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Andy Who?

He’s been linked with a move to Stoke and Birmingham City, whist Newcastle have firmly signalled their desire to keep hold of him. So, who the hell is Andy Carroll and what, exactly, does he purport to be?

Ok, ok, so we all know who he is – he’s been in the headlines enough – but who is he? Deep down, inside that wonderful mind, what motivates him, what are his loves, fears and passions? Does he delight in the profound or savour the simple beauty of life, does he harbour shameful secrets of untold lust, pushed into the mist of his mind and now unwittingly exercised as a catalyst for his unquenchable desire for sporting success and recognition, or does he just like playing football? Indeed, these are the imperative issues as we delve deep into the unconscious, the unknown, the internal conflicts, and instigate a thorough psychoanalytical breakdown of Andrew Carroll. Or, alternatively, we’ll just give a brief summary of his career thus far.

Born in Gateshead (6th Jan 1989), local lad Carroll joined the Newcastle academy having attended Joseph Swan School, and soon became a prolific goal scorer at reserve level; his first goal for the reserve team coming against Sunderland in April 2006. The forceful forward soon found himself part of the first-team action when he made his debut against Palermo during a 1-0 UEFA Cup win on 2nd November 2006; thus becoming Newcastle’s youngest ever European debutant. Few sporadic first-team opportunities ensued, followed by a loan move to Preston during the 2007/08 season before returning to Newcastle and waiting in the wings; flittering between reserve-team duties and substitute appearances. Still only a spring chick, he finally made his full home debut on 10th January 2009 against West Ham, scoring a header in the process.

Following Newcastle’s relegation, and the departure of much overpaid deadwood, Carroll got his real first-team break in the Championship last year during the Toon Army’s bid for a swift Premiership return.

Flourishing as the forward focal point, Carroll finished the season as Newcastle’s top-scorer; boasting 19 league goals. Indeed, he played a vital role in the impressive Championship campaign, leading the line and pulling out a number of notable performances; such as bagging a brace against Cardiff during a 5-1 victory.

His strength, directness and heading ability have proved particularly imposing; resurrecting the archetypal number nine style. Still only 21, Chris Hughton has tipped him to take on the mythical, mysterious, magical number 9 shirt, whilst Gianluigi Buffon has hailed his finishing ability and spatial awareness.

So far, so good: Ah, there’s also the inevitable controversy which can’t really be ignored, like some… (Insert your own Catholic priest cover-up joke here, I can’t be arsed).

As a quick run-down, Carroll has reportedly been involved in assault charges and nightclub scuffles (apparently smashing a glass into someone’s face, which is never preferable), a training ground bust-up with Charles N’Zogbia and, more a recently, a brawl with Steven Taylor; leaving Taylor with a broken jaw. What a cheeky little tinker, eh?

So, with Newcastle and Carroll back in the Premier League, speculation has begun regarding a move to Stoke or Birmingham. However both club and player seem happy to secure the status-quo, with contract negotiations commencing.

Anything else to mention? Erm, yep, he had that horrible haircut when last gracing the Premier League; a haircut so hideous it made me want to smash a glass into my own face, saving anyone else the bother. Luckily he’s now sporting a new style.

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