Why Newcastle Fans Should Be Getting Andy Carroll Fever
Forgiving Andy Carroll will not come easy for most of us.
Our natural instinct is to remain uncompromising towards the wrongdoer, in order to protect ourselves from further distress. Yet there comes a time when one must analyse the pros and cons of prolonged sulking and – perhaps – offer that awkward olive branch; because, deep down, you know it’s the right thing to do.
The news that Kenny Dalglish’s greedy fingers had stolen Newcastle’s darling striker – in a last-gasp attempt to replace Fernando Torres – broke on deadline day, January 2011 (although it must seem a lot longer than that to ‘Nando).
The reaction on Tyneside was frantic. “But we haven’t got any time to replace him,” the fans agreed, while ‘Judas’ replaced the Gateshead-born target man’s equally biblical, but less shameful , Christian name. Yet, despite the initial infuriated jibes, there was not a single Geordie who didn’t also murmur a startled, “Sorry, how much?”
And this has been Mr Carroll’s problem every since. That damn £35million pound price tag has been draped over the striker’s 6ft 3 gangly frame, from the moment he placed his size seventeens on Merseyside soil.
If you strip away that pricey bit of high-expectancy bling and simply judge AC as a 24-year-old striker who has failed to live up to the history, prestige and Europa League challenge that Brendan Rodgers demands – then the proposition of having the West Ham loanee and England International back at St James’ Park is rather appealing.
Carroll is now in superb form; anyone who witnessed West Ham’s 2-2 draw with Manchester United last week should be filled with big Andy fever. For ninety minutes, he tormented United’s Vidic and Ferdinand and – under the watchful eyes of England boss Roy Hodgson – put in a performance that Alan Shearer would have been proud of (for proof of this analogy, see Match of the Day).
While Rodgers is in charge at Liverpool, it seems the Geordie hitman will not be given the chance to succeed. The Liverpool gaffer will not be swayed on the matter, because apparently it goes against his footballing philosophy.
So while Rodgers continues to choose Jordan Henderson, Jonjo Shelvey and Fabio Borini to break down the walls of European football, while having no use for the world class Nuri Sahin, surely Newcastle should look no further than bringing their misunderstood striker back home.
For once, the supposed lure of London is unlikely to prove an insurmountable barrier and, despite money being a possible problem on both sides, Alan Pardew should be begging Mike Ashley to put in a reasonable and fair offer for Carroll’s services.
His presence would not only give Newcastle’s supporters another local hero to adore, (that French Revolution stuff has got a bit boring now) but it also would remove the overwhelming weight of expectation from Papiss Cisse’s unreliable shoulders. Playing Carroll alongside Cisse would give Pardew the opportunity (on occasion, not always) to replace the 4-2-3-1 formation with a more controlled 4-4-2 again. The inclusion of Carroll would mean that Moussa Sissoko could sit alongside Yohan Cabaye in his more familiar role of midfield general and not be forced to play an under-rehearsed number ten role.
Forgiveness will come thick and fast if Carroll does end up returning to Tyneside and, if he continued where he left off, there is no reason to argue why the shaggy tall man can’t become a Geordie hero all over again.
Oh, and while you’re there Pardew, I’m sure the we’d all be prepared to forgive Suarez as well…
You can follow Matt on Twitter @elasticochop
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