Newcastle confirmed today that Andy Carroll will wear the sacred No. 9 for the coming season. After months of speculation following the departure of it’s former resident, Obafemi Martins, the club has moved to install Andy Carroll as the wearer of the talismatic digit.
Carroll follows in a long line of famous names to wear the shirt, for whom, the responsibility led to legendary status on Tyneside whether local hero or otherwise. But not since Shearer has it felt like the shirt was really deserved, Martins for all his bluster often cut a dejected and frustrated figure but for his sporadic, if spectacular scoring exploits.
Of course, following in the footsteps of Alan Shearer is no mean feat and the responsibility has been too much in the past for lesser mortals, lacking in the quality, endeavoor, belief or a combination of the three which is demanded by the iconic No. 9 shirt. The longer the shirt lay vacant, the bigger the responsibility might have become.
Andy Carroll may not be the finished article and arguably has plenty of maturing to do. After all, an impending court case could yet scupper his playing dreams. He may not even be up to task in terms of ability but in guts and commitment to the cause alone, there are surely few who deserve it more at the moment? Local boy or not, Newcastle fans love a ‘tryer’ and Andy Carroll is ready to try and justify his right as the next famous No.9.