Andrew Carroll’s Time to Shine

Pretty simple. At one point or the other, Luis Suarez is going to have and serve that 8 match ban he got handed. It might be reduced, but it won’t be revoked, and Andrew Carroll will have his chance to prove, over a number of matches, that he’s worth at least half of what Liverpool paid for him.

On a team struggling to find the net this season (only 20 goals in 17 matches, the worst in the top 7), Andrew Carroll’s two league goals in 15 appearances stand out like a neon sign. He never won a place in the lineup, moving from starter to sub and back again, but Carroll’s inability to blend in with the Liverpool attack is painful to watch at times.

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There’s an immediate tendency to launch long balls and crosses when Carroll’s around, but that’s just wrong. Liverpool don’t play that way, and even when they have, it never amounted to much. This isn’t exactly Barcelona, but there have been moments of style here and there, like the first half against Aston Villa. It usually involved Stewart Downing having a good game and Craig Bellamy starting as somewhat of a left winger.

Carroll has struggled with injury, and what looked like being a tad overweight, but that’s not all. He can’t get himself involved in the Liverpool game the way Suarez does. He’s not Luis Suarez, but Liverpool’s style and formation demand that the lone striker touch the ball in build up as well, not just when attempting to finish in front of goal. There’s been more than one case of bad luck for the Liverpool forwards, and Carroll has had his share of incredible close range misses.

As with most talented players who’ve yet to breakout, it’s all in the head. Dalglish needs to have his faith (if he has any) in the most expensive English player of all time be shown to Carroll. It’s a matter of confidence. Carroll has the talent, and despite his height and size, the quick feet to handle a pass and move game. All he needs to do is show it on the pitch once Suarez starts serving his (unjust) ban. Sound simple, right?