Ex-Liverpool star Carroll had pre-game ritual that left teammate ‘screaming’

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Former England international Andy Carroll has revealed that his pre-match routine at Newcastle largely consisted of eating a full roast dinner before travelling to St James’ Park. The target man felt that he performed at his best on a full stomach before Liverpool put an abrupt end to the scheduled feasts with a more professional plan.

Carroll is currently playing for Ligue 2 outfit Amiens, scoring once in his first six appearances for the club following his summer transfer. Fitness and injuries prevented the 34-year-old from playing consistently in the Premier League, despite being capable of leading the line for numerous sides when at the peak of his powers.

The striker’s most successful stints came at West Ham and Newcastle, with his pre-match routine perhaps being vital in his breakthrough years in Tyneside. Speaking to the Daily Mail, Carroll revealed that he would often enjoy a heavy lunch before playing, despite the norm at top clubs being for players to eat fresh fruit before games.

“I’ll tell you this… now you eat with the team but back then at Newcastle, we would just meet at 1.30pm for a 3pm kick-off,” he explained. “I will never forget, I used to go to this little pub around the corner, The White Swan.

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“It was like a Toby Carvery. Meat, Yorkshire puddings, loads of gravy. I would eat a full roast, full Newcastle tracksuit, and then I would just go to the game and play.

“This one time (team-mate) Kevin Nolan rang me up and said, ‘Will you pick me up because my car’s not working… where are you?’ I said I’m just having a Sunday roast and he went mental, screamed at me on the phone, ‘Are you joking?’ and I told him I’d done that forever.”

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After a sensational start to the 2010/11 with the Magpies, Carroll then made a £35million move to Liverpool, being tasked with replacing Fernando Torres despite being a significantly different profile to the Spaniard. The ex-Reading star struggled at Anfield, and not being granted permission to have a pre-game roast could be blamed for the disappointing spell in Merseyside.

Carroll continued: “When I went to Liverpool, everything changed professionally. We went to a hotel before the game, home and away, and had your pasta and your nice fruit. I’d been eating Yorkshire puddings and gravy. Now everyone’s telling you what to eat and when to eat. It was mental. Suited and booted, in a hotel the night before a game, eating right with the lads. On a Friday night in Newcastle, I was out with my mam and dad or my friends.”

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