Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Why the signing of Andy Carroll is a fatal error for Liverpool

So Fernando Torres departs Liverpool for £50 million. Incomes Andy Carroll for a mind blowing £35 million. Andy Carroll now becomes the 8th most expensive in the world. A frightening thought. Seeing as he has only 6 months of top level football experience. And a single England cap.

Mark Lawrenson once said ‘managers live and dies by the signings they make.’ It’s a very valid point. Especially in the case of Liverpool. One main point to why people wanted to see Rafa Benitez sacked was his poor signings. Go back even further, Bentiez’s predecessor Gerard Houllier, again poor signings by the end of his reign were a crucial factor his departure. Since the 90’s Liverpool have been renowned for making poor signings. Don’t get me wrong, there have been some fantastic signings. But there have been far too many poor signings, which has put Liverpool into decline. This Andy Carroll transfer could possibly be a transfer which haunts Liverpool for years to come. There are too many risks involved in this deal.

Okay, it sounds like I hate Andy Carroll. Its far from that, I do think he is a good player. He is a defender’s nightmare, as he is physically strong, both on the ground and in the air. He is defiantly a player with potential. But even if Liverpool signed Andy Carroll for £20 million its still a huge risk. As he is still relatively new to the top level of football. And he isn’t a proven consistent goal socerer in the Premier League. Arguably, Andy Carroll isn’t a natural finisher too.

But I hope he proves me wrong and takes the Kop by storm.

Some argue that Andy Carroll has shown he can cut it at the Premier League level. It’s a valid point. Andy Carroll has scored 11 Premier League goals already this season. He is the third highest Premier League goal scorer this season. So in the first half of his first season in the Premier League as Newcastle’s number 9 he has shown he can find the net. But how many times have players started off the season brightly scoring lots of goals but then seen a their form dip? Remember Amr Zaki? The former Wigan man’s debut season in the Premier League he initially took the Premier League by storm. In the first half of the season he scored 10 goals, and was being linked to a host of European giants such as Real Madrid. But by the second half of the season, his form had dropped. And he only managed to get one goal in the second half of the season. Most people don’t even know where he plays now (Zamalek, if you were wondering.) The worrying aspect about Carroll is that he hasn’t been able to even prove to himself if he can consistently score in the Premier League, let alone to Liverpool.

Football's top 15 highest transfer record’s show something very clear;





Fee (£ in millions)


Cristiano Ronaldo

Manchester United

Real Madrid



Zlatan Ibrahimović







Real Madrid



Fernando Torres





Zinedine Zidane


Real Madrid



Luís Figo


Real Madrid



Hernán Crespo





Andy Carroll

Newcastle United




David Villa





Gianluigi Buffon






Real Madrid

Manchester City



Christian Vieri





Andriy Shevchenko





Dimitar Berbatov

Tottenham Hotspur

Manchester United



Pavel Nedvěd




This list shows that every player bar Andy Carroll have all proven themselves before their big money moves. As all these players have regularly played on the international stage, the Champions League and the top leagues of Europe.

The biggest eye opener is when you compare the players to Carroll. Is Carroll in the same bracket of players like David Villa, Hernan Crespo and Andriy Shevchenko? Obviously there different type of strikers to Carroll. But when the big money moves of David Villa, Hernan Crespo and Andriy Shevchenko were made, these players were considered world class. Whereas Carroll has a world class fee but is viewed as a player with potential. This is worrying. As it suggests Liverpool are spalashing £35 million on potential abilty, rather than current abilty.

The fact Liverpool have splashed £35 million on a player who is relatively unproven in the world of football suggests one thing. Panic buy. Its fair to say, Carroll isn’t in the same league as Robhino, David Villa or Andriy Shevchenko (in his day.) But Liverpool felt the urge to replace Torres by any means possible. The reasons to replace are varied. Some argue that it will make the Liverpool owners, FSG look like a selling club, so they needed to show the club is moving forward. While others believe it’s due to the fact Liverpool were lacking a centre forward due to Torres’ departure.

But the fact £35 million has been spent on a player who has scored only 34 professional goals clearly demonstrates the idea of being a panic buy. Every professional goal he has scored is virtually worth £1 million seeing as he was brought for £35 million. Which is an insane notion. Surely if your buying a striker for who is the 8th most expensive player in the world, he should have scored more than the actual transfer figure itself?

FSG always talk about their ‘long term ambitions.’ The signing of Andy Carroll suggests the opposite. It shows an impulse buy. Yes he has potential, but the fee suggests a desperation to get a player in to replace Torres.

In the longer term it would have been far wiser had Liverpool waited till the summer to find Torres’s successor. As the club could have scouted the Europe and even if they were that keen on Andy Carroll, they could closely watch his progression at Newcastle. And see if he can maintain his consistency in the Premier League for the whole season. Furthermore, if Liverpool waited till the summer, they would have got Andy Carroll for a far friendlier and realistic price.

Once Carroll had arrived at Melwood for his medical journalists began to speculate that Carroll was forced out of Newcastle. Carroll reportedly said ‘I didn't want to leave. Make sure the fans know I didn't want to leave.’ This is worrying. The fact Carroll was reported to have been ousted out of Newcastle suggests his heart may not be with Liverpool for the long run. And the expectations of being Liverpool’s record signing and the 8th most expensive player in the world may unsettle and alienate the player from loving Liverpool.

Off the pitch, Andy Carroll isn’t an angel. It’s fair to say Andy Carroll is a volatile character. He is known to have arguments with players and has been in trouble with the law a few times. Liverpool are taking a huge risk in taking in a player who could unsettle the squad and could bring bad press to the club. If Liverpool can make Andy Carroll grow up and be a well behaved professional it’s for the best for Liverpool and England. But it’s a damn big risk which could potentially back fire on the club, as it did with a certain British transfer record breaker Stan Collymore.

Andy Carroll is a panic buy acquisition. And this signing has the potential to haunt the club for years. As there are too many flaws in transfer. Firstly, the fee. I can safely say, Liverpool will never recoup any of the cash spent on Carroll. Liverpool are spending huge amounts on potential ability, what happens if this potential ability doesn’t materialise? Liverpool will be world’s football’s laughing stock. And their reputation could be tarnished.

Andy Carroll’s volatile character could leave Liverpool red faced, especially if he poorly represents the club in his personal life. Liverpool must closely look after their record signing. His behaviour off the pitch could be a time ticking bomb.

Liverpool have taken a massive gamble, whether or not it pays off is another question. But this acquisition will have a big effect on Kenny Dalglish’s reign as manager. But there are too many risk factors for the price Liverpool have brought Carroll for. It’s an accident waiting to happen.

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