If Steve Bruce’s latest Andy Carroll claims are anything to go by, it’s hard to know whether the big man enjoyed his food a bit too much in lockdown or has simply been determined to get back into the best possible shape since he returned from a two month break!
This comes after the NUFC boss confirmed this week that the 31-year-old has lost “4 or 5kg” over the past few weeks – which is just shy of a stone for those who are more used to imperial measurements!
That’s a lot of weight for a professional footballer to be losing over a short period of time, but suggests the 31-year-old has been working hard since the players returned to work at the Benton training base this time last month.
Following his impressive cameo display in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Aston Villa, here’s what Bruce had to say about the striker:
“Andy Carroll has had a huge influence, not just on the pitch but in the dressing room.
“He wants Newcastle to do well.
“He’s four or five kilos down from what he was a few weeks ago.
“He looks in good nick so we hope his ankle stays well.”
That first line there is probably one of the key reasons he’s been handed a new one-year deal at the club yesterday – his influence both on AND off the pitch.
His fitness issues have limited him to just a handful of starts all season, but no one has bagged more assists than him at the club across 2019/20, with his brilliant ball into Gayle on Wednesday being his FIFTH in just 15 league appearances!
He’s also believed to have helped Joelinton cope with life on Tyneside since he left all of his friends and family behind to sign for NUFC and been a big influence in the dressing room, but Bruce has also praised his quality on the field after he was handed a new one-year deal yesterday:
“Hey listen, that’s why he’s going to stay. A fit Andy Carroll is always good to have around.
“After lockdown, he’s lean, he’s lost a lot of weight.
“It’s certainly benefitted us and him and just at the right time.”
“It goes up there and it sticks and he makes a goal – I think that’s now four or five assists he’s got, so we’re delighted, I’m delighted.
“I’ve always said a fit Andy Carroll is great to have in your pack.”
“If he can keep himself right he’ll be a good addition to any PL team.
“He still knocked on my door the other day and wanted to know why he wasn’t starting!
“I was pleased he still had that hunger about him and wanted to be Newcastle’s number nine!”
“Touch wood, I just hope that his ankle stays well and he stays well, and if he does that, we’ll all be delighted.”
Great to see him fit again, in good shape and causing problems on the pitch – not on the treatment table!
After his fairytale return last summer, it’ll be nice to see him stick around for another season at St James’ Park.