Matchday! Just a few hours until kick off at St James Park and of course as the pubs are opening, people are speculating on the starting line up.
The biggest talking point it seems is Carroll or Joelinton.
Surely our returning prodigal son can’t start two games in a row? Or can he? The Athletic’s Chris Waugh doesn’t think so, believing Joelinton will start against Southampton today.
Carroll’s performance on Thursday night at Bramall Lane was a strange one. He offered little in the first half except a rollicking to his team mates, then obviously won the flick on for Shelvey’s goal of the season contender, then was replaced.
Here’s what Waugh’s had to say when asked about Carroll and any early team news for the 2pm kick off:
“I thought it was a mixed performance [from Carroll], and that he improved as the game went on, but what I did like to see was him encouraging the other forwards to get on to the end of his knock-ons; that’s what’s been missing in my view.
“I do agree that he looks more suited to being the focal point up front, but there must be concerns over whether Carroll is fit enough to start two games inside three days.
“For that reason, I suspect Joelinton may return on Sunday, unless Carroll has recovered well from last night.”
Regardless of Carroll’s recovery, I personally agree and I would start Joelinton again today. Carroll to me looked like he couldn’t run, and I’m personally not interested in what defensive qualities he bring to the team in a home game against a team beneath us in the league.
We need to get at Southampton and invoke the sprit of Manchester United, West Ham and Bournemouth.
Let’s get runners beyond Joelinton, and take the game to them. We are the better team, let’s prove it and give ourselves some breathing space in the table.
*disclaimer alert, if Carroll does start and rips Southampton to shreds, then I was only trying to motivate him.