Andy Carroll in court for girlfriend assault

Oct 19, 2010
Bill Mann

The combustible forward is ordered to move in with his captain Kevin Nolan by a magistrate

Oh dear, it looks like Andy Carroll can kiss any prospective England career goodbye, at least for the foreseeable future. The Newcastle United striker, as good at scoring goals as he is at getting into trouble, appeared at Tynedale Magistrates Court in Hexham on Monday after an incident involving his ex-girlfriend. The 21-year-old Carroll is accused of assaulting Laurie Henderson at her home in the early hours of Sunday morning, though the 6ft 4in striker claims he was acting in self-defence.

The case has been adjourned until January 10 with the magistrate decreeing that as part of Carroll's bail conditions he must live with Newcastle captain Kevin Nolan in his house in Ponteland, a village on the north-west outskirts of Newcastle. Apparently Miss Henderson's home is a brisk 15-minute walk from Carroll's new address.

It's not the first time Carroll's had his collar felt by the boys in blue. In 2008 he accepted a caution for assaulting a woman in a Newcastle bar and the long-haired forward will up before the beak next week to answer a charge of actual bodily harm arising from an incident in Newcastle's trendy Blu Bambu nightclub in December last year in which a man suffered facial injuries. Then there are Carroll's alleged training ground spats, one with Charles N'Zogbia in 2009 that was later brushed off as "handbags", and one earlier this year that left Magpies' defender Stephen Taylor in hospital with a broken jaw.

Carroll's latest brush with the law will likely infuriate Newcastle football club, for whom he recently signed a new five-year contract. Earlier this month manager Chris Hughton used an interview with the Guardian to tell the world how he was working to reform his wayward striker. "The important thing is to make young players realise that football is the most important thing in their lives," explained Hughton. "It's about communication, talking with them and guiding them through any difficult time."

In the same interview Hughton denied reports he had been in conversation with England boss Fabio Capello about the prospect of Carroll playing for his country, though he did give the player a ringing endorsement. "Any decision will be made by the England manager but Andy has developed and done very well. He's risen to every challenge, scored four goals for us and got off to a very good start."

Carroll recently tried to portray himself as going straight, declaring: "I've learnt to settle down off the field. On it, I've learnt to concentrate more and keep working. I have settled down. I've been trying and this season I think I've matured a bit. I just have to keep my head down and keep working. England's not really on my mind. If I get picked I get picked. But everyone wants to play for their country. Whatever's in front of me, I'll have a go at."

Not the best turn of phrase, if the latest allegations turn out to be true.

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