Home > Football, gerrard, Liverpool, Newcastle, Premiership, Soccer, stoke > Andy Carroll – Where’s the support?

Andy Carroll – Where’s the support?


In his defence…..

Andy Carroll is widely regarded as the biggest flop of the Premiership season to-date. Fernando Torres, pound for pound, perhaps deserves the title, but pundits have grown tired of taking him to task after each 12 minute cameo in the blue of Chelsea.

But every game the Spaniard starts (usually against weaker opposition) you think to yourself, Torres could get a couple today. In fact, he could get a couple any day. But he probably won’t until Roman Abramovich orders Villas Boas to make the Spaniard penalty taker (and even then I’m not sure I’d bet on him finding the net).

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Pic: Andy Carroll in training ahead of the clash with Stoke (Pic from www.liverpoolfc.tv)

The problem with Andy Carroll is, you don’t ever start a game thinking, this could be his day. But rather than bash him for his lack of touch, pace, fitness, finesse, whatever the various criticisms are, let’s consider for a minute that he’s lacked the right support to blossom at Anfield.

(1): Stewart Downing/ Liverpool’s lack of width.

Carroll thrives, we hear all the time, on good crosses. He’ll win more than 50 per cent of hopeful balls launched at him in the air, but when he’s really attacking the ball, the percentage rises. In his games so far he’s shown that if you give him a ball to attack rather than hold up, he tends to beat defenders (though his accuracy is also questionable here).

But the one time he got a chance to do that in the recent 3-0 defeat to Man City, was from a cross from Jose Enrique. Carroll peeled away at the back post, easily beat Clichy with a perfect nod-down for Kuyt whose shot was superbly blocked by Vincent Kompany. So where’s the support from the £20m signing from Aston Villa.

When Downing signed, everyone said he would provide the ammunition for Carroll. To-date, Downing has been the biggest flop of the Premiership season.

Kuyt, Maxi and Henderson have all been tried on the right wing, none are any use to Carroll. Bellamy has been superb at driving crosses in from right and left, but tends to get to the penalty area and cut the ball back, something Gerrard is sure to benefit from in the coming weeks and that the likes of Shelvey and Maxi have already benefited from to-date this season.

The midweek game against Man City was exactly the wrong one for Carroll who played a thankless task in Liverpool’s 1-0 grind. His opportunity early in the game was on his weaker foot, however he out-muscled Savic and created space for the chance which was well-saved by Hart, the league’s most in-form keeper.

When Carroll plays, he needs support and space to make more of those opportunities to score.

(2): The Aquilani experience

Have Liverpool not learned from the signing of Aquilani from Roma? The club was arguably taking more of a risk with the Italian, not only was he injured but his move to the Premiership was bound to throw up the usual ‘foreign playmaker cant hack the rough stuff’ questions?

The signing of a half-fit Carroll in January made little sense. His role in the second half of the season was minimal and Liverpool knew signing him he would have little impact on their season.

The argument that Suarez couldn’t play in Europe was fine, but Carroll wouldn’t play for the team till March and it didn’t seem as though Europe was anyone’s priority in the early days of Kenny Dalglish’s second coming.

Another argument went that the more Newcastle demanded for the striker, the more Liverpool asked from Chelsea for Torres.

But that makes little sense from a business point of view either. Carroll had started well in the Premiership, but in the summer, once he had recovered fitness, he would hardly have cost more than the amount Liverpool eventually shelled out for him in January 2011.

There is an argument, in fact, that Carroll would have cost less as Newcastle would have had time to buy a replacement, but maybe the move was to appease Lfc fans who expected a marquee signing to replace their former idol in the number nine shirt.

Carroll has lost weight and looks fit, but seems to have lost confidence and was his touch always that bad? His goal against Oldham showed he can still turn things around at Liverpool, but against a defeated team late in an FA  Cup third round?

He has a run of games now to show his worth. The Geordie has found himself in and out of the team all season (unlike Stewart Downing who has been given every chance to prove his worth) and has mostly played without Liverpool’s best players Gerrard and Suarez (more often than not chosen instead of, rather than alongside Carroll).

At home, against so-called ‘weaker’ opposition is the time for Carroll to show he can still bully defences and can score goals like that against Oldham given half a chance. Better strikers than Carroll have been given more time to find their feet and the 23-year-old has barely 100 first team starts to his name.

Stoke at Anfield is time to show an ‘old-fashioned centre forward’ can still prove his worth. However if he fails to impress in the coming month, Andy may go down alongside Aquilani as yet another expensive Liverpool mistake.

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  1. January 13, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    Great post. Both the players and the supporters should provide Andy with more support and belief. I’m sure he will shine one day. He just needs to have his hair cut properly 😉

    • fitz124
      January 14, 2012 at 1:41 am

      Agreed. A proper haircut goes a long way. Look at David James. He cuts his hair so often, clubs don’t realise he’s the guy who let in 4 last weekend…

  2. January 14, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    We love you kenny , y me importa un pito, yo me refiero a kenny el de south park. xD

  3. January 18, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Its all true; why, oh why did he not get a start against Stoke??

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