Liverpool’s Carroll has lost control of his career once again
There does not appear to be a great deal of sympathy for Andy Carroll. It may be the £35m price tag that makes him the most expensive British player ever, or the past off-field indiscretions, of which there are many. Liverpool appear willing to cut their losses and accept considerably less than they paid in order to offload him. Carroll wants to stay and fight for his place and never wanted to leave Newcastle in the first place. His career appears to be out of his hands once again.
A promising few months seem to count for nothing. Late winners against Blackburn in the league and Everton in the FA Cup semi-final, a consolation goal against Chelsea in the final and a thumping header against Sweden in the European Championships were encouraging. His overall record of 11 goals in 56 appearances remains an underwhelming tally, but there are also mitigating factors to be considered.
Carroll was injured when he arrived on Merseyside, in a hastily arranged transfer made shortly after Kenny Dalglish’s appointment as manager and the departure of Fernando Torres. The players that were subsequently signed to provide a suitable calibre of service, Stuart Downing and Charlie Adam, have also both failed to make the grade thus far. His partnership with Luis Suarez, who is not the most generous and accommodating of strikers, was disrupted by the Uruguayan’s lengthy ban and has yet to gel. Carroll has also been assigned a role that restricts his impact and influence, at Newcastle he was afforded more freedom to roam and build play, while he is more of a static target man at Liverpool.
Carroll was absent from Liverpool’s Europa League third-round victory against FC Gomel on Thursday with a groin strain, as fitness issues continue to hamper his progress. Fabio Capello, who regarded Carroll highly during his time in charge of the national side, expressed his frustration at the amount of time it took him to regain fitness from a knee injury. After an impressive international debut against France Carroll looked set for an integral role with the European Championships approaching, but Capello eventually lost patience and moved on.
Carroll has yet to feature under Rodgers but the assumption is that he will be surplus to requirements due to an incompatibility with his favoured ethos. Yet Swansea’s system was heavily dependant on the hold up play of Danny Graham, a role that would appear to suit Carroll more than Suarez or Fabio Borini. Rodgers has also told to Sky Sports that Carroll is “a terrific young player” and that he is “certainly not wishing to push him out of the door,” so maybe some of the claims may yet prove wide of the mark.
West Ham and Newcastle are waiting in the wings with loan offers, while Liverpool are believed to be intent on recouping around £20m and removing his £80,000-a-week salary permanently. It has taken him a long time to adapt to his new surroundings and he may be on the move, against his wishes, once again. He still appears to pine for his friends and family on Tyneside and a return cannot be ruled out, especially as the end of the transfer window approaches. It would certainly suit all involved.
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