Andy Carroll’s transfer to Liverpool FC will go down as one of the most dramatic transfers in the history of premier league for the simple reason that it all happened in the blink of an eye, before he could even realize that he had played his last game for his childhood club way back in December. However professional footballers are, they are not super humans. No, not even Lionel Messi, Let alone Andy Carroll! Leaving his close pals and comfort zone at Newcastle he willfully made the move to one of the biggest clubs in Europe. Never before had he felt so much expectation from his fans.
Ever since, he has been targeted by the media and notably the rival- United fans and some of our impatient own. Having seen months of criticism, I decided to write this article giving the lad the support he deserves.
It is ridiculous to expect him to blend perfectly into our “pass and move “philosophy. It is like expecting Lionel Messi to be the target man in a Stoke City side! No doubt his sluggish movements have hurt the tempo of our passing and movement. However he was not brought here to play a role in the build up play was he? He was brought to get to the end of crosses and head them in!
However, he has not received a consistent spell of quality crosses from either flank (considering even Stewart Downing is going through a tough phase). One can argue that he hasn’t converted the little chances he has got. Well, Even Luis Suarez has converted only 1 in 10 chances this season.
Luck has deserted Liverpool this season. 14 shots have hit the post! Enough said. The same luck has deserted Andy as well. We would not be criticizing him had his shot not been denied by the post in the opening minutes of the Swansea game, or if his bullet header (winner) not been brilliantly saved by Joe Hart, or the chance to score the winner in the dying minutes of the Norwich game. He has had the chances to become hero but luck has not shown any mercy on the lad! Andy is not to blame for this is he? But this isn’t going be the case for all his career is it?
“There are times when we play poorly and score 5 goals and times when we dominate the game and score none”. This quote of the King applies to Andy as well. This is the nature of the beautiful game. How can Andy be blamed?
Reason for all the criticism- the 35million pound price tag. Well that is John Henry’s headache if there is any, not Andy’s. Newcastle saw cash in Liverpool’s locker and made the most of our desire to get the man(To bring variety in our options). Is that Andy’s fault? John Henry did not have a problem spending the 50 million pounds that we swindled from Chelsea. So that ends that matter doesn’t it?
Andy Carroll at Liverpool couldn’t have asked for a better mentor in the King. He will learn from the best in the business and develop here. To his credit, he has to be commended for the efforts he has put in, especially after the spurs loss. Anyone disagreeing this, simply has a baseless agenda against him and it is not called for.
So what do we have to do to get the best out of him?
Andy needs to be given a certain role in the club, one which would help him and the club progress for the remaining of this season. I noticed his performance against Manchester City, when he came on for the last 10 odd minutes. His notable contribution was that bullet header that was required a brilliant save from Joe Hart. That was a goal week in week out. I would like to see him given a similar role that would see him being introduced in around the hours mark when there are tired legs in the opposition defence. The team would do well to provide consistently the sort of service he received from Glen Johnson in that game.
Luis Suarez is the focal point of our attacks at present. Every pass is directed towards him. We could give Andy a similar treatment when he comes on the latter stages of the game. However this strategy requires us to be at least a goal up so as to lower the burden on Andy to score the winner.
Let us back him to the fullest. The love, faith and patience that the kop are famous for will no doubt spur him on to good form. Let us shower the same treatment that Luis Suarez gets, that Nando received. After all he is LIVERPOOL’S NUMBER 9 !!!
T T Raghuveer