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Andy Carroll is not good enough to start for Liverpool Football Club right now and is, quite frankly, a long way from being good enough to start for Liverpool Football Club. Anyone who cares to dispute that simply hasn't watched him play in a red jersey or is suffering from a case of blind faith.
It is my own personal belief that he will never be good enough, but I'll give the lad the benefit of the doubt for now and estimate that it will be at least two years before he has reached a level of play that is even worthy of the red shirt.
As I stated in the previous slide, form is temporary. Unfortunately for Liverpool, Damien Comolli mistook one three-month spell of good form for long-term class and panicked into spending £35 million on a player who was worth no more than £15 million. It ranks right up there with the worst transfer deals in football history, and in terms of value for money, you won't find a worse case.
Andy Carroll has been dropped more times than he has started this season which, to me, indicates that regardless of Kenny Dalglish's comments to the English media, he simply doesn't have faith in Carroll right now. Carroll has been confined to a position on the bench and on a number of occasions hasn't even been granted a cameo role late in games.
Liverpool have a number of options with regards to Carroll. The first is that they could start him every week to the detriment of the team and hope that he improves or at least notches a couple of goals. Playing Carroll from the start can often be like playing with 10 men because if he's not scoring goals, he really offers nothing else to the team.
The second option is to continue to confine him to the bench and hope that he can improve by being an impact substitute and by working hard on the training ground. Unfortunately, Carroll's aptitude for hard work on the training is very low. Rather than spending his summer at Melwood working hard to ensure that he was in peak condition coming into the new season, he spent it partying on numerous beaches.
As a result of that, he entered this season in nothing close to peak fitness and people are still, in December, attempting to use the excuse that he isn't fully fit after his thigh injury. Need I remind people that he returned to action from that thigh injury in April?
Eric Abidal had a tumour removed from his liver and returned in just over two months and looked like he hadn't missed a day. An eight month secondary recovery following the initial four month recovery for a thigh injury is just not a credible excuse. To make matter worse, Pepe Reina recently revealed that Andy Carroll is the worst trainer at the club, so he's clearly not putting in the required effort.
The third option is to sell Carroll but let's be honest here, nobody else ever considered him to be worth £35 million so we can rule out recouping what we paid for him. And given his form since joining Liverpool, nobody will even come close to offering the £12-15 million which would represent his true market value. The best Liverpool could hope for would be an offer of £5-8 million which represents far too great a loss to even be considered.
The fourth, final and best option is to loan Carroll out. If Liverpool were to bring in Torres, then with himself and Suarez, plus Kuyt and Bellamy, Liverpool would have enough options upfront.
If Carroll were to go on loan, rediscover the form that tricked Damien Comolli into spending such an exorbitant fee for him, and start banging in goals, then Liverpool would then have two good options. Bring back the rejuvenated Carroll and find a way to fit himself, Suarez and Torres in to the team, or use a rotation system. Or, they could also shop him around and hope to attract an offer worth considering.
Carroll's value and self-belief are whittling away with each passing game that he spends on the Liverpool bench, and a loan move would do wonders for both if it worked out. It would also keep his dream of playing for England at the European Championships alive, so really, it's the best option for all involved.