There has always appeared to be some serious bromance between Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll on and off the field. It is reported that Nolan was a key figure in persuading Carroll to join him at West Ham and Sam Allardyce even changed his formation to accommodate the two players.
The pair are known to be incredibly close friends off the pitch, to the point were Andy Carroll was ordered to live with Nolan as part of his bail conditions after being accused of attacking an ex-girlfriend.
Nolan and Carroll living together is something that we here at the Paddy Power Blog imagine went something like this:
But on a completely serious note the two players love playing for the same team and the stats are there to back it up.
It is clear that Andy Carroll thrived on Kevin Nolan’s service when they were together at Newcastle. The England striker scored 19 goals in 42 appearances during the 2009/10 season helping the Magpies to promotion to the Premier League. He lit up the top flight and 11 goals in 20 appearances earned him a move to Anfield for a whopping £35million.
But without his trusty friend on the pitch the goals dried up. Carroll couldn’t find the onion bag and in the 2011/12 season he made 47 appearances in a Liverpool jersey and only netted nine times. The striker had gone from averaging almost a goal every other game to a goal in every five.
It is also interesting to see how Kevin Nolan profited from playing in an advanced role just behind his buddy. Nolan was no stranger to the scoresheet when he was latching on to Andy Carroll’s knock-downs and flick-ons with Newcastle fans seeing him score on average every 2.5 games.
However when Carroll moved to pastures new Nolan suffered as well. The midfielder was unable to play in the hole just behind the striker and suddenly he was struggling. Nolan scored eight goals in 16 games between August 2010 and January 2011 with Carroll. In the 16 games following without his mate, Nolan saw that tally halved to four goals in 16 games.
Now the two are reunited at West Ham and in Carroll’s first game for his new side Kevin Nolan profited from a flick-on to open the scoring within the opening minute. It was love at first sight all over again.
Allardyce will be hoping that Andy Carroll’s hamstring injury clears up over the international break and he can pick up where he left off with Kevin Nolan. With the two chums looking to reignite that love affair up top West Ham are 2/9 to avoid relegation and stay in the top flight next season. Andy Carroll is a massive 50/1 to end the season as top goalscorer in a season where, looking at the stats, he should be a more regular name on the scoresheet.