Is Carroll's poor form down to his lak of ability, or the lack of service that is being provided? These are the players who could his fortune.
He was an unstoppable force at Newcastle at the start of the 2010/11 season, so why hasn’t he continued with that scintillating form at Liverpool? The answer is simple, he hasn’t had the service.
The constant injuries to Steven Gerrard this term have been a major blow to Carroll’s ability to score goals. Gerrard’s seeking passes and deep crosses have been missed, and replaced by the not so awe inspiring Charlie Adam who lacks the qualities of a player at the heights of the game. As soon as Gerrard came back to full fitness, Carroll started to show that he is dangerous in and around the box, winning headers and latching on to loose balls, so this is what we need to look for in a player.
Carroll’s lack of starts alongside strike ‘partner’ Luis Suarez is also a limiting factor in his progress to become a top Premier League striker. However when they have played as a pair, they have looked lively and caused threats to the opposing team, allowing Suarez to run off Carroll’s flick on’s and knock downs. Suarez said of Carroll ‘I hope Andy plays with me all matches, he helps me in game’, so the Uruguayan knows the tactics that we should employ, so why doesn’t Kenny use them?
Liverpool are seeking a provider, someone who can conjure up the service that is required, a tricky winger who can put in a well placed cross, or an attacking play maker who can make things happen.
Carroll has admittedly had a poor season, but the lack of service from the wide areas has been a major reason for his faults. I thought Stewart Downing, who came to Liverpool last summer, was the signing that would inject some life into Andy, but Downing has been substandard too. He struggles to get to the byline and get the ball across, and seems almost scared to take a player on – completely the opposite to how he was at Aston Villa, where he was a constant threat down the wings. He should also be used to pinging in crosses from the wide areas to a big centre forward because Villa had the presence of John Carew, Emile Heskey and Gabby Agbonlahor all in their ranks.
These are some of the player’s I hope that can change Andy Carroll’s poor goal scoring form:
This technically gifted 21 year old attacking midfielder is a rising star in Serie A for Bologna, putting in big performances week in, week out against some of Europe’s elite. A major advantage for Ramirez is that his profile fits with Kenny Dalglish’s long-standing recruitment philosophy of signing young, up-and-coming talent with a view to developing the team over a longer term. However, this isn’t fool proof and has been seen to ‘fail’ so far in his transfers due to the lack of short term success. Ramirez has been compared with Kaka for his ability to be graceful on the ball whilst holding great power and technique. He stands at 6ft and so is not easily knocked off the ball like some of Liverpool’s current squad, who lack the physique to compete with some of the bigger players in the league. With his size comes his well tamed temperament, similar to Kaka, which has limited his bookings and ill discipline, another advantage for Liverpool, who have an ability to sign ‘Hot headed’ players. In addition, Ramirez is Uruguayan, which is a positive for Liverpool as Suarez and Coates can encourage him to become the next big thing at Anfield. A bid has already reportedly been tabled by Liverpool for £16.3m, however nothing has been confirmed. He has scored 11 goals in 56 games for Bologna since 2010.
Estimated Price: £16m Suitability: 8/10
Scott Sinclair has showed signs of being a real talent this season, scoring 7 goals in 22 appearances for the surprise package of the Premier League, Swansea. He had a hectic first few years of professional football, having played for 8 clubs before joining Swansea in the summer of 2010 for £1m. He is a capable winger with the ability to play down the middle. Not especially known for his floating crosses, but more for his dashes to the goal line and his technique to pull the ball back into dangerous areas. A major adavantage for investing in Scott Sinclair is that he is coming from a new age footballing culture in Swansea, where they play possession football and work the ball from back to front, using a 4-3-3 formation, which Liverpool could adapt too if Carroll starts firing in the goals. As a summary, he wouldn’t be my first choice but he is a dynamic player who loves to be on the ball and has a good eye for goal, which is no bad thing with the squad Liverpool have at the moment.
Estimated Price: £7m Suitability: 6/10
A Moroccan Midfield maestro who creates chances but also tucks them away on his own merit, Belhanda is one of the hottest properties on the market. The Montpellier midfielder, 22, is a tricky play maker who likes to get on the ball and influence play. This season he has been in top form for Montpellier, scoring 12 goals, and assisting 6 in 30 games. This mix of goal scoring and producing makes him a very special player. He would notably want to play in a European competition, which Liverpool offer, but maybe not the one he deserves with other clubs such as Arsenal and Manchester United also chasing for his signature. I think he would be a great player to add to Carroll’s goal tally, as well as looking to move in front of Gerrard on the pecking order in midfield. His price and the interest from other clubs could be a stumbling block for Liverpool’s negotiations.
Estimated Price: <£20m Suitability: 9/10
Wolves have had a torrid season this year, bottom of the league, sacking their manager and losing good players to injury, but Matt Jarvis has stood out as a real talent on the right wing. His ability to get to the line and whip in a cross is what fans want to see, a provider of a useful service. He has had a similar player to Carroll, in Steven Fletcher; play in the team – assisting 6 of his goals, showing a prospective buyer that he is able to create chances. Jarvis also has the advantage of scoring goals in the Premier League, scoring 7 this season, making him one of the leading scoring wingers in the league. However he is one of the older players that I am suggesting, but he is still a mere 25 years old, peaking, but certainly not falling.
Estimated Price: Around £5m Suitability: 7/10
Drenthe has been on loan at Everton all season from Real Madrid, but David Moyes has only used him sparingly. However, when he does play he seems to be a force to be reckoned with, a winger who likes to run directly at the goal or to the byline and then whip in a cross, which is what Liverpool are looking for. Drenthe not only offers pace and power whilst running, he also brings with him a deadly set piece, either from a corner or a free kick where he can glide in a delivery or hit a rocket towards goal. Either way Drenthe would be a good addition to the squad, but maybe not the first team, he seems lazy when he doesn’t have the ball and frustrated when things aren’t going his way and I wouldn’t say that was the Liverpool way, especially if he was the man to replace Kuyt, who fits neatly in the Liverpool mould. The main factor Drenthe has though is that he is free at the end of the season, and he has already hinted that he wouldn’t mind swapping Blue for Red, these are all promising signs for a future transfer. Drenthe has 7 assists and 4 goals this season in 27 appearances.
Estimated Price: Free Suitability: 7/10
Junior Hoilett, for me, has been the stand out young player of the year. He has been playing in a horrific Blackburn team who cannot string wins or even draws together, and therefore are looking likely to be relegated. A transfer scramble would occur over Hoilett if this came true, as many top sides have seen the talent this young Canadian has. He is also out of contract in a years time, this would make the transfer fee much lower than it probably should be, but really a player of Junior’s talent needs to be playing for a top side, rather than one fighting it out in the drop zone. He has the ability to cut inside and shoot or feed balls into a big striker like he has done all season to Yakubu. This kid showed huge potential in his third full season in the Premier League, scoring 7 goals and assisting 6.
Estimated Price: Around £8m Suitability: 9/10
If I was Kenny, I would be looking into either Junior Hoillet or Younes Belhanda as possible replacements for Kuyt when he leaves int he summer to fill in over on the right. However, I would also enquire about Matt Jarvis, who I think would be a solid squad player with the ability to stake a claim for the first team, a player with natural talent and a proven record in the Premiership. All these players are realistic targets, and hopefully they are players, if we get them, who could rekindle Andy Carroll’s scoring form, because I know he has it in him.