Monday, January 4

Super Andy Carroll

A really impressive performance from Andy Carroll against Liverpool. it wasn't just his goal; he looked more mobile than he has for a long time, terrorising the Liverpool defence and also doing some great defensive work at corners.

Though as several papers have reported, there was a post-match warning from Slaven Bilic to keep working hard: “He looks really good and fit and it’s all about him now. Is he going to maintain and progress and look after himself, or is he going to go the other way? He has history in that and I’m not his dad, I can’t demand things from him. But I’m expecting that to be fair.”

The Guardian also notes that Sam Allardyce said in his autobiography of Carroll: "He treats life too casually. He also gets himself into situations off the pitch which a manager can do without – and so can he.”

There's a hint of Frank McAvennie about Carroll. I like the fact that he plays football with a smile like the working-class players of old and dates Towie babes and seems to have a new bairn every other month (that's two now with Billi). We can't all be boring James Milner. But clearly at 26 such an injury-prone player also has to work really hard from now on in. If he continues to play like he did on Saturday he can be unstoppable and he might finally develop into the complete striker that we've been looking for.

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