Why Liverpool Should Not Take “Carroll Hit”

Posted on: Jul 27, 2012 in Euro 2012, Premier League

Andy Carroll may have thought he was finally adjusting to life at Liverpool, ending last season in the sort of form that prompted then manager Kenny Dalglish to bring the big man to Anfield.

No one could argue that Carroll had come anywhere close to justify his £35m price tag, a price that was no fault of his own, but the way in which he put Liverpool into the F.A. Cup final with a last minute header against Everton and terrorised the Chelsea back line in their final home game of the season suggested the once lonely, misfit figure was alive again. Add this to his impressive displays and the towering header at the Euros and it was easy to believe that Carroll had a promising season ahead of him at Liverpool.

However, the only thing lacking was the public confidence of his new manager. Something pretty important, and something that doesn’t seem to be coming anytime soon.

Meanwhile Rodgers has brought in another striker in Fabio Borini from Roma, whilst publicly stating his desire to tie down Luis Suarez to a new long-term contract. Actions that will do nothing to calm the sea of speculation surrounding Andy Carroll; and actions that merely strengthen the impression that Rodgers does not regard his £35m forward’s physical style as a compatible piece in his high-tempo, pass and move jigsaw that he wishes to implement at Anfield.

Rodgers said: “Andy’s always going to be linked with clubs, whether he was here or not. I have spoken to him on his holidays and he knows exactly where he stands.” If Liverpool do then “take the hit” as Alan Pardew has said they should, will they be making a mistake?

Rodgers’ Swansea team was praised from all quarters last season for their attractive style of play, with the only criticism being that he lacked a Plan B. A criticism which becomes much more prominent now that he is at a club which does not just expect attractive football but results. There are not many matches where dropping points is deemed as acceptable to the Anfield faithful.

This is where Andy Carroll fits in. We’ve seen snippets of an unplayable striker within a system based on Rodger’s same principles under Dalglish, contrary to popular belief that he has no place in it. We’ve also seen Carroll improve as a player with the ball at his feet with quick control and lay offs becoming a key part of his game in recent months. What is there to suggest that this will not continue, and in any case too, the ability to mix your play up is a great weapon and one that has won numerous points over the years.

However, many Liverpool fans have rightly pointed out potential problems with Carroll’s fitness should he not be playing regularly. Therefore it must be said that to utilise Carroll he must be a consistent name on the team sheet. This is unlikely to be the case under Rodgers. Nonetheless, if Liverpool did sell Carroll, it would have to be for an amount high enough to re-invest in another striker of equal, or higher standard than Carroll because many Liverpool fans were of the opinion that they needed at least one more forward to take into the new season compared to the last.

And even if Rodgers did find a replacement who suited his philosophy, he has now rid himself of a potential Plan B. Liverpool need to evolve into a team that can adapt to different opponents and game situations, as they have become far too rigid and predictable, and in Andy Carroll they have a formidable option, as well as a perfect foil for the livewires that are Luis Suarez and Fabio Borini.

With a tough opening fixture list including the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal and United, Rodgers wants to make a fast start, but the way in which Andy Carroll bullied defences towards the end of last season provides meat to the argument that he should still be Liverpool’s number nine come August 18th.


About the author

English student at University of Liverpool, but when home usually found off his face, throwing mad shapes in some dingy Dalston or Shoreditch club that you could easily mistake for a shop.


Follow me on Twitter: L_Nightingale9



7 Comments

  • What lies over Carroll is the cloud of suspicion that he only buckled down to work at the final stages of the last season in order to get a place in the Euro’s. He is more of a playboy than a player. I suspect Rodgers has doubts and thinks Carroll will revert to his lazy work rate and lack of interest once the new season gets underway. True there are very big initial games and his might be the reason for worrying on Carroll’s commitment. Alternatively the brooha over this could just be a way of Rodgers ensuring that Carroll approaches the new season with commitment! We shall see.

  • Liverpool fans will be up in arms if he sells Carroll, so be warned.

    Some season ticket holders still have not renewed because of ths.

    AND Borini.?

    If he was any good

    1. Roma would havewanted £30 mill for him
    and
    2. Name 1 other club interested in him

  • Agreed. Carroll was just coming good and he should definitely be kept or at least loaned (I know Rogers said this wouldn’t happen) until his value has peaked. It has soared in the past few months from probably £10m to £20m again.

    Who says it wont, in another years time, be £30m if teams like AC Milan are showing interest??

    The problem is Rogers. Not that he’s bad. But when times get tough LFC critics are phenomenally negative and aggressive. Any loss, let alone more than 2 in a row will send the LFC doom crowd into overdrive.

    And will the owners be able to stand behind Rogers when he has no track record of managing top players on his own through a crisis?? They couldn’t handle the ‘sack Dalglish crowd’ when we had one of the best defensive records in the league and clearly only needed some stiking backup.

  • Who is going to mow the Anfield lawn if Andy Carroll the donkey is sold. ?

  • ‘Plan B’ ??? Swansea didn’t need a friggin Plan B, no team that can pass that well needs a plan B. Far from it, they simply needed better strikers and a man to load their guns. What a load of cock you spout, Barca couldn’t break down the chelski bus-parkers so they should have invested in that Stoke long-throw merchant and started hoofing it up to bullet-headed mongs like Davis or Shircross?? Get real ya divvie

  • To say Liverpool fans don’t care about playing attractive football is far from the truth!
    When you play attractive football, 9/10 times the results come!
    Personally speaking Carroll is a donkey whether he scored goals or not!
    We need another striker who has the skills to work with Suarez and also midfielders around him! Carroll is the proof that Dalglish and Commolli were clueless and spent good money NESV had!
    Sell Carroll and buy either Luuk De Jong or Loic Remy!
    Also we need Ramirez! Then see how we go until tweaking it in Jan!

  • It is obvious that while Andy Carroll clearly has attributes and on his day can be a real handful for any opposition defender, he does not fit into the system or style of play that Brendan Rodgers wants Liverpool to adopt, that of a slick, fluid passing team which does not use an old fashioned battering ram forward to lead the line. Any team that has Carroll in it will always have a temptation to lump long balls up from the back for him to flick on.

    Rodgers also knows that Carroll needs to be playing regular football in order to stay in condition. Both Hodgson and Dalglish have remarked in recent months that Carroll has always adopted a professional attitude for them, but it is clear that he is the type of player who gets badly out of condition if he is not playing regularly. This showed in his rusty performances for Liverpool last season when he was in and out of the team. His best performances came at the end of the season when he had an extended run of games in the team. But Rodgers obviously does not see Carroll as compatible with the system he is putting in place at Liverpool and so he would not get that regular game time.

    The test for Rodgers and his methods is that it will take time for him to get his ideas across and for the players to be fully comfortable with the style of play he will want his team to play. The one major blot on his managerial career so far was when he went to Reading who had always played with a very regimented, staid 4-4-2 system and Rodgers tried to change things around too quickly, results were bad and he didn’t last into the New Year. Brian McDermott then came in and restored Reading to playing how they had before and 2 years later he has them back in the Premier League.

    Rodgers is going to stick to his principles but it will be interesting to see how patient supporters are on days when Liverpool play attractive football, pass the opposition off the pitch and create 25 chances, score none, while their opponents smash and grab the only goal of the game with their only meaningful chance. Liverpool lost several matches in that manner last season, but supporters were always going to cut Kenny Dalglish a certain amount of slack, but they now have a manager at the helm who has come in after Bambi has been shot.

    People are saying Rodgers needs a ‘plan B’, but I find it strange when people seem to equate that to meaning lumping a long ball up to a targetman. Living on the South Coast, I heard some supporters of Brighton last season imploring Gus Poyet to consider getting the team to play in that way when they were going through a rough trot of results, conveniently forgetting that they had previously praised Poyet for always sticking true to his passing football principles.

    Brendan Rodgers shares a similar philosophy and Liverpool’s owners knew what he was about when they approached him to become manager. Therefore, they need to accept that Rodgers is going to play the way that he wants to and that it will take some time to get his brand of football working successfully for Liverpool and so patience will be required. There are also going to be certain casualties along the way (Carroll being the first and possibly Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing to follow) but against that, other players who possibly thought their time was up at Anfield, such as Joe Cole and Alberto Aquillani could get a second chance because their skills are more suited to a Rodgers team.

    With regards to cutting their losses, well Liverpool are over a barrel on that one if they decide to sell Andy Carroll. Thanks to their previous manager’s transfer deadline day panic buying, they paid over three times the true market value for Andy Carroll and given his lack of regular football since, no club is going to pay much more than £15 million to take him off Liverpool’s hands, least of all Newcastle, for whom Mike Ashley whatever his other faults, is looking like a more astute businessman by the day. There’s no point hanging on to a player not in your plans though, least of all one that gets so rusty when not playing regularly.