Dion Dublin has hailed Andy Carroll for his impact on Newcastle United’s late win over Southampton on Sunday.
The Toon striker was introduced in the 59th minute, and turned provider for the Magpies’ first in a 2-1 comeback with a fine cross for a Jonjo Shelvey header.
And speaking on Match of the Day 2 (BBC One, December 8th, 10.30pm), Dublin was quick to praise the 30-year-old.
He said: “It’s not going right, bring on the big man, cause havoc, get it up to him and see what happens. When Carroll came on on 59 minutes, you saw the game change.
“On this occasion Andy Carroll finds him self on the right wing, and what a cross. It’s an unbelievable cross, and it’s a great header from Shelvey.
“Him coming on, absolutely fantastic, changed the game.”
Carroll looks as if he is starting to really love life on Tyneside again after a tricky few weeks that have been blighted by injury. He looked decent in midweek against Sheffield United, and while he wasn’t trusted to start this one for fitness reasons, there can be no denying the impact he had. There are still very few players in the Premier League who can match the hitman in terms of the havoc he causes for opposition defences. He is a bull in a china shop, but as he showed on Sunday, he’s a bull with a lot more ability than people give him credit for sometimes. His cross for Shelvey was sumptuous and precise, and much more befitting of a flying winner than a lanky target man. That being said, Carroll’s main strength is still his physical prowess, and over the course of 31 minutes he managed to win a massive eight aerial duels yesterday, as per Whoscored. It isn’t always pretty, but you can’t argue with how effective it is either.