ANDY Carroll is just the gift that keeps on giving for Newcastle.
Fresh from reinvigorating their squad on the back of the £35m cashed from the striker’s sale to Liverpool, United are now on the brink of Europe thanks to the big man.
Carroll’s late FA Cup semi-final winner on Saturday denied Everton final spot and guaranteed European spot, and meant that Newcastle just have to finish sixth to secure continental football for the Magpies next season.
And let’s not forget that other Carroll present, when he skipped around Tim Krul in the recent game at St James’s Park, but opted to fling himself to the floor rather than put the ball in the back of his old club’s net.
It was almost Michael Chopra-esque.
In the wake of two headed winners inside a week, the debate has been raging again about whether Carroll is a waste of money or someone who will eventually prove to be a bargain.
The truth is probably somewhere in between.
If anyone thought Carroll was worth £35m, they want visiting by the men in white coats, or firing. Just ask Damien Comolli.
The striker enjoyed a decent half season in his first full year in the top flight. He bagged double figures by January, including goals at Arsenal and at home to Liverpool, before making his international debut still in his early 20s.
But enough about Michael Ricketts, this is a piece on Andy Carroll.
No one expects Carroll to go the way of Ricketts, now 33, whose most newsworthy incident since being left without a club after Tranmere cancelled his contract in 2010 was pleading guilty to common assault after hitting and head-butting his ex-girlfriend last year.
Carroll’s twice the player Ricketts ever was, but at the same time he’s no Alan Shearer or even Les Ferdinand.
The word ‘great’ is bandied about all to often. Carroll isn’t in that class. He’s a good Premier League striker, a handful on his day, and capable of great moments when in the mood.
Especially when it concerns Newcastle United!