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Time for Newcastle to turn to Andy Carroll?

Posted on October 22nd, 2019 | No Comments |

Andy Carroll
Could Carroll make the difference?
On the eve of the current season, new manager Steve Bruce spoke openly about the need to increase Newcastle’s goal output.

They netted just 42 last term, but owner Mike Ashley did – finally – open the purse strings in a bid to address the problem. A club-record £40 million was splashed on Joelinton alone, while wide man Allan Saint-Maximin arrived with a strong reputation from Nice.

It left Bruce feeling confident: “If you’ve got someone at the top end of the pitch that scores, you’re always in the game”, he said. “We have to cause the other teams a threat – we have that threat now.”

However, a quarter of the way through the season and little return on that investment has been forthcoming. Just five goals were scored in the first nine games, with Joelinton bagging just one.

A particularly humbling defeat came at Leicester, 5-0, a defeat which saw them cut to odds-on for relegation in the Premier League betting markets, climbing only to joint-second favourites for relegation alongside Watford following a surprise 1-0 victory over Manchester United.

Some will say it remains too early to judge Bruce and his players but in the cut-throat, money-driven world of English top-flight football, time is a precious commodity.

The more impatient will point to the fact neither Joelinton or Saint-Maximin had experience in the English game – another newcomer Miguel Almiron has also struggled for goals since his January arrival – and that Fulham had proven last season that relying on imports was risky business.

The thing is Newcastle do have a proven Premier League goalscorer in their ranks – one who also arrived in the summer, albeit to less fanfare and smaller expense.

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Andy Carroll is back at St James’ Park where he made his name almost a decade ago. He left for £37 million in 2011 and returned eight and a half years later on a free transfer.

Such figures suggest his stock has fallen – nay, crashed – but other numbers say Carroll might just be the man to save Newcastle’s season.

Carroll actually scored 13 goals in his last 33 Premier League starts for West Ham, a statistic which shows his battering-ram striking method remains a potent threat. Few players can cause as much danger in the air – as Carroll memorably showed in an England shirt when he scored against Sweden at Euro 2012.

Of course, the problem with Carroll has always been staying fit – those 33 starts came across four different seasons – but with problems growing by the week for Bruce, does the manager have much left to lose by turning to the now-30-year-old?

His side would need to provide more crosses for their centre forward – only two sides have produced fewer crosses per game – but Newcastle are set up with two wing-backs so are using a formation which would suit a Carroll-based plan.

Rolling the dice with Carroll has to at least be under consideration, for if things continue as they’ve started, it could well be too late – both for Bruce and the club.

NUFCBlog Author: Frankly Various Frankly Various has written 41 articles on this blog.

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