The Andy fan is a die hard Andy Carroll (or ‘Big Andy’) fan, and has followed the striker’s trials and tribulations passionately. This week, he reflects on Carroll’s impressive hat-trick in Saturday’s 3-3 draw with Arsenal at the Boleyn Ground.
Today’s clash between close neighbours West Ham and Arsenal was a reminder of just how good this year’s Premier League has been.
The match ended 3-3, in what I personally regard as the game of the season. Many people will say that football was the real winner today, but truth be told, the real winner was Andy Carroll.
When the starting lineup was announced, and people saw that the The Big Geordie would spearhead the West Ham attack, many joked that Carroll would be better suited for the soft ground in today’s Grand National at Aintree.
And when Carroll strode onto the pitch this afternoon with his mane so neatly plaited it was fair to say he wouldn’t have looked out of place in the parade ring at the famous Liverpool racecourse.
It’s well known that the Grand National is known as the day for the man. And with West Ham losing by two in the dying minutes of the first half it looked as if the Hammers’ dream of Champions League football was slipping out of their grasp.
But then again this is Grand National day; a day for surprises, a day for dreamers and day for the romantic in us all. But most importantly a day for the man…..today Carroll was that man.
Carroll’s first of the day was one of those headers that only he can score. No other player in the league when on song can head punt the ball with such ferocity and placement as the Gateshead man.
It was the kind of goal that reinvigorated the West Ham players and fans. Carroll had no right to win that header, but he put his own well-being on the line to get there before the weakly Arsenal centre halves.
Carroll’s next goal was somewhat of an uncharacteristic Carroll goal but a stark reminder of why Liverpool saw fit to dish out 35 million on the big centre forward.
Slyly moving away from Gabriel to make space for himself, Carroll expertly took down Antonio’s cross before scuffing his first time effort into the ground.
Luckily the ball rebounded off Gabriel and presented Andy with another effort. Still having a lot to do, Carroll defied the laws of physics and veterinary medicine to scissor-kick the ball past the despairing Ospina.
Game F@#king on!
When Andy Carroll is in this kind of form there’s not much anyone can do to stop him. He bullied Koscielny and Gabriel all day long.
The Arsenal defence was akin to a bunch of four-eyed geeks with allergies fresh from a game of Dungeons and Dragons whilst Carroll was the muscular jock out to embarrass them and make their lives hell.
Within seven minutes of the restart, Carroll had secured his first hat-trick since the days when he played for his beloved Toon.
Big Andy rose highest to latch onto Antonio’s cross and head past Ospina for the second time within an hour, leaving a trail of cowardly Arsenal defenders in his wake.
Carroll’s ability to out-jump and out-muscle any defenders really adds fuel to the argument that he would more than happily have held his own over the hedges in today’s Grand National.
Immediately after scoring, Carroll wheeled away to do his trademark celebration; his arms outstretched to mimic the iconic Angel of the North statue that overlooks his beloved Newcastle, reminding us that despite his new life in Cosmopolitan London, he is still an honest Northern lad who loves nothing more that a pint of John Smiths with the lads.
The game finished as draw with Arsenal capitalising on some poor West Ham defending but the result is not what matters.
For Carroll, this was a win.
This was a justification in the faith shown in him by Slaven Bilic.
It was a big middle finger to the football snobs who branded him lazy , useless and clumsy.
It was a win for those of us who still believe in the romantic dream of a local lad making hundreds of thousands a week but still finds the time for a pint or 15.
Today we witnessed one of the rarest sights in football….a true centre forward.
With Carroll’s injury history he will probably tear his hamstring on the beer in Newcastle tonight which makes today’s performance so much more special.
Carroll in this form is a special player. There is no one else like him in modern football . It saddens me to say it but the Jaeger-loving front man is the last of dying breed.
Andy Carroll is no horse, he is a unicorn.
Let us cherish him whilst we still have him.
When the referee finally blew his whistle to bring an end to this delightful encounter, Carroll did not hang around to bask in the glory of his loyal fans or talk to the Arsenal players . Instead he made quickly for the dressing room, Carroll had other plans in mind…..
Enjoy the beer lad, you deserve it. And it deserves you.
The Andy Fan