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Andy Carroll….. Overrated or Overpriced?

Andy Carroll, at the age of 24 is seen by many football fans across the nation to be overrated. Is he really overrated?…. or, has he just been overpriced?

Andy Carroll was a promising young player at his home club of Newcastle United. Carroll was signed by Premier League side Liverpool for a huge fee of £35 million on the 31st of January 2011, making Carroll the eighth most expensive player in the world at the time. This transfer fee grabbed many headlines and placed the spotlight firmly on Liverpool’s new wonder-kid. Upon Carroll’s departure from Tyneside, Alan Shearer stated that Carroll was “a huge loss” to the club, a clear indication as to how highly thought of Carroll was at Newcastle. Carroll was given the number 9 shirt at Liverpool, previously worn by Fernando Torres who left the club at the same time in which Carroll joined. Torres left Liverpool for a record transfer fee of £50 million to move to rivals Chelsea. Carroll was seen by then Liverpool boss, Kenny Dalglish as a replacement to Torres along with fellow new signing Luis Suarez. It took Carroll until the 11th of April to finally get his name on the score sheet at Liverpool, Carroll bagged a highly impressive double against Manchester City. Former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch, like Carroll did not have an instant impact for Liverpool in terms of scoring goals, once Crouch finally did score his first goal for the Merseyside club, he proceeded to go on an impressive goalscoring run , many fans expected Carroll to emulate Crouch’s success however, Carroll failed to score another goal that season.

The following season, Carroll turned in a series of lacklustre performances for Liverpool. Arguably his greatest moment was in the semi-final of the FA Cup in which Carroll scored a dramatic last-gasp winner against Liverpool’s fierce rivals Everton, Liverpool player Jamie Carragher rather jokingly stated that Carroll’s goal was “worth the £35million itself”. This brief moment of success, accompanied by Liverpool’s Capital One Cup win were Carroll’s only real highlights of the 2011/2012 season. By the end of the 2011/2012 season, Carroll’s stay at Liverpool looked to be over as he signed for West Ham United on a season-long loan deal with the view of the deal becoming permanent. Carroll scored 6 goals in 44 appearances for Liverpool. Thus, he left Anfield on a particularly sour note as the fans placed a lot of blame on his poor performances as a key reason as to why Liverpool performed below expectations throughout the season.

Take the story of Andy Carroll back a number of years, he made his first-team debut with Newcastle at the tender age of 17 on the 2nd of November 2006 in the UEFA Cup against Palermo making him the youngest player to represent Newcastle in european football, a title he is very proud of as he is a passionate Newcastle fan. In 2007, Carroll scored his first senior goal against Italian giants Juventus, after the match, legendary Juventus and Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon stated that Carroll had “a big future” a compliment in anyones mind within the world of football. Newcastle were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2008/2009 season, this provided the catalyst for many first-team players such as ; Michael Owen, Obafemi Martins and Mark Viduka to leave Newcastle, this gave Carroll his first real opportunity to play for the Newcastle first-team on a regular basis. Carroll finished the 2009/2010 season with 17 league goals, finishing as Newcastle’s top goal-scorer. Andy Carroll, in the 2009/2010 season showed the potential of becoming a world-class target man, he possessed vital traits ; he had a fierce shot, he could bring his teammates into the game with his great heading ability and used his huge 6ft 3inch frame to protect the ball in key areas of the park. Newcastle legend Kevin Keegan claimed that Carroll was “in the top three headers of a ball I have ever seen” showing that throughout the season, Carroll had displayed the traits of a formidable player.

The start of the 2010/2011 season began with Newcastle in the Premier Division, Carroll was hailed by the Tyneside faithful as a key member of the team in Newcastle’s promotion back to the ‘big league’. Carroll was given the number 9 shirt at Newcastle which is of extreme importance to the Newcastle fans as it was previously worn by club legends Jackie Milburn and Alan Shearer. Carroll started the season brightly by scoring his first hat-trick in the 6-0 demolition of Aston Villa. Only a matter of weeks after captaining Newcastle for the first time, Carroll signed a 5 year contract with Newcastle in October 2010, when signing for the club he was regarded by managing director Derek Llambias to be “the future of the club”.

On the 31st Of January 2011, Carroll signed for Liverpool for £35 million.

During his season-long loan at West Ham United Carroll played exceptionally well. He and Kevin Nolan produced a formidable partnership. Carroll played so well, scoring 7 goals in 24 appearances, that Hammers boss Sam Allardyce signed Carroll for a fee of £15 million.

Carroll’s move from Anfield to Upton Park has helped him rejuvenate his career as he is now playing in a side who rely more on his physical presence similarly to the way in which Newcastle did.

Andy Carroll’s short career has sparked much debate with many believing that he isn’t a player of Premier League quality and thus overrated.  This argument has been met by opposition who believe that Liverpool’s purchase of Carroll was no more than a panic buy, a desperate bid to replace their star-striker Fernando Torres. They also believe that Carroll was forced into the spotlight without the required current ability or mental strength to cope with the 35 million price tag attached to him, believing that Carroll was overpriced.

So, Andy Carroll, simply overrated? Or was he overpriced by Liverpool?

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