The back pages of some of today's newspapers reported that Newcastle are prepared to buy Andy Carroll for between £10 and £15m. Here's why they shouldn't...
The back pages of some of today’s newspapers reported that Newcastle are prepared to buy Andy Carroll for between £10 and £15m. Here’s why they shouldn’t…
The recent Newcastle versus Liverpool game set the papers and fans into a frenzy of chatter about the possible return of £35 million “flop” Andy Carroll. Alan Pardew came out and said he’d not rule out re-signing him in the future (as if it was some sort of option), that he was a great lad who he never wanted to see leave the club. The Toon faithful, of course lapped it up, for a variety of reasons. It’s not just that he was a local lad, nor was it that his goal-every-other-game record at Newcastle was top drawer… Mostly it’s the idea of running some savage burn on Kenny Dalglish, selling him a lemon at an extortionate price and then buying him back at a greatly reduced fee and netting the profit. Such a move on Tyneside would be seen as some partial form of revenge for the way Dalglish dismantled Keegan’s championship contesting team.
There’s that and the fact that every Newcastle fan had this future mapped out for Carroll, that he would be the next Alan Shearer. A big, strong local lad who would bleed for the cause and score goals prolifically, before being seen out celebrating in Bigg Market with the lads and this time he wouldn’t cost a world record fee to recruit. When he was sold, even though the fee was too ludicrous for anyone to turn down, let alone the greasy, money grabbing fingers of Mike Ashley, the fans felt cheated of something they had already mapped out. They didn’t know who to blame, so they reverted to type and laid it – probably quite rightly – on the chairman.
We’ve all watched Carroll struggle at Liverpool and seen the broad spectrum of comment about him. His manager would point to the fact he has been unlucky, having hit the woodwork on numerous occasions (that’s still “missing” by the way) and say he has been hampered by injury. Some reporters suggest that these injuries aren’t injuries at all but actually his body being unable to perform due to his lifestyle that involves him being out drinking every night, that Liverpool have tried to disguise this while working hard to make him change.
Whatever you want to subscribe to the problems he has had at Liverpool relating to form, in a squad that is inarguably better than the one he was prolific in at Newcastle, are very real. The belief that if he somehow puts on a black and white shirt again he will become that player once more is delusional, that somehow like a Wimbledon player of old he can only do it for the one club. All it really means is he’s not an adaptive footballer and who is to say that he wouldn’t have to adapt once again to a different style of play at Newcastle, or appease a different manager with different ideas?
The reality is that, however much the protestations rang out at the time of the deal, the club is better off with the money, the same price tag that hangs around his neck like an Albatross and has seen him almost certainly doomed to some sort of loan spell if he doesn’t find his shooting boots or some AA meetings soon.
The real seduction in all this talk of returning fan favourites is straightforward enough. The past always seems better. It happened – we’re all still here and with a few stories to boot. The future? **** that. It leaps out of the dark like a mugger waiting to smash our teeth in with a hammer. Best not to think about those uncertainties and instead bask in that warm glow of memorabilia. Ultimately though life goes on and sports are no different. Don’t be duped by looking backwards when progress is Newcastle should be looking at. The future will happen whether you prepare for it or not. Embrace it and leave history, both fresh and ancient, in the past where it belongs.
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