Connect with us

Leagues: EPL

West Ham: Don’t Make the Andy Carroll Mistake

Spending big money to sign Andy Carroll would be a giant miscalculation by newly-promoted West Ham United. Sam Allardyce needs to avoid making the same mistake Kenny Daglish and Liverpool made in January of 2011.

According to reports, West Ham agreed a deal to take Andy Carroll away from Anfield. The former Newcastle striker has so far resisted a loan move (with a permanent switch if West Ham remain in the Premier League) to Upton Park, but the Hammers want to sweeten the deal by offering a lucrative long-term contract.

Brendan Rodgers should be thrilled to sell Carroll for a fee in the region of £19 million (as has been suggested), but why would West Ham even think of paying that much for an underperforming striker? Of course, Carroll’s transfer value is inflated due to the fact that he’s English, but even so, he is not worth nearly that amount. Kenny Dalglish and Damien Comolli overpaid once for Carroll, and both are now out of jobs at Liverpool.

It’s easy to see why so many in English football are susceptible to falling into the Andy Carroll trap. He’s young. He’s big. And he’s English. The only problem is that Carroll cannot do much else besides win the ball in the air. He’ll score the occasional goal with his feet, but most of his work is done off the ground. In the modern game, expensive strikers need to be able to do more than provide a physical presence. Versatility is key.

Carroll would fit well into West Ham’s style of play, but Allardyce can find much cheaper options elsewhere. Just last season: Newcastle were able to sign Demba Ba for free. Everton were able to snatch Nikica Jelavic for around £5 million. And Fulham were able to secure a loan move for Pavel Pogrebnyak (who was signed by Reading this summer). All three of those players equaled or surpassed Carroll’s goal total of six last season, and Jelavic and Pogrebnyak made significantly fewer appearances.

No matter the facts, the fascination (some would call it a disease) with Andy Carroll will unfortunately continue. He’s young. He’s big. He’s English. And he’ll always find a place to be overpaid in the Premier League.

If Carroll joins West Ham, it won’t take long for Big Sam to learn the truth: Andy Carroll just isn’t that good. But, by that time, millions will already have been flushed down the drain. Allardyce may even suffer the same fate as Carroll’s first victims, Kenny Dalglish and Damien Comolli.

200+ Channels With Sports & News
  • Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
  • Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
  • Price: $35/mo. for Sling Blue
  • Watch Premier League, World Cup & MLS
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
  • Price: $9.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
  • Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
2,000+ soccer games per year
  • Price: $4.99/mo
  • Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
  • Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
110+ channels, live & on-demand
  • Price: $59.95/mo. for Plus Package
  • Includes FOX, FS1, ESPN, TUDN & more



  1. LFC_Fan

    August 2, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Nice words, I love the statement – “Allardyce may even suffer the same fate as Carroll’s first victims, Kenny Dalglish and Damien Comolli”; though I believe Comolli was a mare pawn – every bit of decision was taken by KD.

    Andy Carroll is a typical English player – 90% of his quality lies in physical aspects with zero ball skill. I think he ‘ll be very good for mid table PL clubs (No offense to toons) & outstanding in Championship. Teams playing a sitting game can use a target man for long ball & Carroll is perfect for that. But top teams play pressing games & often needs to break jammed over crowded back line, where AC is of no use (Those who are going to mention the 4-1 against Chelsea, be informed that they had a small matter of CL final coming shortly).

    He is a forward with no ball skill, ugly first touch, too heavy turn, absolutely no position sense, horrible tackling skills, powerful but precision less heading, poor balance, what not? Moreover his off the field life style is exactly what you don’t expect from a professional player. I think, he is a forward born 35 years later – in 70s & 80s with the referees being too lenient, he would have been a perfect forward.

    Carroll was a panic & biased purchase – even after 6 months of improvement, his highest bid had been 18mn; imagine what his actual price had been when idiot KD gifted 35mn to Ashley. I don’t think AC is going to anywhere – no one (unless insane) is going to pay that sort of Salary for his passport & Carroll ‘ll not accept a pay cut (don’t be bluffed by his demand of European Football as a prerequisite; he ‘ll happily warm the bench for LFC in European games as long as the hefty pay cheque is there). He ‘ll run down his contract & ‘ll go to another top club in PL as a free agent (as teams ‘ll need minimum number of English players to fulfill the quota). He ‘ll end up in Championship after turning 30, his true potential & worthy destination.

    I am happy that KD was disgracefully sacked after being summoned to USA, LFC comes first – YNWA

  2. Alex Wolcott

    August 2, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Carroll was never that good of a player to begin with. Liverpool probably overpaid for him by a factor of about 4 and I am still wondering exactly what was the thought process. Perhaps there was some “sabermetric” twaddle of which I am unaware. He had something like 14 League goals in a total of exactly 42 appearances for the Magpies prior to some fantasy baseball dork deciding to make him the most expensive English transfer in history.

    If I’m West Ham I’d look at any number of internationals that are potentially obtainable for far less money right now. Not as big a headline to be made, but who needs this slug and all his drama and non-performance and whining?

  3. marty

    August 2, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    English are addicted to the long ball game. It will never win you anything.

    • Matt

      August 2, 2012 at 2:31 pm

      agree, Carroll doesn’t have good technical ability, just watch the Italy match at Euro…he won all the long balls, fine, but what did he do with the ball at his feet (lose it or pass it to an Italian). His only excuse in that match was he had limited support

    • Andrew

      August 2, 2012 at 3:36 pm

      Except the 2012 Champions League.

  4. brn442

    August 2, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Carroll not good with his feet? Have you recently seen anyone put their laces through a ball with more power than the boy?

    Jack..You usually make sense, your points on Liverpool “over-paying” for Carroll and West Ham potentially making the same “mistake” are well taken.

    However, your assessment of the striker’s supposed limits: “The only problem is that Carroll cannot do much else besides win the ball in the air.” says that either, you cannot resist the group-think narrative on slagging off a “big”, “English” [“one-dimensional”] striker, whilst ignoring that (yes) he’s young – still learning his trade, going to a new club, being there for JUST ONE SEASON, getting horrid service, with clueless tactics by a manager that’s now sacked, or – you don’t know as much about football as I thought you did. Either way – I’m bitterly disappointed.

    • Mark

      August 2, 2012 at 1:09 pm

      Sergio Aguero is good with his feet. That is what that statement means. Andy Carroll isn’t going to be dribbling through defences.

    • Jack Tomczuk

      August 2, 2012 at 4:20 pm

      Andy Carroll is not one-dimensional because he’s English. He’s overpaid and overvalued because he is English. English players are generally overvalued in the Premier League (another example is Stewart Downing). An identical player (who is also the same age as Carroll) from any country other than England would cost much, much less, even if that player had Premier League experience.

      Also, I’m not saying Carroll is a caveman who cannot maneuver the ball with his feet. And, as a striker at the highest level, he has to be at least proficient with his feet. That part of the game is just not a strength of Carroll’s, and I really doubt he will develop it after age 23.

  5. PaulF

    August 2, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    No matter how you look at it, Andy Carroll is not a verry good player. Yes he has some physical gifts, mainly height and strength but that is about it.
    West Ham paying all that money to sign Carroll would be a bigger mistake than Liverpool paying 35 million. Could Carroll have been a fabulous player? definitely but it seems teaching him the technical side of the game wasn’t the priority when he was younger because he had such physical gifts. Now He’s an below to average player.
    WIth the money West Ham wants to spend on Carroll they could buy players better than Carroll for 1/3 or 1/2 that amount and they wouldn’t command such a high salary.

    What was Liverpool thinking? If i was to compile a list of players that they could have gotten for less or around the same price….I’ll never understand it. And media pundits persist that Carroll was unplayable at times at Newcastle. They neglect to mention that what they define as unplayable has nothing to do with technique or skills.

  6. Westcoastdave

    August 2, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Dev, I agree with everything you say about Carroll and the team during the time he led OUR club. But I don’t write off Sam Allardyce as easily as most. For Andy I think it’s a question of whether he is a regular part of plan A or plan B. He’s often very good on the ground but he’s outstanding in the air. At West Ham he would be plan A. I can’t help but think that at Newcastle he would now be plan A only during the ANC, and that might make him less of a player.

  7. KK

    August 2, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Agree with the author.
    But I am praying West Ham or Newcastle love him enough to take him off our hands……….

  8. Mark

    August 2, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    The important point of this article is that you can get just as good a player as Andy for a quarter the fee. Jelavic is an awesome example.

  9. dev

    August 2, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Note to westcoast Dave, newcastle did not play hoof it and hope football when Carroll was prolific at our club. We played good passing football using wingers who took on their man. Its a myth that Carroll is only of use in the air…West Ham under Allardyce will go back down, put your house on it. The prem now is too fast and technical for his style, u need to get shot of fat sam if its football u want to watch. As for Carroll he won’t go to West Ham under Sam as he knows first hand what a pretender he is. If he doesn’t return to the toon he will go to tottenham or man utd

  10. Westcoastdave

    August 2, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Actually, Andy Carroll IS that good. He and West Ham (under Allardyce) would be very good for each other. Carroll needs to put misguided Liverpool behind him and West Ham need someone to secure their Premiership status with a bagfull of goals. Forget Newcastle Andy, the Hammers are the club to help make you an international household name.

  11. dev

    August 2, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    As a loyal toon fan I can honestly say that Andy Carroll is one of the best English forwards of a generation. What happened at Liverpool was always going to happen. I knew it would happen as I lived in Holland for 9 years and witnessed a certain Dirk Kuyt banging in over 30 goals a season, for around 3 seasons in a row playing as an out and out centre forward. He then moved to Liverpool and was pushed out wide, and his goals became scarce to say the least, he became a far worse player than he was. Its the same with Carroll, he is not a left forward or a right forward he is an out and out CF and Liverpool do not and have not for years played to accomodate such a player. Put Carroll in a 4-4-2 formation or up on his own and he is awesome. I’d welcome him back to the toon in a heart beat….but not for 20m. 15 and he is a bargain.

  12. Porciestreet

    August 2, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Perhaps he should go to 5under1and, then, when he gets found out there, O’Neil gets the bullet as well. Sorted !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in Leagues: EPL

Translate »