Why Does Andy Carroll Keep Getting Dropped?

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Liverpool are a much more effective team with Andy Carroll than they are without him. That is not an opinion, it is a fact. With Carroll starting, Liverpool’s record is W13 D4 L4 – a 62% win percentage. When he hasn’t started, it drops to W8, D6, L7 – a 38% win percentage.

This is not a coincidence. The work he does off the ball, dragging defenders out of position and generally being a nuisance, creates the space for the likes of Suarez and Gerrard to exploit. In the 3-0 win against Everton he was a constant menace, jumping for just about every ball that went up in the air and not allowing either of the central defenders any time to settle.

In their first start together, Suarez, Carroll and Gerrard showed that together they could offer Liverpool a formidable attacking threat. It is therefore very surprising that Carroll has not started a game in the league since. Less surprising, given the stats above, is the fact that we lost the subsequent games without him.

So, if it is not his performances on the pitch that are getting him dropped, what is it?

Carroll has yet to start more than four consecutive games for Liverpool. For a young player trying to find his way into a new team, these stuttering appearances cannot be helping his development as a player. When you consider that he is getting dropped even when he plays very well, it is bound to also be affecting his mentality.

He has had well publicised off the field issues since he started his career and it could well be that there are things happening off the field that are stopping Kenny from giving him a good run of games.

I would be interested to know your views on why Carroll isn’t a regular starter, because it is a mystery to me.

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  1. At the time, I figured dropping him against QPR was just a fitness issue. His fitness has definitely improved since Christmas-ish, but he still doesn’t look like a three game a week player yet.

    That he didn’t play yesterday either confuses me though.

  2. I honestly don’t know what kenny is thinking about when he drops Carroll. Big Andy has had some decent games for us, and it has to be said on some very limited service. It doesn’t matter who the player is and how much he cost you have to look at his contribution to the team, I think Kenny and the majority of fans are looking at his goal ratio rather than what he brings to the table in terms of work rate and nuisance value. He’s got to start Big Andy in every game now, regardless if there are groans from the kop or he gets stick of the gutter press. Lucas should be used as an example, slagged off week after week by his own fans now we can’t seem to live without him. YNWA!!

  3. Because Kenny wants to implement a short pass and move game. Carroll’s ball control and passing is still suspect so that’s why i feel he can’t lock down a spot

  4. Its simple, cause kenny doesn’t know his arse from his elbow! Hate the way carroll and downing are takin so much abuse. Carroll was bought to make a nuisance, get defenders on edge and get on the end of crosses! Downing was bought to supply them yet kenny rarely starts both together. Kenny would far rather play kuyt out right where he has become Anonymous. Would love to see carroll downing suarez all play with stevie on the right and hendo more central. Downing and stevie whipping balls in and carroll would thrive.

  5. Who knows whats going on behind the scenes? It could be fitness issues or even his lifestyle, i’m just speculating.
    The more deeper issues are the coaching of clarke and keen and the director of football role which has never been a successful system in English football.

  6. Kenny himself was a director of football and it didnt last long at celtic. It never works,

  7. What a stupid question. Carroll is a pathetic player. He just does not have the class to be a Liverpool player

    1. Spot on shelly the simple fact is the lads crap!!
      end off,and while we are at it so too is adam,henderson,downing kuyt and that is the reason why we are a crap team,sort it kenny this shower you and comolli
      have put together is one of the worst lfc teams i have had the unpleasure to watch.

  8. Caroll, despite his physique, is prone to falling when on the ball. What ind of a striker is this.

  9. i think commoli needs to go. clarke has turned skrtel into a worldy so no problem with him. or passing and movement is sound so keen seems to be doing his job.i say get rid of comolli as i would like kenny to take sole responsibility of transfers then we are not confused as to who is who’s player. if kenny does’ no better on his own then we know who to blame. carroll was good at newcastle and seems to have an understanding with his fellow attackers now so i believe he was being rested for the next game.

  10. Finally a positive article on big Andy’s contribution and progress … Nice One! It could be the ponytail I reckon. I suggest Andy gets himself af fucked up afroperm and grows a moustache to become an attacking version of Souness – I’m sure that would sit well with Kenny’s old ways or at least scare the shit out of him.

  11. Andy’s main contribution is jumping about and ‘generally being a nuisance’? You make him sound like the Bez from Happy Mondays! Is this a valuable role to play so others score? I’m no expert, but strikers are there to score goals. Andy doesn’t score many goals, he doesn’t even get to the ball half the time.

    I can understand the Lucas comparisons, he may improve with time and may prove to be a valuable player. However, a team can carry a poor anonymous midfielder for a while, as LFC did with Lucas, and still win games. But if a striker isn’t doing his job, we don’t score and we lose games. Our squad isn’t strong enough, broad enough or gelling enough to carry him at the moment.

    Your stats are nice, but they only mean something if you can prove it’s down to Andy’s contribution – and I’m not convinced. Maybe his stats for goals and assists would tell a different story…

  12. I completely agree. Also, Andy gets little to no service. Suarez and Gerrard receive the ball constantly. How can a striker develop feeding off scraps?!! We are forgetting he has a cannon of a left foot. Suarez and Gerrard need to stop looking for each other and actually try working to Andy’s strengths. Early crosses, balls to run on to and not trying to play the ball behind him expecting him to turn like Suarez.

  13. andy is not good enough it was a quick daft buy and a massive gamble ,u cannot even compare andy to tevez,benzema,rooney,suarez,ok he is getting better but lets be honest the money spent on andy and henderson lol its crazy compared to what we could of bought,compare these people to alonso,masch,and a liverpool torres is a no contest we are going back over,not forward.

  14. ’cause Kenny is being extremely stubborn, but these days you can’t criticise Kenny wihtout getting in trouble,
    Kenny has played Carroll wrong from the start

  15. In answer to your headline question, he should not even be on the reserves’ bench. How he is even involved in football is beyond me, never mind the premier league. His first touch poor, possistioning abysmal, heading the ball? Don’t make me laugh. The guys a joker whos more bothered about combing his hair and filling his gut with alcohol. Sell Sell Sell this waste of £35 million or if worst comes to worse give give give him away.

  16. Interesting stats…Although i think he has a way to go before he’s legend, i also cant figure out why he plays a game then sits for 2 or 3? Just imagine what he could have done in the QPR game with all those corners? There is no rhyme or reason to our style of play lately. Each game a new format, a new system, players playing all over the park. It’s no wonder we are so inconsistant. Just imagine if you are Coates? You come in for your first game in weeks, score a fabulous goal, contribute to the team, then get parked back on the bench. Why? It wasnt like he also scored 3 own-goals to cost us the game.

  17. the majority of the games carroll plays are the ‘easier’ teams. and how many defenders does he actually boss around. the FACT that kk plays him against such opponents is simply because he wants to justify the amount paid for carroll, in hope that he would score..

  18. Kenny mistake was to sell the genius mid, that maireles, whom his last part of the prevous season made maxi and suarez the more dangerous fox on the box, but kenny blow it all

  19. To pay 35mill for an injured striker is terrible. Daglish wasted 100mill and bought crap. No matter what caroll should be playing every game, till he gets form. Against wigan. He started with. Flanagan kuyt henderson carragher. What a waste….Dalish needs to go. He keeps on changing winning teams and team selection is getting worse

  20. He’s being dropped cos he’s shite and I think KD realised that he wasted 35mill in him and together with Adam and Henderson he should try and get as much money back as possible and get rid of them. Theres no need to replace them cos that would b easy just bring the kids from the youth set up and I’m sure they will do better. Stats u showing us mate r lots of rubbish cos he’s been bought to score goals not to jump around the pitch. So the sooner people like stop bullshiting us with stats the better.

  21. He’s being dropped cos he’s shite and I think KD realised that he wasted 35mill in him and together with Adam and Henderson he should try and get as much money back as possible and get rid of them. Theres no need to replace them cos that would b easy just bring the kids from the youth set up and I’m sure they will do better. Stats u showing us mate r lots of rubbish cos he’s been bought to score goals not to jump around the pitch. So the sooner people like U stop bullshiting us with stats the better.

  22. Totally stupid and pointless – that statistic shows nothing and is not even correct (by your reckoning Liverpool have lost 11 games this season!) But not all games are equal anyway.

    One of Liverpool’s best results, 2-1 away in the league to Chelsea, which Carroll didn’t start, is not equal to winning 2-1 at home to Wolves, a game Carroll started and contributed no goals or assists.
    League draws against Manchester United and Manchester City, which he didn’t start, are not equivalent to home draws against Swansea and Blackburn, which he did (and again which he neither scored or assisted).

    Also look at arguably the other standout result in the league for Liverpool, 2-0 away to Arsenal. Carroll will get a win for starting it despite him being taken off at 0-0.

    If you’re analysing an individual use his many individual statistics (Carroll‘s are so poor). If you want to use meaningless statistics you could also write an article that goes
    “Liverpool are a much more effective team without Steven Gerrard. That is not an opinion, it is a fact. With him starting this season Liverpool win 37% of games, without him starting that rises to 56%” Because that is also true but totally meaningless.

    The basis for the article is just really thick.

    1. Thank you for making sense. I don’t think the others will like it though. Let’s all forgot the football we watched with our own 2 eyes and push some meaningless stats into the debate. Liverpool have also won all games in which Luis Suarez tied up his left boot before his right.

      1. Not sure who the divvy is. Liverpool have lost 10 competitive games, 13 games including friendlies.

        But I don’t think even the author of this article would include Carroll’s friendly appearance against Guangdong Sunray Cave in any stats…

      2. Just noticed you are the author of the piece. Oh well.

        Also notice you include penalties against Cardiff as a win for Carroll starting, despite him coming off at 1-1, it ending 2-2 and him not being on the pitch for the shootout…

        People usually consider games going to penalties as a draw for such stats, as well as not including club friendlies. But no one with basic understanding of statistical analysis would quote such stats anyway to be fair.

  23. Whatever Andy can do Peter Crouch could do better…whether thats passing, scoring, or winning balls in the air. Carroll is below Crouch in all those categories. Face it we’ve wasted 35 million, when we could have spent the money to buy a real striker that puts the ball in the net. 35 million could have brought in any player in the world yet we get an unfit 3 goal a season striker who can’t pass and move.

  24. I must start saying that Kenny is doing wrong from the begin, a fee of 35millions for Carrol is simply ridiculous (like 20 for Downing). That said, if you buy Carrol you should know what kind of player he is, he’s not a “modern” striker, he’s an “old school” one, with strength and body but slow and not so technic, and if you want to play with this player you must surround him with speed and quality (fantasy, dribbles, passing ability…) to open some spaces for him since Carrol is not a kind of player that can create by himself and that’s where we suck, poor midfield and poor wings. Way too much money spent for average players and also wrong players, Downing is a phantom, i’m not happy to have spend 20m for a guy (without prospective) who is performing like Babel, with Henderson Kenny is doing wrong too, why in the hell he always puts Henderson wide? he’s a center fielder not a wing, Gerrard also, he plays too much in front of defence, he should play behind strikers like he did with Rafa

  25. Also we have a poor roster, to be honest, the defence is ok (and the stats talks for this) but players like Spearing, Adam, Downing, Maxi and (i’m sad while i write this but…) even Kuyt are too much under a top team standard, honestly i think that Kuyt could still be a useful player, but not with Carrol in the starting eleven…Kuyt could be good if we play with him and Suarez around a striker with other characteristics (more fast and technic in few words) like (to give the idea) Torres, Drogba, Luis Fabiano, Tevez, Van Persie, Higuain…but with Carrol no, too lack of quality and speed to create chances, the midfield simply doesn’t have enough quality and personality…it’s clearly that we have probably more problems with weak teams and that’s not a case, we suck in create chances with teams that play defensive because we don’t have players that dribbles, runs fast, play with personality, creates, plus players in wrong position (Gerrard, Henderson), and honestly those are all Kenny’s errors, Rafa is free.

    1. @curtis:

      Sorry curtis but i just can’t understand how can you say that Downing is putting Worldy crosses into the box, we probably see a different player, for worldy crosses i mean complete crosses, not the numer of crosses, i prefer 3 good crosses out of 7 than 1 out of 10 and Downing is clearly in the second group, if there’s one aspect of the game that you must admit of Carrol is his air ability (near the net), if he doesn’t score in those situations is simply because there aren’t good crosses. That said Downing is simply average, no personality, no dribbles, no crosses…i mean, do you remember Kenny paid him 20m do you? let me tell you this, if you acquire a player (like it seems in this case) just because he was the player with more crosses in the stats (crosses attempts or crosses complete by the way?) last year, you simply don’t understand enough about football imho (talking about KK)

  26. For people to call for Comolli to go is ludicrous. Put history aside for one minute- why do we demand and expect ourselves to be higher up the table? We have not won the league in years and only once under rafa did we come close. People need to think long and hard about whether they are TRUE Liverpool fans. Im as angry as the next person about our results but the football is clearly there minus one or two games this season. As for Andy Carroll- this to me is one thing Kenny has got wrong. When you score or play well, you should keep your place in the team. I thought that was an old fashioned philosophy. Everytime Carroll has either scored or played well he is dropped. Plus Downings criticism is unfair based on the fact that he puts Worldy crosses into the box when Carroll hasn’t been picked! Clearly there is more going on behind the scenes with big Andy. I suspect he will be sold in the summer. There is no explanation for it. He was simply put, a panic buy. What we were supposed to see @ Liverpool was Torres & Suarez. Fernando just thought otherwise. YNWA Andy

  27. no matter hw u point yo fingers 2 players ,KD shud js leave liverpool cz h hz failed ,doeznt kno th actual combination 2 use ,y cant he play downing (left wing) bellamy (right wing) with caroll nd suarez in th middle??nd tz so pathetic tht many fans stil wnt hm 2 continue managing reds. Y does h start wit hendo wen jonjo z on th bench?even sterling cn play much beta than th 20mil hendo, kenny hz 2 resign wit immediate effect…..!!!

  28. Really clutching at straws with that “evidence”. This season Barcelona have a 10% higher win percentage with Messi not starting than with him starting…

    Carroll only ever scored 14 goals in the premier league in his entire Newcastle career. Because he had decent form getting promoted and it continued for a few months in the premier league isn’t enough to judge a player good enough to play for Liverpool or worth £35,000,000.
    If clubs did that players like Michael Ricketts and Marcus Stewart would have had big moves when they showed similar form. Like Charlie Adam, who was playing his first ever season in the premier league. Just because he did okay for Blackpool for one season doesn’t mean a team with European ambitions is going to be interested in him….. oh……..

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