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Matt Le Tissier calls out Andy Carroll transfer

2 years ago

The Andy Carroll return to Newcastle United created a lot of headlines.

Having left for £35m back in January 2011, almost a decade later the ‘local hero’ coming back as a free agent.

West Ham finally calling time on a disastrous transfer, paying big wages for a player who was rarely ever available to play.

Newcastle had lost their only two goalscorers in Rondon and Perez, so signing the permanently crocked Andy Carroll as one of the two replacements, looked as bizarre as bringing in the £40m+ other replacement whose greatest league season so far was eight goals in the Austria league.

Nine days after Andy Carroll had arrived on 7 August 2019, I wrote an article about the signing (see below).

In the article I said: ‘It just looks ever more like a gimmick PR signing to get headlines and divert away from the failure to properly strengthen in the summer.’

When the signing happened Newcastle United said it was just a case of getting Andy Carroll up to speed fitness wise after not having a proper pre-season but very quickly that became he was still getting over his injury, then who knows how long before he would be available to start a match.

The answer was 120 days after his signing, Andy Carroll made his first start in the 2-0 win at Sheffield United.

With now 31 games gone this season, Andy Carroll has started just four and the last of those is now 51 days ago. That came in the 2-1 home defeat to Everton.

At the end of the transfer window, Steve Bruce was at it again, using Andy Carroll as justification for not bringing in a striker in January, saying he should be back for Arsenal. With Carroll not even joining in with training, Bruce has now had to admit he hasn’t got a clue when the 31 year old will play again, Newcastle left with not a single striker on the bench yesterday, in case anything happened to one goal Joelinton.

The media overwhelmingly went along slavishly with Mike Ashley’s PR that pointed away from a disastrous summer 2019 transfer window, the idea that the Andy Carroll signing was such a positive, failing to question the true reality/stupidity of a deal where you lose your two goalscorers and replace one with somebody who is unavailable the vast majority of the time.

Good then to see Matt Le Tissier stepping up now, belatedly, to call out the Andy Carroll transfer for what it was.

Quite rightly he says you have to feel sorry for Andy Carroll himself when he is almost permanently injured BUT at the same time, you also have to say it was a ridiculous transfer for the club, considering how few goals Newcastle had in their squad. Never mind before we realised our new £40m centre-forward isn’t even that keen on going in the box!

Matt Le Tissier talking to Sky Sports:

“It [Newcastle signing Andy Carroll] was a PR stunt, very much so.

“It had been that long since he had been fit for a period of time.

“He has [got the desire still] but it’s a shame for the lad.

“Nobody wants to be injured and as a professional footballer, it is the worst place to be where you are sat injured all the time.

“I had it the last few years of my career and it is just so frustrating.

“It must be heartbreaking for Andy Carroll.

“But you look at the signing and you do wonder…

“How much thought went into it, in terms of can we get him fit and playing regularly, week in, week out.

“It was pretty much [to get the Newcastle fans onside].”

My earlier article about the Andy Carroll signing back on 16 August 2019:

Steve Bruce has been talking about Andy Carroll on Friday. This is just the latest of a series of interviews where the head coach has talked up so positively the free agent Newcastle signed last week.

I often think he is talking about Alan Shearer when I hear Steve Bruce going on at length about the positives of the signing.

Indeed, the signing made little sense to me at all, despite the fanfare when it was announced and the media lapping it up.

We all know that Andy Carroll can be a right handful when fully fit and playing but that is purely wishful thinking when you visit the real world.

In the past 28 months he has only started 10 Premier League games and scored three goals.

If Newcastle were in a position where they had any number of strikers and other goalscorers in the team, then signing Carroll for the season would have maybe been a decent gamble.

However, Newcastle lost their two goalscorers and have so few other goals in the team, yet they only signed Joelinton – who is only 22 and the best he has done is scoring eight goals in a season in Austria, as well as Andy Carroll.

Somebody who was injured when he signed and we were told it would take a few weeks to get fit and available, which has now become four or five weeks (five or six weeks from when he signed) before any chance of seeing him according to Steve Bruce today.

Bruce and Mike Ashley knew Dwight Gayle was injured, hasn’t been involved in pre-season and the head coach hadn’t/hasn’t even seen him train as yet, despite that we sign another injured striker with a terrible record of never being fit.

It just looks ever more like a gimmick PR signing to get headlines and divert away from the failure to properly strengthen in the summer.

Now Steve Bruce is trying to tell us that whilst Andy Carroll can’t actually play, he is having such a positive influence off the pitch.

Bruce stating: ‘The other day we had a meeting with the strikers and he had his say. The other players in the canteen all want to be around him. They are looking to feed off his experience.’

I can just imagine Muto, Almiron, Joelinton sitting around him open-mouthed, as Andy Carroll regales them with tales of all the benches he has sat on and treatment rooms he has seen.

We aren’t talking Alan Shearer the Premier League’s greatest ever striker, we are talking somebody who has started only 110 PL games since leaving Newcastle, scoring only 39 PL goals at an average of less than five a season.

As for Steve Bruce saying ‘He has know-how, knows exactly what Newcastle is about, all of that can only be a positive.’ Andy Carroll was just a kid starting out when Newcastle sold him, he only started 25 Premier League games before leaving NUFC and scored 14 PL goals.

We all want Andy Carroll (and all the other players) to do well but it is quite ridiculous to go on and on trying to convince people this is a great signing until he actually steps on a pitch and does something.

Far better for everybody, especially Andy Carroll himself, if Steve Bruce just refused to talk about him and told the media that this was the case until he was fit and available to play.

Steve Bruce talking about Andy Carroll ahead of Norwich:

“He is doing a bit of running.

“We still think he could be four or five weeks away.

“Although I think really we shouldn’t put a timescale on him.

“He will be ready and fit when he is ready.

“Timescales can leave him and everybody else disappointed.

“I am sure he will be able to play a big part and then hopefully he stays all right.

“It’s only been a week since he walked through the door.

“The other day we had a meeting with the strikers and he had his say.

“The other players in the canteen all want to be around him.

“They are looking to feed off his experience.

“He has know-how, knows exactly what Newcastle is about, all of that can only be a positive.

“The biggest positive of all is seeing him back on the training ground…because if we can get this lad fit, we know he is a smashing player as well.”


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