Here’s a blast from the past for you: Andy Carroll has been stealing headlines again.
Last night, Fulham met Reading with both teams desperately needing the three points. The Royals, who have been in a tough spot all season, are hovering around the relegation zone.
On the other side of the coin is Fulham, who have a good chance of gaining promotion to the Premier League. However, the London club hadn’t won any of its previous four games.
That poor streak would soon end. Marco Silva’s side swept Reading off the pitch with an embarrassing 7-0 thrashing that included braces from Harry Wilson and Aleksandar Mitrovic.
That result alone is enough to make the game newsworthy. But what really got fans going was the performance of an old favourite: Andy Carroll.
Andy Carroll has had a complicated career
Now 33, Carroll is in the latter stages of his career. He had a testimonial role for Newcastle the past two seasons that mostly involved coming off the bench. His 43 matches produced one goal.
Carroll’s lacklustre Newcastle comeback didn’t make Premier League clubs fight for his services.
On November 15, Reading announced that they had signed the former Newcastle star to a two-month contract.
Football fans have often been unfair to Andy Carroll, particularly after his transfer to Liverpool. He only scored 11 goals for the Reds, who signed him to be Fernando Torres’s replacement for £36.90m.
It’s easy to forget how good Carroll was for Newcastle. In his first season as a starter, he facilitated the Magpies’ promotion to the Premier League with 17 goals and 13 assists.
His following half-season with Newcastle in the Premier League was even more impressive. In just 19 games, Carroll saw the back of the net 11 times, and he assisted his teammates on ten occasions.
Serious injuries stopped him from making an impact after his Liverpool stint went wrong. Now on his last legs, Carroll wants to bow out with a few vintage goals for Reading. And that’s exactly what he did last night.
Carroll (almost) scores two Puskas contenders in one game
The former England international scored two absolute screamers against Fulham. The first was an acrobatic overhead kick that went in just by the post.
Carroll’s second goal was even better, a thundering volley strike from well outside the box that no human goalkeeper could ever save.
Unfortunately for him, the referee overruled both of his spectacular efforts due to offside. The second one was a particularly close call, with Carroll inching ahead of Fulham’s last defender.
It was an extremely bitter moment for Carroll, who once again proved his class only for his efforts to be ultimately fruitless.
The saddest thing is that this might have been Carroll’s last chance. As he hasn’t reached an extension agreement with his club yet, he’ll become a free agent this Friday.
Reading are facing Middlesbrough that same day, but it’s unclear whether Carroll will suit up for the game.
Featured Image Credit: Getty