9 Feb 2012

LFC Legend tells Carroll: Don't worry - I was 'horrific' for Liverpool too...

Peter Beardsley was a fantastic player for Liverpool, and alongside John Barnes, Ray Houghton and John Aldridge, he was an integral part of that exciting attacking quartet that dominated the league in the 1987-88 season. Being a Geordie, Beardsley has a lot of sympathy for Andy Carroll, and yesterday, he made a valiant attempt to defend the Liverpool striker's inconsistent form.

This season, Carroll has scored a meagre three league goals in five months, and although his form has improved over the last couple of games, his goal return still leaves a lot to be desired.

Speaking to TalkSport yesterday, Beardsley compared the start of his own Liverpool career with Carroll's. He said:

"For the first six months of my liverpool career I was horrific, and I really mean that, I was horrific.

"I scored three goals in that time, and then just after Christmas, I scored two goals on boxing day and I never looked back.

"Hopefully that's going to be the same for Andy; once he gets a couple of goals, he'll be off and running"

Horrific? That's admirably modest but it's the complete opposite of the truth. Comparing Beardsley and Carroll is like comparing John Barnes and Stewart Downing, i.e. it doesn't compute.

* Beardsley actually scored 4 league goals prior to Boxing Day, not 3.

* He may not have scored regularly in his first 4 months, but Beardsley chipped in with lots of assists too, and was absolutely integral to Liverpool's attacking play.

* Liverpool were unbeaten in the league between August and Boxing Day, and scored 49 league goals along the way, which gives some indication of Beardsley's personal impact. Compare that to Liverpool's league performance with Carroll in the team. There's just no comparison.

So - definitely NOT horrific! I remember watching the team that year, and it was an absolute privilege to see the likes of Barnes, Beardsley and Aldridge in action.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. JK - would it be accurate to say that Suarez's play is perhaps as similarly important to the current LFC side compared to Beardsley's play in his first 1-2 years?

  2. Beardsley is way too modest..A fantastic player. If I had the Delorean I would go back to those days.Anfield was a better place...The world was a better place

  3. Pedro had proper pedigree behind him as well, i.e., he already showed he could do the business at Newcastle for a good few years before joining us, whereas Carroll has had a very short time at Newcastle as a first team regular in the premier league. So we were more confident in what we were getting, with Beardsley than say with Carroll. Like you say/implied, Beardsley wasn't all about goals but also about link up play too.

  4. Ignoring his finishing problems and behaviour, Suarez is certainly a big player for us in terms of getting us going at the moment. Him and to a lesser extent, Bellars, are a huge 'catalyst' players for us now. Stevie G is still feeling his way back into things.

  5. Beardsley was top drawer quality. How old was he when he joined LFC?More experienced and established than Andy Carroll.

    Seem to remember a certain Ian Rush struggle possibly worse that Carroll when he joined and himself contemplate leaving Anfield but stuck with it and the rest as they say is history. I am not implying Carroll will ever emulate Rushie but highlighting the fact it is never easy joining such a huge club as Liverpool, especially when you are relatively inexperienced as Carroll is at the top flight.
    Stats and figures tell you one thing, watching matches will often tell you something completely different.

  6. Actually, Pedro was a shoe in for his position. He was exactly what we needed. He had to fit in and he was bought to fit. Carroll was adding something our team didn't already have, so it's no surprise it took so long before we started seeing what he's good for.

    Pedro slotted into an established and experienced back line. He was the only newcomer to feature regularly and our defenders don't rely as heavily on most of our midfielders as our attackers do. We've had 2 new central mids who were getting regular starts in Gerrard's absence and Carroll was 1 of 2 new forwards. Taking out our defensive mid, that meant at least 4 new attack minded players out of 5 for most games (if not all 5, including Downing) who had never spent a season together, and when Gerrard returned, they all had to adjust to him and him to them. It was not till Gerrard returned that we saw 2 or more of the new boys benched regularly. (I didn't count Bellars as a new boy as he was with us in 06-07).

    While I will call Kenny's bluff on our lack of luck, I will not say we've failed to sign quality or that we lack finishers. Our attacks lack coordination and finesse and that's what you get with that many strangers amongst our attack minded starters. Adam doesn't know how he would be supported, Carroll didn't know how he could support our attack, Henderson doesn't know when he's covered and what help he could offer our forwards, Downing and Suarez are doing their own thing only to find no one to capitalise on their work. Up till recently when Carroll has been playing our senior forwards in, how many of our misses came from team efforts?

    When we had Torres, it was almost always "Gerrard... Torres... GOAL!" The team back then functioned around Gerrard. Alonso set up our attackers and suppliers around Gerrard and Torres was there to put the crowning touches on Gerrard's play. We had a system that Rafa never made wholesale changes to, and when that team which he started creating in 05 was perfected in 08, we started scoring for fun.

    For the first half of the season, Adam, Carroll, Downing and Henderson took their turns getting blasted by us, and if you look at Suarez's goal return, for such a prolific scorer previously, he too has been underwhelming. These are players of proven quality, and that they've been poor for us is a logical consequence of not having gelled. For them to look good, they have to operate instinctively as part of a team, and this is what this season has been about. It is unsurprising that these are our underperformers and that they aren't putting in the goals and assists they ought to.

  7. With signing so many first team players in such a short space of time, its a waiting game. Wait-and-see game, to see whether they can be a success together. 

    Its a legit excuse, 'they need time to gel together' but of course, there is always a rough expiry on that. 

    But wholesale purchases have been a success from their first season (look at Chelsea, under Jose, bought so many players and from the off, they were formidable (for me, the toughest team ever in the PL era)). So I do think sometimes people's criticisms of new signings are realistic and justified, as there is like a standard of performances one expects from first season players. 

    Though I agree in general, even if they do deserve criticism at the moment, they still need to be given time. 

  8. but jose spent 20mill+ on most the players he bought!! tough team though.
    your right patience is needed

  9. unfortunatly, today is all about instant success, we have a great first 11 to build around, that includes carroll for me, only one player that i cant see improving and thats downing, hope im wrong. look how skrtel has come on to be an awsome player for us, and lucas goes without saying. being a top 4 team again aint far away, but being title contenders is a wee bit further!
    all we can do is support the best we can

  10. Ummmm....how about stop living in the past - they were great years but they are over! Get behind the current crop until the end of the season and stop knocking the lads down - with confidence, Andy Carroll is a beast up front who scores for fun. Similarly, Sterwart Downing is a quality wide player who was massively favoured over a certain Ashley Young for player of the season last year at Aston Villa. 

    The pressure of joining a big club with fans who seem to be more nostalgic than realistic is immense - as a trader at an investment bank during the market crash personally, I can't even compare my situation at the time to the current stress our boys are under. 

    Hows about we all start to look at the positives - 4 wins out of 12 at home is poor, but glass half full perspective would be one of only five unbeaten clubs at home in the entire football league....Andy Carroll has looked much better recently and long may his progress continue. 

    With more confidence, Liverpool FC at the moment can beat any other team in the League - we have already outplayed both Manchester clubs, Arsenal and Chelsea and simply need to start finishing off the smaller teams to be right up there at the end of the campaign - I am still confident of finishing 4th - our run in is easier than Arsenal and Chelsea and with the 12th man in the stands we can start to improve the confidence and ultimately finishing of the team.

    Stop bashing the lads and get behind them!!!!

  11. Regardless of price, it still takes time to settle in and some players don't even settle sometimes!

    The likes of Drogba, Essien and Carvalho didn't come from another PL side or even one of the top three leagues, they came from France and Portugal. 

    Yes, he spent big money but regardless of the money, to get all those players playing together as a unit and winning the league in the first season is a outstanding achievement. Its not easy to spend big money and get success straightaway, as seen by KK and his struggle for 4th this season.

    I just hope Carroll isn't the equivalent of SWP at Chelsea

  12. If Carroll had John Barnes playing alongside him, he would have scored a lot more goals than he has to date. A few more goals to go with his improved performances and people will be shouting 'Carroll for England' by the summer, so they can slaughter him over the summer and we can be back to square one come August.

    If we had Barnes and Beardsley we wouldn't be looking at 8 home draws this season, either. The lack of creativity in our team is an issue and until we learn how to carve open inferior sides we will continue to struggle. We can't blame it all on our strikers.

  13. You might 'seem to remember' Rushie struggling worse than Carroll but I'm afraid it's  a faulty memory. He took time to start scoring, true, but his contributions were very good. Carroll is - please let's be honest - a total waste of space. Slow moving, slow thinking, dreadful control and not even any good in the air. The worst aspect is that KD insists on pretending the cripple is playing well. Come on Kenny!

  14. Are you referring to the three goals Carroll has scored from about 150 opportunities? He is a beast, yes. He's a useless big donkey.
    Downing, whom you rate so highly, has mustered NO league goals at all! As for Henderson...dear God, what an embarrassment. When you remember the players we used to have it's pretty tough to watch the total mediocrities we have now. You seem to have never seen any quality players at Anfield - maybe that's why you don't realise how dreadful this crop are.

  15. We can certainly blame  a lot on Carroll, a Sunday League player at best.

  16. If Carroll had a decent midfield providing service, like Beardsley did...
    Instead, he's got Adam. If you pay £8m for a player from a relegation team you get what Liverpool got, a very average player. He's got Downing, who is absolutely anonymous. £20m? You have got to be joking. On the right? Kuyt?

    If Carroll is not getting service from midfield or the wings, then he can't be blamed. When a club (Newcastle) used him properly, he was unplayable. 

  17. Marcus Stewart was once upon a time unplayable....the emphasis on 'once'

  18. You haven't seen our last 2 or 3 matches have you? Carroll may not have scored, but he was immense, excellent in the air, hardly slow and controlled the ball well. He only lacked composure. The control he displayed to set himself up for his woeful miss last game was far from dreadful. If he didn't rush the shot, he would've buried it.

  19. He was solid but 'immense' is rather o.t.t, in my view. Each to their own I guess. 

    In terms of level of performance and quality, he was hardly Didier Drogba, the ideal big centre forward of recent times. Carroll has been more of a Bobby Zamora, in his last few performances. 

    I guess it maybe a case of Carroll putting in some real dud performances in the recent past, that we have to grab onto any signs of improvement and hype it up. Thats how I view it anyway.He put in a solid shift in the last few games but the standard has been and must be much higher at a club like ours. With all due respect to the following clubs, we are not Fulham, West Ham, Bolton, etc.Its good to see Carroll improving though and hopefully he will continue to improve significantly. 

  20. Beardsley's autobiography was one of the first I ever read. He was a phenomenal talent for us and I can see Suarez fitting into that mould over the next few seasons. This is very similar to the position that Dalglish himself had at Liverpool, sitting behind Rush, like the Gerrard & Torres partnership which, incidentely, I'd love to see once again - regardless of what happened last January!

  21. You talk absolute rubbish pal.

  22. I dont see Carroll as a bad player just one that the club paid too much money for hardly his fault really.
    He will get better and score more but i am doubtful he will ever be a superstar.

  23. Yes, but Liverpool had better players and more strength compared to other teams so 4 goals for such a strong team is a about the same as Carroll's effect so far. 

    He was over-payed, yes, don't blame him, you can blame Dalglish or Comoli but not Andy. Let's focus on positives, he is playing better and better, getting more and more duels won, hopefully he will be able to provide some chances for Suarez before he starts scoring regularly himself. 

  24. Sounds like Beardsley might have been worse than Carroll, i mean if Beardsley scored only managed 4 whilst playing in a well oiled machine like the Liverpool of that day. Then I'd say Carroll has achieved at least the same if not better whilst playing in an inferior team !!! 

  25. No doubt JK you would find fault with the players and team performance during those title winning years :) 

  26. Beardsley worse than Carroll? You should be locked in the tower of London for that ;-)

    Carroll is a striker; Beardsley wasn't an out and out striker; Liverpool had John Aldridge for that. Plus, you're forgetting the 10+ assists beardo chipped in with during the same period, so he was responsible for lots of Liverpool goals.

  27. Pedro was part of the reason why it was so 'well oiled' and secondly, he did a lot more on the pitch than just looking for goals. So I wouldn't get too carried away.

  28. Only Dalglish's rude and miserable press conferences. Some things never change (!)

  29. You are a shrewd type, it's obvious from your prose style and choice of words, but I have to make it clear I am rather picky about my pals and you don't qualify. By the way, if Carroll was playing in the Sunday League he'd be just another performer - nobody would comment on him. I think you're being misled into overrating him because of his impressive goal tally. Three, is it? 35,000,000 quid. You do the maths ( if you can ). You're 27 and never saw Hunt, Rush, St John, Keegan, Heighway etc etc Carroll isn't fit to wash their jock straps. Take it from someone who did see them.

  30. The pals you would 'pick' probably talk absolute rubbish too. Loving the sarcasm. I'm 27 as I said, so I saw Rush (must be YOUR maths that leaves a lot to be desired), and I also have dvd's of the others, beautiful thing these mod cons us 27 year olds have, another thing we have is the ability to be patronising the same as you. A striker is judged on goals, he was never worth 35 mil, but he's starting to improve. If you are not talking rubbish with your 'Sunday league at best comments' then your football knowledge is the same as my 5 year old sisters. I bet you struggle on Championship Manager! Carroll is playing for Liverpool, Dalglish (who played with some of the players you mentioned) judged that Carroll is a premiership player, so too did Comolli Hughton, Shearer and all of the other managers that have complimented him. Aswell as this Capello also rated him. Now, I'm rather picky about people who's opinions on football I respect, and, pal, you don't qualify.