Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce has been raving about the impact of Magpies striker Andy Carroll this season.
The 30-year-old returned to St James’ Park last summer after spells at Liverpool and West Ham United, and Bruce feels the local lad has been a big boost for everyone.
“He’s not the young Andy Carroll any more,” he said. as per The Chronicle. “That influence you can see he has on a lot of people. His influence on the pitch was immense.
“Off it with the younger ones, they edge towards him. The two Longstaffs are always on his tail at lunchtime. That bit of experience and know-how can only help. Let’s hope first and foremost that he stays well. If does he has a lot to offer on the pitch.”
This sort of impact is why it was never a bad idea for Newcastle to re-sign Carroll last summer. Yes, there are questions over his fitness, but in terms of the effect he has on others and his ability on the pitch when he does play, it was a no-brainer. The fact that the Magpies were able to do what amounted to a pay-as-you-play deal made it a stroke of genius. Carroll hasn’t quite found his feet on the pitch yet – not fully, at least – but he is getting there. As per WhoScored.com, the England international has already managed two assists this season, while of course he is winning 4.2 aerial duels a game. There’s been no goals yet, which is slightly disappointing, but it will be a fantastic moment when he does find the back of the net in a black and white shirt once again. But, yes, his influence at Newcastle has likely been tremendous, as Bruce says. For someone like the two Longstaff boys, he’ll be tantamount to a real-life hero.