Liverpool's most expensive signing of all time has privately admitted, according to a Daily Mail report, he is unable to cope with the pressure of his big-money signing. English forward Andy Carroll, who transferred to the Reds from Newcastle United in 2010, for £35 million, has been branded by critics and fans alike as a mega-flop, after scoring just thrice in the league this season.
The 23 year old, who is a product of Newcastle's youth academy, enjoyed stellar years, at St. James' Park, in 2009 and 2010, scoring 28 goals in 58 league appearances. His form earned him the move to Liverpool, who were themselves looking to fill the void left by free-scoring Spaniard Fernando Torres, who transferred to Chelsea for £50 million. However, like Torres at Stamford Bridge, Carroll has endured a miserable time at Anfield; indeed, at least for Torres a degree of revival in recent form bodes well for his future.
According to the Daily Mail, Carroll has admitted to his friends that he is having trouble dealing with the attention that his transfer to Liverpool (more specifically the large fee involved) has generated. The Reds' boss, Kenny Dalglish, has given the forward more than a reasonable amount of game time; Carroll has made 38 appearances, in all competitions, for Liverpool this season; and despite an earlier IBTimes UK report revealing Carroll had been so frustrated that he screamed profanities at Dalglish after being subbed during his side's 0-2 defeat to Newcastle, it is believed there is still support for the beleaguered striker.
"Andy isn't unhappy at Liverpool - he thinks Kenny Dalglish has been supportive and he still thinks he can make it work. But one of his main problems is the fact that Liverpool paid so much for him. He feels that the size of the fee wasn't his fault but that he has had to deal with the consequences of it being so huge and a record," a friend of Carroll's was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
However, despite his friend's comments, there are other reports that suggest Dalglish has lost patience with his star man. A second Daily Mail report quotes an Anfield source as pointing to the outbreak of profanities at St James' Park as one of the key reasons.
"Kenny has gone out of his way to protect Carroll from criticism. He's straight with his staff, but many people here are concerned that players like Andy have not adapted to the Liverpool way," the source said.
The question, now, is where does Carroll go, if indeed he is no longer needed at Anfield. Liverpool will almost certainly have to accept a big cut in any transfer fee and Carroll a wage-cut (something both parties might eventually be happy with).
Liverpool are presently eight in the league, with 43 points from 32 games. They are out of contention for a Champions League spot for next season. The club's next game is away to Blackburn, on 10 April. They are, however, in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, where they will play Merseyside rivals Everton, on 14 April. A probable FA Cup win, coupled with the Carling Cup they won earlier in the year, might go some way to salvaging a miserable season.