There is a defence for the continuously toiling Carroll, though: the comparisons to John Toshack could well have hindered the start of the Geordie’s Liverpool career. The aerial prowess is uncanny, the strength and power too; even the similarities, reminiscent to the little and large partnership of Toshack and Keegan, are akin in Suarez and Carroll; however the players aren’t as alike as they may have been made out. Dalglish has seemingly expected Carroll to replicate the playing style of John Toshack, at least that’s how it seems in the way in which Carroll is being made to play at Liverpool; a style a world away from his trade at Newcastle.
At the Toon, when Carroll was played in with a ball to run onto, he’d approach it with the aim of hitting it first time, left-footed, goal-bound: more often than not, he’d score. The plaudits he gained from Keegan and the like, with many saying his aerial talent exceeds Toshack’s, came from his runs from deep, into the box to head home corners and crossings: his style of play and lack of pace, naturally made him the later arrival. However, At Liverpool, the insistence to play the ball up to him at his feet is detrimental to his game.
The striker is 6’3, he prides himself and his game, on power and strength, not pace. Receiving the ball deep, at his feet has entirely changed his game from his strengths. He is unable to turn quick enough and beat his man. For this partnership to work, he must be played as the target-man for Suarez to play off of; knock downs, arriving late for Suarez to cross to and beating his man in the air: that is his game.
No matter what happens, according to comments Dalglish has previously made, the potential signing won’t belittle Carroll, “Everyone will be treated the same way, whether they are the most expensive or the cheapest.” That comment was made in the last week of September when Carroll was again being criticised for his performances in a Liverpool shirt and with Dalglish continuing to stand by his record signing, stating that, “Everybody’s got to be prepared and ready to play [over Christmas], they will all expect to play some part in some of the games, and Andy Carroll is no different,” it seems nothing has changed, yet.
What does need to change though, is Liverpool’s scoring record in the Premier League this season. This campaign, Liverpool have scored fewer than Norwich, Blackburn and bottom of the league Bolton, and Rory Donnelly could well be the answer.
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