Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce has been blown away by the impact Magpies striker Andy Carroll has had on his teammates since returning to the club.
The 30-year-old was brought back to his boyhood team after leaving West Ham United this summer, and Bruce has been impressed by his interactions with his fellow Magpies.
“He is the local hero and he knows what it means to play for the club,” he said, as per The Chronicle. “You can already see players attracted to him. They all want to be around him.”
He’s also given the England international a key dressing room role: “When I brought him here I asked him: ‘You aren’t the young Andy anymore, can you be the elder statesman for me?’ But can you help me with the strikers? We had a striker meeting and he was right in there giving his opinion.”
This is great to hear from Bruce. When Carroll was last at Newcastle he was the young starlet, breaking through and showing the Premier League what he was all about. However, he is 30 years of age now, so he needs to step up and be one of the leaders in the dressing room. The Magpies have a few good eggs to help the other players – people like Jamaal Lascelles, Paul Dummett and Matt Ritchie – and Carroll can be that leader for the strikers, as well. Joelinton cost an absolute bucket load, but he is a young player in a new country. Then there’s Yoshinori Muto, who hasn’t had much of an impact yet, and Dwight Gayle, who doesn’t seem like the biggest character. So Carroll is the natural fit to lead that positional group, and it seems like it’s a responsibility that he’s going to relish. The big thing for him now is to get back to full fitness and help the Magpies on the pitch, as well as off it.