Andy Carroll: A £35 million headache?

by Michael Healey

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

31st January 2011 was an eventful and stressful day for Newcastle United forward Andy Carroll. He started the day as normal, still being Newcastle’s main front man. He ended the day making a £35 million pound move to North West heavyweights Liverpool. The 22 year old Geordie had left his home city and his boyhood heroes and set up on a new adventure with 18 times league champions and 5 time European champions Liverpool.

But is it an expensive risk for Liverpool?

With then-Liverpool number 9, Fernando Torres, announcing his desire to move south to Chelsea Liverpool needed to act quickly and positively. Already negotiating the signing of Luis Suarez from Ajax to partner Torres, Liverpool suddenly found themselves in a position where they needed to find a partner for Suarez. Rumours were abound the city about possible replacements, with names like Fernando Llorente and Sergio Aguero being linked. But it was Andy Carroll that manager Kenny Dalglish and Director of Football Damien Comolli decided on.

Carroll’s rise to prominence in the Premier League has grown and grown due to his aerial ability and his old school style of play. Established Premier League heavyweights such as Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea have all scouted the player before his move to Merseyside.

At 6 foot 3 inches tall Carroll is a big, burly, battering target man who dominates from the air, using his size to perfectly time his runs to make headers above opposition defenders and goalkeepers. Attacking crosses is Carroll’s modus operandi but having a lethal left foot can not be discounted neither.

So what is the risk?

Although Carroll’s ability is not in question here, the risk for Liverpool is still prominent. During his time at Newcastle Carroll had numerous encounters with the law and court rooms and also altercations with fellow team mates. He was court ordered to live at friend and Newcastle captain Kevin Nolan’s home, and almost instantly had his car torched by gangsters on the driveway.

Since moving to Liverpool Carroll has been taken under the wing by manager Dalglish and become friendly with many of the first team players. His party going antics seem to have subsided since moving from his home city.

The problem for Liverpool may lie in their summer transfer targets. Whilst their new number nine may have superb aerial ability, but he is not the quickest and not the most mobile of centre forwards. The clubs targets are all going to be wider players to supply Carroll which could be an even more expensive proposition. They will need to sign players to provide for the big Geordie instead of players that can firmly slot into the team and be able to play a free flowing style of play.

The players Dalglish and Comolli will be looking to attract will have to be players who have key attributes such as.
• Pace in abundance to be able to play wide and beat the full backs they face.
• Have a good delivery.
• Technically clever to be able to link the play to exploit teams on the break with the option of a ball from the by-line or from deep.
• Quality set piece delivery

Also the price Liverpool paid for Carroll could increase the pressure from fans and media alike to perform.

This is a massive summer rebuilding for Liverpool and depending on whom they sign will determine whether Andy Carroll will be a massive hit or a big flop.

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  • magnumopus

    relax dude all will be ok!

  • craig

    Joey Barton doesnt have an abundance of pace but he linked up brilliantly with Carroll. In fact, none of newcastles team have an abundance of pace and Carroll got on absolutely fine. Gerrards range of passing will be more than potent enough

  • Sam

    Poorly researched article. If you actually spent some time watching Andy Carroll you will realise that whilst he’s not going to be giving Usain Bolt a run for his money any time soon, he is deceptively quick. If anything, the only worry is that he seems to be getting niggling injuries already that have prevented him from stringing a series of appearances together since December. The proof of the pudding will be if he can prove his fitness next season or if he is going to be a sicknote striker, always picking up knocks. If that turns out to be the case, Newcastle may well have done the right thing cashing in on him.

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