8 Mar 2012

Hislop: Liverpool flop will eventually 'flourish' at Anfield. Is he right?

Over a year after signing for Liverpool, Andy Carroll is still struggling to make a consistent impact at Anfield. The £35m striker has been subject to constant (deserved) criticism for his lacklustre performances, but over the last month there have been encouraging signs of improvement. Be that as it may, I personally don't believe Carroll is the long-term solution for Liverpool, but there are others, such as former Newcastle goalkeeper Shaka Hislop, who believe Carroll can only get better.

Speaking to ESPN on Monday, Hislop was very optimistic about Carroll's future progress at Liverpool. He observed:

"Andy Carroll is at an age where I think he can only get better.

"If you look at Kenny Dalglish's signings, he paid a lot of money for the likes of Henderson and Downing; maybe overpaid some would say, but I always felt that Dalglish was building for the future.

"As much as go on about Andy Carroll's £35m tag, I don't think Liverpool would've paid that money if they didn't get £50m for Fernando Torres.

"Carroll and Suarez for Torres is good business any day of the week, and I think their partnership will flourish in another season".

I agree with Hislop that Carroll is 'at an age where he can only get better', but even if he does get better, is that going to be good enough for Liverpool?

No matter how good Carroll becomes, the fact is he does not fit the Liverpool pass and move style of play, and he arguably never will, and this is why I still cannot understand why Dalglish bought him.

Is it Dalglish's intention to make Liverpool into a typically English long-ball team built around a target man? If the plan is to stick to the club's roots and develop the pass and move philosophy, then why spend £35m on a target man? It just doesn't make sense to me!

The idea that Liverpool only spent £35m on Carroll because they received £50m from the Torres sale is also worrying. Granted, Liverpool's back was against the wall at the end of the transfer window, but to splurge such a huge amount of money on a striker with half a season of Premier League experience just because the money was there? As I said, it's worrying.

I've been one Carroll's biggest critics this season, and I make no apology for that. However, I accept that it's not all his fault. For example: in recent weeks, Carroll's performances have improved, but Dalglish dropped him to the bench for the Arsenal game, then brought him on in the 90th minute.

To be honest, I don't see how that was good for Liverpool or Carroll; the team was losing 2-1 and needed to score; surely it would've been better to give him a fighting chance to make an impact?

Obviously, I hope Carroll comes good but as I noted above, even if he does, I can't see how Liverpool as a team can operate effectively with a big target man up front.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. JK,

    I agree that Carroll doesn't fit the team but the problem is not that a big man little man combo wont work.
    The fact is a Big striker can work BUT he needs to be mobile and quick.
    Carroll is neither of these things and that was the mistake in buying him.
    You can have big mobile technical players who are big  Drogba at his peak...Ibrahimovic etc.
    This again comes down to the Manager you can't escape it no matter which way we look at it.
    Kenny has been poor in the transfer market and shows no signs of rectifying his mistakes.

    The tactics and substitutions compound the confused style of play and the lack of a cohesive strategy.
    You can build for the future but you have to be tactically astute.
    As yet I can't see what future strategy Kenny has or an emerging philosophy and neither can most fans.

    Based on the evidence of a year in charge and a £100 million spent on players with no champions league in sight I'd say this is poor.

    I can only hope that the Owners have a plan B ready because we are falling behind faster.
    When the better players in the team were all previous signings Agger Skertel Lucas (when fit) Rena,Bellamy (signed by Rafa and sold to fund Torres) and the ONLY exception is Suarez YOU HAVE TO QUESTION THE KENNY DALGLISH.

    I'm not calling for Rafa to return but I don't think KD has thus far demonstrated that he can get us challenging for the Premier League and Champions League football.

  2. Seeing as JK has already pointed out the contrasting style of Carroll compared to the team, I'll say no more on that as I agree.

    Carroll has had half a season of regular first team football in the top tier before he signed for us. HALF A SEASON and we paid £35m! Bloody hell. He isn't even technically good, as one should expect from paying big money for a young attacking player. Just another Grant Holt and even that maybe doing a disservice to Holt

  3. Have to agree with both the above posts. And before the paranoid delusionals come on here telling me to lay off King Kenny, he should have to explain what he saw in some of his signings and explain it. If i wasted a significant amount of money at work, I would have to justify my decision. So far, Enrique was a good signing, Coates, time will tell, Adam, average, Henderson, very average, Carroll, average, Downing, very average. I can imagine what he saw in many of these signings but Carroll, at the price, and Henderson strike me as poor signings. And to hear he is looking into players' characters, after signing Suarez, is simply bizarre. Unless he was going to set up like Newcastle, then 35 million was too much, and Henderson never showed that much at Sunderland to go for that amount. The other alternative is that the players were showing more at their previous clubs. Either way, Kenny has failed, he has either signed average players or not managed to train or motivate decent ones. An FA Cup win would save him but, anything less, and he should be gone.

  4. Gabweb who would you replace KD with

  5. Agree, Chan. Over a year later and I still can't get my head around the thought process that led to Liverpool spending so much money on Carroll. It just doesn't compute.

  6. Totally agree, Septimus. as you say, Carroll is neither mobile or quick, and that is a major problem. I know Stan Collymore is maligned by many Liverpool fans but he is a prime example of what a big striker can do at LFC; he was everything Carroll should be: quick, strong, great touch, good technique, and an eye for goal.

    I agree also that so far, Dalglish has not demonstrated that he can get the team challenging. The proof is in the pudding: last season, Liverpool could've finished in 4th too, but just like this season, crap results got in the way.

    Arsenal and Chelsea will not be as poor next season as they are this season; they will both strengthen, as will Spurs and Newcastle. A return to CL football looks as further away now as it ever has.

  7. andy carroll and all the signings dalglish made apart enrique and bellamy are pure shit and we got proper shafted with the millions we have wasted dalglish is shit manager 

  8. Henderson was never needed. We didn't need another center midfielder. To waste 16 million (up to 20 million with add on's) was ridiculous considering the other areas that needed improving (right wing). 
    Carol was a strange bit of business to say the least. I could understand them wanting to get another striker in to make up for Torres leaving but if there was no one decent available they could have waited till the summer. £35 million would have bought us numerous World Class Strikers or if no one who come we could have got two Top Class Strikers instead. We are not Man City and don't have unlimited funds so when we do break the bank we need to get it right. I think Carol could be used more effectively but the team has not been coached to play to his strengths. It would be interesting in years to come to find out the real reasons of his transfer and what the people in charge were hoping to achieve in his purchase. All I can hope is that we manage to get a few top class signings in the summer but it will be hard to fund the money needed. Only time will tell I suppose. 

  9. I'd take a lot of managers to be honest. Looking at the way Bilbao are playing, and their manager has a pretty decent record, Bielsa looks like he knows how to set up a team. Did a good job with Chile, but that is just because I am watching the game at the moment, I don't know enough about him really. 

    I'd take Villas Boas over Dalglish at the moment. At least our egos in the dressing room are less than Chelsea's. If he could have us in Chelsea's position, that would be an improvement, don't you think? He'd have something to prove in our league as well. i thought he was right to get Chelsea to try to play higher up the pitch, but their players weren't having any of it. Otherwise, what about Lambert at Norwich, done a great job there for the last three of seasons. My first choice would have been O'Neill, though, but can't see him leaving Sunderland so soon now. His record has been outstanding for years, I'd have him for England before Redknapp as well. 

  10. I would also like to add that meireles and henderson are similar king of players, and i feel that meireles is a much better player than henderson (who so far has done nothing for us). It would have better better to keep meireles and save the 20mil we spent on henderson. 

    i have to agree, no one at liverpool was thinking when we bought caroll, its really sad that we had to waste 35mil on him, when i am sure if we waited till the summer we could have got a better striker for much less. this was really a panic buy which hasn't worked for us

    i think charlie adam was showing his form when he was partnered with lucas. Since lucas got injured our midfield has been all over the place, even as gerrard came back we were quite poor. 

    i think what was suggested yesterday was right, play gerrard on right and lucas and adam in the middle, bellamy on the left. then we have 2 decent (not world class) wingers who can actually cross the ball. 

    Our defense (esp skrtel) has been the highlight of the season, but reina has been a little suspect this season. 

    i think we badly need a striker and a world class winger to get into the champions league next season. 

  11. Yawn.

    Sorry guys. I don't mean to be a wet blanket on all the gloom and doom around here but I suppose every so often I'll just come back and trot it out.....

    Take a look at Man Utd 1986 - 1992 and then ask when you would have replaced Ferguson.

    Come to think of it, how many of you lot would have liquidated Apple Computers in 1996 and 1997 and 1998 and 1999 and 2000 and 2001? They never got close to 5% of the computer market in that time and needed money from Microsoft to keep going.

    Building dynasties takes time. I firmly believe Dalglish is the right man for the job. I don't believe for one minute that if he hadn't resigned in 1991 as he did that we wouldn't have won the Premiership within 21 years. I really don't.

    Players take time to gel and to find form. Terry McDermott didn't do all that well when he first joined Liverpool, later became a legend. Lucas looks the same.

    We all need to be a little bit patient - and I don't mean until next Sunday. 

    There's more to supporting a team than moaning you know. 

    If I was going to replace Kenny though I think I'd want to find a manager who played at a reasonably high level, but more importantly one who was groomed by Paisley and Fagan and Shakily. Perhaps even someone who's managed to win every honour as a manager in the English game.

    Oh hang on.....that would be the one we've already got :)


    PS - Shankly gave Kenny his trial at Liverpool in the 60's and Kenny kept close to him after he joined.

  12. What has Kenny done since he was last here that approaches anything like winning a European trophy with Aberdeen? Hear this all the time, but Ferguson had credentials when he was at Man Utd, who had been failing for a long time. Dalglish's credentials are from a bygone era when football was a completely different game. He doesn't have a Blackburn type advantage anymore and even that was eons ago now.

    There's more to supporting a team than not realising that average teams are above and right behind you and not realising that this is a serious problem. How long have Newcastle taken to gel?

    Building dynasties? You have to be kidding.

    Apple and microsoft is a totally different scenario and has nothing to do with this at all.

  13. Er Kenny's team just won the Carling Cup. As they're not in Europe they can't win a European trophy.

    What did Ferguson's European trophies do for him by 1992?  
    That's a bit selective anyway, Ferguson's experience counts but winning titles at Liverpool and Blackburn doesn't? What's the cutoff - 10 years means your good but 11 doesn't?

    I love this idea that football used to be a different game. People say it so it must be true. In which case no doubt Barnes, Cantona, Rush, Fowler and even Dalglish just wouldn't cut it in the modern game. Last time I watched the game it was 11 men trying to make sure they scored more goals than the other 11 men.

    Newcastle are doing really well this season. Good luck to them they're a great club and their fans have suffered far more than we have. How did they do last season though? How will they do next season? That's actually making my point for me.

    Building dynasties takes time. No, I'm not kidding. Football is not "One Manager and His Chequebook", It's about having the right people in place across all levels of the club long-term. 

    Why is Apple a different scenario? It took them several years to execute their plan - and they did have a plan. If they'd changed CEO every year they wouldn't have achieved anything. Management is management - it takes time to execute a strategy and even then you can take wrong turns and profit from the experience. Even if the signings don't work out it doesn't mean a good manager can't readjust, that's the skill of management but if you want good management you have to give the manager time.

    As I said, I think everyone should calm down a bit. 

    I think Kenny's the right man for the job. No nostalgia, no sentimentality but then I realize that these things take some time.

    One last thing. Much as I hated the result, I really enjoyed watching Liverpool put Arsenal against the ropes the other day.