Newcastle United must avoid making a major howler this summer and offering Andy Carroll a new contract, amid Steve Howey’s intriguing claim.
The Magpies striker played just 381 minutes of football in the entire Premier League season, and in fact, had played less than ten minutes since the beginning of March.
Despite the lack of game-time, Howey has insisted he would keep Carroll at St James’ Park, and instead laid the blame at Steve Bruce’s door for the lack of first-team action.
He said: “I’m surprised that Carroll will be out of contract because me personally, I would keep him for another year, I really would. He’s been fit this season but just hasn’t been given the opportunity to play so that’s not his fault.
“It’s not his fault that he’s not played, that’s the manager’s fault because all Carroll can do is be fit. I still think he’s a threat and that centre backs still won’t like playing against him.”
While Carroll may be the kind of different dimension of striker that teams might like, he simply hasn’t shown he’s really cut out for this level for a long time now – injuries of course have played their part, but the fact he’s scored just five goals in the past four seasons is a real telling sign of his decline.
Earning a basic £20k-a-week, that rises to a monumental £75k-a-week if he actually starts, and to £35k-a-week if he comes off the bench, Carroll is simply making up the numbers at St James’ Park, at a time when the Magpies desperately need to be getting rid of the deadwood and freeing up the finances.
It’s already been indicated that money will be tight on Tyneside this summer, and having Carroll still pick up a pay-cheque for doing virtually nothing week-in and week-out would be a ridiculous waste of wages.
If Bruce simply doesn’t trust him enough, or doesn’t fancy him, then it’s best for the club to just let him go and loosen up the wage bill a little. The Magpies need to save every penny they can to make a go of signing players like Joe Willock to really take the next step up.
Keeping Carroll in the hope that he can get back to his best from years ago seems like a foolish mistake to make, and it’s one that won’t have the fans happy at all.