Tag Archives: Andy Carroll

Disappointing Downing

13 Aug

Disappointing Downing


Liverpool have offloaded winger Stewart Downing to West Ham after a disappointing career at Liverpool. Downing was signed by former manager Kenny Dalglish in July 2011 for a fee of £20 million in a summer of big spending for Liverpool.


But since Dalglish’s departure Liverpool’s owners have altered their strategy under Brendan Rodgers by reducing the wage bill. Rodgers had moved high earners on to pastures new and brought in new players on lower wages.


Joe Cole, Andy Carroll, Pepe Reina and now Stewart Downing were all big earners and have now been moved out.


Downing looked an exciting acquisition at the time, an experienced England international who played on the wing was the ideal player Liverpool were looking for at the time when they had very few wide men.


But Downing struggled at Liverpool and only contributed 7 goals in 91 outings for the club. It was a poor return for such an expensive signing who was reportedly on £80,000 a week.


Downing’s highlight during his 2 year Spell at Anfield was his man-of-the-match performance in winning his only honour with the club as Liverpool defeated Cardiff City in last year’s League Cup Final.


Far too often Downing would fail to deliver a telling ball into the opposition penalty area for Liverpool’s strikers. Even when Downing cut inside from the right flank to create a shooting opportunity on his favoured left foot, he very rarely hit the target, never mind score.


Brendan Rodgers criticised Downing shortly after becoming manager at Anfield and even started young Raheem Sterling on the wing in preference to Downing at the start of the season.


But Rodgers brought Downing back into the side later in the season, although he revealed in December that Downing could leave the club.


Downing became a regular for the remainder of the season, but not always in his familiar role on the wing, Rodgers frequently used Downing at left back.


In fairness to Downing his performances were much better last season than in his first season with the club. His work rate was impressive and he looked a more confident player. But for all Downing’s endeavour and new found confidence, Downing is a player that lacks “heart”, the heart to go in where it hurts to score a goal, the heart to not shirk a tackle, but most importantly for a player who plays on the wing, the heart to take a defender on and get to the bye-line, Downing never did this enough at Liverpool.


Liverpool never got their money’s worth from Downing and decided to cut their losses on an expensive failure with a costly weekly wage.


You can’t fault Downing’s effort but he just wasn’t good enough for Liverpool Football Club, and he now continues his career alongside another Liverpool failure, Andy Carroll at West Ham.


Brendan Rodgers is starting to shape his own team after transferring players that don’t fit into his style of play, and by bringing in players that do.


Rodgers has allowed another player with a wealth of experience to leave the club and Liverpool now have a very young squad with not many “old heads” in the squad, as Liverpool look to youth to take them forward.


Rome wasn’t built in a day but Rodgers is gradually building his empire with young, enthusiastic players that he hopes will take Liverpool back to where they belong.


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Carroll Never Got A Chance

21 Jun

You can buy my first e-book on Amazon in kindle format, it is called The Kopite View Season 2012-13, here is the link http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kopite-View-Season-2012-13-ebook/dp/B00BMW7JTA/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1362780961&sr=1-1

The book consists of my match reports and articles from earlier in the season. If you like my blog, you will like my book. All the money is going to help Hillsborough Families.

Carroll Never Got A Chance


Liverpool sold Andy Carroll to 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 signing and he had to wait some time before making his debut . Andy Carroll 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 with Carroll 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 defence again as Liverpool gained revenge by defeating the Blues at Anfield in the league.


That summer led to Liverpool’s manager Kenny Dalglish’s departure and Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers taking over the Anfield hot seat.


Dalglish’s departure signalled the end of Carroll’s career as a Liverpool player as Brendan Rodgers hastened to move him on albeit 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 of strikers.


Brendan Rodgers came into Anfield and stated that every player would be given a chance, well I don’t think he gave 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 play 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 Football Club 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. OK so Carroll was an investment from the previous management team at Anfield, but I got a feeling that by 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 this week 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 also 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 where some teams sat very deep intent on frustrating Liverpool’s passing game and preventing Liverpool space to penetrate. But the option of Carroll in attack would have posed a different problem for opposing defences and gave 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 mould 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 and like all managers he has favourite 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.



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Life Without Suarez

4 May

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Life Without Suarez


Liverpool were left resigned to the fact that they will be without their star striker Luis Suarez for the remainder of this season and the first 6 matches of next season after accepting the FA’s 10 match ban for his infamous bite on Chelsea defender Ivanovic in last weekend’s match at Anfield.


Although Liverpool felt aggrieved to be dealt a lengthy ban for their player, they did the correct thing by accepting the ban and by moving on and putting an end to the matter. The big question now is, who will score the goals for Liverpool ?


Luis Suarez has been in outstanding form for Liverpool this season and his goal scoring record of 30 goals in 44 competitive games has been invaluable to the Anfield side. Liverpool were so reliant on Suarez for the first half of this season as Liverpool were short of recognised strikers with the departure of Kuyt, Bellamy and Andy Carroll moving to West Ham United on loan for the whole season. Liverpool missed out on Clint Dempsey on the last day of the transfer window as he chose to sign for Spurs instead and Liverpool’s new signing Fabio Borini broke a foot early in the season to compound Liverpool’s striking problems.


Liverpool’s striking problems have eased slightly in January when they signed Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea and he has linked up well with Suarez and has now scored 8 goals in 13 matches for his new club after his double on Saturday.



Well Saturday was Liverpool’s first match without Suarez as they travelled to Newcastle and they did pretty well. They not only won, but they scored 6 without reply, in what was Newcastle’s heaviest defeat since the 1920’s.




Daniel Sturridge replaced Suarez in attack in what was manager Brendan Rodgers only change to the team that faced Chelsea the previous week. Liverpool were very impressive in a one sided match that they dominated against a poor Newcastle team. Sturridge scored 2 goals in an impressive striking performance where he linked up with the incisive passing of Liverpool’s midfield on numerous occasions. Sturridge produced a striking performance that would have pleased Brendan Rodgers immensely as he held the ball up before linking up with Liverpool’s advancing midfielders. The way Sturridge played off the shoulder of Newcastle’s last defender was also encouraging as he gave the likes of Coutinho and Gerrard a target to hit behind the defence. The 2 goals was just the icing on the cake from his impressive performance and it was good to see him unhappy to be replaced by Jonjo Shelvey late in the game as he wanted his hat-trick.


Sturridge has stated in the past that he wanted to play through the middle as a striker and supposed to be part of the reason that he left Chelsea in January because he was used mostly out wide at Stamford Bridge as his chances were limited at playing through the middle.


Sturridge must be Rodgers’ number one striker now and this is a great chance for the former Chelsea man to play in his more favoured position. The only concern is his fitness as there has been a few niggling injuries since his arrival in January . So if Sturridge stays healthy Liverpool might not miss Suarez’s absence too much.


But Liverpool got lucky with Suarez in the early part of the season when he was the only striker because he is very resilient and stays free of injury. But Liverpool might not be so lucky with Sturridge and his resilience, so they need other options.


Fabio Borini has been very unlucky with injuries since joining Liverpool and it was a bonus for Liverpool to see him back in action on Saturday and even better to see him score his first League goal for his new club.


Borini’s return gives Brendan Rodgers another option in attack and the Italian will be eager to make up for lost time in a frustrating and disrupted first season at Anfield.


The summer will no doubt see players come and go at Anfield and the striking department could be an area that Rodgers will want to strengthen, especially with Suarez’s ban continuing into the new season.


Andy Carroll is a subject of much speculation as he looks like returning from his loan spell at West Ham United in the summer, but there is also much talk of him returning to his native town of Newcastle for a second spell at his home town club.


Brendan Rodgers doesn’t seem to fancy Carroll and he wasn’t long farming the big striker out on loan, even with strikers in short supply in his squad. Andy Carroll has played pretty well in his time at West Ham after a few injury problems earlier in the season and he has managed to weigh in with 7 goals in 21 appearances for the Hammers.


Some footballing experts believe Andy Carroll would be ideal for Liverpool’s attack as many attacks from Liverpool in wide positions end up with wasted crosses into the opposition box with no target to hit. Carroll’s physique and style of play would also give Liverpool an option of a plan B that has been lacking in certain games this season when Liverpool have struggled.


But if anything is to be acknowledged from Saturday’s win at Newcastle then it must be that the dependency on one player was quashed as different players got into attacking positions and this was proved by the number of different goal scorers.


Suarez’s absence could be a blessing in disguise and make Liverpool a more difficult team to predict if they are going to produce attacks through different players getting into forward positions and when Suarez returns to the team next season he will only strengthen the attack that has learned to live without him. So there could be many positives to come out of Suarez’s ban that many thought would be a disaster for Liverpool Football Club highlighting the saying “that no player is bigger than the club”.





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