Carroll has earned praise from some of the highest corners this season, with Alan Shearer in particular quick to praise him earlier in the season. Now more praise has come from another former player, captain and manager in the shape of Glenn Roeder, who believes the big lad can “wreak havoc” in next seasons Premier League. The number 9 in waiting has come on in leaps and bounds since Christmas time, not just with his goalscoring ability, but a general improvement in his all round play, an improvement that has seen Carroll linked with a move away from St James’ Park and alerted the England setup who believe he could be a future international player.
Glenn Roeder was the man who gave Carroll his debut, and even back then it was evident the Gateshead lad had something about him. Speaking to The Chronicle, Roeder said:
“I always believed he had potential and something different. He’s such a powerful competitor. I worked with Andy all the way through, from him being 16 at the Academy to giving him his first team debut in Palermo.”
“I gave him his Premier League debut at Portsmouth – he went in against Sol Campbell and Sol couldn’t compete with him. I then put him on for the last 20 minutes against Chelsea, and John Terry couldn’t win anything.”
Naturally, all strikers need a supply line, and for me that is one of the key areas where we should look to strengthen, or at least make sure we have enough cover for. Carroll has demonstrated, even briefly in the Premier League, that he is a handful for defenders and will get goals if provided with the chances.
“The question mark above his head was that he didn’t score enough goals. His answer was getting 19 this season,” Roeder said.
“If you give Andy the right service, he’ll get you the goals. Some of his headed goals this season have been of the highest order.”
The jury is very much out on whether Carroll can cut it in the Premier League, and I suppose we will have to wait and see before we get any firm confirmation on that. Going by what we have seen this season, and particularly his improvement since Christmas, I think he will be fine. That is of course if he can steer clear of trouble and get through his upcoming court case.
As I mentioned earlier, if we can create the chances for him then I expect him to do well. He is far from the finished product, both on the pitch and off it, but he is developing nicely. We will have to wait to find out if he gets the number 9 shirt for next season, as we have discussed recently, but as it now looks likely that we wont sign anybody worthy of it then we may aswell give it to the local lad who knows what it’s all about.
So do you think Andy Carroll will cut the mustard in the Premier League? How many goals do you think he will score? And could he end up in the England squad?