Liverpool recently sold Andy Carroll to Premier League rivals West Ham and cut their losses on a player that didn’t fit into new manager Brendan Rodgers’ plans. Carroll finally made the move to West Ham permanent after passing a medical ending speculation regarding his future.
Carroll signed from Newcastle for £35 million on January 31 2011. Carroll was recovering from injury at the time of the signing and he had to wait some time before making his debut.
The English International had a difficult start to life at Anfield as he struggled to find the net, and he also looked to be struggling with his fitness after his injury setback.
Carroll’s first full season ended in fine form as he netted the winner in the FA Cup semi-final against Everton, before coming on as substitute in the final against Chelsea to score again and change the game, as Liverpool just missed out on another trophy. A few days later, Carroll tormented the Chelsea defense yet again as Liverpool gained revenge by defeating the Blues at Anfield in the league.
That summer led to Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish’s departure and Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers taking over the Anfield hot seat. Dalglish’s departure signaled the end of Carroll’s career as a Liverpool player, as Brendan Rodgers hastened to move him on loan before the end of the summer transfer window. It seemed a crazy decision to let Carroll go, as Liverpool were left short of strikers in their squad. They did try to bring Fulham’s Clint Demspey to Anfield on the last day of the transfer window, but it fell through and left Liverpool very short on strikers.
Brendan Rodgers came into Anfield and stated that every player would be given a chance, but on the contrary did not give Carroll much of chance by moving him out so quickly even with a shortage of strikers. In fairness to Rodgers, he does have a style of play that he wants his team to utilize and a certain type of player to fit into his team; Carroll was not his type of player for his team.
Regardless of the amount of money that Liverpool paid for Carroll, Rodgers was not in any way going to work with Carroll to coach him into fitting into his team’s style of play. Alright, so Carroll was an investment from the previous management team at Anfield, but getting rid of Carroll so quickly was like an announcement to Dalglish and his staff that Carroll was a waste of money.
If a club pay so much money for a player then you would think that they would give him every opportunity to fit into the team and to find his form. Chelsea and Torres is a prime example as they even changed manager to bring the best out of their struggling expensive investment. But Liverpool and Rodgers refused to give Carroll time and ultimately cut their losses by selling him to West Ham after his season’s loan spell at Upton Park.
It is surprising that Liverpool’s owners allowed Rodgers to move the big striker on after they invested so much money on him. But at the same time it is to be applauded that the owners are allowing Rodgers the freedom to make his decisions of who he wants and doesn’t want in his team, even if the player moving out has cost a lot of money.
Carroll is a big, strong player who can lead the line well, and he is also dangerous in the air. Carroll is valuable at defending set-pieces with his heading ability. His powerful left foot shot is also a highlight of his abilities and he would have given Liverpool another attacking option.
Many experts thought that Liverpool lacked a plan B in attacking options this season under the leadership of Brendan Rodgers, as Liverpool were left at times frustrated in trying to break teams down. Especially at Anfield, some teams sat very deep, intent on frustrating Liverpool’s passing game and denying Liverpool of space to penetrate. But the option of Carroll in attack would have posed a different problem for opposing defenses and could have given them something different to think about instead of the predictable style set by Rodgers.
Most good teams need a plan B option for when things are not going right, and good managers know when to use it. Barcelona are about the only team that don’t use a plan B, but that is because they are so good and don’t need one anyway. The other disappointing thing about Carroll’s departure is the reluctance by Rodgers to work with him and mold him into the player that he would like for his team. Carroll is not a veteran and has many years ahead of him where he could have been coached and he should have been coached.
Andy Carroll’s career at Liverpool will go down as a flop and one of the worst signings in history. But it didn’t need to be that way if he had been given a chance after Kenny’s departure, and if you don’t get a chance to prove yourself then what chance do you have?
This article is not intended to be a criticism of Brendan Rodgers’ management style, I am just being highly critical of Rodgers’ treatment of Carroll. Like all managers, he has favorite players and players that he doesn’t like, and unfortunately for Carroll, his face didn’t fit.
The Carroll episode is now closed at Liverpool and I’m sure everyone wishes him all the best at his new club at West Ham, where I’m sure he will be more appreciated by his manager. The hope now is for Rodgers to bring in the right players to improve Liverpool in their quest for Champions League football.
Written by Jamie McLaughlin