Buffon hype a timely reminder of the talent of Andy Carroll

By Lee Ryder on Jun 14, 08 10:42 AM

So in the end they were all raving about the performance of Gianluigi Buffon as the A-list celebrity goalie kept Italy in the tournament - but in a week when Andy Carroll has been linked with a move away from Tyneside, it's worth baring in mind the Geordie ace has had the Serie A stopper in a spin once already in his young career.

Buffon grabbed all of the headlines as he kept out Adrian Mutu from the spot to save Italian blushes but Carroll's potential has already been highlighted against the world star.

Don't forget the teenager's first and only senior strike couldn't have been against a better keeper when he beat Buffon to score during a 2-0 friendly win last summer.

And while obvious cries of "it was only a friendly!" may be instantly polluting the airwaves, there was nothing friendly about Buffon's attempt to decapitate Carroll moments after he'd beaten the £40million man.

Oh yes, Buffon must have taken it slightly personal that this raw youngster had had the cheek to stick the ball past him in front of all of those people!

But being a Geordie, Carroll simply brushed himself off and got on with the game after the X-rated clash from the A-rated Italian celeb.

To be fair to Buffon, the player even afforded me an interview after the game and said: "Carroll played like what we call in Italy a paintbrush striker.

“He was there to add the finishing touch. He played well on his own.�

“He will be an asset because he can find the smaller players around him in different ways and has already shown he has great awareness.�

Carroll of course has shown he has plenty promise for the future and at just 19 it has to be with Newcastle surely doesn't it?

Even a stint out on loan has not been ruled out by the player himself but Carroll is surely the closest thing you'll get to a young Dean Ashton and without a shadow of doubt, due to his Geordie roots, the nearest thing you will get to another local hero.

Let's be honest, we're desperate for somebody who breathes black and white to help fire us up the table.

And with figures such as the measly £1million being bandied about by Norwich City and the current cost cutting exercise going on at SJP it would be a disaster to lose him on the cheap.

I mean if Shola Ameobi is worth £3.5million surely Carroll is too, given his potential?

One goal against Buffon and Juve won't automatically mean hero status nor success in a black and white shirt, but it was one helluva start and to be fair to Carroll he has shown plenty of signs of development.

A striker's currency will always be goals and Carroll has still to net for the first team at competitive level.

But that will be the challenge for next season and Kevin Keegan may be happy to give him the chance to do so.



Paul Patterson said:

This regime is worrying me immensely. Whilst I didn’t want Ashley to be the proverbial ‘sugar daddy’ to the club, I thought he might just put a few bob into the playing staff,- he’s currently in profit by the way, with regards to net spend.

If Ameobi is to go, which I certainly hope he does, as he has no place in a side gunning for a top half finish, then that will be some cost cutting on behalf of the owner, Emre, Carr, Ameobi and even Allardyce, he must have been on more than Keegan, given his ego and then there’s his backroom ‘army’ that Kevin has dispensed with much of, all these add up to a heck of a saving.

There more to go, Duff, Smith, N’Zogbia,- Viduka if I had my way, Geremi would be a possibility, these are all on mega, mega, mega, mega money and what does the club look like they want to do?- Get rid of great young lads like Carroll and Milner. Even Shay Given has been rumoured as a potential sacrifice- what the hell is going on?

A football club CAN be run on the cheap, but in will end up in the Championship or worse. This is not Sports Direct or JJB Sports and it shouldn’t be treated so.

Also I notice that certain aspects of the ticket prices are going up 7% minimum, some as much as 28%, this is fast becoming a disaster of a pre-season as far as I’m concerned and something needs to be done quick.

Now were linked with Antony Gardner at Spur’s- er- What? No Berbatov bid then? Or Joseph Yobo or Stewart Downing, Moutinho, Van Der Vaart or even a sneaky Van Nistelrooy bid, after all, if Ronaldo’s going to Madrid, they can’t keep them all happy.

Ah silly me, they would all cost money.

The club seem to be intent on cost cutting, yet we’ve been linked with Gomis for £10m. Er, What? Gamble £10m on a striker who has flopped with his national side at Euro 2008, who may not settle in the premier league and look to sell Andy Carroll for £1m- Again- What the hell is going on?

Asking the players to pay for their own suits is another thing- why not get Owen, Butt and co to do their own laundry and pay for their own pre-match meal as well?

I don’t want the club to be blowing £200m to challenge the top 4, I don’t think it will take anywhere near that- I’ve said before, with a bit of luck and a few good buy’s (Crouch, Riise, Moutinho/Van der Vaart and Aaron Hughes for me- £45m??) the top 6 is certainly attainable.

Keegan is back at his desk now and things should hot up but. . .if, like I expect, the likes of Milner and Carroll go, simply for the fact of cost cutting, then that will show complete lack of forward planning and even common sense, and the board should be ousted on the spot- INCLUDING ASHLEY.


V Profane said:

Unless we happen to sign some established quality up front, which seems very unlikely right now, I'd hope Carroll comes into regular rotation next season. Since it seems NUFC are losing out on new signings to other clubs, it's all the more important we keep hold of the promising players we do have (Carroll, Milner, N'Zobia, Martins, etc), who it seems we wouldn't be able to replace even if they went for big money.

I'd much rather have Carroll in the team next season than somebody like the linked Gomis, who doesn't seem that impressive anyway, and has 'Another Toon Flop' written all over him.

gordon said:

Carroll is another over rated local lad 1 goal in a friendly so what he was garbage at preston its no wonder people laugh at the drivel written on this forum and in the local press.

Ryder's reply: Well Gordon, that's one view.

Tardonicus said:

The folly of losing so many players, regardless of what we've thought of their usefulness, without replacing any of them. Ashley's reign so far reeks of profiteering. Who gives a damn if the balance sheet is in order if you're not even attempting to field a competitive team? You have to INVEST in a team to get a return... that means putting money IN.

To even have to listen to talk of losing Carroll for a measly £1M is insane when we'd have to pay 5 times that just to take a chance on someone who probably doesn't "get" Tyneside. You play here for love of club, city and community. Andy Carroll does that. We need more like him. Sell him and you're telling me all hope is gone for next season. Since when did rich carpetbagging owners get to run a club on the "positive balance sheet" business model and get away with it? You bought our club, now run it like you want to win!

I'm patient. I know it will take years to restore our reputation as a winner and a big club. Stability... incremental steps... well-thought out un-sexy moves that only prove themselves in hindsight - that's what we need now. There is NO big signing that will come our way AND be worth it this season. Rebuild the stability of the club and then we can bring in the big-ticket hired gun, the kind that will only be happy here with the limelight of success. I'd be thrilled with an armful of £1M arrivals... hardworking young players with something to prove and this opportunity to do it. Only with a core of committed young players will we rise in the tables. Andy Carroll is one of those players, we can't let him leave.

Noel Hopper said:

Whilst I do not actually want to lose Carroll...there may be a reason... look at the Godsmark better??

It may be as simple as we have some really good stikers coming through and Carroll is not the best of them!

Aaron Hughes should never have been sold in the first place! Which is sort of similar to this situation...someone we knew was good who we did not give time to mature before we sold him even though it was bleeding obvious he was going to become a really good player!

Selling Given though might be really good business though...although in my opinion he as big a hero as Shearer... and I would be sad to see him leave. If we could get good money for someone who only has a few years left it might be wise. Its not like we dont have the goalkeeping Talent. Harper has actually got better and better the more he played and what is it three international class youth keepers waiting in the wings....The youth squad looks nearly as good as Aresnals. We do need though to not make the Milner/Hughes mistake again. If the yougsters are good enough play them not sell them!

Charles said:

Well, a few days a go, Milner was tipped for Liverpool and now Andy Carrol for Derby?

What are we doing? Getting rid of the future to make way for money. Dont gamble on this, we'll lose big time, really big time.

I know we are all entitled to out own opinions, but Mr.Gordon, you're a bit of a flea. Carrol showed rubbish at Preston because his play didnt suit them, nor did he had KK's magic touch. Before KK, who was the legends? Everyone dont just get good for nothing.

Take my advice and keep him. I dont think he'll make an impact on the budget. He might as well be Viduka's replacement. (The final two games of last season doesnt count because A.Smith is playing)

Never never sell Milner, the current Lualua, or any reserve team players because they're showing a good potential. Lualua could easily be the next Zog without the London taste, while Milner could one day turn himself into a legend, hopefully enough to be like Ginola.

Cut the budget, and down we go. Our assent is important but can money buy us success? Can money get us out of the championship if we landed into it? Or can money win us a cup?

Certainly the positive side of money could do all those things, but currently Ashley doesnt seem to be looking a positive view...(cant blame him, with so many B.Sam players...I cant take the pressure either)

jon said:

the new regime is rubbish...sellin all e players 2 cut cost...u dun become a top club by cuttin cost...

brian t said:

Good morning Lee
I am very confused by the mixed messages in the media about our club. The fact that nobody from the club makes any kind of official statement is not our way. The fans are the club that is why we are special as a club.
We hear through sources that the owner wants a young team why is it then that this week the two players we want to offload are an England U-19 international and the most capped England U-21 of all time it smacks of madness. The players who should be going out the door are Viduka, Smith, Duff,Geremi and Barton. But who wants a fat old centre forward, a striker that caanot score, a winger who cannot cross, a midfielder who cannot run and a thug who is going to be in jail for most of 2008. You've got it Newcastle United.
On top of this it is reported to save money we will sell one of the top keepers in the country for £3m and buy a replacement from a mickey mouse league for £6m Now i didn't sit my a-level maths exam but even i can see that is not a money saving deal.
Now we hear that we are prepared to sign Chimbonda now that really is going to start a rush of season ticket apllications flooding in.
If it wasn't so funny it would cause you serious heartache and pain.

ctdevs said:

We have employed mssrs Wise and Co to scour the planet looking for young potential talent, they travel the globe at the clubs expense, why didn't they start looking in Wallsend etc and then while all this is going on in the left hand the right hand is trying to sell young talent like Charley Zogs, Milner & Caroll etc.???
Why not, bump up the prices, sell our best players, miss out to Spurs etc on any good players available, get knocked out of the cups by Christmas, get half way through the season saying things will improve, sack the manager and then dump on us from a great height declaring the season over and saying we are in a period of transition....we're used to it, it happens every season.
Or Ashley could try and prove he's different from the rest that have went before him...time will tell. Keegans good but he needs some help.

Josh said:

Carroll has plenty of potential and has scored for fun in the reserves. People saying he hasn't looked good enough need to remember he's actually only made one senior start for the club (excluding friendlies).
Against Man United at home, he looked class, he won a corner then headed it down for Faye to score.
He's also a better target man than Viduka, where Viduka lumps his head at the ball, Carroll gets up and aims the flick-on into the correct area. Don't get rid of him for £1m, that would be stupid by Ashley.
Keegan must rate the lad to some extent, he was in the squad of 16 for 80% of the matches, and with 7 named subs allowed next season, Carroll will be at make or break time where he is given a run of games - good enough and he is kept on, not good enough and he will be jettisoned next summer (same applys for Edgar).

Dave Robson said:


Andy said:

Well it would be a shame to sell Carroll, the lad looks handy and could do a decent job. By no means do i expect him to turn into the next Shearer or Beardsley but how will we know if he doesnt get a chance? Surely its worth giving a local lad a good crack at it, heck we stuck with shola for long enough!! I would be surprised to see Andy leave if im honest, i dont have any 'insider knowledge', my friends aunties cousin doesnt wash the pots and pans at the training ground, its just a gut feeling. Remember the chairman saying the club never want to be in the position of having to pay £15 million to bring a local lad back home? why open themselves up for it by letting the lad go this early.

On the positive note though, i am glad that the club seem to be more business minded. Ashley has put in a figure around £80 million to clear the debt, that may be wrong but i believe that is roughly correct. So the club is operating with less debt, i dont buy into him cutting the wage bill, all i see is an ordinary bloke looking at these over paid players wondering 'why do you earn so much money?' if people deserve the money then ok but for certain individuals im glad/will be glad to see the back of them. Make the players buy their own suits, pay for their own phones, buy their own petrol..... too right! in fact im shocked to find out they would claim that money back in the first place!

Somebody asking why the club arent releasing any statements and talkign about transfers? well for years i have heard people complaining about freddies regieme shouting their mouths all the time, people wishing for silence etc, well now you have it. its horrible seeing players leave and nobody replacing them but it will be ok, the window isnt even open yet and really Spurs are the only team to be signing players already, have faith all will be good!

Anonymous said:

I would keep young andy , the club is looking at building a future team of youngsters

if we keep seeling our young talent we will end up in the Championship !!!

KEV ,Give the lad a run , you might never know what might happen!!


Big Kev said:

Carroll's got it all to prove & people can argue if he's good enough or not, the truth is untill he plays a few games we'll never know. Will he get the chance? We'll KK's record would suggest no, the gaffer has always gone for experianced players over youth (Clarke, Elliot, Watson etc always made way last time round) so the best bet would seem to be to give the lad a season on loan somewhere then judge him. As for anyone who says sell Viduka you are either mad or know nothing about football. Look at the end of last season, when he played he scored & we won but as soon as he went out the team we fell apart. He's the only guy at the club (& Poss in the premiership) who can play that role up on his own. Let's just see what happens over the summer & have some faith in KK, Ashley & the board, let's see who we bring in & who leaves before we start calling for peoples heads. Have we learn't nowt???? You can't keep spending £30/40m every summer just to have an outside chance of finishing 6th, no club can. Youth is the way forward either local if it's good enough or from any where in the world. We can't compete for players when they're 25 or 26 & cost millions but we can get them when they're 18 or 19, that;s the way forward.

Mark said:

To be honest im totally sick of MIKE ASHLEY and his (in my eyes) blatant plan to make as much money of this club as he can before sells it on. He trys to stay on the fans good side by wearing his toon top and hiring keegan but he has not backed this up with the money for players. The most important thing when it comes to winning is the players but im guessing someone who obviously doesnt know much about football wouldnt understand this.

sammie said:

lol so funny
you wonder why everyone says toon fans are deluded. Get a grip the guy is overated just like newcastle united football team. Your living in past glory

alvan said:

sammie get a life, go to your own blog .

David K said:

As I'm (just) the wrong side of my 50th birthday, I can remember a time where if a player, irrespective of his age, was worth a signing on fee, he was worth playing in the first team. There's no substitute for experience and some of the "prospects" that the toon are nurturing should be given their head as soon as possible. We've seen before where players are loaned out to the lower divisions, looked promising, and have ultimately become another toon failure. I agree with the comments saying keep hold of the likes of Carroll, Milner etc. Build a team around them and to hell with the short term consequences. Arsenal can do it, Man Utd did it (twice). Surely it's the way forward for the toon. No amount of money buys the kind of loyalty that the love of a club does, and we all know how that can happen with a club like ours.

keir said:

the last person to get this amount of hype was chopra and he missed an open goal against Everton.
Carroll will end up being a league two striker...he has never looked like a player with prem potential at any point ive ever seen him.
walcott, rooney, the man u kid who scored goals for fun at hull..they are young players who showed REAL potential

Paul said:


I think you've been going radgie at house parties a bit much lately if you think Andy C's our new local hero.

Ryder reply: I said the nearest thing to a local hero and alongside Steven Taylor, he is at the moment.

Dave Emmerson said:

I dont beleive all the hype you see in some newspapers. Its normally a case of we write what we want to write as long as it sells papers. And of course us over zealous fans react straight away, nobody knows officially what the transfer budget is, whose coming whose going, why not wait till there is an official announcement instead of shouting that Ashley is a maney pincher etc, there is nothing worse than having the perverbially egg on the face

Skinny said:

Growing up 250 miles away from newcastle due to parents career change as an infant, i guess i'm in a unique position as a toon fan.
I remember the days when my PE kit (newcastle's away strip from 1990) used to draw open mouths from ny peers because noone could support a team as bad as newcastle. Although those days havent quite returned, they were quickly replaced by the waves of optimism when special k began wowing us with that wonderful football that was so out of place in england at the time, i almost long for them again. Not having the toon in the second division, but that innocence that supporting a lower league team brings.
How spoiled we have become, but it is easy to think the worst of our new owners given the lack of cash so far for first big sam, then wor kev.
However names like Hugo Viana, Silvio Maric and Marcelino should make those who demand BIG signings think a little, surely we cannot afford any more costly mistakes like this. This summers signings are potentially the most crucial in our history and must be carefully thought. I admit it's frustratin to be linked with players before a tournament and to wonder why on earth such world beaters would come to us, but we must trust King Kev and, for the time being, the board. We all hated fat fred and his open checkbook, so why not give CA$hly another year.
Support the toon, it's your duty
PS: I have to agree with Liam Clarke, Milner we never be more than a journey man pro, 9mill would be too good to refuse (could spend it on Arda of Turkey who has been amazing in the Euros).


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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