Monday, February 18

How good is Andy Carroll?

The success of West Ham’s season will surely rest upon the form of Andy Carroll. The big Geordie still divides opinion, and after the Villa game received some criticism. How good is he? He was clearly overpriced at £35 million when Liverpool signed him, but my instincts still suggest he’s a decent player. Though West Ham fans can be wrong of course. Think of that infamous YouTube clip of a fan in 1996 telling Harry Redknapp that Frank Lampard shouldn’t be in the team and young Scott Canham was a much better bet.

Carroll scored his first goal for Newcastle against West Ham (but then everyone does that…) while sporting a dodgy braided Barnet. He impressed when they won the Championship and back in the Premier League he scored a fantastic headed winner at Arsenal andhelped demolish Sunderland in a 5-1 win and of course, headed the winner at Upton Park as Chris Hughton’s men beat us 2-1.

While Carroll struggled at Liverpool, it’s often forgotten that he scored the winner in the FA Cup semi-final against Everton and scored and hit the bar in the final against Chelsea in a forceful cameo. Encouragingly he’s a big-game player, having scored on his England debut and added a thumping header in the Euros against Sweden. He’s also more than a battering ram. His skill on the ground is underrated, his lay-offs with feet and chest are normally good and he has a fine left foot shot. Watching Match of the Day last season Big Andy produced a fantastic overhead kick against Swansea that resulted in an equally superb save from Vorm. Of course he can look laboured at times, but that moment suggested he’s something more than the new Bob Latchford. Though, I have admit, his hair style is indefensible.

The biggest problem has been the lack of support from midfield. As we saw at Villa, pleying Carroll alone up front doesn’t work. What about trying to play the apparently undroppable  Nolan just behind Carroll and a second striker? Carroll has a lot to prove to Liverpool and us, but the raw talent is there as we saw against Swansea. Now we have to perfect the system to bring it out.


Zac Taylor said...

I think he is basically a white Carlton Cole, they both do the same job, win headers and do lat offs

Pete May said...

I think Carroll's got a bit more skill than Carlton and is better in the air - though I could be wrong… and his scoring rate at Newcastle was higher than CC's. And he's managed to score twice for England which is more than Carlton did. Though a lot will depend on how much he wants it... I like Cole though he's never been the same since injuries too their toll.

Anonymous said...

Andy Carroll is a big donkey in my opinion, biggest waste of 35 million pounds in the history of football, England are now trying to play technical and fluid football. Carroll has the touch of an elephant and a hippopotamus and should be nowhere near the england side, he hasn't got the technical ability like to lead the line. Carroll is however good for player for sam Alardyce who uses long ball, outdated and ancient tactics