As usual, when Newcastle are due to face West Ham the talk turns to Andy Carroll.

That is of course on the odd occasion when he is fit enough to play….

The big striker has been out injured but is almost certain to be involved tonight, with the minimum reported to be a place on the bench.

Slaven Bilic revealed in recent days that instead of a normal rapid return, Andy Carroll has been given six weeks in training before being considered for the first team.

There are obviously players that come to mind who have left Newcastle and regularly caused problems when we have faced them, what is the case with Andy Carroll though: a myth or a reality?

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Since Andy Carroll left St James Park he has faced Newcastle seven times with Liverpool and West Ham, with the Newcastle centre-back who faced him each time in brackets:

1 May 2011 Liverpool 3 Newcastle 0 – Carroll a 69 min sub and didn’t score (Williamson/Coloccini)

20 December 2011 Liverpool 3 Newcastle 1 – Carroll started but didn’t score (Williamson/Coloccini)

1 April 2012 Newcastle 2 Liverpool 0 – Carroll started but didn’t score (Williamson/Perch)

11 December 2012 Newcastle 0 West Ham 1 – Carroll started but didn’t score (Williamson/Taylor)

4 May 2013 West Ham 0 Newcastle 0 – Carroll started but didn’t score (Mapou/Taylor)

18 January 2014 West Ham 1 Newcastle 3 – Carroll a 62nd min sub but didn’t score (Williamson/Taylor)

29 November 2014 West Ham 1 Newcastle 0 – Carroll started but didn’t score (Williamson/Dummett)

So what can we take out of these seven matches?

Well I would say two main things stick out.

Mike Williamson has played in six out of the seven which is obviously more than he’d figure on average in the team.

The other thing is that Andy Carroll has so far failed to score against Newcastle United.

I don’t think this means that Newcastle can  think they are in for an easy time if he starts or comes on, but certainly I don’t think he has shown that we should fear him.

He has more to his game than scoring goals but on these stats it appears to show that Newcastle have tended to handle him pretty well overall.

As to how much that is to do with Williamson regularly going up against him is anybody’s guess.

We await with interest then to see if Andy Carroll and indeed Mike Williamson get named in their respective teams later on.

(To feature like Sam, send in your articles for our website to [email protected] – all views those of the author etc etc)

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