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Most satisfying as finest Andy Carroll hour was exactly nine years ago today

4 weeks ago
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Andy Carroll was still at the budding potential end of his career when leaving Newcastle United back in January 2011.

The striker sold only days after Alan Pardew had said there was absolutely no way that he would be sold.

It was a case of what might have been, a homegrown number nine, now scoring goals regularly in the Premier League.

With the world at his feet as the new local hero, instead Andy Carroll was off to Liverpool and then West Ham, his career ending up going absolutely nowhere, as struggles with injury and fitness never ended, whilst when he was fit the goals didn’t exactly flow.

That 2010/11 season still remains the best ever for Carroll, scoring 11 goals in 18 Premier League starts before Mike Ashley flogged him.

The first half of that season was surprisingly enjoyable, as Newcastle fans feared the worst when Mike Ashley allowed only minimal spending after Chris Hughton oversaw promotion as champions, based on loans and free transfer signings.

Andy Carroll was key to that.

The first home game of that season remains one of my favourites, most satisfying.

After losing 3-0 at Old Trafford, Andy Carroll and his NUFC teammates faced Aston Villa at St James Park.

The 22 August 2010, exactly nine years ago today.

This was 15 months after the bizarre sight of Aston Villa fans taking such over the top pleasure as NUFC were relegated at Villa Park.

The fates were working in our favour, Villa delivered to us in our first home game since that relegation.

Some great moments in the Premier League in that brief time Chris Hughton was in charge before being unfairly sacked, including of course the 5-1 v Sunderland (two Carroll assists), the 1-0 win at Arsenal (Carroll winner), 1-0 victory at Goodison (Ben Arfa screamer), however, in some ways I think that the win over Aston Villa topped them it all.

Villa started the game missing a penalty before Newcastle stuck six away in the sunshine;

Barton (12)

Nolan (31)

Carroll (34)

Carroll (67)

Nolan (87)

Carroll (93)

Andy Carroll scoring a hat-trick in the final hour of the game.

Another thing that seems remarkable now is that in that season before he was sold, Andy Carroll started 18 Premier League games and played every minute of them, apart from 10 minutes at Wolves when Shola was given 10 minutes at the end of a game in which Andy Carroll scored to give NUFC a 1-1 draw.

Will we see Carroll back on the pitch any time soon, will he score any goals?

Hopefully it can somehow end up being a case of returning local hero but what is undeniably true, is that back in 2010 he was an emerging local hero.

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