According to the Chronicle, Steve Bruce has asked Andy Carroll to ‘lead the way’ in striker meetings to pass on his experience to his fellow Newcastle United attackers.
The same piece also claims that Carroll is aiming to be back on the pitch and in Bruce’s first-team plans ‘later this month’ – suggesting the trip to Liverpool on September 14th may come a week or two too soon for the striker.
That said, Bruce has revealed how he’s still playing a key role off the pitch, seeing him as a ‘second captain’ in the dressing room and a player teammates ‘all want to be around’.
“He is the local hero and he knows what it means to play for the club.
“You can already see players attracted to him. They all want to be around him.”
“When I brought him here I asked him: ‘You aren’t the young Andy anymore, can you be the elder statesman for me?’
“It’s horrible for a player to think that, but can you help me with the strikers.
“We had a striker meeting and he was right in there giving his opinion.”
From what Bruce is saying, it sounds like he wanted to bring Andy Carroll back because of his influence both on AND off the pitch, with it sounding as though he’s having a big impact without even kicking a ball for the club this season.
That said, we do need him to be back fit as soon as possible, with us often lacking a plan B from the bench.
Just look at Saturday’s game against Watford. They looked weak at the back and there for the taking at times, so the introduction of someone like Andy Carroll with 20 minutes to go could have been the difference.
Hopefully he can get himself fully fit and in a position to feature against Brighton at St James’ Park on Saturday 21st September.