West Ham United: Will Andy Carroll prove Rodgers wrong at Upton Park?
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers finally got his wish last night when Andy Carroll agreed to leave Anfield and join West Ham United in a season-long loan. The former Swansea boss had no room for Carroll in his plans and wanted him out in order to bring new faces in, but will the big striker prove Rodgers wrong at Upton Park?
Andy Carroll is a brute of a man. He is 6ft 3in tall, built like a machine and makes even the toughest defender look like a wimp. He is a throw back to the traditional English centre forward. You will find no-one better than him in the air. He has quick feet and a fierce strike. In fact, Carroll has possesses everything he needs to be a star in the game.
At Newcastle Carroll was the Mags' main goal threat; everything was built around him. Unfortunately that wasn't the case at Liverpool and the big man struggled to live up to his mammoth price tag. Carroll managed only two goals in his first season and could only double that in the Premier League in the following campaign. He looked withdrawn and a bit overwhelmed by the whole experience.
However, towards the end of last season we started to see shades of the Andy Carroll we all knew and loved. He was bullying defenders, striving to be on the end of every ball and was determined to make everyone eat their words. His performance as a sub against Chelsea in the FA Cup Final was frightening and helped convince Roy Hodgson to take him to the Euros.
Carroll scored for England against Sweden with a trademark header and everyone was buzzing about the season ahead. Everyone bar Brendan Rodgers. The former Swansea boss took over from Kenny Dalglish and Rodgers has his own philosophy about how the game should be played. He was adamant that Carroll would only be a bit part player if he stayed at Anfield.
That must have been hard to take. Carroll didn't even have a chance to prove himself to the new manager. Even though he wanted to stay and fight for his place at Anfield, Rodgers was pushing him towards the door. The finally nail in the coffin came when Rodgers decided to omit him from the Europa League squad. That was Carroll's cue to leave.
West Ham United and Newcastle had enquired about Carroll over the summer, but it was the Hammers who were desperate to help the 23-year-old resurrect his career. It will be that confidence shown in him by Sam Allardyce, who worked with him briefly at Newcastle, which should get the best out of the striker and possibly make Liverpool fans scrutinise the decision of their manager, as the Reds are left with no plan B in attack.
Big Sam was a player in a similar mould to Carroll and he will be able to pass on his experience to assist and help with his development. The fact that his former Newcastle captain Kevin Nolan is also at West Ham will also be a great help for Carroll. The striker will finally feel wanted, with a manager who will play to his strengths and a team-mate in Nolan who knows exactly what makes him tick.
West Ham need goals to stay up this season and Andy Carroll will guarantee that. Although he had a dry spell at Liverpool, Carroll netted 11 Premier League goals in 19 appearances for Newcastle before moving to Liverpool.
The Hammers were desperate to get their hands on Carroll. Now they have him, they will be hoping he hits the ground running.
Calling all West Ham fans: What are your views on the arrival of Andy Carroll? Do you think he will be a success at Upton Park? Are you concerned that having a big man up front will see West Ham becoming more direct in their style of play? Do you think Big Sam will have to release some players now before the window closes? Whatever your view, we'd love to hear from you.
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