Time to Say Goodbye?
Yes, for me the time has come to move on from Andy Carroll.
As we are about to have another Andy Carroll comeback and with his contract due to expire in the summer, we can have another game of AC bingo.
On his day
If we can keep him fit
The best plan B
All the above statements are true, but the honest answer is that we haven’t been able to or he hasn’t been able to stay fit since he arrived to us on loan in 2012.
Different Managers have had different approaches to his injuries, rushing him back or not rushing him back but they have all resulted in the same thing, another injury.
His best return for us in terms of league appearances was in 2015-16 when he achieved 27 in the last season at Upton Park.
This was only the second time he has been above 20 appearances for us in a season.
In total he has appeared 114 times across 6 seasons, so on average 19 times a season. That without taking into account this season.
Can we afford to have a player in the squad who can only achieve a 50% appearance record?
But if in any doubt, does his goal record speak for itself?
Across the 6 seasons with us and the 114 league appearances he has scored 33 goals, so again on average 5.5 goals a season.
His best return being 9 in the 2015-16 season when he appeared 27 times.
Looking further into his career and he has only achieved more than 10 goals in a season on 2 occasions.
17 in the championship with Newcastle in 2009-10 and 11 with them the following season in the Premier League.
Andy Carroll will turn 30 in January, not an issue for a player with good fitness but one with an injury record like his?
Can he do a job for the rest of this season – “if he stays fit” then he can help us in a season that has already started to look like its another one that we just need to get through. It may help him also by putting himself in the shop window for one last move.
If the Pellegrini project is a 2 to 3 year plan then we still need to find a 20+ goal scorer but Andy Carroll has proved he is not that player.
He may come back this time and score another Worldy goal or look totally unplayable, hopefully against City. And I hope he does but that shouldn’t let us think that he is suddenly going to stay fit and score the goals we need on a regular basis.
A pay as you play contract has been mentioned, which although it may save some money it will still mean a squad place will be taken up by a player that we cannot plan for being available so we would still need a replacement as we have gone from season to season with lack of cover upfront.
In all honestly he is probably only 1 or 2 more injuries away from retirement if he cannot find a way of adapting his game to stay fit but then if he does then what else could he bring to a team without his hustle and bustle football approach.
Why if the deal is right we should keep Carroll
By Jack | @myWHUopinion
At the time of signing Carroll permanently he was of huge importance to us, our whole team was already set up around him. He was our record signing with add-ons reportedly taking it up to around £18m if certain clauses were met.
Even when he were only with us on loan we spent in excess of £10m on a winger who according to the stats was one of the best at getting the ball accurately in to the box, perfect for Carroll. But one hardly played and the other hardly performed.
He is now in his 7th season with us and at the close of this season the initial duration of his contract will be over although there is an additional 2 year option. In this time he has managed 134 appearances, scored 33 goals and assisted a team mate on 18 occasions. The question marks have never been over his ability His style might not suit some peoples liking, myself included but at what he does there isn’t anyone better in this league. To say he is a handful for opposition defenders is an understatement and even defensively at set pieces he has been brilliant for us in the past. I have held the opinion for a few years that we need to cut our losses and release him, sell him, scrap him for parts whatever we can do to get him off the wage bill. Even when he hasn’t been on the pitch we have still tried to play in exactly the same manner which does not work as no one we have had can compete in the air or hold it up in the same manner that he can.
We have been far too over reliant on him for most his time with us. The only backups we have had to him have for the most part been journeymen or simply not of the calibre required. Knowing that he was the NO 1 striker hardly made it an attractive proposition to come and play as and when AC is injured which granted would still give you decent game time but is not a desirable scenario to find yourself in.
But my opinion of whether we should keep AC beyond this season has changed, simply because of the options we do have up front now. Under Pellegrini we have had a clear shift in the style, we are playing on the floor and no longer look to lump it at the striker whether it’s Andy Carroll or a little South American we have signed for a few months. We had no plan B. This one dimensional play was fine when we had a fit AC but we spent the time he was injured hoping to pick up a few points waiting for him to come back.
This season that is not the case though, our default plan isn’t to lump it at the striker and put someone around him to try and get on to the 2nd ball. We are actually playing the right way. Even when we need a change to a match to get our noses in front, we can bring on Hernandez allowing Marko a little more freedom. When these two have been on the pitch together you can see they look for each other and they are an exciting combination.
Then plan a & b aren’t working what better to do than bring on our Geordie battering ram to smash his way through the opposition defence. He draws so much attention from defenders that this can easily allow for more space for the likes of Anderson or Arnoutovic to make the most of. In particular when we are playing against the top teams and aren’t able to breakdown opposition in the way we want to he is the best alternative to have on the bench. It allows for a completely different style which at times is very useful.