Liverpool: Criticism of Andy Carroll, Charlie Adam, Jordan Henderson Must Stop
Expectation is the immediate feeling from fans following a signing, no matter what the fee. January was a roller-coaster month for Liverpool, selling an ex-favourite in Fernando Torres and buying two new faces in the forms of Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez.
Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing have followed suit, and while Luis Suarez is being hailed for his performances, the other signings are being slaughtered to some degree for some reason or other.
Most Liverpool fans will appreciate that not every signing will have the immediate impact that Luis Suarez had. It is unfair and depressing to compare every signing we make this season to the Uruguayan, for a couple of reasons.
Luis Suarez automatically catches the eye with his deft flicks and clever touches. Players like Adam and Henderson aren't on the pitch to beat players, they are there to keep the ball and advance the team when necessary, which isn't nearly as entertaining for most; and for that reason Suarez is the more popular player, just because fans want a spectacle.
Suarez is a great player, and my personal favourite. However, he is not invincible. While he makes runs and creates chances, Suarez loses the ball about as much, if not more, than anyone else in the Liverpool side. Yes, you could argue that he is trying more difficult things in terms of technique, and that causes the loss of possession. However in my books, a loss of possession is a loss of possession.
When Henderson misses a pass or Adam miss directs a ball, the crowd groans in frustration and fellow writers immediately start the crucifixion process. When Suarez loses possession, no one bats an eyelash.
Is this fair? Why should players that occupy less "interesting" roles be under the microscope and be slaughtered for tiny errors, while players like Suarez, Ronaldo and Nani get away with it?
Jordan Henderson has had a difficult time with Liverpool fans due to their quick trigger fingers. Kenny brought Jordan in for the future. The next Gerrard, maybe. So why is it, that Henderson is getting written off after his third game? He won't shine until three years, maybe more. Patience is a virtue, and fans and pundits alike are short of it.
Don't forget that Henderson was making his Anfield debut, against his only former side. It doesn't get tougher than that. Then an away trip to Arsenal, where closing down was the order of the day. It's not easy, especially when you're still getting to know your team mates. Just hold your fire for a while on Henderson.
Then comes Charlie Adam. A mixed couple of performances, but three starts have seen Adam into the starting lineup consistently. Adam was the focus of media attention concerning a transfer for six months, and now he's finally arrived, the pressure is on.
When the fans have waited to long to see you pull on the Liverpool jersey, they don't want to wait longer to be impressed. Therefore Adam wanted a quick fix to this solution. Scoring from inside his own half would have eased the pressure, and also likened him to Xabi Alonso, I expect. However, he didn't score an Alonso, or play his best, and is now paying the penalty.
Adam will also have the added pressure of the likely return of Steven Gerrard. Will he be the one to make way and have to fight into the squad? Or will it be Henderson?
Hopefully that will help you realise the pressure they are under.
Then comes Andy Carroll. Arriving with a huge price tag and told to fill in the shoes of a then-shining Fernando Torres, Carroll had a lot of pressure upon his shoulders. Carroll is still young, and though injuries have plagued his recent development, he still looks a real talent.
However this season, Carroll has been subject to many a snide remark concerning his level of play. The fact that he has scored once this season, and Suarez has scored three times, has raised concern. The concern is unnecessary.
Do you think Carroll does not want to score? Of course he does! Only a great save from Szczesny denied him a goal against Arsenal. Trust me, Carroll is motivated enough for three strikers.
The other constant critic is the fact that he is subject to long balls. Is this Carroll's fault? Did he raise his hand in training and say, "Excuse me, boss, why don't we scrap the passing and just aim for my head?" Of course he didn't. King Kenny is only trying to play to the targetman's strengths, which come naturally.
Carroll will score a lot more this season, I'm sure of it.
For now the rant is over, and thanks for reading. Comment if you wish, what do you think of the new signings?
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