Andy Carroll’s Newcastle comeback isn’t enough to persuade fed up fans to return
Newcastle fans were this week urged to flock to St. James’ Park for the potential return of prodigal son Andy Carroll this weekend.
The local lad who shone for the Magpies over a decade ago before succumbing to a wealth of injuries.
The mood in the north east is one of indifference.
But just the thought of Carroll warming up on the pitch and skipping down the touchline was meant to stop fans deciding against piling through the turnstiles in the city centre.
Fans didn’t fall for it, as was reflected in the attendance, which was reported as just over 43,000 – the lowest at St. James’ Park for a Premier League tie since 2010.
But that certainly was the plan from Newcastle – attempt to stifle the negativity on Tyneside with a potential fairytale.
However, for all the memories Newcastle fans have of Carroll, the fact today is that he is a player who hasn’t been fit since before the summer and hasn’t scored in the Premier League since April 2018.
Carroll just isn’t the force of old.
As mentioned, the 30-year-old failed to score a single goal in the Premier League last term despite making 12 appearances.
He also only managed to find the net four times in two years for West Ham.
If, and it’s a huge if, he even stays fit for the foreseeable future – will he be a good enough backup option for record-signing Joelinton after years on the treatment table?
As was to be expected, Carroll came off the bench at St. James’ Park, in attempt to gee up a disillusioned crowd who had sat through 80 minutes of a game dominated by the away side.
‘Andy Carroll, he’s one of our own,” chanted the crowd, who were noticeably buoyed by his introduction.
The former West Ham man failed to make an impact on the pitch – but fans will be hoping he can re-find his scoring touch now he is back home.
However, supporters haven’t been shown anything to suggest that Newcastle as a team can really can thrive under Steve Bruce as of yet.
Three poor home performances, along with two heavy away defeats and a flash in the pan win against Tottenham.
It’s only mid-September but Bruce plugged Saturday’s late kick-off as a ‘cup final’ clash.
Brighton, who are winless since the opening weekend, dominated the tie as if they were playing at the Amex.
Clearly the players didn’t share Bruce’s thoughts on the encounter.
The performance was one of the worst on display at St. James’ Park in recent memory.
Carroll will aim to stay fit for those crucial clashes and those at the club will be hoping just his presence on the pitch can inspire some positivity in the stands.
But as was shown today, it will take more than that to win round disenchanted supporters.