With his time on Tyneside coming to an end and Callum Wilson injured, Tuesday night looks set to be Andy Carroll’s last chance to score in front of NUFC fans at St James’ Park.
Now we’re safe and with nothing to lose, is it time to be sentimental and give Big Andy more than 2 mins from the bench? I think so, and expect the local lad to play a real part when Sheffield United come to town, with this set to be his send off before his contract expires next month.
Also, could it be another cunning way for Steve Bruce to deflect some of the attention away from himself when fans return?
I’ve already called, if he’s fit, for Elliott Anderson to start. Imagine starting your first game in the senior side at St. James Park alongside an established Geordie hero like Carroll. It could well be a double selection that would garner some support for Bruce amongst the fans.
Andy Carroll to be fair has earned a place in NUFC history. Remember this is a player who we received £35m for when he went to Liverpool. At the time it seemed like terrible business and a real dagger in the heart of our loyal fanbase.
But when you look at what he achieved after leaving The Toon then perhaps it ended up being good business. Carroll made his senior professional debut for Newcastle in 2006. The 2nd of November to be exact when he came on for Nobby Solano in a UEFA Cup game against Palermo.
Since then, he’s played a total of 343 domestic games scoring 80 goals that equates to almost 23 games a season and 5 goals per season. Not huge returns over either category. Not his fault though as he’s been blighted by injuries amongst other things that perhaps meant he never fulfilled his full potential.
He played for England on 9 occasions and scored 2 goals. Again, he may have and could have done more at International level had it not been for circumstances. Let me say this. When he was fully fit and younger he was a considerable force and must have been a nightmare to mark.
But unfortunately, when he looks back I wonder if Andy himself might think and wish he could have done more. Mind you there’s many a man and even professional footballer that would still swap their career for his.
His return to Newcastle has not been in any way shape or form successful and I suspect had he not have been a Geordie and a supposed fan’s favourite he would have left at the end of last season. But we weren’t really rewarded and it’s understandable that at the age of 32 he’s unlikely to see his days out at Newcastle.
He never looks fit nor does his battering ram style seem to fit in with today’s brand of football and looks quite frankly incapable at this level now. But even after all that wouldn’t it be class if he signed off with a goal in front of 10k fans at SJP! Before moving on to the next chapter of his book!