Andy Carroll’s clash: Should he stay, or should he go?

August 4, 2012 in Premier League, Transfers

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Once again, Andy Carroll is making the sporting headlines, and not for good reasons. Since a record £35million move from Newcastle to Liverpool in January 2011, the Geordie-born striker has failed to impress at Anfield. In fairness to Carroll, he really picked up his game towards the end of the season, and did well in England’s Euro 2012 campaign, scoring a hell of a header against Sweden and pairing successfully with Danny Welbeck upfront. Bad news for AC, however, is the installation of Brendan Rodgers as Liverpool manager, after the Merseyside club could no longer ignore the failures of ‘King’ Kenny Dalglish. Rodgers has not been quiet about the fact that Carroll does not suit his style of play and doesn’t fit in with the plans he has to catapult Liverpool to the top of the Premier League once again.

So what’s Andy to do? Here are his options:



Staying at Liverpool

Really, what would be the point? For both Carroll and Liverpool, this is probably the worst outcome. When you pay £35million for something, not just a player but anything (a glow in the dark helicopter, space monkey butlers, cryogenics), you expect to see results. Andy Carroll has not produced these by any stretch of the imagination – six goals in 42 league appearances for the Reds works out at about £7 million per goal. As well as this, at only 23, he looks knackered and defeated. Until recently, we put Carroll in the same boat as Fernando Torres: an expensive, overpaid underachiever. But while Torres has found his feet at Chelsea going from strength to strength and playing well for Spain during the Euros, Carroll is still plodding along, with the occasional sign of his old flair.

If he stays at Liverpool, he will find himself warming the Anfield bench, week in, week out. He has already been dropped from the Reds’ third-round Europa League qualifying tie against FC Gomel. It has been reported that the reason for this is a ‘slight groin injury’, but with his old side Newcastle interested in resigning the striker, I can’t help but wonder if the actual reason Carroll has not been placed in the line-up is to avoid any cup-tied situations, which could put Newcastle off opening the purse strings a little wider.

Ultimately, if Liverpool do decide to withdraw from selling Andy Carroll, then they’re just making things financially worse for themselves. Sure, he cost £35million, and no one wants to admit they made a mistake with that sort of price-tag, but if he’s not playing but still having his £90,000 a week wages paid, then surely there is a bigger deficit being incurred here?  Liverpool should really just cut their losses here and sell him on, and Andy should realise that sometimes on Merseyside, you do walk alone.

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A new start at West Ham

It has been reported that Liverpool and West Ham agreed on a £2million loan fee for Andy Carroll, and providing they don’t yoyo back down to the Championship, Sam Alladyce’s side would be prepared to shell out a further £17million – making AC, for the second time in his career a team’s most expensive player. But Carroll baulked at the idea, wanting to play somewhere he can get in some European action. And who can blame him? He’s only 23 years old, he has made it onto the best England squad of recent years and I’m sure he knows as well as we do that if he goes to the Irons on the proposed 5-8 year contract, he will be spending the peak of his career at the team that can barely cling on to top flight football. Don’t get me wrong, I love West Ham; my best friend growing up was from a strident West Ham supporting family, so some of my earliest memories are of resounding chants of “PAOLO DI CANIO�. But I can see Carroll’s point. In the last 20 or so years, the Hammers have gone from cup challengers, to mid-table anonymity, to fighting relegation battles almost every season. Let’s face it, Andy knows as well as we do that West Ham are not the pinnacle.

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A return to the glory days of Newcastle United

C’mon, you know you’re rooting for this to happen too. Even my boyfriend, who has used every choice word you can think of against Andy Carroll in recent months, who taunted a close friend’s Liverpool-supporting boyfriend in the pub after their defeat at the hands of the Toon back in April, has admitted he wouldn’t mind seeing AC back playing in black and white. I don’t know if it’s because all Magpies fans want Carroll to admit that he really cannot succeed anywhere other than the North East, or because since Alan Pardew came onto the scene, they have gone from strength to strength, finishing in a well-deserved 5th position last season; the fact remains everyone wants to see him back at St James’ Park. And quite honestly, this is probably the best place for him. After all, the reason Liverpool agreed to pay such an astonishing amount for him was because of the way he played for Newcastle. Furthermore, he is a born and bred Geordie; when he’s not playing or training for Liverpool, he’s back in the North-East, spending time with his friends and family. If he’s homesick in Liverpool, then you can sure as hell bet he’d be homesick in London!

I’m sure there are other Premier League teams out there who would love to see Andy Carroll in their starting line-up; even Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill said he would be interested in taking on the out-of-favour striker,  but in reality these are Carroll’s main options. I’m sure we’ll all be watching this story unfold as the new season begins and the transfer window draws to a close.

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