What’s the score with Andy Carroll?

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There’s no doubt that we over paid for Carroll. Even his most ardent supporters would have to concede that. Eighteen months in Newcastle’s first team, only six of them in the Premiership, just didn’t deserve such a big price tag. Some people say money shouldn’t come into it, but sadly it does. When a player is bought for £35m, people expect instant results. Not potential. Unfortunately, I think Andy Carroll has struggled to live with that burden on his shoulders. Every game he plays, there is pressure on him. The media hype the situation up. Even Liverpool’s own website leads with headlines such as ‘Carroll starts’ on match days. This wouldn’t happen if we had paid say, £10m for him.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m very much of the opinion that modern day players should cope with the pressure. They are paid wages that are beyond the dreams of most people. They become instant millionaires and enjoy all the benefits their wealth brings with it, so they should handle the media attention. But it’s not Carroll’s fault that the club decided to splash so much money on him.

Personally I don’t think Liverpool should have bought him. I especially don’t think they should have paid anywhere near what they did. I’ve heard people say the club had no choice but to buy Carroll as they needed to appease the fans because of Torres’s departure. Apparently it was a statement of intent by the owners. They wanted to prove to fans that, unlike Hicks and Gillett, they were going to invest in the team. Well fair play but there were a few alternative ways of doing this during the January transfer window. They could have bought players in other positions, such as quality wingers. They could have bought a different striker, one who was proven. Or they could have refused to sell Torres until the summer. I hate comparing us to Manchester United but Ferguson sells players when it’s right for him and the club. Cristiano Ronaldo for example. I know Torres wasn’t playing well, but had we told him he could go if he wanted to in the summer and played him with Suarez for the last five months of the season he may have come good. Let’s not forget, Carroll was injured for most of his time with us last season anyway. Replacing Torres in the summer would have allowed us to take our time and buy the right player without being held to ransom.

Of course, this is easy to say in hindsight. I’m not having a go at the owners. I like them. I think they have a genuine vision of how they want to run the club. They are hungry for success. And they have proven track record of being successful. I just think they made a panic buy and it hasn’t paid off. In my opinion, Carroll isn’t worth £35m and he never will be, even if he starts scoring. But I believe there’s a difference between supporters and fans. And I believe we should be supporters.

I think Carroll’s performances in his last few games have been much better. He has a better goal to game ratio since he came to us than Torres has at Chelsea. He got an assist in the game against Manchester City, another in the one against United and he scored at Wolves. And although he missed a glorious chance to score against Tottenham, was his overall performance bad? I thought he finally showed that he can control a ball and was constantly putting the Tottenham defence under pressure. He was also unlucky not to score when he turned sharply in the box but was unfortunate to slip.

Andy Carroll will probably leave in the next transfer window. And based on his performances so far he should. He doesn’t look good enough for Liverpool. But I don’t think the club can afford to take a big financial hit on him. I know we got £50m for Torres but if we sell Carroll on the cheap then whatever way you look at it, we will have wasted that money. Unfortunately that has been the case for years. We let McManaman join Real Madrid for nothing a year after Barcelona had bid £12m for him. We let Owen go for £8m plus Nunez because we allowed him to run down his contract. And we sold Robbie Keane back to spurs for £12m six months after paying them £20m. A club is never going to thrive if it continues to lose money like that.

I’m just curious as to whether the majority of Liverpool supporters have already written Carroll off completely. I mean, if you were Kenny, would you sell him, even if we only get £15m for him? Would you really be prepared to lose £20m on him? Do you think he should be on the bench? Is his lack of form down to the fact that Downing hasn’t been putting quality balls into the box and until recently Gerrard was injured? Or do you think he deserves his place in the team ahead of other players who also haven’t performed great this season?

More Stories Andy Carroll Chelsea Downing Gillett Hicks Liverpool Newcastle Premiership


  1. Clearly Andy Carroll was not worth £35M, but nor should he be written off so quickly. There has been definite improvement in recent weeks and the proof will now come when he plays regularly with Gerrard and Suarez. However, many LFC players should hang their heads in shame at the big man’s struggles – the quality of crossing is dreadful. In the last 5 minutes against Spurs we had 3 clear chances to cross and failed on each occasion to get the ball beyond the first defender! He may struggle at times, but every centre forward needs decent service – even Shearer would have struggled the way we are supplying Carroll! Give the guy a break, give him decent service and you may well be surprised at theresults!

  2. You’re forgeting one thing. His age. He is 23. Discarding him after one and a half seasons would be a waste. With all the times he hits the crossbar or the keeper just gets his fingers on it, it can’t be long before those start going in. I personally think we should keep him for another season. I think his lack of goalscoring is all mental and once the confidence is going the assists and goals will flow.

    Look if we bought a proven goal scorer like Torres or Morientes and he only scored 5 goals in 45 starts I’d be worried. Yes, tough luck Chelsea.

    You touched on another aspect. Our gameplan with Carroll in the side ealier in the season instantly went long ball in hope. Our crosses to him have generally been poor (Downing!) and no forward will thrive in the Premier League with the service he gets.

    Gerrard’s back which will help in play passes but can you seriously tell me why he still takes the crosses? When was the last time we scored from a Gerrard corner? I hope to be pleasantly surprised. Adam’s cross to Carroll against Wolves was nice, maybe we should play to his feet more often?

    Liverpool’s poor conversion rate from chances isn’t only down to Carroll. Luis Suarez for all his great link up play and silky skills before he was suspended wasted some great chances as well.

  3. Hard to agree that we did not overpay for Carroll, probably to the tune of £15-20 million above fair value. This does not mean he cannot blossom into a great striker – and I think it is fair to say that strikers with Carroll’s attributes are rare and valuable.

    Carroll will come good – indeed he is already on his way to coming good. Just because we overpaid does not mean we should not be happy with what we’ve got.

  4. It was a big big mistake paying such money for him, but we have him now, we may aswell TRY to get something out of him, he looks slightly more chipper of late, but even still his first touch is monstrously bad, and while he has a rocket left foot, he needs to be able to aim the aforementioned rocket into the back of the net before thats something to brag about. he, like adam, is generally a slow it down type of player, apart from the odd flick on here and there when the ball breaks to our andy on the counter attack he tends to take his merry time at it, thus we loose our bellamy-like momentum, and the opposition gets enough time to get back into some form of position. 35 million? no way, but we can get more out of him (i hope).

  5. I heard a story that if we sold Torres we wanted Andy Carroll +15m so was it Liverpool that overpaid for Carroll or Chelsea?
    If anyone knows please tell

  6. We spent 35 million on Carroll, big mistake, but the biggest mistake was spending 20 million on downing who can’t even put a decent cross into the box. If Carroll was to receive a reasonable supply as aposed to the garbage downing is providing then he might even start to prosper! Downing absolute shite

  7. You are high if you think we will sell Carroll this summer. He has been fantastic over the last three games and looks like regaining the form he had before his injury. He was a monster when we lost to Newcastle and singlehandedly ripped our defense to shreds. He will come good and you will be left with your foot in your mouth. It is time lfc fans got behind the team. We only have to look to Lucas Levia to see what can come of a player if they receive our full backing. Let’s support our team as that is what we are, supporters. Follow chelski or citeh If you want instant results. We will be better off than both of those clubs in 5 years because we are a club with supporters while they are clubs with fickle fans like you

    1. If you read my article again you’ll notice that I say we should support the team and that Carroll’s last few performances have improved. I merely question whether he was the best person for us to buy. Surely supporters are entitled to debate that.

    1. Perhaps, but we don’t know who was available and whether they wanted to come. Should we compound what many claim was a bad buy (Andy) by rushing out and buying 2nd or 3rd choices?
      This is a long term plan and we won’t succeed with a short term mindset

  8. Won’t be down to Kenny if he stays or goes , because if we finish below 4th this season Kenny should be sacked . To finish below the worst Arsenal , Chelsea and UTD sides in years is a joke after spending 100 million plus . Just hope the owners have the bottle to do it . No room for sentiment in Football .PS Blackburn have scored more goals than us .

  9. Bit one sided on the transfers there. With just a few like Torres and alonso we’ve more than made up for bad dealings. Add in Reina, Lucas, Agger, Skrtel, Suarez , Enrique too as they are worth way more than we paid. Rafa got slated for transfers but if you add them all up he was better than he gets credit for. Hopefully Kennys will be more good than bad in the long run

  10. I think that you have put together a considered opinion and replacing Andy Carroll in the short-term would seem the easiest and cleanest solution. But the owners, Camolli and Dalglish are still a relatively new partnership with a definite ethos on how they wish to run the club. Carroll is the epitome of their but it young and mould it into a Liverpool player. SO, absolutely no way Andy Carroll is going anywhere… Whether he becomes the player Camolli and Daglish think he will only time will tell! But one thing is for sure ‘time will tell’ he is here for 3 years minimum. Personally I think he is more a Shearer than a Heskey and a decent winger might help him find his scoring boots sooner rather than later!

  11. Nice piece but I think you are very wide of the mark in believing that Andy should, or will go anytime soon. We must give the lad time to adapt to our play and our players to adapt to his strengths.
    In response to those calling for Kenny’s head, are you deluded? We are LFC and sacking managers based on 1 season is not the way we do things and many clubs have proven that it is not the route to success.
    Look at the teams that succeed, both Arsenal and Man utd have long term managers, granted Chelsea swap every other season but that’s because the owner gets bored.
    Kenny has the players behind him, he has the footballing skills and experience to mould this team, what he needs are the players to build his dream, perhaps Jan would have been a nice time to bring in some of those players but if the quality wasn’t available should we have gone for second best?
    Have some faith because we’re supporters long term and things will come good


    1. Absolutely agree that sacking Kenny would be a massive mistake. He has improved how we play and our squad is stronger than a year ago. Success doesn’t come overnight.


  12. Let’s be honest.

    If you had to fire Bellamy or Carroll right now- who would you fire.

    Carroll is a brilliant striker for a team like Stoke for example (or Newcastle – who by the way have benefited from the need to replace him).

    Would he get into any other top side’s 1st eleven? No. He is slow and cumbersome. The reason Suarez is so good (and Bellamy) is because they are fast and busy.

  13. What an odd time for this Artical?
    Andy is just starting to find his feet.
    There is NO WAY in hell we are going to sell Andy!
    Not this window, not the next,
    Was £35m too much? yes, but it was Carroll plus 15m for Torres as has been said. Toon Named the price.
    We would not recoup £35 for him and we do not need to so there is no point in selling him. If there is a problem with his price tag then look at it this way £35 over 5 years, is 7m a year, hes not on a huge wage. He will come good. Also ..from a press/fan point of view at the time, who was better to sign? Carroll was the talk of the prem.
    Lorente/Aguero with no CL never happening.

    He’s had a rough start, injuries, hes only young and struggled abit, shockin service (Downing is more suspect than Carroll)

    We could not have kept Torres, he wanted to go , when everyone was oppotmistic he wanted to go and he has been awful.

    We also could not of just baught in other areas, Wingers and only 1 striker (Suarez, his who as great as he is, isn’t prolific) (and at the time Kuyt & Ngog) wouldn’t work.

    Carroll is starting to work , and will get better and will start to score. Odd time for this artical.

    C’mon REDMEN!

  14. His overall performance so far is not worth 35M. He has the talent but he doesn’t fit into the Liverpool way. KD and Commolli must swallow their pride, admit they made a huge blunder signing and not be stubborn and sell him at a loss and move on to sign someone else who is more clinical. Otherwise it could cost KD his job in the summer and I don’t want to see that as I’d like to see KD to at least see out his 3 year contract with us.

  15. After all said and done, after many words you typed on this piece of article, just remember one thing guys. Keep the faith. I believe this has been the most testing time, in as many seasons that all of of us should pull ourselves together. We will come good, each and everyone throughout the whole club. Dalglish will bring back all the glory days for us. YNWA.

  16. More disappointed with the likes of downing and Adam than of Carroll. He hasn’t been at his best but has showed some good form the last few games. Obviously needs to work On his touch etc but he could also use some decent balls into the box. Let’s see what happens with a returning Suarez, a fitter Stevie G and a firing bellars…

  17. We need to keep him, pure and simple. As some of the comments have suggested, it’s blindingly obvious to anyone with an interest in the game that Liverpool are not providing service to the man. Carroll is not a flair player but he has shown that whenever a good cross comes into the box there will only ever be one winner; he’s lethal in the air. However, the wingers are utterly hopeless at doing that. Even Gerrard lately just isn’t providing the service. One can count on the fingers of one hand how many times the ball gets crossed in to the big man in any one match.

  18. Interesting article. But I think everyone would agree that we paid way too much for Andy Carroll. But that isn’t the players fault. We definitely bought him as a bit of a panic buy with Torres leaving. However, we have the player now. And we haven’t bought another striker in the window that has just gone. SO my question is Should he be starting every game? Should we not be playing the inform players from the start and then bring Carroll on (as we did in the F.A. Cup against Oldham) when there will be less pressure on him to get the only goal. He has a lot of expectation on his shoulders at a young age at a big club. I have to be honest, I am not his biggest fan, but do believe in supporting. And for the benefit of us winning games and getting that crucial fourth place we should be starting with our strongest possible line up in games to get the three points. And for me I don’t think starting Andy Carroll is the solution. I think the starting line up is stronger without him in it. And I do think this may work in his favour too. Just out of interest, how many of you think he should be starting? bearing in mind we need wins and do everything we can to get that fourth place. And who would you guys have starting?

  19. What’s this age thing??? Owen and fowler were banging them in at 18 . . .Bellamy is still there in his 30’s. This lad just isn’t nor ever will be good enough for LFC. He is not as good as Heskey, Crouch, Baros or even Neil Mellor were.
    His continual bitching at refs and rolling round on the floor is becoming laughable and for a big man his success rate at winning the ball in the air is a joke.
    I know we were losing Torres and were in desperate need for a replacement and he was all we could get and to be fair it could have been a lucky punt that paid off.
    All these people who think he’ll get better with age are deluded. . .it doesn’t happen!!
    At least if he got a shave and haircut and lost a stone in weight I would see it as a statement of intent but he looks like a loser and plays the same.
    Lets move on!!!

  20. Tom. I’m with you completely. Just wanted to see what the general consensus was. I just think we have a better line up when we do not start with Carroll. We look more threatening and more like scoring. I don’t think he is good enough.

  21. Hair? ..hair has nothing to do with it, lose a stone? gain a stone?!, caroll is thin!..even the medical staff admited they where shocked when they signed him , that he needs to be build up more..

    He’s our player, think some of the fans need to get over this. He isn’t a buy now, sell in a few windows, never was, never will be or they would have never of baught him. Why this is coming up now when he is arguably in form ..or improving form.

    Downing has been the poorer signing this season , and with (and not exagerating) about 5 times more chances to show his worth than Carroll has had yet.

    Suarez Carroll & Bellamy/Kuyt deserve starting places for me, Bellamny’s knee’s cant get him through every match, so him and kuyt are interchangable wider. Gerrard, a holding midfielder and Downing. See how hard it is to even patch together and even midfield atm? we have to put bellamy/kuyt or henderson on the otherside to downing..who is not giving us anything.

  22. carroll isn’t a fowler or even a owen.. manc cunt! but he’s better than people think. just cos he’s had a bad start people are getting on his back. i’d say my first team would be


    kelly, skrtel, agger enrique

    gerrard, lucas/spearing, adam, bellars

    suarez and carroll

  23. Too many of our players ar just ok. Kuyt Downing Henderson Spearing to name a few. They hradly ever scoer. Carroll is great but we haven’t seen anywhere near his best. He needs service.

    4-4-2 I’d go for
    Kelly – Carrager – Agger – Enrique
    Johnson – Gerrard – Adam – Bellamy
    Carroll – Suarez

    Kelly – Carrager – Agger – Enrique
    Gerrard – Lucas – Adam
    Suarez – Carroll – Bellamy



  25. Reina
    Kelly – Skrtel – Agger – Enrique
    Spearing – Gerrard – Adam
    Kuyt – Suarez – Bellamy

    I just think Kuyt and Bellamy link up better with Suarez. Quick passes and they all have a great first touch.

  26. Reina
    Kelly – Skrtel – Agger – Enrique
    Johnson – Gerrard – Adam – Bellamy
    Suarez – Carroll

    We actually miss Lucas in midfield but that team would do well. Shame Carragher is getting on because I’d love him to be in there!

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