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Opinion

How Andy Carroll has kept Newcastle United in the Premier League – An explanation

3 weeks ago
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I thought it was a bad move for Newcastle United to bring Andy Carroll back to Tyneside.

I still think it was a mistake to sign the former NUFC striker for the 2019/20 season.

I also wouldn’t have signed him up again for the 2020/21 Premier League season.

However, I do think that it is Andy Carroll who has saved Newcastle United from relegation, despite only playing 582 minutes of PL football so far since his return.

Let me explain.

Contrary to  what his media mates say, recent Newcastle form has not been brilliant under Steve Bruce, indeed you can kind of divide this 2019/20 PL season into three parts.

Starting with two wins from ten games.

Then five wins from eight.

Now on a run of only four wins in the last seventeen, ahead of playing Tottenham.

When you consider that in two of those four wins from seventeen, it took the opposition going down to 10 men before Newcastle could score a goal, it shows up even more how desperate this 17 game run has been. It has also coincided with Andy Carroll very rarely having been available, never being able to stay fit and / or free of injury being the main reason I wouldn’t have taken him back, or kept him on.

However, when you look at the stats above, I think it was that run of five wins from eight in the middle of the season that has basically kept Newcastle up.

The eight PL matches were between 2 November and 21 December 2019, Andy Carroll involved in all five of the wins in that period.

That run of eight games began with the 3-2 win at West Ham and 2-1 at home to Bournemouth, Carroll admittedly only a late sub in both to help see the wins out.

However, Andy Carroll was absolutely key to the three wins in four games that completed that eight match run. NUFC beating Sheffield United, Southampton and Crystal Palace.

At Sheffield United he was excellent, loads of vital work in defence and it was he who laid the ball to Manquillo who crossed for ASM’s opener, then Carroll got that headed flick assist for Shelvey to wrap up the win.

Only three days later there was no way he could start again but Andy Carroll won the game against Southampton. The Saints led 1-0 and Newcastle had hardly had a kick, Carroll came on with half an hour left and immediately the game changed, an assist for Shelvey’s equaliser and the whole momentum with United, helping to provide the platform for Fernandez’ late winner.

Then four days before Christmas, only seven minutes left, a perfect cushioned header in the box for Almiron to volley home and beat Palace, his first NUFC goal.

The four of the six PL games since restart where Newcastle have picked up points, are the four Carroll has been involved in, again mostly as a late sub, but he showed his worth when setting up Gayle for the goal against Villa that should have set up a win but at least produced a point.

Newcastle should be aspiring to better than a striker who can rarely spend many minutes on the pitch and hopefully new owners will ensure that. However, under the Mike Ashley model, Andy Carroll has saved our season…

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