Steve Bruce has praised Andy Carroll’s all round performance in our first pre-season friendly of the summer against Crewe Alexandra.
The Newcastle United boss believes his sensational strike showed signs of the “Andy Carroll of old”, but feels his general play was also “very, very good”.
Here’s what Bruce told NUFC TV after Tuesday’s 3-0 win, praising the 31-year-old’s display and revealing how hard he’s worked to get fit over the summer:
“He was very, very good and scored a goal.
“I hope you’ve got the goal as it was the Andy Carroll of old, wasn’t it!
“We know Andy’s qualities and the big thing with Andy is to stay well and to stay fit. The rest will look after itself.
“He’s done very well though. He’s worked extremely hard.
“Probably lockdown helped and certainly this period now, touch wood, he looks good.”
It may have been against League One opposition, but nothing can take away from the quality of Carroll’s finish, with his control, awareness and bicycle kick right out of the top draw.
Interestingly, I noticed from the 5-minute highlight clip that he did a few lovely pieces of link up play (watch both below at 0:50 and 2:15), which perhaps highlight why Bruce felt the need to praise his all round performance – not just his stunning strike.
We know Carroll is a talented player and an absolute nightmare for defenders to cope with when fit, so let’s hope he can stay fit between now and September 12th and come back to haunt his former club West Ham in 17 days time.
With Gayle suffering a knee injury, Joelinton yet to report back and Muto being offered out, he might be our only option up top in a few weeks time unless the club pull their socks up and sign a proven goalscorer!