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Some players take longer to settle in than others.
Without doubt, Carroll has taken time to bed into his surroundings, both off and on the pitch.
But he is becoming more comfortable with his role in the team and what he has to do on the field and it shows.
Whereas previously he showed little to no desire to make himself available in the opposition area, now he is displaying the effort and awareness to get into good spaces and at good pace, too. His gallop from defending a Wolves corner into the Wolves' box on the break for Liverpool’s first goal last Tuesday was the perfect sign of a player who now knows his bearings.
Having been the star forward at Newcastle, he has had to adjust to playing a team game with a pass-and-move Liverpool. His knock-downs from long diagonals have provided goals for Craig Bellamy and Dirk Kuyt. His cushioned headers from crosses have created shooting opportunities for the midfielders. His layoffs from forward passes have contributed to an overall fluid midfield movement.
And so contributions as Liverpool’s lone striker, in the absence of Suarez, have shown a growing maturity.
Is that good enough for the long-term? No one can be sure. But with short-term improvements like this, Carroll only needs to keep going on the upward curve.