Newcastle United striker Andy Carroll has shared a sentimental assessment on his return to St. James’ Park, but the Toon need him to deliver on the field more than anything else right now.
Carroll made his Magpies debut aged just 18 years, 01 month against SV Zulte Waregem in the UEFA Cup back in February 2007 and earned his Premier League bow three days later against Wigan Athletic.
His rise to prominence at St. James’ Park did not truly begin until the 2008/09 season, before relegation into the Championship made him the main man on Tyneside – starting 33 of his 39 second-tier outings, scoring 17 goals.
The Gateshead-born centre-forward retained his key presence once back in the top-flight, too, and now accepts that he never truly appreciated where his career had taken him at the time but is far more sentimental to wearing the Black and White shirt now.
“I appreciate it a lot more,” Carroll told the Chronicle. “Making my [second] debut, starting the other day, creating goals, winning games, I appreciate it a lot more. I didn’t really get the chance to appreciate it the last time.
“I just kind of thought everyone got that chance at 17. I didn’t really understand it as much as I do now.
“Coming back, it’s a massive club, massive stadium, massive fans. It’s part of me growing up. I never really appreciated it as much as I do now.”
Who starts at striker vs Burnley on Saturday?
Carroll started his first game since returning to the club as a free agent in August when called on by head coach Steve Bruce away to Sheffield United last Thursday, who saw the towering £3.6million-rated target man feed Jonjo Shelvey through to break the offside trap and double our lead in the 70th-minute.
Carroll registered back-to-back assists on Sunday when he came off the bench to again connect with Shelvey, this time without the need for a VAR check as the midfielder rifled home against Southampton from a curling cross by the former Liverpool striker.
Bruce was forced to turn to Carroll at Sheffield United last week, and again from the bench on Sunday, as the boss has continually witnessed our £40million club-record signing Joelinton fail to deliver when needed.
The Brazilian is without a goal in his last 13 Premier League appearances, when Joelinton scored his sole goal for the Magpies against Tottenham Hotspur in August, leaving the club in an agonising time of need for a prolific centre-forward.
Joelinton’s failures have also made it prevalent that Carroll steps up and finds his shooting boots – being without a goal since his return – as the longer Joelinton’s drought persists, the more pressure falls on the shoulders of our midfielders and defenders, whom currently sit first to fourth in our Premier League goal chart.
In other Newcastle United news, the club have issued an update on a 21-year-old’s future after a challenging start to the campaign.
This article was originally posted here