You have to feel sorry for Andy Carroll, minus the £80,000 a week and the ponytail (am I the only fan?). Since he became the most expensive British player of all time, things haven't really gone his way.
First, his Dalglish's selection of him for the team was seemingly based on the toss of a coin. One game he could perform well only to be dropped next week, or he could have a stinker and play in the next fixture. Liverpool fans were left scratching their heads for most of the 'King Kenny' era, particularly with his team selection; the inclusion or exclusion of Andy Carroll provided the most confusion. Despite being unable to get a consistent run of games for almost a season and a half, the big geordie finally found some form at the end of the 2011/12 season. He almost single handedly brought Liverpool back from the dead in the FA Cup semi-final and terrorised John Terry a few days later at Anfield. Following his (correct, I feel) inclusion in the Euro 2012 squad, he enhanced his reputation further with a fine goal against Sweden.
Just when things seem to be going his way, Brendan Rodgers is announced as the successor to Dalglish. Rodgers, a strong and passionate advocate of the passing game, sees no use for Carroll and has confirmed that the club are looking to sell him. Newcastle make a cheeky loan bid with a view to buy, but it is surely an opportunistic move; their team has no real need of Andy Carroll. With the money they recieved from selling him, they have brought in Ba, Cisse, Ben Arfa and Cabaye and have begun playing a completely new brand of football. When they had Carroll they played to his and their strengths; the team was a perfect fit for him, now it is a different team entirely. Considering how shrewd they have been in the transfer market, Liverpools reported valuation of £17-20million looks to be too much for Carroll to return home.
Carroll is now, after hitting a good vein of form, unwanted by his current club and not needed by his former club. Where he will end up remains unclear; but should he leave Liverpool at all? If last season showed us how effective Swansea's game plan was, we can only assume Liverpool will play the same way, it also highlighted the need of a plan B, regardless of how good your plan A is.
I am of course referring to Chelsea winning the Champions League. For a whole 45 minutes, they put every outfield player in their own box and challenged Barcelona to score. The team currently being debated as being the best of all time couldn't score, in what was essentially a game of 'attack v defence'. Everyone knew why; their plan A was nullified and a plan B didn't exist. Chelsea pulled the same trick again in the final, with Bayern Munich being unable to mix their game up.
You can guarentee that one day Brendan Rodgers will be stood in the Anfield technical area, his team passing the ball, passing it and passing it some more infront of a newly promoted team that have parked the bus. At this time, Rodgers will turn to his bench and lament not seeing a certain big, ponytailed geordie looking back at him.