Newcastle United’s local lad Andy Carroll staked a claim for the iconic Newcastle No.9 shirt with an extremely impressive performance against fellow Championship promotion hopefuls Cardiff City on friday evening. Yet the talented young striker may need to sort his off the field problems out before realising his obvious potential.
The 21yr old 6ft 4in striker has gained a foot hole in the Newcastle United side since their relegation from the Premier League and has impressed with some fully committed performances. 8 goals in 25 appearances doesn’t really highlight how well he has played. With his aerial ability and sheer size Carroll has been creating space and playing knock downs for the likes of Ameobi and Lovenkrends to score. It was no wonder that upon Owen Coyle’s move to Bolton that the Lancashire side took an interest in the striker during the January transfer window. Yet Carroll is a local lad playing for his local side and will not wish to leave St James’s Park.
Newcastle manager Chris Hughton proclaimed in his post-match conference. ‘Potentially, he is number nine material. He’s a player who leads the line. In some ways, he’s an old-fashioned centre-forward who has a prowess in the air, but he’s still developing his game and he has to continue to do that.’
Praise indeed, if only a few days after Hughton himself had told the media that he would not be issuing the No. 9 shirt to any of his strikers and had challenged them to earn the iconic number. Yet despite Andy Carroll’s growing prominence on the football field, his life off it has much to be desired. Only last September Andy Carroll was arrested for an alleged assault on a woman in the Pudding Chare area of Newcastle, Carroll accepted a police caution. This was followed up by in December the young Toon striker was arrested again for assault. Carroll was reprimanded by police in the early hours of the morning outside the popular club the Blu Bambu; allegedly Carroll attacked another reveller with a glass. These incidents don’t exactly fill you with confidence as to the temperament of the player. Add to this his sending home in 2007 after he broke a curfew during an England under 19 match against Romania, Carroll is not exactly the perfect role model in football. Yet who is? Look no further than John Terry’s recent sacking as England Captain for his affair with a team mate’s ex-girlfriend to see that football doesn’t exactly have many.
Can we put his misdemeanours down to his youth? The fact that the situations he has got himself into are a lack of maturity on his part? Maybe so. Yet Carroll is an extremely talented footballer who most certainly can claim the Newcastle United No.9 shirt. The talent is there, the potential is, but the temperament may not be. Carroll is treading on a fine rope, one more arrest would mostly likely signal the end of his Newcastle career, furthermore probably his future of playing at the top level and realising the potential he clearly has. Let’s hope for Newcastle United’s and his own sake that he gets his head down and concentrates on his football.