Date: 27th October 2011 at 10:00pm
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Whenever a club is underachieving it seems inevitable that somebody will become a scapegoat. It is one of the few guarantees in the beautiful game with many players succumbing to this fate. And Andy Carroll is the latest to be reined in.

After joining on deadline day in January, Carroll has been unable to hit the heights expected of him as the £35 million replacement for Fernando Torres which has led to the media and some Liverpool supporters wondering whether he is up to the task.

Questions have been raised over his on-pitch attitude, fitness and lifestyle, but with Kenny Dalglish refusing to criticise the striker, it seems that people on the outside have got it in for him. So is this a case of the media sensationalising something that all players go through? Or is patience starting to run thin with the 22-year-old?

Nobody can doubt that Carroll has so far failed to live up to expectations but it is becoming redundant to read that spending £35 million on a striker should equal goals and his so far goal shy Anfield career makes him useless. And while it is obvious that strikers will be judged by how often they get on the scoresheet, it is not the only thing to consider.

His time on Merseyside has been plagued by injuries that have prevented him from showing his power and eye for goal. Having joined the club with a torn thigh muscle it took until March before he could finally make his debut and after opening his account with two goals against Manchester City and looking sharp he suffered another injury setback, which has been linked to a lack of professionalism. But many young players suffer injuries when they play a lot of football and as the main striker at St. James’ Park it was likely that his body would suffer some affects.

On top of that, England manager Fabio Capello said that he needed to control his drinking to reach the top but club manager Dalglish rubbished these suggestions. When asked by a reporter about the player’s off-pitch antics the Scot claimed that “nobody knows” what his lifestyle is and that the press “milk” an unimportant issue. It is clear that King Kenny does not believe there is a problem and if the man that sees him day in and day out has no worries, then there is little to argue.

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24 responses to “Liverpool’s next great number 9”

  1. Martin Badger says:

    I’m a huge fan of Kenny Dalglish, beyond a doubt one of the best players in the history of the club. But it is becoming crystal clear that Andy Carroll was a panic buy and is too slow thinking and too slow moving – a fatal combination – ever to score many goals in the Premier. He isn’t even good in the air – which is the one thing we might have expected from a big man. In fact, his heading is very poor. In short, he has nothing to recommend him.

    • Dunc says:

      What rubbish. He is 22 and will grow into the LFC way of playing. His price was inflated because Newcastle rated him highly and wouldnt part with him for less, they saw the investment that he would offer as he matures and improves. LFC also see that and were prepared to offer a big contract in order to influence that improvement. Not good with his head you reckon? Im pretty sure I read somewhere that some big names rated him as the best theyd ever seen in the air (i.e. Bobby Robson). Given, we havent seen that yet but are you saying you know different. Impatience is a true LFC curse at the moment with the fans, try to see what can be rather than what is at the moment. We are a work in progress, get off his back and support.

  2. Spiv says:

    Carroll may not be the world class striker we had hoped would replace Torres but I am convinced he will become a great number 9 for LFC. Unlike Torres, Carroll has an unbundance of strength that will only work in his favor as he matures as a Premiership player. Torres has never truly recovered since his injuries in early 2010 and even though he has of late shown some sign of getting back to form, I don’t believe he will ever climb to those blistering heights than during his first 2 seasons @ LFC. Why? Because he greatest weapon was his electrifying pace, similar to Michael Owen. Whereas Carroll – who clearly doesn’t rely on pace – will always have the physique and presence to hold off his marker and bring others into play. Torres as great as he may have been was ultimately a selfish player. Carroll is not selfish enough. However, with the mecurial Suarez hanging off him, Carroll will become a key contributor towards our goal tally……watch this space! KD will work on that exact tactic and in time we’ll all have a different opinion about the lad.

  3. chambers says:

    It is not a matter of him being a “scapegoat” at all. He was bought to fulfil a role and it is patently obvious he has neither the talent not inclination apparently to do just that.
    Bite the bullet and get rid….

    • Dunc says:

      Im glad you arent the manager. What rubbish! What gives you the idea he hasnt the ‘inclination’? You have the right to say he hasnt the talent if that is what you believe but where did you gather the idea he isnt bothered about proving himself or improving? Oh I see, you have been roped in by the ‘lifestyle’ and ‘drinking’ allegations. He wears the Red shirt and he has my faith and support. He will deliver in the long term, Id put my house on it.

      • Greg says:

        I’m glad you are not the manager.. we would have a team full of Carroll types and be heading for relegation…Every week he proves to me he is mediocre crap. Newcastle are laughing their ass off at us right now as they sit in 4th and we will will end up in 6th ro 7th unless we bring in a quality striker and midfielder in the jan window.

  4. Ashfah says:

    Given time, Andy Caroll would be a player in the mould of John Toshack. He needs to understand our game like the midfielders who feed the ball to him. In this respect I see Lucas has little contibution to him.

    • Ndebenkulu says:

      Lucas has always and will be rubbish. Not mobile enough, clumsy, no bite and has no skill nor technique whatsoever. If Mascherano was there Lucas would have asked for a transfer by now. I would play Spearing in his place any day, at least he has pace and better ball control. I hear someone say Lucas is Brazilian, really??

  5. Willmott82 says:

    I agree totally with the article and im sure big Andy will come good and start firing for LFC. If you listen to most managers, pundits and people in football they all rate Carroll highly so there must be alot of potential. I will trust Kenny Dalglish and the people in the world of football everytime over knee jerk fans.

    Go on Andy prove me right !

  6. mavric69 says:

    What the negative people fail to understand is that, KK, Comoli and co.. including pundits and people in the EPL all cant be wrong. The potential is there. He might not end up a full on authentic number 9 and play alone upfront, but the lad does have the ability to hold the ball and bring other into play… besides the thundering left foot the lad has.

    Maybe, if all the negativity stops, the YOUNG lad will feel more confidence.. confidence bring form and for brings confidence..simple.. have faith cuz if not, you will walk alone..

  7. ironman says:

    I understand you guys fully in terms of trying to support him. What you are saying makes sense.

    But this is a cuthroat league where you are not given time to settle especially at the top clubs.

    If you want to get to the top and you cannot perform then you should not be playing, you are best served to play a bit part then sold as soon the opportunity arises end of.

    How long is a player supposed to be carried before enough becomes enough.?

    That is what id like those backing Caroll to answer. I would like an estimate please. Then maybe when he passes that mark you will understand why the negative guys say what they say.

  8. Karl says:

    lets be honest he hasn’t played well YET, but at 22 he can develop over 1/2 years come on his peak is 6 years away! but at that price it is a gamble.

  9. Oldman says:

    When a player is unable to get a full pre season in, for what ever reason, they have 3 main problems. First, to get a player up to full match fitness takes longer, as there aren’t many games they can play to achieve the fitness. Second, their strength is sapped as it takes it out of an athletes body to reach the fitness level required.Third, a team usually gels with the players available, so coming into the team later becomes more difficult for them to fit in.
    I thought Carroll would have a poor start to the season due to these factors and that he would take a few months to reach fitness. On Wednesday there were signs that his fitness, stamina and strength had reached a satisfactory level, so provided he gets some game time in over the next few weeks, expect to see a great improvement.
    Have a little patience and you’ll more than likely be rewarded.

  10. Gary says:

    I am not being negative when I ask this, but seriously what potential do you see in Andy Carroll. Lets bring muscle physique into the equation, yes he definitely has the strength to be a thorn against opponents. His height and frame make him a good candidate for heading the ball, so the potential is their to be a good header of the ball. He also has a decent long range shot, those shots are hard and low which is the only impressive thing I can really mention about him.

    Lets bring his technical skills into play, most good footballers have developed good ball control naturally, and quite frankly Carroll doesn’t have that gift. That is the difference between Ibrahimovic and Carroll. Tall frame but not that gifted ball control. He also doesn’t have much speed even though there are tall players on the planet who have it. Does potential unlock that too? As far as I can see the only thing Carroll has going for him is his strength and finishing. But are these qualities so rare that we had to pay 35 million for it. People open your eyes. We could have got 3 players for that price with as much potential as Andy Carroll.

  11. Greg says:

    Amazing how people continue to make excuses for this piece of mediocre crap.. I get it.. he’s a Brit so Brit fans want to see him succeed… I would rather see the club succeed! He lacks pace.. technical ability.. goes down at the slightest touch from smaller defenders.. and Suarez has scored more header goals that he has total goals! When are fans going to just admit that it was a waste of 35m (one of a few poor buys we got stuck with.) and Dalglish and Comoli need to be held accountable for wasting a very large sum of money..

  12. MB says:

    You Caroll haters are all going to eat your words b4 the end of the season. Give him game time and we shall see. He is a dangerous player, goes back to defend well, always a threat with his headers.

  13. papa says:

    Can anyone tell me what Carrols minutes per goal ratio is??
    Because we can all have opinions of him, and i have my own, but to just call the boy crap is a joke. Yes he maybe under performing, as Torres did in his last year at liverpool, but that happen to all strikers.
    I would suggest that you should only call him crap if you can do better against the same level of opposition under the same pressure of arena with your own fans slating you week in week out.

  14. DavidK says:

    For 35m pound, Carroll would not have been my choice.
    If we are to catch the top teams we need the best bang-for-our-buck.
    We need to be spending smarter, because long-term we can’t outspend the top teams.
    35m for Carroll is extravagant and denies critical funds for other positions.

    Having said that I hope he comes good, but I understand why (apart from Suarez) we are having problems scoring goals.

    English players especially attacking ones have rather low technical skills compared to other nations.
    That’s why Suarez is the only player regularly scoring for us.
    English players have always struggled in the final third of the pitch, so I don’t understand this strategy of packing our attack with English ‘talent’ and expecting goals to flow.
    I hope Kenny & Comolli have a rethink here, because I can’t make an argument to support this strategy regardless of the player.

  15. kagutsuti says:

    How could somme people think that Carrol is at lfc just to score and to score NOW?
    you’re crazy guys
    Carrol give space to suarez and others sometimes he will score.
    He could play for us for a long long time and shine for us a long time too

  16. tony says:

    carroll is class,he needs games,and once he gets five or six games in a row with suares then there will be fire works,its going to happen soon that we get a bucket load of goals in a game,look at all the chances we are creating,hopefully it will be in a few weeks against chelsea…calm down people we will have some more defeats this season but we are playing well and creating chances,

  17. Ashfah says:

    We need to be patient with Andy Caroll. The way the game was played at Newcastle might be different from here so he needs time to study and adjust.

  18. mavric69 says:

    I wonder what would happen if the highly unlikely happens. Let’s say, Tevez comes to Anfiel on loan till the end of the season and immediately start taking his frustrations out on every team he plays against. While forming a killer partnership with bellamy and suarez.. Though the loan is unlikely, the partnership isn’t. What would happen to Carrol..