Liverpool Transfer News: Why I Feel Sorry for Andy Carroll
Somewhere deep inside all the snide comments, articles, clever jokes and completely pointless rants, I actually feel sorry for Andy Carroll.
I—like most of the footballing world—have made more than my fair share of jokes and comments about Liverpool's marque signing and his complete and utter flop once he reached Anfield. Truth be told, it just all came to easy.
Carroll was supposed to usher in a revolution at Liverpool, turning them into genuine contenders in the English Premier League once again. Instead, he flopped, the Reds finished eighth and they were beaten in the league by Everton.
I mean, Everton? It's funny, right?
For the most part, it was. It was funny to poke fun at the English striker and whether or not he would be able to finally score; it was funny when he started on the bench and couldn't seem to get himself going.
It was funny when he was starting to make Fernando Torres look good.
And then I started to feel sorry for Carroll.
I started to feel sorry because I realized that regardless of what he did, he could never, ever win.
Regardless of whether he started or was substituted, scored or didn't, was ridiculed or praised, he could never win in the eyes of the football world.
The assumptions that he would falter meant then whenever he shone, it was written off as a fluke—a momentary glimpse of a promising, young striker who would soon be back to his spluttering ways.
He had become a lose-lose player.
However, if he has become what I'll call a lose-lose player because of his incredibly poor performances and finishing abilities, then he deserves every ounce of criticism that comes his way.
But I don't think that's the case—I don't think Carroll can be solely blamed for his poor performances throughout the Premier League season and the fact he didn't live up to the hype that was promised.
That blame belongs to Liverpool.
Andy Carroll isn't worth £35 million. He knows he isn't worth £35 million, I know he isn't worth £35 million and if Liverpool hadn't paid so much for him, we most likely wouldn't be in this position.
But from the moment that the Reds paid Newcastle United that incredible transfer fee, Andy Carroll was suddenly worth £35 million. He would be expected to talk, walk, shoot, pass, perform, score and win football games like a £35 million player should.
And that would be his demise.
If Liverpool seriously think that Carroll is worth the money—which they must, for that is what they paid for him—then they must be prepared to give him time to grow into that price tag.
Heck, he's 23 years old.
Lionel Messi was brilliant at 23, Wayne Rooney was brilliant at 23, David Beckham was brilliant at 23, but the majority of footballers are not world-class strikers able to fulfill a £35 million price tag at the age of 23.
At just 23 years old, Carroll must be afforded the same luxury that every other player in world football is given—time. He must be given time and patience to even begin to pay back what Liverpool doled out for him in the first place.
Nineteen months and 56 appearances is not long enough.
Currently, Brendan Rodgers seems to understand the dilemma with what Liverpool paid for Carroll. He appreciates the significance of a £35 million transfer and is willing to give the English international time to prove himself worthy of such a fee.
Recently, he commented via the club's official website (h/t BBC Sport):
To consider a loan for someone the club spent £35m on isn't something we're looking to do at this moment in time.
Andy will be the same as every other player—if there's ever an offer that comes in, we'd look at it as a club and see if it's going to be worthwhile for the club and the team as a whole.
The club invested £35m in him. People talk about whether he can fit into my style or not, but if you're a club and you spend £35m on a player, you'd like to think he can fit into whatever style the team plays.
He's a good player. He'll join the rest of the group next week and we'll take it from there...
Having said that, with the discussion about whether Carroll is loaned or sold or kept for the upcoming season for whatever takes place, he is unlikely to benefit.
Until the expectations are dropped, a general admission that Liverpool paid too much is made and the understanding that he is still only 23 years old takes place, he will never, ever win.
He will never, ever succeed and never, ever have a chance of living up to the £35 million that Liverpool paid for him back in January 2011.
And that's why I feel sorry for him.
What do you make of the Andy Carroll situation at Liverpool?
Comment below or hit me up on Twitter: Follow @dantalintyre
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