18 Jan 2012

Steve Nicol admits: Liverpool's lack of goals is 'frightening'

Big money signings Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll have collectively scored only 3 league goals so far this season. Whatever way you slice it, that's not good enough, and Liverpool legend Steve Nicol believes that Kenny Dalglish must try and solve the problem asap by doing some business in the January transfer market.

Speaking on ESPN yesterday, Nicol - who won a shedload of trophies at Liverpool, including four league titles - expressed some sympathy for Carroll, acknowledging that he 'hasn't even got the benefit of being on the pitch and having the chance to play', but conceded that things have to improve:

"You buy those players [Henderson, Carroll and Downing) so that when you come up against the likes of Stoke, one of them produces something that wins you the game. That hasn't happened, and I think Kenny will have to go back into the transfer market.

"Blackburn and Bolton have both scored more league goals than Liverpool, and that's frightening fact for Liverpool football club."

Nicol's concerns are shared by former midfield start Dietmar Hamann, who was at Anfield watching the game last Saturday. The Kaiser was clearly dismayed by what he saw, and told LFC TV:

"They [Henderson, Downing and Carroll] have to start scoring goals. The top scorer on the pitch [against Stoke] was Stevie, and he's missed three quarters of the games this season! The goals need to come from somewhere.

"If you look at the front five, how many goals have they scored this season? It's down to them to create the chances, and then put them away. You need players stepping up and scoring goals now, not in the future.

"The Stoke game was a perfect opportunity for someone like Downing, Henderson or Carroll to step up and score, but instead, it's another disappointing result, and it puts even more pressure on next weeks game".

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. Very true, we need to buy a goal scorer. If Kenny puts all his eggs in the Suarez - Gerrard basket..4th will be very difficult indeed as Arsenal have Wilshire, Sagna, Vermahlen to come back ths month - they will subsequently start to win more games...whilst Chelsea have essien and Cahill which will shore up their defence and they too will win more games.

    Gerrard is not going to score regular goals playing so deep, therefore our only hope is that Suarez comes back in Van Persie form as that would definatelty see us through to 4th.

  2. Loving the negativity following the Stoke game. There's been too much on it. I wrote an interesting post before ya know, the team for last years game at home to Stoke was

     Starting Line-ups
    25  Reina
    16  Kyrgiakos
    6  Aurelio
    37  Skrtel
    5  Agger
    2  Johnson
    34  Kelly
    18  Kuyt
    8  Gerrard
    21  Leiva
    4  Meireles
    24  Ngog
    33  Shelvey
    28  Poulsen
    42  Gulacsi
    23  Carragher
    7  Suárez
    17  Rodríguez

    I just wanted to say that to everyone going on about Kenny playing with 5 defenders an wondering why, then that was possibly why, and nobody complained last time, he was a master tactician then. Just a thought.

  3. same ol same ol week in week out. get new players so those guys can compete for place. or give the reserves or youngsters like raheem sterling a go.

  4. so those 3 have scored 3 league goals between them and yet the greatest thing since sliced bread has scored just 5 but nothing is said about suarez

  5. Enough with mouthpiece Steve Nicol already. Will someone please employ him!!!!!!!

    He never shuts up, but has a point here maybe

    Downing has been awful alright, just goes to show that the super crossing stats from previous seasons can be misleading

    Hendo has been ok, Carroll not enough game time and we don't have the wingers to feed him

    Adam has been good, has faded a bit since losing the protection of Lucas. Why is Downing preferred to Adam for some corners. Why don't we exactly replicate what Blackpool did from corners, it's so disappointing

  6. what would you like to say about Suarez ? This is the platform for doing it

  7. too much has been made of tactics in that game, the problem was a lack of quality and invention in the final 3rd which both Nicol & Didi allude to.

  8. Fact is, we changed a lot of players this season and people take time to settle down. Was never convinced by Adam but Henderson is young and Downing is definitely a top 4 player, he just is not playing like one. Carroll has had no service, hasn't looked fit enough a lot of the time and now needs a run of games. When we are playing bottom half teams at home, Carroll and Suarez, when he is back, have to play together. It seems as if nothing has been done to get those two to link up in any way. During the World Cup, Suarez was playing off the left a lot of the time. Considering that he's only scored 5 himself, maybe he should be playing off Carroll. If you have a 35 million striker, you give him a season to get it right, particularly if you are short of goals and he has hardly played this season. Keep Carroll in for the rest of the season, get him proper service and then see how that goes. If you spend that much on a player, you have to back your judgement and risk a season on him.

  9. He was a master tactician then because of the perceived lack of quality hence the need to adapt a team to play the way they did.
    He has since splashed almost £48mln Adam, Henderson, and Downing for the first team to improve on that very team so yes it was tactically astute then but to revert to the same tactics you bought players to avoid going for again shows his team has gone backwards.
    You will also find Meireles was better than his replacement Henderson while the still available Maxi is being ignored yet again keeping in mind he got some action only after many fans and even pundits on liverpoolfc.tv questioned why he was being overlooked after getting 10 goals last season.
    Meireless who had his promise of a wage rise  broken especially when you consider the club wanted to keep him on £30k/week while paying a less effective Henderson £70k/week had no option but seek employment at a club he would get parity and was possibly more valued.
    The stats in the lead up to the game also do not reflect well in that Liverpool already has struggled to score this season so going for more defenders was only likely to make this worse with fewer players on the pitch likely to score.
    The fact that Liverpool are one of the bigger boys being the one forced to change tactics to a more defensive approach against the Stoke shows there is acceptance somewhere in the corridors of power that the team cannot handle Stoke a team not known for their attacking prowess apart from dead-ball situations. 

  10. well said, its getting boring now, id rather talk about suarez evra affair, and thats saying something.
    im stupid though, didnt realise signing these players would bring instant success, silly me. just like chelsea and city bought players like ours and that amount of money and look where they are now.
    il just jump ship shall i?????????

  11. Stoke are a hard team to beat.Their well set up. We lack an out and out goal scorer. We were better on the day and a bit unlucky on the day. Henderson will become a good player he shows a lot of promise and was bought for the future. Dont no about carroll, He needs more games and he's not getting them. Downing needs to put a few good ball across the box for him to get his head onto .I think thats a big problem with carroll and steve g will help fix that.   y.n.w.a

  12. unrealistic people cant see it

  13. wing backs didnt get forward enough, looked like they didnt know if they were full backs or wingers. Plus no one running past the last man. Kyut would run the channels and no one was in the box to cross to. better second half....just, but just didnt gel as a team. Personally i think maxi would have been better with kyut to play between the lines as im still stuggling to figure out who was suppose to play off him!! Sayin that right tactics by Kenny, players didnt implament them the way they should of, totally nullified stoke and theres not many teams who do that.  Work in progress guys....it will come.  YNWA

  14. Yes, totally agree, these guys are not robots, we've changed our team a fair bit in the last year, it is too soon to change it all again. We have the makings of a good team with good players. Players like Downing and Carroll can hit a purple patch at any time, and I'd want them to be playing for us when it happens, not for someone else because we were too impatient. The management have to trust their judgement and find a strategy that gets the best out of these players. If we can get Carroll to fire, and Downing is important for that, then we will be ok. We've all been watching football for long enough to know that players can find their form at any time. One minute a player is called rubbish, next minute they are knocking the goals in. I remember people saying Henry was a flop at Arsenal to start with, same with Gareth Bale at Tottenham. We have to be patient with some players.

  15. Just wondering were you sit at the game Jamie any insite?

  16. With Carragher not playing much, and Johnson being out a lot of the time, and Agger, the defence has virtually changed entirely from last season. Lucas is out now, Gerrard has just returned, Downing has had 6 months, Suarez now is not playing (which might help us later in the season cos he had a long summer) Carroll is only just getting games, Bellamy has just returned. Apart from the right side of midfield, where we probably do need someone, no position, apart from Skrtel, has been consistent. Second half of the season, that can all fall into place. Selling Meireles and Aquilani are the only things that I think we got really wrong.

  17. totally agree Gab, they were both quality players. As for this season we have battered most teams with the exception of spurs, swansea and 2nd half against city. just not convined about carrol tho.

  18. I don't want to repeat myself because Stoke games been discussed at length, I think Kenny got it wrong. But, your telling me he was tactically astute last year, but not this year because of one game? Wow, that's fickle. We have outplayed every team we have played, so how have we gone backwards? We are better after this first Si months then the first six of last season. Judging signings after a season is shocking. Whether old, young, British, African or south American, signings are judged when they leave or at least after longer then six months. How many players don't do anything for the first 6 month or even longer? Crouch, Lucas, Keane (who never got a chance) there's loads. Semi final of a cup, a great chance to beat our rivals out the FA Cup, 5 points off fourth, we have 5 teams who have had more settled management/ownership/prolonged spendingexcellent youth set up then us, we don't have a divine right to be there lets face it.

  19. maxi has been injured. Mereiles has proven to be a big loss

  20. Definitely, a home draw against Stoke is slightly disappointing but not the worst result in the world. As the team settles, with Gerrard back fit, the results will improve. Gerrard is a good captain for telling his team mates what they need to be doing. Once him and Suarez are on the pitch and both fit at the same time, things will pick up.

  21. he works on ESPN Soccernet press pass!

  22. Downing's crossing stats have not been misleading, he is a crossing machine. It's just that his crosses have mostly been pointless. Our crossers tend to punt aimlessly or shoot, forgetting that passes in the final third is also an option.

    I also think it's ridiculous that everyone is clamouring for wingers to feed Carroll when in truth, he is never near enough to the goalmouth when our wide players put their crosses in. The big man needs defence splitting passes off both sides and we do have the players(Gerrard/Shelvey/Adam) who can do it. They just aren't.

    A note on Lucas partnering Adam, it's not just protection because Spearing offers superior protection. Lucas dictates the tempo with his movement and varied urgency on his passes, Adam doesn't have that ability. Lucas also takes Adam everywhere. Spearing seems permanently stationed in front of our back 2.

  23. I personally don't think letting go of Meireles was such a bad idea. He does fit very well with the team and does a decent job but both Henderson and Shelvey are potentially better than he will ever be.

    Aquilani though, that's a different story. He must be our miss of the season! I think if we held on to Aquilani, we could be contenders for the title, or at least relatively comfortably ahead of Chelsea and Arsenal. He has the ability to marshall our attacks and effectively bring Carroll/Henderson/Downing into play. Gerrard and Shelvey have the ability too, but only a fraction of it. Aquilani's vision is exquisite.

  24. The truth is always bitter. Get organised, Kenny.

  25. Please just stop this nonsense with "35 million" striker Carroll.. That is Not his true value!! Why dont people get this??
    Torres was sold way over his market value at 50 million- really he should have been worth no more than 25 m going on his most recent form... 
    Carrolls fee was based on what we got from the Torres deal less 15 million .. hence his true value (if we take out of the equation the last minute panic of both the Torres and Carroll dealt) was 10 million. Which is about right .. 
    We can out of the Torres deal with 15 million spare cash - whether we paid 35 mill , 20 mill or 10 mill - it DOESNT Matter.. The owners have said this, Kenny has said this WHY CANT YOU ALL GET THIS INTO YOUR HEADS!!
    We purchased a young striker who WAS scoring for fun IN THE EPL just before he came to us - if hes done it before HE CAN DO IT AGAIN!! He is much younger than Torres and HE certainly can on his day be a match winner//
    I think its been a bit hard for him settling into everything- new team , new style of play.. more pressure etc etc.. Not easy for a young man of 22 yrs to do overnight..
    So please stop all this nonsense about him being a "35 million" striker hence he needs to be banging in 25 goals a season..
    He was a 10 million signing in my eyes .. and for that money he is worth it as he WILL show in time.. 
    Lay off!!!

  26. JaimieKanwarSupportsManu7:19 am, January 19, 2012

    Stating the obvious again rag head! Change the record!

  27. So. Let me get this straight. We have wasted 35 million for how many goals so far? We should have bagged the Fernando Torres money. That would have been 50 million in the bank. Did you see United go out and panic buy when they sold Ronaldo. NO!! 
    Also get this, going British ain't going anywhere. It's no lie why England don't do well either. How many brit's play abroad? Very few. Apart from Gerrard, Kelly and Bellamy.
    You can throw the other names 
    in the reject box here--->  ___________________________

  28. The biggest thing that strikes me is how boring the games are now. Especially if a player like Suarez is missing. Liverpool are lacking that extra quality in conjuring something special. Kenny is right on one thing, no creativity. Hmmmm. Kind of the way England play. 

  29. Ye I noticed he gave that slacker Downing an earful

  30. we need more "exquisite" players. Know what you mean. No clumsy players.

  31. I remember the game and we were hardly anything great. Just because we won 2-0, doesn't mean it was a impressive formation. We scored the second goal by bringing on Suarez. Kuyt was having a stinker in terms of finishing. We had to rely on our midfielder of the season, Meireles to break the deadlock. Of course, we got the job done, even though it wasn't impressive.

    Despite that unimpressive win against Stoke, KK did a great job in the second half of last season. He wasn't perfect but definitely a great job. 

    Though he/the club had to go and fuck it up in the summer.

  32. Don't see anything from Shelvey or Henderson that suggests they could be better than Meireles.

    Of course, a long time left but the next thing you know it will be three decades, instead of two, since our last title whilst we wait for potential to blossom.

    Sorry but what on earth did Aquilani prove at Roma and Pool. At neither club did he establish himself to be a top player. At both club, he showed glimpses when fit. Glimpses...wow(!) That is all. To suggest he could have possibly elevated us to title contender material is laughable, considering he has done very little to illustrate that sort of form.

  33. Downing? Top 4? I guess maybe the top 4 standards have dropped really low these days? But he is nowhere near Bale, Nani and Valencia, Mata. Rather have bench player Adam Johnson over Downing. Always been a ok winger, Downing. Ideal for a club between 5th-10th and a bench player for 1st-4th.

  34. Hehe, oh you poor bastard. No matter which way you spin it.....Carroll = £35m. Just like Glen da Johnson was laughably £17.5m Get over it.

  35. We keep the ball a lot but we don't 'batter' teams. 

  36. I don't recall Bale getting much grief at all. Barely got any...because even from the beginning, he was progressing well.

    Henry got some stick yes in his first season but he still did well in terms of goals in that season, which made it harsh. Whereas donkeys like Carroll and Downing deserve all the stick they get because they have been rubbish.

  37. Could've fooled me. Downing plays like a robot.

  38. More than half the team we fielded for the last 2 games were English, so it comes as no surprise! The Welshman and the Scot don't make it very different either...

  39. Bale got plenty of questions about his signing. How many games had he played in for Tottenham without being on the winning side? Was it 25 or something ridiculous? The fact they were keeping count suggests they were not suggesting he was a bargain buy. Well, if Carroll can recover even half as well as Henry did, then we will have not done too badly.

  40. This is true, I meant that they are not built with the day to day reliability of a robot! Maybe the imagination of one, though!

    It's great to see these players not performing and then going home and getting into pub fights! Most people who were playing that badly would try not to be seen out getting plastered.

  41. Downing is a top 4 winger. For him not to be, you would need to find 7 wingers in the premier league that you think are better. You've named four up there, could add Ashley Young to that list, Adam Johnson, certainly, who else? And we are 7th in the league.

  42. I don't think we can say Carroll was a 10 million pound striker cos we burned Chelsea for Torres. We broke even on Torres and Babel for Suarez and Carroll. And considering that Carroll hardly played last season, it would have been no problem to keep the 35 million and look to get someone in the summer. That's why i don't want us to buy anyone now, unless it is a first choice signing, someone who will go straight in the team. We have our reserves already, youngsters and half the current first team.

    If the club's attitude is to spend over the odds because we received over the odds, i think that is pretty irresponsible. I don't think that anyone would think it better to spend 35 million, cos it is burning a hole in your pocket, on a player who would not be fit for a month when you signed him, and then call him a 10 million pound player within a year. We'd have been better keeping the 35 million and bringing in a top striker or getting a decent striker and buying someone to play alongside Gerrard, like Tiote or someone like him.

  43. Well, Not sure you would get an international full back for too much less nowadays. Enrique was a steal, due to his contract, But Boswinga cost Chelsea the same and I'd have Johnson over him any day. Johnson has been one of our better players this season.

  44. I disagree, he didn't get anywhere near as much grief as the likes of Hendo and Carroll get. Secondly, it also helped that he didn't have a big transfer fee around his like Carroll and Hendo have, which helped to ease the pressure and lower the grief on Bale. Thirdly, Bale scored more league goals in his first season at Spurs, than Carroll has this season!!! And he was a left back at the time! I think Bale got a in 1 in 2 ratio of goals in his first league season at Spurs. So considering how fans are easily pleased by goals, i think its fair to say Bale got nowhere near the grief that Hendo and Carroll got, in his first season. As a left back, he was a bit dud at defending and played a part in Spurs losing run but the attacking play was still coming through. No surprise he went up a level by moving further forward to left wing. Carroll and Hendo don't have that excuse, they are playing in their best positions but are still cack.

    Have you seen Henry's goal record in his first season Arsenal? It is pretty damn good for a player in his first season, especially for a player who got shot to pieces by the media in Italy whilst at Juve. He got better than 1 in 2 goal record in his season in PL.

    Carroll should stick to trying to emulate Crouch. That is more his level. Though Crouch's first touch and hold up play shits all over Carroll's

  45. Just goes to show low the standards are, if Johnson has been one of our better players this season. His dud defending still comes through in nearly every game but his attacking play easily blinds fans as well as the overall defensive shape of the side. He is a good attacker but when it comes to defending, he is shit for £18m, absolute shit. Kelly shits all over him, in terms of defending at right back.

    Rather have Ivanovic and he was almost half the price. Dani Alves joined Barca for a couple £m more than Johnson and he is 10x the player.

    So I don't fall for 'thats the going rate for a international full back'. If you get in early enough, you can get a proper player at a good price or even a higher price but at least you get a proper player. But instead, we got a £18m that can't defend, got him anyway because he is English. 

    We got ripped off, thats for sure. Just because he is English. But the funny thing is, at the time, not many people thought he was the real deal when at Pompey. Richards/Bale has and has had far more hype. But still we paid over the odds, despite the lack of hype.

  46. Not to me he isn't. 

    If he is high up the list, it just goes to show there is no real depth of good wingers in the league, rather than showing Downing is a good winger. To me anyway. Because Nani, Bale and Mata are miles ahead of Downing, even if Downing somehow makes it to 4th place of wingers in the league.

    Mata, Malouda (admit that he isn't AVB's cup of tea these days), Nani, Valencia, Young, Bale, Lennon, Johnson, etc. More than 7 there. I'd even have Swansea's Dyer over Downing. Even our old Pennant is better and he still isn't good enough for a top 4 side. The likes of Mata, Nani and Bale are on a level that Downing will never even get close to reaching.

  47. well with King Kenny saying he will not be buying any senior team players one has to wonder if Dalglish is operating on the same planet. Is he suggesting the dross that we are witnessing is what we can expect for the next 5 months?? this is madness...why not look to Africa, S.America, Eastern Europe...even Asia for a couple of cheap but quality signings? Any variety to give us a break from the dis-performing Caroll/Downing/Henderson/Kuyt/Adam. I would even throw Glen Johnson in there!

  48. i disagree, can remember thinking man utd didnt miss out on bale because he wasnt living up to the hype.
    agree about downing though

  49. Why's he getting in the England team ahead of most of those English players? Lennon and Johnson seem to be behind him in the pecking order now. Villa voted him their player of the year, ahead of Ashley Young. Young was always going to Man Utd but i think Kenny always wanted Downing before him anyway. Not sure about Pennant, but we definitely should have stumped up the extra 5 million to bring Mata in, but I think that Downing's 'crossing ability' was what got him the nod. Unfortunately, his signing has not led to Carroll getting the nod on anything.

  50. We also got ripped off because Pompey were skint and we thought we would not money that they owed us, so we wrote it off in signing Johnson. Not sure i agree that Kelly is overall better than him but i'd happily see Kuyt out and Kelly in at right back and Johnson pushed forward into midfield. Especially as he appears to be the most succesful at getting crosses into the box. He must offer as much of a goal threat as Kuyt currently does.

    Not sure Alves would ever have come here from Sevilla, and not sure he is any better, defensively, to be honest. Ivanovic would have been a good signing, though.

  51. I don't use the England squad/team selection as a measure of how good a player is or better than other player.

    Just look at Richards. He is easily way better than Johnson and done more in the PL than understudy Kyle Walker. But he can't get in the squad. I'd rather have Walker over Johnson as well but Johnson is first choice right back England. So just goes to show how unreliable your international selection reasoning is.

    So on the basis of your logic, Richards is not as good as Johnson and Walker?

    That would make sense if it were part of a comedy routine.

  52. Defensively, in my view, Kelly is better but of course, full back these days requires more attacking play as well. But that said, I prefer Kelly over Johnson as Johnson's marking and positioning is horrendous at times and the rest of the time very very average. His attacking play, especially in a team that doesn't use him like a Maicon or Dani Alves way (i.e. allow him to bomb forward hell of a lot), doesn't make up for his defensive deficiencies nowhere near enough for a top club defender. 

    Dani Alves plays in a far more attack-minded right wingback role, where the width. That said, he has done a pretty good job of his defensive duties in such a tactical set up. At Sevilla, came across as a very competent defender for a attack-minded player. I think we were after him, a season or two, before Barca came in for him. But couldn't make the deal happen, for whatever reasons and Rafa ended up going for Johnson later....the rest as they say, sadly, is history.

    Ivanovic does get forward but he is more of a Neville kind of full back, more balanced between defending and attacking.

  53. Atleast he had glimpses. Adam and Downing have offered nothing so far. Look at Ba he showed glimpses at West Ham. The thing with Aquilani is his style of play. Look at it, he doesn't shy away from attacking like Downing and Adam. He was the type of play that can put in a useful pass rather than playing an obvious safe pass.