Andy Carroll – What Might Have Been?
On Sunday, Andy Carroll led the line against Man City with his new look Byker Grove beard. The powerful striker showed glimpses of what made him once hot property during his first spell with his home town club, prompting questions as to what might have been for Carroll were it not for multiple injuries.
Lots of time for this version of Andy Carroll pic.twitter.com/j675XhdQ2H
— Scott Saunders (@_scottsaunders) June 28, 2020
Having scored on his England debut, after passing a fitness test before the match, the future looked bright. When Liverpool spent £35 million on the Magpies striker he was the leagues top goal scorer. There could be genuine excitement about what the old-fashioned style centre forward was capable of.
Perhaps England’s last remaining target man has had his career dismantled by injury since arriving on Merseyside. Subsequent moves to West Ham and now back to his boyhood club Newcastle haven’t yet brought about changes in fortune.
Unable to get a run of prolonged fitness since 2011, in truth there has been as sense of what might have been for many years now.
Andy Carroll has addressed his historic ankle injury troubles. https://t.co/gxJtwBt50m
— The Chronicle (@ChronicleNUFC) June 30, 2020
During Sunday’s match Carroll cut a frustrated figure, winning numerous aerial battles with little support, whilst frankly terrifying the City centre halves. A throwback to the glory days of when Carroll bullied defenders up and down the country.
Were it not for injury there is little doubt Carroll would have more than his current nine international caps. He may even perhaps still be with Liverpool, although I don’t know how he would feel about Jurgen Klopp’s ‘Gegenpress’ style.
Perhaps any comparison with Harry Kane is fanciful, Kane was always likely to be a more prolific goalscorer than Carroll. The Geordie striker however, remains a frightening prospect for any opposition. Bigger than most defenders and stronger than all of them, on his day Carroll would be unplayable. His days though have become more and more infrequent.
31 – Andy Carroll scored 31 league goals in 80 matches for @NUFC during his first period at the club, including netting 11 times in just 19 games the last time he played for the Magpies in the Premier League in 2010-11. Geordie. pic.twitter.com/yVb388fFEu
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 8, 2019
Marred by off-field issues, perhaps brought on by his injury woes. Some believe his off-field lifestyle contributed to his injury troubles and vice-versa.
Still only 31 there is time for the colourful forward to enjoy a strong finish to what has been an anti-climatic career to date. There is still hope of something more. Having got the dream move of a return to Newcastle, where he was a ball boy and supporter, and where he never truly wanted to leave.
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