The summer is a difficult time for many football writers. Without games to focus on, they often come up with ridiculous ideas just to fulfill their quota of articles from week to week; the feature attached below falls firmly into that category.
Having paid a club-record sum of £30 million to lure Christian Benteke away from Liverpool last summer, it’s fair to say that the Belgian has done a solid job of justifying his fee in his first year at Selhurst Park. Despite some minor teething problems, the big man’s goal return (17 goals in 40 games) has cruised above anything a Palace striker has ever managed in a Premier League season since we retook our place at the top table in 2013.
When you compare those facts to the career trajectory of Andy Carroll, it’s rather difficult to imagine any of the supposed Palace managers in waiting even hearing West Ham out, let alone agreeing to a deal. In direct contrast to Benteke, Andy hasn’t managed to play 40 games in a single season since 2011, proving immediately that he’s not a viable replacement for big Ben.
There was no doubt over Carroll’s potential when he first broke onto the scene at Newcastle but after a £30 million move to Liverpool which underwhelmed everyone on Merseyside, the Geordie’s career has maintained a steady albeit gradual decline. Flashes of brilliance still emerge occasionally, such as the beautiful bicycle kick against Palace last season but he can’t cut it at the top level from week to week anymore, not that anyone’s told the author of the feature in question.
Two years older than Benteke, Carroll has an embarrassingly long (363 words to be precise) section relating to off-field indiscipline on his Wikipedia page. Arrested and charged on more than one occasion, the 28-year-old has always been known as a party boy and although he insists that he’s calmed down in recent years, it’s hardly the sort of man Palace fans will trust to lead the line in the event of a deal being struck.
As I say, it’s a ridiculous suggestion made by a writer who is scrambling around in the bins for a way of churning out an article that will engage readers. Still, it’ll take your thoughts away from speculation over our new manager for a few minutes.