One of the summers longest transfer saga’s continues to drag on, with Andy Carroll’s future remaining unresolved. Liverpool’s record signing does not seem to fit into the’tika-taka philosophy’ Brendan Rodgers is trying to impose at Anfield, and it is regarded as the worst kept secret in football that Liverpool would be willing to offload their number 9 if the right offer were to come their way.
Newcastle and West Ham have both been linked with the 23-year-old, and whilst a return to Newcastle is believed to be Carroll’s only wanted alternative, West Ham could be a move that would suit both parties very well.
There are no surprises regarding the way Sam Allardyce likes his teams to play. They are tough, physical, and a threat from set pieces. The sort of situations Andy Carroll thrives on.
Their opening day performance against Aston Villa was a classic example of this, as Allardyce’s team pinged long balls towards the physical presence of Carlton Cole up front all afternoon, causing Villa plenty of problems. West Ham came away with a 1-0 victory, but perhaps on another day could of been awarded a couple of penalties as Cole went down under ariel challenges in the box.
The performance looked tailor-made for Andy Carroll, who showed during his time at Newcastle and towards the back end of last season that he can be almost unplayable given the correct service. You feel he could thrive at Upton Park where he would be playing regular first team football, and have the team built towards playing to his strengths.
Carroll would have the bonus of being reunited with his former teammate and close friend Kevin Nolan. The pair formed an excellent partnership at Newcastle during the first half of the 2010/2011 season, with Carroll bagging 11 goals. The 3-1 victory over Liverpool in December 2010 saw Carroll assist Nolan for the opening goal before getting on the scoresheet himself, a performance that must of been taken into account as Liverpool made their £35million bid.
Perhaps most crucial of all would be the Sam Allardyce factor. Allardyce has a history of reviving players who’s careers have hit a stumbling block, the likes of Kevin Davis, Jay-Jay Okocha and Ivan Campo spring to mind. His man management skills are second to none, so much so he even managed to get a couple of decent seasons out of El Hadji-Diouf during his time at Bolton.
With West Ham the only team to make a concrete offer, you wonder how the remaining ten days of the transfer window will pan out. Carroll showed tremendous promise towards the end of last season and during the Euro’s, but yet found himself on the bench for the opening day of the season. Rodgers didn’t even turn to Carroll with Liverpool trailing 2-0 and in desperate need of a goal, instead opting for Joe Cole.
The vast majority of Liverpool fans want to see Carroll given another season to prove himself, but accept it is unlikely to be the case with Rodgers in charge.
If West Ham were to come back with another bid before the transfer window slams shut and Liverpool should accept, Carroll should seriously consider a switch to East London. It may prove to be a match made in heaven.