Alan Pardew has stated that if Andy Carroll is to move in January, he'd like him back at Newcastle. In his press conference today he said, "He's a Liverpool player and not wanted so at some point he's going to move permanently. I'd like to think we'll be in the mix for that."
This comes 18 months after Pardew sold the striker to Liverpool in a deal worth £35 million. Carroll has struggled since he departed St James' Park, scoring just 11 goals in 58 appearances for the Reds, before his loan deal to West Ham, where he's yet to score.
It is clear that Brendan Rodgers doesn't see Carroll as part of his plans for the future of Liverpool, with the manager trying to base Liverpool's game around a passing game, which would mean being less direct. With West Ham unlikely to be able to afford the £18 million fee wanted for Carroll, Pardew may get his wish.
The money brought in from the sale of Andy Carroll helped Newcastle to bring in many new players, such as Cheick Tiote, Yohan Cabaye & Papiss Cisse. This has helped Newcastle play a brand of football that Liverpool themselves would be pleased with, especially as it gained Newcastle a 5th place finish in the Premier League last year.
During the end of last season, and leading into the European Championships, Carroll showed just how dangerous he can be against any defence. In the FA Cup final he came on to score and very nearly scored an equaliser, which would have given the momentum to Liverpool. His good form also included a last minute winner away to Blackburn, and a fine header for England in a group match against Sweden. It is clear to see why Pardew would want Carroll back, especially for half the price.
But the deal would also be seen as good for Carroll too. Andy said himself that he never wanted to leave Newcastle, and that he was happy at the club before he was told he was leaving, and essentially he will always be a Geordie boy. One way or another, it's clear to everyone that the England striker will be leaving Liverpool permanently, but the only question remains is where his destination will be.
But if Carroll was to return to Newcastle, would this be good for the Toon? Last season Newcastle United earned themselves a lot of plaudits thanks to the way they played football, whilst also being extremely hard to beat. With a settled strike partnership of Cisse & Ba upfront, do Newcastle fans really want Carroll back? The signs in my eyes, are that this would only be bad for Newcastle.
If they were to go back in for Andy Carroll, the first problem would be the price. Having spent £10 million on Cisse, why would they want to spend £18 million on Carroll? Mike Ashley has built a good business model at Newcastle, buying cheap but good players, and turning them into first team players. Buying back Andy Carroll would be a leap away from this process.
The other problem is the way this would affect Newcastle's style of football. Newcastle like to play it on the ground, with Hatem Ben Arfa providing all the trickery to unlock defences, with Cabaye also helping to thread through killer passes. Adding Carroll to the side would lead back inevitably to the days of playing the ball long to the big man. Although this may be effective, would Newcastle fans want this? Last season they played a style of football that was reminiscent of the Kevin Keegan days at Tyneside, and so why would they want to go backwards in terms of the style.
Although it may well be that Newcastle United re-sign Andy Carroll, I can say with a level of certainty that the news won't be greeted well by the Geordie faithful, even if they do seem to like a reunion.
Will Talbut - @WSTalbs