While it was just another late-game cameo, Andy Carroll’s contribution to Newcastle’s win yesterday should not be understated. The big man came in for the final eight minutes plus six of added time to defend like a mad man for his hometown club.
But for a few brief moments, Andy was basically playing as a second right-back and/or fourth center-back depending on the situation. Of particular note was his sliding challenge on Bournemouth’s Arnaut Groeneveld after the Dutchman had juked past DeAndre Yedlin in the box.
Andy also made some timely clearances. He even took a boot to the side of the head going for a ball in the box. It was a compulsory display under the circumstances and similar to what Christian Atsu provided the week before.
While what they brought to each game was different, they both flawlessly did what was crucial under the circumstances. Atsu was a vital outlet late in the game that disrupted any rhythm West Ham was trying to conjure. His decision making when in possession was perfect.
On Saturday, Andy brought his physicality to the side and was not hesitant to put his body on the line to secure the three points. These types of displays are what you hope for from your substitutes.
Carroll’s performance was hailed by one of his teammates after the match. Speaking to nufc.co.uk, midfielder Isaac Hayden had this to say about Andy Carroll’s desire when he came on:
“I always back ourselves to defend well and be a solid unit as a team. When Andy came on, he was in our box heading balls away, and it just shows the character of the team and what they want to do for the team.
“As a striker, he wants to get on the scoresheet, but he’s back in our own box defending. That just shows where we are as a team and as a group. Hopefully, we can only get better.”
That’s high praise coming from another warrior in this Newcastle team. On Saturday, Andy Carroll represented the fight and determination that this team is going to have to continue to display each time they take the field this season.
The big Geordie did everything in his power to keep Bournemouth at bay. If the players continue to fight as they have recently, we could have the makings of a very good side.
This article was originally posted here