Newcastle United striker Andy Carroll’s “great days” are behind him, according to The Chronicle columnist John Gibson.
The 30-year-old has yet to start a game for the Magpies since rejoining his boyhood club over the summer, and Gibson is unconvinced by the benefits of the deal.
Writing in a piece for the Chronicle, he said: “Sadly I couldn’t join in any wild enthusiasm when Carroll signed because as a realist all I could see was an injury-wrecked career getting worse as age and further knocks bit into his ability.
“It was a great deal for him, a fanciful one built on nostalgia and appeasement for Newcastle.
“Simply Carroll is too brave for his body – he plays by committing himself to huge punishment – which means every fact cries out that his great days are confined to history.”
At the moment, it’s hard to argue with Gibson’s scepticism about Carroll. With no starts to his name and another injury ruling him out of Sunday’s clash with Wolves, he certainly hasn’t hit the heights that he was expected to so far. There have been plus points, of course, and his average of 13.1 aerial duels per 90 minutes, as per Whoscored, is impressive, but beyond that, there has been little to shout about. Just 0.3 shots per game, as well as 0.3 key passes, and a match rating of 6.27 show just how badly Carroll is struggling to adapt. His latest injury won’t do anything to help those struggles. He needs regular game time to rediscover his rhythm, but as it stands, he has no chance of that happening any time soon. He has no doubt had a positive effect on morale around St. James’ Park, but he can only play the cheerleader for so long before people run out of patience.