Why Newcastle could finally be tempted to make their move for old boy Carroll
19:01 GMT, 13 November 2012
Splash the cash Ash.
Newcastle United could do a lot worse than going out to sign Andy Carroll when the transfer window re-opens in January.
Watching the former Newcastle No 9 bustling his way past Steven Taylor and Mike Williamson in the claret and blue No 8 of West Ham United just didn’t seem right. Carroll would be right at home in Alan Pardew’s team.
Come back home: Andy Carroll, leaping above Mike Williamson, would be useful back at St James' Park
Carroll has not scored for the Hammers yet, and only a brilliant save by Tim Krul denied him a deserved goal on Sunday. But he is still a menace and that partnership with Kevin Nolan is lethal, even if it is the older of the two who is scoring the goals.
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The Newcastle manager made no secret of his personal desire to see Carroll back at St James’s Park in his beloved black and white shirt.
He couldn’t say when it might happen, can’t even guarantee it is a plan which would get the backing it needs in the boardroom, but he would love to see it.
So why not the winter window
Carroll would need special dispensation to play for a third Premier League club this season after his loan spell at Upton Park and two substitute appearances for Liverpool. But there is precedence with Gareth Farrelly and, if the rules can be bent in his favour, Newcastle should throw their hat and their money into the ring.
And if Newcastle can put together a financial package which is attractive to Liverpool, although it is obviously not going to come close to the 35million Kenny Dalglish paid two years ago, they will see off competition from West Ham and possibly Spurs for a player who was born to play for Newcastle.
'He’s a Geordie and Newcastle is his home,' said Pardew and Sam Allardyce at the weekend. And judging by the fairly half-hearted stick the striker got at the weekend, Newcastle supporters would not be adverse to having him back.
With Shola Ameobi about to embark on his new international adventure – and good luck to him – he may not be around in January, although Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse will, assuming the release clause in Ba’s contract has not been triggered.
Carroll would be a valuable addition to a squad which needs a lift.
Agreed: Both Alan Pardew and Sam Allardyce know Carroll is a geordie and Newcastle is his home
Boro back on top
Flushed by the success of Friday night’s win over Sheffield Wednesday, Middlesbrough have announced more cut-price ticket offers to keep bums on seats at the Riverside.
Having witnessed the cold dreary atmosphere for the games against Burnley and Derby at the ground this season, when Boro were doing reasonably well, it was a pleasure to be back on Teesside to see Tony Mowbray’s side go back to the top of the Championship for the first time in 14 months.
It helps that the team are doing well, demonstrated by a terrific run of seven wins in eight games, and their strong hold on one of the automatic promotion places.
But clearly, in a region blighted by the recession, offering tickets at the right price for adults and their kids is the right thing to do. Season ticket holders may rightly have their reservation about 50 per cent match day tickets having forked out reasonable sums to show their support for longer than one Friday night. But it is surely right to have the stadium close to full again. Better for the club and the team.
Soaring: Middlesbrough is a fun football club to be part of again now the atmosphere has perked up
Walking up to the pressbox, jostling through the crowds and fighting the way through the queues at the bars, there was a clear change in the atmosphere at the Riverside and, aside from the FA Cup replay with Sunderland last season, it is Tony Mowbray’s first experience of it as Middlesbrough manager.
He can do his bit to keep the place full with a continuation of positive results and performances from the very good team he is assembling. But offers like the one just announced – two-for-one for home games with Bristol City and Huddersfield Town – can only help the push for promotion back to the Premier League, when the club won’t require incentives to keep seats filled.