Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Eight And Out!

With the news that Liverpool and Luis Suarez have accepted the ban given out by the Independent Commission, all talk turns to Andy Carroll and his disappointing start to his Liverpool career.

The 22-year-old is nearing his one year anniversary at Anfield and it would take a brave man to say the transfer has been a resounding success, or even a mild one.  A return like four goals in 23 Premier League appearances, will not keep the Anfield faithful happy for long.

Ignoring his last six months of lethargy, Fernando Torres is a hard act to follow and some are starting to wonder if Carroll has the mental strength in him to turn it around.  The Spaniard scored 65 goals in 102 games for them, 16 of those coming in his first 23 games for the club. 

And as much as Kenny Dalglish continues to say that Carroll is not suffering from confidence issues, after his last two run-outs against Manchester City and Newcastle, most people would beg to differ. His lacklustre runs and moaning at Glen Johnson and others, don't make him look like a player who believes he can be the next great Scouse number nine.

You can't blame Carroll for the price-tag, after all it wasn't him that wrote the cheque.  But you have to worry if it's weighing on his Geordie shoulders.

Part of the problem is that Carroll isn't like his English teammate Wayne Rooney, who works hard on the pitch and is willing to go and get the ball from midfield.  As much as he is happy to sit and wait in the box, that won't do the team much good if he doesn't get himself in the right positions.

But that is the way Carroll plays and all at Liverpool would have watched him enough to know that he doesn't do much running.  Unfortunately the acquisition of Stewart Downing to send in the crosses that Carroll needs, hasn't exactly gone to plan either.
Most of the balls that were sent Carroll's way against City, didn't even make it past the first man.  And as an Arsenal fan, I know how that story ends!

But these next seven games, include a Carling-Cup semi-final against Manchester City, Oldham in the FA Cup and Tottenham Hotspur at home.

Hopefully a consistent run in the side will give Carroll a chance to show why they spend £35million on him in the first place.  If not, it could be an interesting few months for Kenny & Co.

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