When I first heard of Andy Carroll I will admit I didn’t think much of him, however, I made some research and I started to rate him.
With a strike rate of 31 goals in 80 appearances for Newcastle I thought he has to have talent to do that but what was most impressive about him was to be given the captaincy there at such a young age, all whilst having the pressure of being Newcastle’s famous number 9.
With King Kenny’s return I thought Liverpool’s time get back to the old glory days was upon us; I have massive respect and admiration for Kenny, I’ve read all about him, watched all of his famous feats and read his autobiography cover to cover so I’ve learned all about his transfer market behaviour and their success rate. So, when I heard about the £35 million price tag I can honestly say it didn’t bother me much, we’d made £50 million from Torres so it wasn’t as if we were spending money we didn’t have and Kenny wanted him, and Newcastle wanted £35 million, so no problem then. I wasn’t about to question someone who had won European cups, league titles and countless other cups, never mind the person who had the eye to bring in the likes of Ian Rush (arguably Liverpool’s greatest forward, just in front of ‘God’), John Barnes, Peter Bearsley and so on.
So that was that, Andy Carroll was on his way along with Luis Suaréz and was given the massive number 9 shirt.
After a fairly slow start, he grabbed his first and second goal against City and at that point everyone could see that he can score goals for Liverpool. Aside from the odd goal here and there including the wonder strike against Exeter he went through a barren spell, and that’s when all the cynics and doubters came out and the ‘what a waste of money’ chants started in full force.
During this spell I think I must have watched every single game he took part in and I could see that Andy was not a talentless player or a waste of money but a player severely lacking in confidence, also playing in a team that was low on confidence, with a combination like that he was surely not going to score much. He seemed to fumble a lot and the opposition crowd would cheer as he fell, understandably, with a £35 million price tag on your head and it seemed to get to him, and I can’t blame him with everything that’s happened, the expectation, as well as him being still very young.
I was present at the Kop at that ill fated Oldham game, and I was right there when he scored what I thought was a well taken corker of a goal and it seemed like a turning point for him, in my opinion he has played a hell of a lot better since that game, although sadly that game was more remembered about the racial incident rather than the performance and the score line.
In the game against Manchester United he played well considering United dominated possession and played better than us for the 90 minutes. More importantly, he created the winning goal, holding the ball before setting Kuyt up perfectly. Then the game against Wolves, he could have been Man of the match and capped the performance with a well taken goal, he was looking like a great centre forward who could hold ball up as a target man as well as finisher, if he can regularly perform like this he can be a top quality purchase, and make the boo boys eat their words.
He has some competition now with Suaréz coming back from suspension, as well Bellamy playing really well, but this is only a good thing, competition for a place in the first eleven can make players go that extra mile to impress the gaffer and I’m sure Andy will be relishing the opportunity now that he is putting in some good shifts. The prospect of a Gerrard, Downing, Suaréz, Bellamy and Carroll strike force is a tasty one.