Andy Carroll was a hero when he played for his home team Newcastle and the Geordies would certainly welcome him back with open arms if he was to return.
The England striker has been underwhelming since leaving St James Park after his record breaking £35million transfer fee to Liverpool on transfer deadline day 2012 and since then after his most recent move to West Ham United.
Due to various injuries and spells on the sidelines, the player has not really had the opportunity to show everyone what he was doing at Newcastle. To this day he is one of the best centre forwards in the English game and if he could re-capture the form he had playing for The Magpies, which saw him net an impressive 31 goals in 80 appearances, then he would fast shake off all the criticism thrown his way.
He simply did not fit into Brendan Rodgers’ plans when he took over as manager of Liverpool. He had his own style of play, his own way of doing things that didn’t include having a massive powerhouse centre forward who could act as a target man for the likes of Gerrard to feed off. He wasn’t used in the right way during his miserable spell in Merseyside.
This must have knocked his confidence seeing as he was bought to the club with a massive price tag. Given the right supply and used in the right way, Andy Carroll is definitely a massive nuisance to any defence he plays against and can score/provide a lot of goals throughout the course of a season. There is no other striker like him in the Premiership currently and very few like him outside of England.
When he eventually went out on loan to West Ham he ended up being given his chance by former manager Sam Allardyce. It was like a re-birth for the striker who also got to link up with former Newcastle team mate and best friend Kevin Nolan at Upton Park. The link up play between the two players is something that puts a twinkle in the eye of the spectator. Between them they score and create a hat-full of goals just for fun.
It was a match made in heaven with Carroll and the manager as well, because unlike Rodgers, Allardyce actually likes using a target man for his football that he can get long balls aimed to. The striker scored a few goals for the Hammers in his first season and was providing assists for his team mates. He really impressed during his loan spell there to say the least.
However this love affair was to be short lived after making his move to East London a permanent one he was unfortunate to have a recurrence of an old platia fascia injury which affects the heel of the foot. He was ruled out for the first half of the season, and with all their eggs in one Andy Carroll shaped basket, the Hammers struggled without anyone of real substance to replace the tall striker and ended up not scoring enough goals to avoid being in a relegation scrap for the majority of the season.
This season has not been much better. Despite initially recovering from the injury that plagued him last season, he ended up ruled out for the start of the present campaign with an ankle injury this time around, and again looks set to miss the first part of the season for West Ham. He is due back from injury around Christmas time. So surely this whole farce can be put behind him and everyone at the club and he can get on with playing football again and scoring lots of goals right? Well, no.
He faces a similar issue now at West Ham that he did at Liverpool. The whole style of play has had to change for various reasons; mainly they were playing terrible football last season and not winning many games at all, so the board decided to impose a few demands on the manager and pulled in some real quality in the shape of an outstanding transfer window this summer.
The strength in depth at West Ham is currently very impressive with some world class players to choose from in practically every position. A new brand of football is also being seen at the moment, with no more long ball tactics and defenders lumping balls towards the big guy at the top. Those days seem to have been eradicated in favour for the West Ham of old, with tiki-taka style football, on the floor build up play with pacey and skilful midfielders, who provide the goals for the instinctive strikers they have.
Andy Carroll, as great a player that he is when he is fit, as welcome an addition as he would be in a return to the playing action for West Ham, would simply not fit in any longer. His future at the club is in serious doubt and, if the rumours are to be believed, he could be offered a way out of the club and a dream return to Newcastle.
The Magpies are struggling and the early signs suggest they’ll be a in battle to remain in the Premier League this season. Newcastle need someone to come into the team in January who can inject a bit of quality into the team, a bit of class, some home-grown passion and some goals to help their survival chances. The prodigal son is long due a return up north and with his injury recovery coinciding with the winter transfer window, January seems the perfect time for him to make a return.
He will find his form again, he will score and provide a lot of much needed goals for the team and it will be a match made in heaven for him to be re-united with the Newcastle supporters.
He is a great striker with bags of potential that has been suppressed by his time in Liverpool and on the injury table at West Ham. If he goes back home, Newcastle may just have the striker they need to steer them clear of the drop zone and in to the top half of the table.