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The Curious Case of Andrew Carroll

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#1   Daniel

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 11:06 AM

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As a fixture of the XI:

Carroll has started 22 games (from a possible 41) in all competitions this season, 15 of those as Premier League games. In these games, he has scored just 4 goals, assisted a further 3, and hit the woodwork on 3 occasions. Mere inches make all the difference.

Of the 15 Premier League games in which he started, we picked up 28 points from the 45 available, winning 8 of the 15. That's 1.86 points per game. Football doesn't work like this, but it's nice to place yourself in a better position by fiction: A 1.86 points gain per game would put us currently on 56 points, in fourth place, two points behind third placed Arsenal. How does this differ from the games in which we start without Carroll? Without Carroll this points per game ratio drops dramatically to 1.13. Why is this? Coincidence? Do we play higher up with Carroll in the side as we can't avail of the option of pace? Do we pack the attacking midfield with more players to combat Carroll's lack of Suarez-styled agility and creativity? Does it avoid the ridiculous position in which we put Suarez, that of a lone striker? Is it because with Carroll in the side, the role of each player is more defined, as opposed to us just lumping players into recognisable positions, but without a definite role?

Of the seven cup games in which he started, we won all seven, but then so far we have essentially won all cup games, haven't we?

As a substitute:

Carroll has played the role of a used substitute on 16 occassions, leading to 278 minutes (plus 50 minutes of injury time, approx.) on the field, scoring two goals in the process. Only on 5 of the 16 occassions were we in a winning position where Carroll could be thrown in to ride the wave. Of the other 11, Carroll was used to salvage a point or stretch a draw to a fortunate win, failing each and every time. Why didn't Carroll start against QPR or Wigan recently when he had proved his worth in a functional system against Everton and Stoke is beyond me.

He scored two goals as a substitute, both in Cup games to extend an already comfortable lead.

Two other stats:

We've won one game in which Steven Gerrard has started in the Premier League this season. Every goal we've conceded was with Pepe Reina between the sticks. And neither of them are shit, so really stats are there to fuck with your head.

The question as needs to be asked:

As Kenny has said, is it time to "change our philosophies a wee bit", keep Andy and use him for all his strengths, or is it time to sell Andy, build the squad around Suarez, and admit that our transfer dealings since Suarez have been somewhat abysmal?

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Edited by 0, 27 March 2012 - 11:07 AM.

I'm a little teapot, short and stout.

#2   Rodgers

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 12:33 PM

I think Carroll will be offloaded in the summer. If he was still part of the plans, he'd be starting games now especially when our season is pretty much over. I still believe he can be a success here if we give him proper service. If we just get someone who can whip in a dangerous corner it would do so much good. We lack imagination and unfortunately we need more than just Luis Suarez. If we can sign proper creative players, or even someone who can just cross a ball, it would do us the world of good.
I'll drink to that

#3   fidelity

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 10:16 AM

I have opinions.

1. I have never seen anyone pull off a ponytail. That includes females. Ponytails are just the worst. Let's leave them to actual ponies, shall we?

2. I imagine Carroll's number of wins as a starter are skewed by Dalglish's predilection for playing him against weaker teams. Just a quick glance down his appearance list shows that he was a substitute at least once against Arsenal, the Manchesters and Chelsea this year.

3. Last year Liverpool Football Club vastly overpaid for a series of British, statistically-productive and relatively young players. (Adam, 26, and Downing, 27, aren't exactly inexperienced, but I think the general idea was that their primes laid in the near future. Carroll, 23, had only played half a season in the Premier League, and Henderson, 21, certainly qualifies as young.) I think it's important for the culture of the club not to prematurely dismiss projects. I see it as a positive that Liverpool stuck with Houllier and Benitez each a year longer than when it became clear the quality of the team was in decline, especially when I glance at a team like Inter, where Massimo Moratti has made more managerial changes than number of years he's run the club.

Why did an ownership group as allegedly shrewd as NESV sanction those purchases? I imagine for a combination of reasons, including a desire to placate a rather riled fanbase. The two reasons that interest me and are applicable to Carroll's future are: 1. The hope that potential would pay off, and 2. The desire to set a specific tone in the long-term identity for the first team squad, which extends to both playing style and personality.

I don't particularly like the traditionally British style of play, but that's a conversation for a year and a half and 100 million pounds ago. So let's look at point No.1. Carroll's value has depreciated steeply since his signing. Because his struggles have been sporting -- rather than, say, emotional, like a Mario Balotelli, who will likely still command a significant transfer fee when he's sold this summer -- others won't be as eager to spend three times Carroll's actual value like we were. At some point, you cut your losses. We're not there yet. There's plenty of potential left which I think will eventually be tapped.

4. Carroll has the physical tools to bully defenses and abuse scoresheets. I foresee him developing into a national team-caliber soccerball player.

5. Boyzone are awful.

6. There are plenty of examples of players who start their professionals later peaking later. Two that spring to mind are Clint Dempsey and Didier Drogba.

7. Today, Andrew Carroll woke up, looked in the mirror and said to himself, "No, I will not cut my ponytail today." Here is my reaction to that incorrect decision:

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#4   Dr Tobias Fünke

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 11:05 PM

he scored lol gg ul rl

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#5   Piksi

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 11:12 PM

Can we get our own player subforum already so we can designate this the Carroll thread and I can post my comments about Carroll when I'm bored and feel like repeating myself for the 15th time?

#6   Travis Bickle

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 12:04 AM

I like how he nearly scored a screamer of an own goal to give Brad Jones the chance to redeem himself. That was a nice thing to do.

I also enjoyed that winner very much. I would say "I hope this acts as a turning point" but I won't because I've said it after every positive thing Andy has done this season.

Bunny Rabbits

#7   Piksi

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 12:19 AM

He'll get dropped for the next game anyway so all form and momentum he starts to gain is lost every time.

Quality man management.


#8   Rodgers

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:16 AM

I'm pretty sure Maxi will be dropped as well. Probably Bellamy also.
I'll drink to that

#9   Tokyo Sexwale

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:27 AM

But guys, you need to rotate!

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#10   Odd Blood

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 06:29 AM

I'm pretty sure Maxi will be dropped as well. Probably Bellamy also.

Bellamy had a poor game for me, assist aside. Wasted possession often, would shoot instead of passing and couldn't put a decent dead ball in. On the subject of dead balls, who is for Dan Agger to be our new direct FK taker?

Anyway, back to Carroll. I sincerely hope that he starts on Saturday, if only for the reason that Suarez plays better when played alongside him. I just hope that Gerrard chooses to use him properly.


#11   fer nando

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 05:09 PM

hope to see him partner suarez on saturday.
his heading prowess would be crucial


#12   Travis Bickle

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 01:05 AM

I think seeing Newcastle fans slate him will prove to be a turning point for Andy. Maybe it will have provided him with the ability to get over the mental barrier he seems to have been playing with since he moved here. I think he now seems to have accepted he is one of ours.
Bunny Rabbits

#13   Odd Blood

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 06:21 AM

I think seeing Newcastle fans slate him will prove to be a turning point for Andy. Maybe it will have provided him with the ability to get over the mental barrier he seems to have been playing with since he moved here. I think he now seems to have accepted he is one of ours.

That's a great shout. Would love to see him push on from this and have a blistering end season. Hope he makes the Euros as well, would be a great confidence booster for him.


#14   Lukemeister

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 11:48 AM

Caroll hat trick to win us FA cup against Chelsea.

Would be EPIC!!!!!!!!!


#15   Invader Gir

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 12:25 PM

Caroll hat trick to win us FA cup against Chelsea. Would be EPIC!!!!!!!!!

I would love to see Torres' face when we win in Wembley!

Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone
You’ll never walk alone