Notorious Nile Ranger has claimed ex-teammate Andy Carroll is a bigger party boy than him following their time at Newcastle United together.
The striking duo broke onto the first-team picture in the same year as the Magpies earned promotion from the Championship at the first attempt in the 2009-10 campaign.
Chris Hughton’s faith in the pair that season saw them make a total of 64 appearances between them – but while while Carroll went on to secure a move to Liverpool and play for England, Ranger’s career gradually went downhill.
At the age of 18 and 20, respectively, Ranger and Carroll were thought to be highly-rated at St James’s Park and were both party animals, too, although Ranger insists the “lunatic” West Ham United striker is “worse”.
“Andy is a lunatic, but he gets the job done,” said Ranger, speaking to The True Geordie Podcast.
“He flipping scores them goals and he’s a presence when he’s on the pitch – he does his job.
“I think Andy is worse than me to be fair (when it comes to partying). Andy is definitely worse than me but he’s a good bloke, though.
“I’ll give it to him, he’s got banter – he’s a good guy.
“He will get you that goal in the 90th minute – a header. He’s a giant, his hands are like that (big hands gesture) and his head is like (big head gesture) – you know what I mean?
“He’s a flipping horse but he can play – he’s a good guy, like in general.”
When asked by The True Geordie as to why to his and Carroll’s careers raced in opposite directions, Ranger believes it was the influence of Kevin Nolan that proved vital.
Carroll ended up living with club captain Nolan for a spell as a part of his bail condition after he was charged for assaulting his ex-girlfriend in October 2010.
In his time at the Nolan household in Northumberland, the 29-year-old witnessed his Range Rover get torched whilst parked on the former Notts County boss’ driveway.
When asked if he and Carroll had suffered in a similar way in terms of looking after themselves, Ranger said: “It’s hard.
“Nobby (Kevin Nolan) took him under his wing and said: ‘you know what, I’m going to look after you cause you are top striker, you’re scoring goals, you’re the man’ – and that helped him a lot.
“It definitely helped him because he was getting his car blown up and stuff like that in Newcastle.
“I remember, he was going through a lot of s*** but he still bombed on and carried on doing well and got his move to Liverpool, so good on him.
“I think that’s where it set him. He was like: ‘OK England now’. I don’t know what he’s doing now, probably just living life to be fair.
“He’s injured and I heard some rumours but knowing Andy, the way he is, I heard his snuck out and hurt his leg! It sounds like him.”
Carroll fired 11 Premier League goals in 19 appearances before moving to Anfield in January 2011. Ranger, meanwhile, left Tyneside by mutual consent in 2013 following trouble off-the-pitch.