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Sure, Andy Carroll is nothing like his preceding No. 9.
But he has his qualities that very few strikers lack: the ability to hold up the ball, set up chances, and attack headers in on goal.
The problem is that Liverpool aren’t set up to play to his strengths.
Joey Barton was a perfect accomplice for Carroll because of the former’s ability and tendency to put in pacy crosses and corners for Carroll to attack. Meanwhile, while Liverpool do possess players capable of conjuring immaculate crosses on their day, too many of them are directed towards the far post, where Carroll has no option but to head it backward.
And even then, there are no Liverpool players to be found in the box.
Against an aerially impressive central defensive pairing of Michael Dawson and Ledley King, Carroll more than held his own on Monday night, and he created chances aplenty.
But no one took advantage of them. No one was remotely close.
And so the Carroll debate will continue to rage, even as he continues to turn in encouraging performances.