 million pound Greek striker Kostas Mitroglou only seems to suggest that the manager still didn't manage to secure the services of the players he really wanted. That feeling is made manifest when you consider Modibo Maiga was allowed to leave on loan for Queens Park Rangers.

Meanwhile, the Rat puns were too easy, perhaps, but even so, I don't think any West Ham fan thought the sinking ship one would happen as early as February, with Romanian Razvan Rat leaving the club by "mutual consent" barely six months after the Hammers captured the player in what initially looked a good acquisition.

The departure of Rat followed a spate of odd quotes made by the Romanian, and, before the news of his departure was announced, I'd already tweeted about the full-back's strange comments as he spoke of how he "tried to keep his family away from what he did" before going on to say "they must only the know the good part of my job."

From such extraordinary mutterings, I wondered briefly if Razvan perhaps wasn't even a footballer at all; it would certainly explain some of his performances in the shirt.

I wondered then if, perhaps, his family hadn't settled in England and a mutual consent closure of his contract suggests that all parties thought it better to end an unconvincing partnership.

Certainly his "if West Ham get relegated then that is the end of my career at the club" quote would have been a stick for the fans to beat him with, and his departure probably saved him from a warm Upton Park roasting.

Ironically, the departure of Rat has once again elongated the career of dear old George McCartney. Almost the opposite of the player he replaced in the team on Saturday, the former Sunderland player seems to enjoy life at Upton Park.

Ever dependable and rarely the maker of a mistake, McCartney is very much an Allardyce player. Affectionately known as "Linda" by the fans, he is the man who keeps getting written off but insists on coming back.

McCartney's is an attitude in contrast with Rat's. How ironic it would be if it is proved that he was, indeed, deserting a sinking ship.

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