Monday, 8 November 2010

#9: The number of the Beast

Is it only 18 months since I sat there most weekends worrying whether Andy Carroll had adequate goals and technique in him for the 'top flight', rather being just another of those Academy nearly boys...? It's the Rooney/Walcott syndrome, 'they need to show they've got it before their 18th birthday' etc. Well, as of today the Bensham Battering Ram looks set for a first England cap. Not that I care, indeed I'd rather he kept clear of all that muck, but then there are distinguished precedents for the national team being spearheaded by pure Geordie instinct for goal... As long as Big Andy comes back from his little holidays safe and well and ready to do it all again for NUFC...
Mind you, Carroll does give the air of being impregnable as well as often unplayable. 'He's a beast', said a West Ham mate of mine during the Boleyn game of a fortnight back - said so not quite admiringly neither. And Carroll's off-the-pitch manners are a big matter for concern, no question. But as Arsene Wenger put it in his programme notes on Sunday, 'Andy Carroll has stature, charisma and quality...' Over 90 minutes on the park, in other words, he is exactly What The Boys Want.
Photograph: Stephen Pond/EMmpics Sport