When signed for £35 million pounds just over a year ago, many Liverpool fans would have expected to see more from the man who replaced Fernando Torres. Carroll was brought to reproduce the form he had showed at Newcastle in the first half of last season, where he won many admirers and scored big goals against Arsenal and Chelsea, and also a Premier League hattrick. Carroll signed with a long term injury, but still showed his ability when scoring his first 2 goals for Liverpool with a man of the match performance against Manchester City at Anfield late last season. It was hoped that, after a good pre-season and recovery from injury, Carroll would be the man that had played so well for the Toon Army and fire Liverpool into the Champions League places. And while his Premier League goal tally of 3 so far this campaign does little to represent that, it is the difference in the last few weeks that has shown the potential is still there.
Performances are ever improving it seems, game by game. Firstly in the FA cup victory at home to Manchester United, it was Carroll who would set up the winner for Dirk Kuyt and then just days later he would open the scoring with a cool finish away to Wolverhampton to set the Reds on the way to 3 points. Carroll was one of Liverpool’s better performers in the goalless draw at home to Spurs on Monday night, winning near on every aerial battle with Michael Dawson and showing neat and tidy hold up play, but all too often there was not a Liverpool player running off the big man to benefit from this.
With the returning Luis Suarez, a fit Steven Gerrard and an ever improving Andy Carroll, the big number 9 will finally start firing on a regular basis. The service produced for Carroll has been poor to say the least, it was hoped summer signing Stewart Downing would be the man to supply goals for Carroll but after a bright start Downing has faded and lost his first team place to the inspired signing of Craig Bellamy. The Liverpool manager has constantly backed his big centre forward in public, and now we are starting to see why. If Carroll can build on the last few games, we again will see the man who struck fear into every central defender in the first half of last season.
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