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Scribes Q&A: Part I of several. Join in!

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rossipersempre:
1. What were your initial thoughts about us replacing Torres with Carroll?
Like most, I knew we were having problems with Torres, his body language said it all, but never suspected he'd pull such a stunt especially as we'd just (finally) landed a player like Suarez, a real statement of intent. After the feeling of shock and betrayal (fucking Chelsea?) died down a little, I felt that second wave of nausea when it transpired we were prepared to pay £35m for Andy Carroll. It seemed (and still does if I'm honest) a panic purchase, a PR stunt by Henry & Werner to prove that we weren't a selling club. The fact our first choice was a far superior and proven player like Fernando (Torres) Llorente and we were knocked back says to me we were intent on buying anyone as a panacea to the fans, rather than wait for the summer market when a more calm and rational approach could be taken not to mention a greater availability of players (*cough* Aguero *cough*). And I think that was a big mistake. I still do, but it is what it is.


2. Do you think the £35M price tag is a burden for Liverpool & Carroll?
Of course it is, and anyone who says not is deluded. It affects the way the club treats him in terms of playing time (you don't routinely bench a player and record signing) and it increases the pressure on Carroll to deliver. The key of course lies in relieving that pressure on both parties and I can think of no other person better equipped to do that than Kenny.


3. How would you describe Andy's performances thus far?
Hit and miss. He clearly has potential, but it remains to be seen whether or not he can fulfill it at Anfield given the contrast between the system he is used to playing and how we do (Carragher aside). Heart says yes, head says no, and whilst I'm more than happy to give him time to adapt, if I'm being brutally honest, I would not be surprised to see a £20m-ish move at the end of this or early next season if he doesn't step up and adapt his game.


4. What would you describe as Andy Carroll's strengths and weaknesses?
Heading and left peg are strong. Mobility and link-up play remains a worry, the former more than the inevitable latter. He also seems to have a good attitude and seems to really grasp just what an honour it is to play for our club. That will hold him in good stead.


5. Some people say Andy Carroll needs to adapt to Liverpool, others say Liverpool need to adapt to Andy Carroll. Most think it's a bit of both, what are your thoughts?
Common sense says it ought to be him adapting to us. That's how great teams are built. Except I can't see how he will given our pass-and-move philosophy. The best I can see is that he provides more of a standalone option, an add-on striker, in the way that Crouch was successful with us. Problem being is that like Crouch, that option becomes surplus to requirements once a more suited option becomes available.


6. Finally, how do you see Andy doing for the rest of this season, and looking further forward, his Liverpool career?
This is very much a make or break season for him. He does well, steps up, looks sharp and bangs in a fair few goals, and he'll be fine. If not and he takes some knocks and has a stop-start season as a result, and the doubts (and knives) will be out. Sad but inevitable. See question 2.

Malaysian Kopite:
1. Cast your mind back to January 31st. Liverpool have announced that Fernando Torres wants to leave and is about to join Chelsea. News then breaks that Liverpool have had a bid accepted for Newcastle striker Andy Carroll. What were your initial thoughts about us replacing Torres with Carroll?

-I was rather disappointed. Torres, despite having a terrible season by his usual standards was a gem of a player and Carroll was rather unproven.

2. Do you think the £35M price tag is a burden for Liverpool & Carroll?

-Unfortunately, yes. At any opportunity, his price tag will be brought up.

3. How would you describe Andy's performances thus far?

- Slightly above average. It would be unfair to judge him last season when he was recovering from injury although he had a superb game against Man City. This season he hasn't been very impressive yet. His best performance I would say was against Wolves.

4. What would you describe as Andy Carroll's strengths and weaknesses?

-Plenty has been said about his heading ability, so Im going to call attention on one his other other strengths, his impressive passing ability for a striker. Look at that ball he played to Suarez when he hit the post against City. It was simply brilliant. Apart from that, he's got a good shot on him and is good with his weaker foot as well.As for his weaknesses, he's not the most mobile player and due to his height, too many decisions go against him.

5. Some people say Andy Carroll needs to adapt to Liverpool, others say Liverpool need to adapt to Andy Carroll. Most think it's a bit of both, what are your thoughts?

-More of Liverpool needing to adapt to Andy than vice versa.

6. Finally, how do you see Andy doing for the rest of this season, and looking further forward, his Liverpool career?

-This season I think he's good value for 10-15 goals as well as proving to be an important squad member. I think Andy will only come into his own 2 to 3 seasons down the road, but when he does, it might just be worth the wait.

WOOLTONIAN:
1. Cast your mind back to January 31st. Liverpool have announced that Fernando Torres wants to leave and is about to join Chelsea. News then breaks that Liverpool have had a bid accepted for Newcastle striker Andy Carroll. What were your initial thoughts about us replacing Torres with Carroll?

Very Disappointed in Torres, thought he was above being a money grabber. Had only seen Carrol twice but I liked what I'd seen.

2. Do you think the £35M price tag is a burden for Liverpool & Carroll?

I thought 1 million for Trevor Francis was ridiculous many years ago. Nowadays I ignore all costs.

3. How would you describe Andy's performances thus far?

Too infrequent. Strikers need to play regular football wether scoring every week or not. It will not help him being in and out every other game.

4. What would you describe as Andy Carroll's strengths and weaknesses?

Has the build of a Sherman Tank perfect for holding the ball up away from home. Would be a great foil for Suarez if they were to be given a chance to build a partnership.


5. Some people say Andy Carroll needs to adapt to Liverpool, others say Liverpool need to adapt to Andy Carroll. Most think it's a bit of both, what are your thoughts?

Watching us crossing high balls without him is frustrating. Watching us NOT cross high balls with him is frustrating.
When he does play we need to find a player who knows how to take a corner. Some of our corners if not most are pathetic.

6. Finally, how do you see Andy doing for the rest of this season, and looking further forward, his Liverpool career?

If he gets a regular slot and we practise set pieces, he will be an asset. If he is allowed to make a partnership with Suarez, both will benefit. If we insist he must change his game to suit Liverpool, I think we've wasted our money.
We bought a big strong centre forward if we dont supply him with bullets he will never score.

Summary
I like what I've seen of Carrol but he will always be a Shire Horse not Nijinski.

jooneyisdagod:
1. Cast your mind back to January 31st. Liverpool have announced that Fernando Torres wants to leave and is about to join Chelsea. News then breaks that Liverpool have had a bid accepted for Newcastle striker Andy Carroll. What were your initial thoughts about us replacing Torres with Carroll?

First thoughts ?  Can't be written here without a large amount of swearing but lets just say what the fuck will suffice.  However as the dust settled and the initial sadness of seeing a much loved player leave in the manner he did and Torres became dead to me, I looked at the Carroll deal and thought we overpaid but at the same time found myself asking the question, ''What would be my reaction if the Mancs had spent the same cash on him ?'' and in all honesty I used to placate the feeling that we had overpaid for him grossly.  That said I did like what I had seen of him which admittedly wasn't much.  The first time I really watched him closely was the game against us when he scored that stunning goal from outside the box and I thought he was quite talented if raw.  So, I wasn't against signing the player itself.  And in all honesty, I have really liked how respectful he has been since he got here and seems to have a decent head on him at least until he goes out on the piss or when he is meeting Kenny at Boyzone concerts !



2. Do you think the £35M price tag is a burden for Liverpool & Carroll?


I think it is a massive burden actually.  Lachesis made the point and quite beautifully may I add that spending 35m on a player who doesn't seem to start every game leads to the inevitable question of whether the money could have been invested somewhere else.  He brings up the example of Downing and I think our views on Downing as a player are very similar in that I think he is a solid player without having the talent to stand out and really become an international star the way Torres, Gerrard, Alonso, Mascherano and Pepe do.  But I digress, I guess what I'm trying to say is that the inevitable question leads to a lot of pressure. 



3. How would you describe Andy's performances thus far?


He has been patchy.  Looks good for a bit and then looks pedestrian and all of a sudden jinks past a couple displaying skill you would never guess he had just looking at him and then shoots wide. 

4. What would you describe as Andy Carroll's strengths and weaknesses?

His strengths are obviously his heading ability.  He hasn't displayed much of it so far here IMO and I haven't yet been able to conclude why that is.  I believe we need to wait for a while longer before we can determine why he does not look as aerially dominant at Liverpool as he did at Newcastle.  However, having seen him boss Skrtel and was it Soto that played against Newcastle ? in a performance that was forceful as they come, I believe he can head the ball and head well.  He also seems to have much better feet than people give him credit for.  Strong as an ox although he seems to be getting a fair few fouls going against him.  His weaknesses would have to start with his lack of mobility.  He just seems way too static and that might work in some cases and for some players like Berbatov who has perhaps the best touch in the league apart from his size and even he has struggled at the Mancs who play the kind of high tempo football, we seem to be going for as well.  And mobility for me isn't just about pace, its also about game intelligence.  He just seems very coached and seems to lack a bit of invention in the game intelligence department.

5. Some people say Andy Carroll needs to adapt to Liverpool, others say Liverpool need to adapt to Andy Carroll. Most think it's a bit of both, what are your thoughts?


A bit of both really.  Nothing to explain any more.  While I don't expect Andy to become the cornerstone of our team, I do think we may make a few changes to adapt to him and vice versa.

6. Finally, how do you see Andy doing for the rest of this season, and looking further forward, his Liverpool career?


No clue.  I was really hoping he would play against the Mancs since IMO he would have bullied them for 90 minutes physically and that would have freed up a lot of space for Suarez.  However it didn't happen.  The one positive I could take out of our record signing not starting a match against our biggest rivals was that we finally seem to be in a position where we could leave a 35 million pound striker on the bench, a situation the Mancs have been for ages. 

JohnnoWhite:
1. Torres departing in the manner in which he did was a considerable surprise to me. I had him figured for better than that but seems that I was wrong. That Liverpool then paid £35 mill for an unproven piece of Geordie raw talent with some off-field baggage was an equally big surprise to be honest with you.
What was very odd too was that when he arrived, he came carrying a leg injury which I remember caused me to ask a good Liverpool mate of mine how come they paid up if he couldnít pass the pre-signing medical? He didnít have an answer either.
I then wondered whether securing both Suarez and Carroll was an attempt to resurrect a modern-era Toshack and Keegan style partnership but itís very difficult to say as they havenít been given any game time together.

2. Is the tag heís carrying a burden for either the club or the player? Well, it might be for the club who decided to shell out a hefty portion of the Torres money on him but not in the least for the lad himself.  I say this because in my book, itís not the playerís fault if others value him as they do Ė whether it's realistic or not.  All the lad can do is come and try to do what he believed first attracted Liverpool to come and buy him in the first place.

3. His performances so far have been few and far between which I find strange. Is the lad carrying some injury which flares regularly enough that he canít command a regular spot in the side? I donít know but £35mill to sit on the bench more frequently than leading the line is bound to raise questions of managerial preferences for leading the clubís strikers.

4. Strengths and weaknesses is a bit of a funny one to call. In many ways heís a throw-back to the old style centre-forwards of the 50ís and 60ís Ė look at his physical height and strength. Surprisingly (as was the case with Crouch too) despite his height, he hasnít particularly shown much of his heading prowess which again is a bit strange. You buy a 6í4Ē striker and you donít field him often enough to work on a strategy that utilises his best assets. It just appears a bit odd to the outsider is what Iím saying. He might be the finest header of the ball since Tommy Lawton or Jackie Milburn but we've never seen him in action long enough to form a view as it were. We know he carries a bazooka in the left foot though.

5. Whether  he needs to adapt his game to how KD wants to play or whether the side need to find a way thatís targeted around the role heís required to deliver is again very difficult to say given that KD doesnít play him regularly enough to work out who needs to do what. I do think that sooner or later, questions will start to be asked either by Liverpool fans themselves or the Press if nothing emerges from this period of settling in that both him and the club are going through at the minute.

6. As to his future pivotal role for the rest of the season and beyond I refer you to the above comments. Until he starts appearing regularly and establishes himself as deserving to be the first name on the team sheet on every match day, then the big question of what the futures holds for him remains largely academic. It's a bit of a unsolved puzzle at the minute.

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