David Moyes has leapt to the defence of Andy Carroll, insisting the West Ham striker is more sinned against than sinner.
Carroll was singled out for criticism after catching Marvin Zeegelaar with his forearm, leaving the Watford defender with a broken nose, after just six seconds of the 2-0 defeat at Vicarage Road last weekend.
But Moyes insists his battering ram frontman is doing nothing wrong leading with his arm, and claims Carroll is more often the victim of fouls than the aggressor.
“I think it’s becoming ridiculous,” he said.
“A couple of times people climbed over Andy and fouled him. And all it was was, ‘No that’s OK, if it’s Andy it’s fine for that to go on’.
“Just before he was booked, he was scythed by two people. If it been anyone else they would have gone down and taken a free-kick. Andy didn’t.
“We are a country who want to rule out simulation. But he stays up and is hit by two people and gets zero protection.
“Every time Andy plays is everyone going to say, ‘That’s a foul’? If they do then we’ve got to say now that if you’re six foot four you’d better go to basketball and stop being a centre-forward.
“I’m telling you, you can only jump with your arms for leverage. It’s my specialist subject. I was a centre-half. I needed to use my arms for protection.
“If we are now saying you can’t use your arms for leverage then that isn’t in the rules of football.”
Moyes confirmed he will keep faith with Carroll against Leicester on Friday night despite hauling him off in the second half at Watford, fearing he would be sent off instead.
The Scot will take charge at the London Stadium for the first time since he replaced Slaven Bilic as manager in desperate need of a first win to lift West Ham out of the relegation zone.
Moyes’ old-school outlook on Carroll also extends to coaxing some better performances out of players he freely admits are not living up to their reputations.
“I think players need to be told,” he added. “I’ve told the players here, if you’re not doing it, I’m going to tell you.
“I did also tell them that when I stop shouting, you know you’ve got a problem. If I stop shouting at you, you know I’ve given up on you.”