As predictable as the Christmas decorations going up, ‘Andy Carroll on his way to Newcastle’ are the headlines.
In some kind of alternative universe we are supposed to believe, that Mike Ashley is willing to pay £18m to sign a player who has managed 29 Premier League starts and 8 goals in the two and a half years since West Ham paid a similar figure for the striker.
We all know that the success rate of football transfer stories is spectacularly low but none is lower than the ones linking Newcastle with Andy Carroll, pretty much ever since the day he flew away in Mike Ashley’s helicopter five years ago.
Never mind the lack of goals in those five years (21 in the Premier League in that time), just look at Andy Carroll’s injury record since he signed permanently for West Ham in summer 2013.
The latest/current injury first…
Thigh Muscle Strain
MCL Knee Ligament Injury
Despite this, Slaven Bilic manages to keep a straight face when he says that he is desperate to keep Andy Carroll and he is a big part of his plans:
“We need him fit and we need him back.
“I don’t judge my centre-forwards on whether they score goals or not. In the game against Stoke he ran and he did everything,
“He was creating space, he was holding the ball up. He looked to me that he was back fitness-wise and then he got injured. But hopefully the injury is not too bad.
“When he is fit, he’s a big asset for us, he’s a big weapon, and it is hard to play against him.
“He has his presence, his hunger, his ability and, of course, he’s really important for us.
“He fits into my attacking plans. I said this from the start and that has not changed.”
Yes, not judging strikers on how many goals they scored, well Newcastle have had a few who hoped that was the case with them!
So, pack away those Christmas Andy Carroll stories with the decorations when they are redundant once again, at least until the next time…