Former England international full-back Danny Mills tried to pay Andy Carroll a compliment in Football Insider yesterday. He was speaking about the impact that Andy could have in the Newcastle side this season.
Mills was somewhat complimentary of Andy’s ability while also pointing out that the 30-year-old has not played much recently. However, it was his choice of words that was kind of confusing. This is what the former Leeds defender said about Andy Carroll as an option for Newcastle:
“If he’s fit and you can keep him fit to get him on the pitch for 45 minutes, half an hour, he is one of the best headers on goal there is. Simple as that.
“You’ve then got to play to his strengths – get the ball out wide and get crosses into the box to be able to use that, whether that’s him going for goal or him getting knock downs for others coming in.
“You’re relying on someone that hasn’t played a lot of football, he’s hardly played any football and that’s what you’re relying on as a plan b. You’re scraping the bottom of the barrel.”
We agree that Andy Carroll should not be relied on by Steve Bruce to be the focal point of the attack. Danny Mills seems to agree with this assessment as he is only referencing Andy in a support role and as a substitute.
Andy Carroll– not the bottom of the barrel
The issue is with the phrase “scraping the bottom of the barrel.” We understand the point Mills is trying to get across. He is asserting that you cannot rely on Andy Carroll even as a Plan B. This is a fair point to make.
However, his terminology is quite insulting. Mills could have come up with a better way of expressing his point.
It would be unwise to rely on Andy Carroll in anymore than a support role due to his history of breaking down. But using Andy Carroll as a Plan B is not necessarily a problem and it’s certainly not scraping the bottom of the barrel.
During the summer transfer window, the club gambled with a lot of unknowns. Most of them have to deal with the attack. The glaring issue is where the goals will come from. Newcastle do not have a proven goalscorer in the squad and have only scored 4 so far this season.
Andy Carroll’s fitness is also a gamble. However, he is not going to be the primary factor for Newcastle’s success this season. It will be whether Steve Bruce can get the best out of Joelinton, Miguel Almiron, and Allan Saint-Maximin.