Once a blooming talent primed for superstardom, Andy Carroll has now turned into a player ravaged by injuries and mockery.
Gone are the days when he was scoring goals for fun at St. James’ Park for his beloved Newcastle United and looking every inch the next Geordie hero. Indeed, despite having spent six years at West Ham United, the towering striker’s not been able to establish himself as their main man up front and lookt to be a burden more than anything.
While injuries have definitely played their part in deterring his form whenever on the rise, Carroll’s style hasn’t suited the Irons or those who aspire to be in the top six or seven in the Premier League in general. The former Liverpool striker’s yet to score a goal in the Premier League this season, despite having made 12 appearances for the Hammers and his battering ram like style looks a thing of the past at the clubs with continental approaches.
Not in the squad in the last few games and, having only started a single game in the away defeat to Manchester City, Manuel Pellegrini has seemingly lost his patience with the towering striker. Carroll now finds it pretty impossible to get a place ahead of not only Marko Arnautovic but even the misfiring Javier Hernandez.
With West Ham largely expected to bring in striking reinforcements in the summer – Celta Vigo’s Maxi Gomez has been linked – this could be the end of the road for the 30-year-old. He just isn’t suiting the Irons’ fluid, passing style under Pellegrini, which doesn’t work to his strengths at all.
Indeed, he surely seems destined for a move away soon but needs to choose carefully or risk becoming an afterthought pretty soon.
Carroll should opt for teams which suit his style, which includes bullying defenders with his physicality, latching onto crosses and scoring from short build-up attacks. Someone like a Burnley could be an ideal destination in that context, only if he’s ready to fight the in-form Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood or be content by making an impact from the bench.
Even Brighton Hove & Albion could be a decent shout, but getting ahead of Glen Murray seems impossible. At the echelon of club, with the greatest respect, Carroll would thrive. A return to boyhood charges Newcastle United has been mooted for years now, though his injury record surely makes him too great a risk for Mike Ashley to investment him, so his options are fairly limited.
Andy Carroll needs to be a cult-hero if it’s ever going to work for him. His style is so clearly effective but not widely accepted by clubs with European ambitions, so there’d be a limited market around him but, get it right, and someone has quite the player on their hands.
Hammers fans, will you be affected by Andy Carroll’s potential departure next season? Join the discussion by commenting below…