BACK in January 2010, Liverpool sold Fernando Torres to Chelsea for a record-breaking fee of £50 million. At the time, Liverpool’s fan-base was beside themselves with anger and grief, not to mention that we’d shelled out a good percentage of that fee for Andy Carroll.
Since then, Torres has gone from most feared striker in the world to shadow of his former devastating self, whilst Liverpool have found a new, more deadly idol in one Luis Suarez.
It all worked out in the end, as they say.
Unlike Suarez, Carroll has struggled badly since his massive move from North-East. Most Reds can see that he has some potential, but for the fee he was bought for we expected a lot more. A decent end to the previous season, and a relatively impressive cameo at the Euros for England saw Carroll’s stock rise significantly and many of us were looking forward to an in-form striker returning to the side for the new season. Then, Brendan Rodgers happened…
Shortly after Rodgers began his first foray – as Liverpool manager – into the transfer market, it became clear that Andy Carroll’s days were numbered. First, the new man tried to foist the big front man off on his former club and then, when that failed, pretty much anybody else that was interested.
The reaction from a lot of fans was of confusion. Surely after coming into some kind of form, Andy Carroll had a future at the club?
As time went on, it became clear that nobody was going to pay even half of what we did for him, so the only option became to loan him out to anybody that was interested. As the saga dragged on, many fans reaction was slightly over the top. Sure, he’d had a decent game or two toward the end of the season, and scored a great goal for England in the summer but was he really worth all this fuss?
Either way, many fans were not impressed with the attempts of the new manager to move the striker out before he’d even seen him play. The biggest – and most laboured point – being: without him, we will not have a ‘plan B’.
By the end of the window though, ‘Big Andy’ was gone, so all arguments were moot but when Liverpool struggled for goals at the start of the season, and then Borini’s untimely injury left us with only one senior striker, it started to look like a mistake.
Meanwhile, down at West Ham, Andy Carroll isn’t doing too much to impress. Having been injured almost straight away, Carroll missed a month earlier in the 2012-13 season and was ruled out for 2 months in December. In that sense, we really dodged a bullet, as we’d still be paying his wages while he was sitting at home, twiddling his thumbs for weeks.
But his injury problems aside, Carroll has – despite the best efforts of the London-based press to convince us that Allardyce got the better end of that deal – largely failed at the Boleyn Ground. A single, solitary strike in 10 games has meant that West Ham are now looking to cut the deal short.
I have questioned a great deal of the manager’s decisions since he joined the club, and I was a little concerned about his decision in August of last year to get rid of Andy Carroll, but with his loan deal looking sketchy and the player likely to be out until the end of the month, it appears that Rodgers made the right call.
In his absence we’ve seen the emergence of youngsters such as Suso and Sterling, and have now added Daniel Sturridge to the forward-line to accompany Suarez and Fabio Borini, so we’re now looking pretty healthy in terms of attacking options. If the big striker does return to Liverpool sooner rather than later, then he may well find himself spending a lot of time on the bench, before being shipped out in the summer.
Hindsight is indeed a wonderful thing, but the manager must have seen this one in his tea-leaves, so I’ll give you this one, Brendan, it looks like got it right.