Former Liverpool great Alan Hansen has said today that he thinks 21 year-old Andy Carroll, the new Newcastle number 9, has all the makings of a future Newcastle great, and a future England great.
Andy Carroll – after scoring the winner against Arsenal yesterday
Newcastle put in another great display yesterday, and while they got the rub of the green a little – for a change – the lads took all 3 points from one of the best teams in the country, and now lie in 5th place in the league.
One pleasing thing about yesterday’s game, apart from the great team work and organization that was on display for all to see, was the exciting play of our two big lads up front – Shola Ameobi and Andy Carroll, and Andy of course scored a great winner just before half time, when he simply out-jumped Arsenal goalkeeper Fabianski to a Joey Barton cross.
There was another story in the Sunday papers yesterday about Andy and captain Kevin Nolan, going on a pub crawl, and drugs were involved, but it seemed to be short on facts and after all – it was the News of the World, so we’ll spend no time on that story.
But Alan Hanson is right to be worried that Andy’s terrific talent may go to waste, if he continues to be on the front pages of the newspapers, rather than on the back pages.
The former Liverpool captain told the Daily Telegraph:
“As for Carroll, he is somebody with a genuine chance of emulating Alan Shearer, but history tells you that guys who continually find themselves on the front pages never turn into anything.”
“At 21, the Newcastle center-forward is already an unbelievable handful and a nightmare proposition for any defender. But off the pitch, he needs to calm down and somebody needs to get a grip of him as it would be a huge shame if he allowed his talent to go to waste.”
“Few footballers at Carroll’s age believe themselves to be anything but invincible and, on the pitch, you would want to him keep every bit of the fire and passion that he has shown for Newcastle this season.” “It is a different story off the pitch, though. Some players can handle off-field problems for a while without it affecting their game, but nobody is single-minded enough to blank it out forever.”
“Finding yourself making headlines for all the wrong reasons will take its toll eventually, but if Carroll can put the negative press behind him, there is no denying that Newcastle and England have a massively exciting talent on their hands.”
“Against Arsenal, when he scored his sixth league goal of the season, he ran tirelessly for his team and was a consistent threat.” “Shearer worked with Carroll during his spell in charge of Newcastle and he has since compared him to Duncan Ferguson.”
“I can see where Alan is coming from, but I believe that Carroll is a better player than Duncan.” “In his prime, Duncan had all the attributes that Carroll possesses and he was seriously difficult to play against, so the similarities are obvious.”
“But Carroll has a better left foot and he is still only 21. All that he lacks are the elements that come with time and experience – such as improving how he backs into defenders – but that raw talent is there and it is why he can be a superstar if he stays on the straight and narrow.”
“If he learns to do the right things off the pitch, then he can be like Shearer at Newcastle. Alan’s feats in the Newcastle number nine shirt have made him a legend at St James’ Park, so emulating him is an incredibly difficult task for anybody.”
“But Carroll has a chance and that is why it is so important that he makes the most of his ability and potential.” “England and Fabio Capello have been crying out for a player like Carroll and there is every chance he will called up for the friendly against France next week.”
“Let’s just hope that he makes the most of what he has.”
We have to think that with Chris Hughton, Kevin Nolan and a rehabilitated Joey Barton at the club, Andy will gets lots of help to stay on the straight and narrow – and if he doesn’t then he could waste the great talent he’s been blessed with.
Like most Newcastle fans, we hope Andy stays off the front pages of the papers and does what he does best – which is what he did yesterday in getting Newcastle a famous first victory at the Emirates Stadium.