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Bellamy takes second chance to impress

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Phil McNulty | 04:37 UK time, Thursday, 22 September 2011

Craig Bellamy's previous life at Liverpool is best remembered for his attempts to improve his golf swing by taking a club to John Arne Riise on a team bonding exercise on the Algarve.

Bellamy's willingness to make life difficult for colleagues and opponents alike has been central to the narrative of his eventful career. So it was no surprise that he was at it again in the plush new surroundings of The Amex Stadium in Brighton on Wednesday.

The Wales striker tormented opponents Brighton with a goal and display of all-round verve in Liverpool's 2-1 win in the Carling Cup - and this time it was £35m Andy Carroll who may just be the team-mate feeling under the cosh.

On a night when the biggest cheer from Liverpool's fans came at the start of Steven Gerrard's 16-minute cameo after six months out with a groin injury, there was plenty of applause for the player who thought his Anfield career was over for good when he was sold to West Ham United in 2007.

Bellamy's instant understanding with Luis Suarez and the manner in which he linked up with Dirk Kuyt made him look a more comfortable fit in 90 minutes than Carroll has at any of the very early stages of his Liverpool career.

Carroll is still settling to life at Liverpool after his move from Newcastle United but on this evidence, even against Championship opposition, Bellamy looks in the mood to push his way up the queue of Anfield's attacking options and threaten the giant Geordie's hopes of a starting place.


Craig Bellamy,  playing for Liverpool against Brighton in the Carling Cup

Bellamy showed enough to suggest he could be much more than just an impact substitute


Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish trusted his keenest instincts when his pursuit of a surprise deal to bring the 32-year-old, who left Anfield after one fruitless season, reached a successful conclusion on transfer deadline day.

And the logic behind the move was illustrated as Bellamy made a powerful case for further inclusion with an outstanding contribution on his first start since his return to the club on a free transfer from Manchester City.

Greater challenges lie ahead than this one, but Bellamy looks determined to fulfil Dalglish's optimistic bulletins after the Scot said when he signed: "He said he was a Liverpool fan and had always wanted to play for the club. He has that opportunity again. The older you get the less opportunities you get and he wanted to grab this one. He made some sacrifices to come here.

"He's a fantastic trainer, has good pace and is always a threat. He always looks like he's going to do something. He's wiser now and uses his experience really well. I think he's ideal for us and someone who will really help us. I think he's a better player now than he was when he was 25."

Bellamy was given his chance alongside Suarez in a partnership based on pace and constant movement. The pair hit it off immediately, with the Uruguayan setting up Bellamy's early goal and sending a header inches wide when the compliment was repaid.

This instant understanding was at the heart of a Liverpool performance, especially in the first half, that was awash with mobility and fluidity and the ideal template for the passing and moving style Dalglish wishes to encourage.

And Bellamy was everywhere. If he was not scoring or creating he was surprising not only his team-mates but Dalglish himself by crashing a 35-yard free-kick against the bar while everyone waited for a delivery into the box.

He delivered a fruity piece of advice to another Liverpool player within Dalglish's earshot and there was the inevitable baiting from the Brighton fans and a very minor spat with the officials.

Dalglish was delighted with his performance, saying: "He just loves playing football. Craig was fantastic. When he came in we said he would make a contribution and it has not taken him long. He is really enthusiastic and fit. He loves the football club and is a supporter, which sometimes sounds a bit sickly, but he is and wants to do the best he can for them."

Carroll will play his part but there is no escaping the fact that Liverpool's style moves more smoothly with Suarez at the hub and Kuyt's energy in the mix. Now Bellamy has shown that he can also add an ingredient.

It is clear that Carroll is too big a talent to dismiss but as he jogged around a silent Amex Stadium after the final whistle, he will have noted an extra, somewhat unexpected, challenge has arrived in the shape of the spiky, argumentative but talented Bellamy.

In the end it was interplay between Bellamy, Suarez and Kuyt that overcame Brighton, their cause not helped by the large helping of respect they offered Liverpool in a first half in which they could have been overwhelmed.

But in the new stadium that is a credit and a justifiable source of pride to all at Brighton, Gus Poyet's side showed why they are aiming for the Premier League with a bold passing approach that gave Liverpool the odd anxious moment, especially when Ashley Barnes scored a late penalty after Kuyt added a second for Dalglish's side.

Poyet was proud of how Brighton raised their game in the second half, saying: "It is the first time I will say this and you will never hear it again - I go home happy despite losing."

For Liverpool the win was everything after the beating they took at Tottenham. And for Bellamy the hope that life at Liverpool can be better second time around.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    You can send Andy back to Newcastle if you want, Liverpool.

    We've still got your money.

  • Comment number 3.

    Bellars was excellent.

    Not really sure why the blog is about Carroll as well, but hey, the journalist needs to find the angle on the story eh - it's a long season and Carroll will get his chance alright.

  • Comment number 4.

    The fact that Liverpool are having to rely on the odious Bellamy now just shows how badly they were ripped off by Newcastle for andy 'carthorse' caroll. Brighton out-played Liverpool in the second half and would not have suprised me if they went on to win. Got serious doubts about this team that the messiah has asembled and back to back losses againt mighty stoke and spurs suggests that scepticism may be proved right. I wonder when the fans will start booing as they did with Hodgson? Will they give him one boo free season seeing as it's 'king kenny'? 5th at best IMO

  • Comment number 5.

    Dalglish fielding basically the first choice line-up tells me this

    1. The pressure on him to deliver some silverware this season because of the big bucks he has been allowed to spend since taking over

    2. He must have realized that even after spending almost £130m, he still doesn't have enough quality as back-up. Too much money has been spent on players like Henderson and Downing, and that reflects on the bench strength or the lack of it.

    Liverpool might have a good run in the Cup, but that will be as good as it gets.

    http://442footballfever.wordpress.com/

  • Comment number 6.

    Tuesday night Michael Owen scored two against championship side Leeds Utd. Journalists start saying he should play for England again. Last night Craig Bellamy scores against championship side Brighton. Journalists say he is the perfect fit for Liverpool.

    Please can we have some perspective? Having ONE good game against championship teams in the League Cup tells us nothing.

  • Comment number 7.

    @4 could'nt agree more mate,it's the messiah so he can do no wrong. But 75m mill on carrol/downing/henderson is madness and i'm sure if poor hodgson had a fifth of kenny's cash he would've done a hell of a lot better.
    Can see pool' battling for fourth at best maybe not even that,and about 150 mill spent by kenny since hodgson left aswell!!!!
    Still he's kingkenny so he wont b booed

  • Comment number 8.

    I think Maxi deserves to be mentioned as well. All 4 front players looked like they've been playing together for years. I just hope Kenny gives each of them a fair chance in the league.

  • Comment number 9.

    Liverpool won didn't they. We have not won a trophy in 5 years and not been to new Wembly yet so why not try in this cup. We have no Europe this year so fixture pressure is less. Carroll will play regularly this season but the excessive price tag seems to be the main stick to beat him with. I'm more worried about Henderson than him. in refernce to the money spent always relay to how was recouped by KK and that we have had net profit in the 4 windows before that as the squad was decimated by previous regime policies of slash and burn. On Owen by the way, he still has the ability so why the surprise he scored when given the chance

  • Comment number 10.

    Hodgson is an overated manager who can do a job at a team whose sole ambition is to avoid relegation like WBA or Fulham. His transfer policy at Liverpool was awful. Only Merelies was worth a place and all but one signing is no longer at the club. £150 million? check your figures mate more like £110m with £80m brought in from sales

  • Comment number 11.

    King Kenny is doing ok. Nothing more. I do not see him galvanising his side into a european chasing outfit. Yes, the hangover from Hodgson's time as gaffer is still around, in terms of removing the fortress gate at Anfield, but he has spent the money, and now has to deliver on the pitch. I think he has spent well, or at least balanced the books ok. £30m net loss for a side in dyer need of an overhaul is not a bad return for one transer window. Time will tell if he manages to get them to play.

    Carroll and Bellamy will rotate throughout the season, working around Suarez. I think they will contribute well and all get goals. I see his big problems in the back 4, the current defence look shaky at best.

    I for one can't wait to vist Anfield. Fergie will want to go there ASAP to capitalise on both teams recent form...

  • Comment number 12.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 13.

    Hello,
    I love you Daglish as you wish to take use of bellamy in the carling cup first leg against brisgton city last night and bellamy gave us hope to beats them. Is an amazing score in the 7th minutes of first-half time. Keep it up bellamy we love. Up Liverpool:'(

  • Comment number 14.

    @ #12

    Agreed, it's that kind of hunger shown by Bellamy that Liverpool fans want to see in Carroll - it was missing in earlier games, but he's shown more effort recently. He needs a big match, perhaps against Wolves?

  • Comment number 15.

    LFC are not in Europe. Their backup needs are that much less. A good, fit first-team is good enough.

  • Comment number 16.

    There is no way andy carroll is a £35 million pound player. None. He was an average Championship player, nothing at all special, and did nothing to set the World alight in his first season in the Premiership.

    Shocking amount of money wasted. Absolutely shocking.

  • Comment number 17.

    Oh my days... disguised as being about Bellamy but is really about Andy Carroll and will he wont he justify his massive transfer fee.

    Did he ask to be sold?
    Did he ask to be sold for 35 million?

    KD said.. we have bought him for the next 4-5 seasons so there is no rush. All young players bar the really exceptional ones need some time to develop.

    It's called patience ladies and gents, something everyone seems very short of in this day and age!

  • Comment number 18.

    Still too early to be judging Andy Carroll, though the price tag (no fault of the big man) will always make him a target. It took Crouchy 17 games to hit the net but in the end most Liverpool fans were sad to see him leave.

    As per usual, Phil, almost there but not quite. It was Bellers, Maxi and Kuyt that combined for Liverpool's 2nd goal. Suarez had already been subbed! Chief football writer??

  • Comment number 19.

    Varad - A first choice team missing Adam, Johnson, Enrique, Agger, Downing, Gerrard (for most of the game) and Carroll. 7 players not to bad to have on the subs bench if that was our first team last night!

  • Comment number 20.

    Liverpool could and should have been out of sight by half time (both posts and cross bar struck in 1st half). The movement of Suarez, Kuyt, Bellamy & Maxi was outstanding, all be it against lower league opposition.

  • Comment number 21.

    I think the praise belongs to Brighton and Shrewsberry, this Carling Cup midweek, for the performances they put against Liverpool and Arsenal. I can see though why this article has been written about Bellamy. He's a player that didn't cost a fortune and yet he can prove to be very valuable for Liverpool.

    Bellamy was always a headlines making striker. His contribution and work rate is excellent. If he leaves some reactions to the past he can have a great spell for Liverpool. His game complements Kuytt on the other side and he can look like he never left in the Liverpool team. An additional, dangerous striker who provides width on the left, at minimal financial cost. I think people who like to make negative comments on Liverpool spending money to rebuild their team have no argument in this case, as he's top quality at minimal cost.

    I really don't understand why so many fans keep talking and talking about the Torres and Carroll cost. They didn't determine the size of those prices. Others did. Yet, Torres showed at Old Trafford that he's nearing his past, excellent status while Carroll will return too. He hasn't lost the ability that brought him to the England team, overnight. And he can provide solutions in many occasions when Liverpool need to change their game in matches. The fact is: Suarez, Carrol, Kuytt, Bellamy look like a blessed quartet for Liverpool up front.

    I really don't think Liverpool had any other option than spending in the transfer market, in order to return to the top four in the Premier League. Seeing Arsenal not investing and Levy being extra-careful too, it's a golden opportunity for them. In any case, the vast majority of their spending comes from cash they received from the Torres sale and the sale of other players. Should the Liverpool chairman follow the steps of Mike Ashley to keep football fans happy?

    The more I watch Liverpool, the more I keep noticing that their raid in the transfer market is not over yet. Except if they have unnoticed yet golden youngsters in their availability. Sort out the defence and Liiverpool will look a robust, solid top four team, this season.

  • Comment number 22.

    Carroll & Dowing = Crouch and Pennant. Conclusion... Same old Liverpool. 5th at very best

  • Comment number 23.

    Nick,

    Please remember Ashley has Liverpool`s money not you nor the club. We wil see at the end of the season if Carroll comes good or not but until then keep your petty comments to yourself!

  • Comment number 24.

    10. At 07:23 22nd Sep 2011, aarvark73 wrote:
    Hodgson is an overated manager who can do a job at a team whose sole ambition is to avoid relegation like WBA or Fulham. His transfer policy at Liverpool was awful. Only Merelies was worth a place and all but one signing is no longer at the club. £150 million? check your figures mate more like £110m with £80m brought in from sales





    The old he has brought £80 million in argument ..............does not in any way excuse the fact he payed way over the odds for Carroll , Henderson and Downing ..............................Messiah ...............nah just a " Clueless Boy "

  • Comment number 25.

    Liverpool have had two challenging games this season, Stoke and Spurs and they lost both. They were dire against Spurs who have beaten Daglish's 'all-stars' comfortably on both occasions they have met. Using a Carling Cup against Brighton to talk up Liverpool is stretching it quite a bit, with Arsenal's current problems Liverpool are possibly the 5th best team in the league at best. They still have an awful long way to go and they don't seem to have the strength in depth to close the gap any time soon despite Kenny's spending.

  • Comment number 26.

    Varad, your comment about that being Liverpool's 1st team is naive at best. Presumably the fact that 7 changes had been made from the team that started against Spurs means that Liverpool fielded a reserve team the then?

    In terms of last night, the only thing that really matters is the win. Liverpool now need to build upon that against Wolves before key games vs Everton and Man Utd.

  • Comment number 27.

    Thanks for all the early replies. As I make very clear in the blog I am not writing Carroll's Liverpool career off - far from it. I am simply making what I think is the valid point that Liverpool look far more fluid and purposeful in attack with Kuyt playing in close proximity Suarez - and now Bellamy has put himself in the mix.

    Liverpool want to play swift pass and move football under Kenny Dalglish. Does a player of Andy Carroll's style lend himself to that?

    So let me pose the question to Liverpool fans. Where do you think Andy Carroll will ultimately fit into the game plan? Will he be a regular starter eventually alongside Suarez or used on a horses for courses basis?

    If Liverpool were playing a game to decide a season tomorrow, would Carroll be in the team? I'm not so sure.

    Early days for Carroll but he clearly faces a real fight for his place, with Dalglish also having to fit Steven Gerrard into his system now he is back.

    And also, what did Liverpool fans think of Bellamy's display? I thought he seemed to have an instant understanding with Suarez.

    And Brighton supporters. What a fantastic new set up you have at The Amex. It would grace the Premier League. So will your team being doing that eventually? And how heartened were you by that excellent second half display?

    All views on all matters from last night welcome as ever.

  • Comment number 28.

    @ 22.At 08:30 22nd Sep 2011, Georgieboy1968 wrote:
    Carroll & Dowing = Crouch and Pennant. Conclusion... Same old Liverpool. 5th at very best

    ---------------------------------------------------------

    No.

    You forget that Carroll is still so young and is much better with the head than Crouch, while his less clumsy than Crouch. Carroll always requires more than 1 defenders looking after him.

    Pennant is doing a great job at Stoke but Downing is one of those players who can bring the beautiful side of football to a team: frequently unpredictable, gives width while having that creativeness in his armour, he's one of the reasons why England play those good games when they do.

    I think both Downing and Carroll, in the course of this season, will receive a lot of praise for their contribution to the Liverpool cause.

  • Comment number 29.

    The price for Andy Carroll is irrelevent. He didn't determine it.

    His question is does he fit into the style of play that Liverpool are now adopting?

    Given he's seems to be more of an old fashioned centre forward , and they are adopting a quick move and pass game, I would say no.

    What he really needs are several games on the trot to get his rhythm and confidence back and I don't think he's going to get them.

    He also needs to be playing regularly to gain experience.

    Let's hope it doesn't stunt his footballing growth too much, like what has happened previously to other promising players such as Shaun Wright-Phillips

  • Comment number 30.

    As always Phil, a good article, which you again don't get any credit for. Perhaps you should write about South American football - that seems to get credit?

    On to the article - Bellamy is a player who gives his all in every game and you know exactly what you're going to get from him. He has great movement and pace and is good at linking up with others. Also his set pieces are a big bonus.

    I also think that Kuyt should take a lot of credit, I think he was excellent. He really showed that he wants back into the starting line-up and with that performance, who could deny him his wish?

    Andy Carroll has come here injured, played a few games and then played in pre-season. He still has work to do to get back to where he was and has plenty of time to do it. He just has to keep working hard and it will come for him, he is a quality player. Until then we should persist with Kuyt, Suarez and Bellamy as they share great movement and understanding.

    On a side note - what in the world is happening to the BBC website? The mistakes in recent weeks are unbelievable - ranging from scoreline errors, to spelling mistakes, to absolutely wrong statistics and reports?

    They cut 606 to save money but can't get the basics of the operation right. If you're going to cut something that we all loved, for the sake of the BBC, at least get the things right that were kept.

  • Comment number 31.

    I think queen ken has already realised Liverpool look far better without caroll in the team hence his regular starting spot on the bench. Their best game this season was at bolton without the big lump up front. Doesn't matter if he didn't determine the price. Fact is Liverpool paid it for him and it now hangs like a giant weight round his neck. I reckon he be sold within next 2 seasons at a HUGE loss.

    Suarez on the other hand is quality. Must be a concern tho that he has stated it is his dream to play for Barcelona and his brother is Pep's agent.........

    Tick tock tick tock.......

  • Comment number 32.

    Kuyt right , Bellamy left , Gerrard behind Saurez ...................no Carroll or the team revert to long ball tactics and waste Saurez .

  • Comment number 33.

    Beautiful stadium, beautiful football, a young & enthusiastic manager who has the team and community supporting him with his endeavours - maybe this is the start of a legacy on the South Coast? ...I really hope so as I watched the Seagulls throughout my childhood ...and then moved to Stoke!!!

  • Comment number 34.

    Georgieboy1968

    Queen Ken? Really? What is the point of you posting on here? What exactly are you adding to the debate? Are you saying that Kenny Dalglish is a woman?

  • Comment number 35.

    Bellamy is a better player than Carroll anyway so I'm not surprised they looked better with him partnering suarez

    Maybe Mike Ashley shoudl make a £15M bid to bring him back to Newcastle in January as that is a more accurate reflection of his value - he is still a bit of a one-trick pony(tail)

  • Comment number 36.

    @ Georgieboy1968,

    not even United fans ever used this way towards Kenny Dalglish.
    I really can't understand the magnitude of the bitterness.
    Kenny Dalglish gave Newcastle £35m which Mike Ashley put in his pocket and said 'thank you very much'. I'm talking about that overweight bloke with the pint of lager in his hand, wearing the Newcastle shirt on the stands to look as one of the supporters of your club.

    Add the way QPR profited out of Newcastle, add the Kevin Nolan noises and I'm really curious to know the adjective you preserve for Mr Ashley.
    Will you enlighten us?

  • Comment number 37.

    Well sure he can fit in to the team, Kuyt and Bellamy are getting older and older where as Carroll is still a young player. I remember Crouch going like 18 games without scoring for Liverpool, but rafa persisted with him untill he got his brace against Wigan.

    KD has removed Carroll from the firing line, letting the press find someone else to have a pop at.

    Modern football is more than ever about the squad and how flexible the team is, take Russia under Hiddink, a few years ago, they played 5 different formations during the course of qualification. A manager needs a team of intelligent players who are flexible to the playing various systems. It then becomes the managers job to decide what system is best for his team on the day, and the who the best players are to make the system work

    And besides.. Liverpool players go high and long whne Carroll players.. but again not his fault.. reckon he would want the ball on the floor 9x out of 10

  • Comment number 38.

    17.At 08:09 22nd Sep 2011, Samurai_Mac wrote:
    Oh my days... disguised as being about Bellamy but is really about Andy Carroll and will he wont he justify his massive transfer fee.

    Did he ask to be sold? - Yes his agent had been agitating him for a while and he handed in a written transfer request.
    Did he ask to be sold for 35 million? - Yes because he knew what the fee was when the bid was accepted.

    With a high price tag comes pressure and expectation for immediate results - jsut ask Fernando Torres. Aguero and Ronaldo hit the ground running after their big money moves so it can be done if the player is good enough and mentally strong

    -

  • Comment number 39.

    More importantly, who would win in a fight between Carroll and Bellamy?

    Carroll has a better range and is powerful, but Bellamy is quick and has a "never say die" attitude.

  • Comment number 40.

    I worry for Andy, if he's not got football to keep him focused, he will look elsewhere. Sadly not another football club but the Liverpool nightlife.

    I hope Liverpool stick to what they promised and give him the support off the field he needs.
    He's got great prospects, but sitting on the bench won't fulfill them.

    Plus what appears to make it worse is that Toon are doing better without him.

  • Comment number 41.

    Thought the article was fair and balanced, unlike some very petty comments in response. Why do people always want to have a dig ? That Liverpool have improved dramatically since Dalglish took over is not a debate, its a fact. They finished 6th or 7th having been in a relegation position half way through, going on a great run at the back end of the season. Although they lost at Stoke, they played excellently, so all the criticism and downbeat attitude comes from one defeat at tottenham .... playing with nine men. big deal. calm down. He has built a great squad. For some reason Carroll and Henderson seem to shoulder blame now the ones who know nothing about the game have finally got off Lucas's case. As for Varad - liverpools first xi at brighton ? Reina yes. Carragher yes. The right back is 2nd or 3rd choice behind Johnson, along with Flanagan. The left back is 3rd choice behind Enrique and Aurelio. Coates was making his debut because there was no Skrtel or Agger. Lucas is a first choice. Spearing played because Adam was suspended, Henderson rested, Gerrard returning from injury. Maxi played because Downing was rested. So, at best there were 5 from the first choice x1, reina, carragher, lucas, kuyt, and suarez. Another comment was about how Man Utd can't wait to come to Anfield ? who knows, but having lost there for the last four years, it can be a debatable point, they may relish it and fear it just as much. Finally, to the comment that Carroll doesn't fit the way Liverpool are playing, well that's true ...... but whats the point having options if they don't change the pattern of play ? if plan 1 isn't working, change it, don't play the same way with different people. Only my opinion, but can't see other than 4th. Can only see the 3 finishing above them, and 4th will represent the progress they deserve.

  • Comment number 42.

    King Kenny has proven what an master tactician he is in creating a team capable of beating the mighty Brighton!


    Or the team could have just done what is expected of them.

    Sure they looked decent, but you wouldnt say because they beat Brighton they are ready to give Barca a footballing lesson, and the same must apply to Bellemy.

    Carroll offers something different and will be used to that effect.


    Was he worth 35million, nope, but thats what was paid and all he can do is play football.

  • Comment number 43.

    Mr ashley put in his pocket ?

    You know that Mr Ashley has put near on £500 million into Newcastle ?

    You know that Mr Ashley paid prem wages when team dropped into Championship to keep hold of Newcastles better players ?

    You know that Newcastle are 4th whereas Liverpool are Who have spent Massive and have a fair bigger wage bill are 8th ?


    And the players bought in since they came back in prem would grace any prem team , Ben Arfa , Tiote and Cabaye to name but 3 .

  • Comment number 44.

    Philip 0705

    Do you think Liverpool was on top of spurs before the sendings off ?

  • Comment number 45.

    #36 -I think you'll find that Mike Ashley re-invested the money in new players and improved contracts for existing players and has set further funds aside for when they identify a striker. Nolan went because he wanted more money and a longer contract than United felt he was worth, Enrique wouldn't extend his contract and Barton was a troublemaker.

    People get upset because Ashley runs the club like his other business - profitably and yet his staff perform well and are well rewarded at the end of the year for good performance.

    Remind me which team is currently 4th in the table.

  • Comment number 46.

    At 09:07 22nd Sep 2011, PetShopBoys_Forever wrote:

    17.At 08:09 22nd Sep 2011, Samurai_Mac wrote:
    Oh my days... disguised as being about Bellamy but is really about Andy Carroll and will he wont he justify his massive transfer fee.

    Did he ask to be sold? - Yes his agent had been agitating him for a while and he handed in a written transfer request.
    Did he ask to be sold for 35 million? - Yes because he knew what the fee was when the bid was accepted.

    With a high price tag comes pressure and expectation for immediate results - jsut ask Fernando Torres. Aguero and Ronaldo hit the ground running after their big money moves so it can be done if the player is good enough and mentally strong


    Torres - Wanted to leave, specifically asked to leave!

    Aguero - Was already a full International and had been ripping it up for quite a while before coming to PL

    Ronaldo - One trick Pony with no end product when he came to Man Utd and now given time and support he is 2nd best player in the world behind Messi.

    Carroll - Didn't ask to be sold, 35 million and Ashley would have submitted the transfer request himself and forged the signature pal!

    You seem to be an expert, so if i could put you in my Fantasy team, how many points would you bring me for game week 6?

    Where do i find you, left back in the changing rooms?

  • Comment number 47.

    I must say the most irritating thing about some of the comments is the idea that Liverpool weren't 'playing the game' by fielding a strong side. Why shouldn't they try and win the competition? That's allowed, you know. My team went out to Stoke and, I guess, ('Arry's protestations aside), no one at Spurs is too broken up about that considering the onerous Europa League schedule and the likelihood of a real challenge for the 4th CL spot, but Liverpool aren't in Europe so - yeah - win it, if you can. Actually winning something is great. As for Bellamy, the man is genius. Wish he'd gone to Spurs. And Andy Carroll is in real trouble - his career - even at this early stage - is at tipping point; really needs to knuckle down.

  • Comment number 48.

    Liverpool's problem isn't forwards at all, it's the Midfield. They sold off two of their most creative players in Meireles and Aquilani who was never given a fair crack of the whip. And players they've bought it, I'm sorry, but Charlie "lets kick the other team off the pitch" Adam and Jordan Henderson are NOT top 4 team midfielders, as was seen by the schooling they got from Modric & Parker at WHL.

  • Comment number 49.

    "Remind me which team is currently 4th in the table."

    What team is 17th ?


    the table means nowt after 5 games

  • Comment number 50.

    Phil, the purchase of Carroll is a bit of a puzzler. He does not, in anyway, fit into Dalglish's plans of pass and move, so it seems to me it was a panic buy.

    However, I do think, given time, he can fit into the style we want to play. I imagine, behind the scenes, Kenny and the coaches will be working desperately hard to improve his first touch.

    If he can develop a touch as good as Rooney's/Berbatov's/Henry's then it doesnt matter about his lack of pace or movement.

    If he can hold the ball up and make a simple pass while the likes of Suarez/Maxi/Kuyt/Bellamy and Downing make the runs our attack could be unbeatable.

    I only hope this control is based around playing to feet instead of hoofing the ball long.

    I am generally very happy with the purchases made. While £35m for Carroll is exessive to say the least, I believe he can come good, even if it takes 5 seasons.
    Downing, Adam, Suarez, Bellamy and Enrique are all very good buys.

    Coates didnt look particularly comfortable last night but again, maybe more for the future. Henderson looks distinctly average so far and is the worst of our buys, but I trust Kenny 100%.

    Parting note: So good to see Gerrard back last night

  • Comment number 51.

    Not a huge fan of Ashley but in his defence he has ploughed millions in just to keep our club afloat. His PR is a disaster but most honest fans would have accepted £35mill for Carroll.

    He is a good player no doubt & would be welcome back at St.James Park but he does seem like a panic buy at present. He suits 4-4-2 with the sole focus on his heading ability, does this Liverpool side play that way? Not sure it is set up to get the best out of him, a bit like Chelsea werent with Torres.

    I will take being unbeaten this season over Liverpool's start especially as we were one of the sides who apparently had an awful transfer window.

    We lost 3 first team players, Nolan, Barton & Carroll since January but brought in Cabaye (who looks really good) Santon, Marveaux, Ba & Obertan which have strengthened us.

    We are trying to run a club in the right way, selling when the offer is good & not overspending on average players, unlike Kenny has been doing with Henderson & Downing.

    Kenny took my club backwards & I am not sure he will take this Liverpool side further forward than he did when he steadied the ship, Fenway have backed him heavily & he is under pressure to deliver no doubt. Anythong less than 4th will be a blow, especially with Arsenal creaking heavily.

    I have watched them against Spurs & Brighton and in both games they have been outplayed in 3/4 of the 180 minutes.

  • Comment number 52.

    #46 - Torres - yues he asked to leave and had been agitating in the window but Andy Carroll's agent had been trying to get him a move all season as most local people know. Ashley accepted the bid as it was high value and given the fact that Carroll was getting himself in trouble in nightclubs and arrested a few times.

    Ronaldo - exceptional talent harnessed by Sir Alex into a great player who is still improving

    Aguero - good player already but big fish in small pond and takinbg pressure in his stride.

    CArroll - did ask to be sold

    As for position - ATTACKING MIDFIELD - I lead from the front

  • Comment number 53.

    My fault, we also lost Enrique who is a top player & alongside Saurez will turn out to be Liverpool's best recent signing.

  • Comment number 54.

    The point of saying Newcastle are 4th is to prove the point that Mr Ashley seems to be allowing his manager the freedom to do what he likes ( not forcing buys onto him ) and is reaping the rewards .

  • Comment number 55.

    @34 Queen Ken is an amusing pun on King Kenny! Made me chuckle anyway!
    @36 I am a United fan!
    @39 Well they say a good big un always beats a good little un BUT my money would still be on Bellamy. Sent from the devil himself that boy was.
    @50 agree about coates. Is he the new Paletta? Discuss....

    Finally Liverpool fans does it hurt seeing the peoples club above you despite them having had to sell their best player and spend bog all?

  • Comment number 56.

    Liverpool will have to pay a club another £35m just to get rid of Carroll.

  • Comment number 57.

    Personally I would like to see Dirk Kuyt up front with Suarez just behind him, easily 20 goals a season.

  • Comment number 58.

    Phil, in answer to the questions you pose; 1) no I wouldn't have Carroll in the starting XI at present 2) Caroll adds an extra dimension, but the team as a whole need to learn how to play to his strengths, not just Carroll learning to fit in. A squad should be just that.. Some players will be more suited to playing against certain teams than others. Personally, I would have played Carroll away at Stoke to combat their height and physicality, but not away at Spurs where I believe 5 in midfield would have been a better option, and Kuyt to help protect Skrtel (a DC playing DL) against the threat posed by Bale. Easy for me to say with hindsight of course! There is no point have a squad of players who are carbon copies of each other, but learning to play in different formations and styles is the key to a fluid team that wins consistently (IMO).

  • Comment number 59.

    On a side note - what in the world is happening to the BBC website? The mistakes in recent weeks are unbelievable - ranging from scoreline errors, to spelling mistakes, to absolutely wrong statistics and reports?

    They cut 606 to save money but can't get the basics of the operation right. If you're going to cut something that we all loved, for the sake of the BBC, at least get the things right that were kept.
    --------
    I Too would like an answer to this!
    I mean honestly how can you get scorelines wrong? It really is not that hard to count goals! And then when you do get it wrong it stays up there forever and a day! To my recollection it has happend twice in two weeks with liverpool v Stoke and Fulham v Mancity.
    Too many errors on other blogs too, I went on to 'that blokes' (Gareth Crook?)Team of the Week section and it had Yakubu playing for Man United!

  • Comment number 60.

    Well that's me out of this 'debate'. Pathetic. I'm going to spend some time with grown-ups now.

  • Comment number 61.

    55.At 09:28 22nd Sep 2011, Georgieboy1968 wrote:
    @34 Queen Ken is an amusing pun on King Kenny! Made me chuckle anyway! - Why?
    @36 I am a United fan! - Colchester, West Ham, Leeds perhaps?
    @39 Well they say a good big un always beats a good little un BUT my money would still be on Bellamy. Sent from the devil himself that boy was. - Agreed
    @50 agree about coates. Is he the new Paletta? Discuss.... - I believe a previous blog discussed why he is NOT the new Paletta

    Finally Liverpool fans does it hurt seeing the peoples club above you despite them having had to sell their best player and spend bog all? - No because there are 33 games to go, and they were this time last season, and what happened then?

  • Comment number 62.

    60. At 09:33 22nd Sep 2011, TheresOnlyOneReds wrote:
    Well that's me out of this 'debate'. Pathetic. I'm going to spend some time with grown-ups now.




    The old losing the argument backdown to we are all kids .

    Typical Liverpool fan

  • Comment number 63.

    62.At 09:37 22nd Sep 2011, Stay on your feet wrote:
    60. At 09:33 22nd Sep 2011, TheresOnlyOneReds wrote:
    Well that's me out of this 'debate'. Pathetic. I'm going to spend some time with grown-ups now.




    The old losing the argument backdown to we are all kids .

    Typical Liverpool fan


    ... Presumably then if this were a blog about Man City, a 'typical Man City fan' would just get the club to buy the BBC, and delete all anti-Man City comments from the blog, a 'typical Arsenal fan' would "not have seen the incident" and a 'typical Man U fan' would be somewhere in London eating prawn sandwiches!

  • Comment number 64.

    I keep hearing that KD has built a great squad, has a great first team - which suprises me, I would not argue that he has improved Liverpool, improved a lot to be honest, however the acid test is when his first team lines up against Man Utd's first team, or Man City's first team or Chelsea's first team, and see how many of the Liverpool team would get into the opponents first team.

    Suarez possibly in Chelsea's team, probably not in Utd or City - who else? Certainly not Adams, Downing, Carroll, Lucas, Johnson, Henderson, Kuyt, Bellamy, Maxi, Reina, Caragher etc, imo you have built a top ten, not top four team - and if you managed top four and got into the CL you'd have to buy much better quality players than you have been buying in

  • Comment number 65.

    Liverpool fan.

    I actually think Bellamy and Carroll will have a smilar impact but will be judged differently based on their transfer fees. Bellamy will get one or two goals against mediocre opposition and be called a bit of a bargain whethers Carroll will get a couple of goals and be called a £35 million waste of money. Bottom line is that neither are good enough.

    The money that we have spent on mediocre players like Downing, Adam, Carroll and Henderson is very concerning and letting go of Mereilles and to a lesser extent Aquilani adds to that.

    Still Suarez is a fantastic player and in Kuyt and Lucas we do have two very underrated players. Enrique looks like a decent signing and Coates will be one for the future.

    Come on Liverpool!

  • Comment number 66.

    At the end of the day, Carroll was never worth 35 million, simples :)

  • Comment number 67.

    We can all sit here and discuss who was worth what, is Carrol a £35m player... to be honest. I dont care how much we spent anymore after reading all this, whats done is done and the owners and Comolli aren't thick, they obviously calculated. In time if transfers dont work out (like robbie keane) then as a club they will get over it and move on and learn.

    Carrol, Henderson and others are LFC players and as a mad LFC fan. I will support them during high and low times no matter what! I believe in them and so should you all. One day we could be looking at league winners but without belief you have nothing. ynwa...

  • Comment number 68.

    A top 10 team for the price of a top 2 team

  • Comment number 69.

    I thought Bellamy and Suarez linked up well last night albeit against a championship side (who actually looked fairly strong in the second half) so it is quite a good sign. I am cautiously optimistic and, as they are both fiery characters who aren't scared to speak their mind, I worry about potential flare ups. That isn't my issue, however. I wonder about some of the decisions kenny has taken this season. Last night seems like it would have been a perfect opportunity to start with Carroll and Bellamy and try to get Carroll some playing time which he is evidently lacking. This was also the case in Exeter where I don't think he started either. While we have attacking options now, I fear that there is a growing over reliance on Suarez to dig something out for us. This is what we were trying to get away from. Good to see Gerrard back and I can't wait to see him and Suarez link up when he comes back in properly. I also think this might inspire Carroll to try a bit harder and try to get in the box once in a while. At the moment he looks like a donkey...

  • Comment number 70.

    My biggest concern with the 'buy british' policy at Liverpool is the following. The last British players purchased by Liverpool that were a real success were Barnes and Beardsley and that was in the late eighties during Kennys first spell in charge.

    Since then Liverpool have spent fortunes on British players and not one has really been a success.

    The only British players that have been any good in that time has been players coming through the academy Gerrard, Carragher, Fowler, McManaman.

    The thing is that there is a miniscule amount of British 'talent' and the vast majority is over rated and over priced.

  • Comment number 71.

    I just dont get the signing of the former flying deckchair that is Carrol , for an umbelievable fee, Liverpool have pace in their team but shove him in and its far too static. Liverpool have gone for broke in the spending stakes (where does that money keep coming from?) in an attempt to by 4th spot, it will be close but my question is, what clauses are inserted into their top players contracts, should they fail to make top 4?

  • Comment number 72.

    You won't find anyone defending the price paid for Carroll, but there is no denying he is talented striker.

    As for Coates, can't believe anyone is questioning a guy after one game! Sheesh, get real. Anyway, he made one duff pass but other than that he put in some great tackles. And what a big lad he is!!

  • Comment number 73.

    Also, criticism of Liverpool for the defeat at Spurs is unfair. Yes it was embarrassing and we got battered. However, this is one defeat against a buoyant Spurs side who had something to prove. You get days like that. I also remember Kenny's boys destroying Man U, Man City and beating Chelsea well at Stamford Bridge. So just wind your neck in boys, k?

  • Comment number 74.

    "and as a mad LFC fan. I will support them during high and low times no matter what! "


    Unless they are called Roy ?

  • Comment number 75.

    "in an attempt to by 4th spot"

    Which of the top 6 teams haven't spent big money on players?

    Arsenal.

    That tells it's own story, doesn't it.

  • Comment number 76.

    Hodgson was terrible for Liverpool - he wasted £4m on Konchesky, £10m on Meireles. Kenny's still trying to sort this mess out, he's done all he can but there's not much you can do with only over £100m to spend

  • Comment number 77.

    to be honest liverpool are just awful in every aspect of the game

  • Comment number 78.

    Bellamy has often been a thorn in defenders side. When a starter for city he ghosted past the likes of Terry and Ferdinand easily and his quality when fit would be a welcome adition to any squad.
    Coates hasn't even played 2 full games for Liverpool so how exactly can you compare him with Paletta? Having watched him in the Copa America he did look a decent defender. If he gets a run of games he might prove to be a good signing at £6m.

  • Comment number 79.

    76. At 09:58 22nd Sep 2011, Kapnag wrote:
    Hodgson was terrible for Liverpool - he wasted £4m on Konchesky, £10m on Meireles. Kenny's still trying to sort this mess out, he's done all he can but there's not much you can do with only over £100m to spend

    -----------------------------------

    Waster 10m on Raul M ... the same Raul M that went to Chelsea to have a chance of actually winning something! ?

  • Comment number 80.

    messibeatslittlerio
    i hate to break it to you mate but your just talking complete rubbish

  • Comment number 81.

    Firstly, let's grow up and stop referring to Andy Carroll as £35M Andy Carroll. In effect, CHELSEA paid for him with the wholly ridiculous money they paid for Torres - and what a good deal that's turned out to be so far! It was his ludicrous transfer that prompted LFC to make one of their own. We had little choice in the matter on deadline day. Carroll is a long term investment so real Liverpool supporters are not worried just yet. It's just a shame that journalists, and even ones who work for supposedly more reputable organisations (e.g. the BEEB) feel the need to keep stirring this one up. It'd be nice if the press would back off and let the lad settle in...but the won't of course. After all, that wouldn't sell papers or get them the attention they crave.

  • Comment number 82.

    Waster 10m on Raul M ... the same Raul M that went to Chelsea to have a chance of actually winning something! ?

    ==

    Yep, what was Roy thinking? Good job Kenny got rid of him as soon as possible

  • Comment number 83.

    Think about it, realistically the mess was there well before Hodgson arrived,there was division at Anfield ref all things RAFA, on the pitch, in the boardroom and all over the media, and not all of the terraces were happy either. Hodgson should not have taken the job, at that time, he wasn`t wanted, he was never going to unite all of the above therefore he stood no chance, he was a patsy

  • Comment number 84.

    80.At 10:04 22nd Sep 2011, nigjhon wrote:

    Very well thought it response.

  • Comment number 85.

    I've never understood this myth, which has been perpetuated by some Liverpool fans, that Liverpool paid ''a little over the odds'' for Andy Carroll, because the deal was somehow intrinsically linked to the selling of Torres, and that Newcastle could ''hold them to ransom'' on the last day of the transfer window.

    That's nonsense. At the end of January, Liverpool were only competing for the Europa League, and Carroll was already injured and out for about six weeks.

    There was absolutely no need for them to give a £35m charity donation to Newcastle, unless they thought that was decent market value or as an attempt to placate the fans. Neither of those reasons make much sense in the context.

    If they really wanted Carroll that badly, why didn't they just play Ngog or Jovanovic for the last two or three months of the season, and come in for Carroll in the off-season, where they would have been able to buy for a more sensible price?

  • Comment number 86.

    In effect, CHELSEA paid for him

    ==

    It was chelsea

  • Comment number 87.

    @ 43.At 09:13 22nd Sep 2011, Stay on your feet,

    Hold on mate.
    Last time I read about Mike Ashley on the Press, in relation to Newcastle United and cash was when he was looking for buyers for Newcastle, for something around half of this £500m you claim he has invested in Necastle and, had he had found a buyer, he would make a nice profit too. He's invested nothing after Keegan was shown the door and, if there is one implication about Mike Ashley and Newcastle, it is that he tries his best so that Newcastle will be no close to top four, having their fans barking about expensive transfers and players.

    £500m invested by Mike Ashley in Newcastle?
    Are you Mike Ashley in disguise? LOL

    Let me refrain your memory:
    - Newcastle, under Keegan's last spell there, started a season with an 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, playing admittedly better than United. A few weeks later, Keegan left United.
    - Houghton brought Newcastle back in the Premiership, they were playing quite well and he got the sack to be replaced by a League 1 manager.
    - Carrol sold, Enrique sold, Barton left, Nolan probably on the way out.

    I am sure if Colloccini was young he'd have been sold too.

    Which planet do you live on?
    Mike Ashley does everything in his power to keep Newcastle away from top four, thus keeping Newcastle fans away from dreams about Champions League football.
    As he claimed once, he took matters in his own hands.
    Plus, he wound up all Newcastle fans quite successfuly by pretending to be 'one of the folk' with his stands attending matches with the Newcastle shirt on, which are all well documented.

    I think you all should leave Kenny Dalglish and Liverpool alone and look at your own mess.
    And I do not even support Liverpool. I'm a Manchester United fan.

  • Comment number 88.

    @83

    Couldnt agree more mate, Liverpool had too many problems and Hodgson was not the man to fix them all, feel bad for the way he got treated at Liverpool!

  • Comment number 89.

    Carroll. He has two main attributes.

    1/ On the odd occasion he gets a clean shot on goal then it's got a good chance of going in becasue of the power he can get behind it.

    2/ When wingers/full backs put crosses in he can head the ball very well, and is difficult for defenders to handle because of his size.

    That said, loads of other strikers have those attributes.

    Fabregas £35 million
    Aguero £38 million
    Carroll £35 million... ?!?!

    Sorry, what a complete and utter joke. Soothed only (and I mean ONLY) by the fact that Chelsea paid £50 million in the same window for Torres.

  • Comment number 90.

    honest response mate just being honest

  • Comment number 91.

    Firstly, let's grow up and stop referring to Andy Carroll as £35M Andy Carroll. In effect, CHELSEA paid for him with the wholly ridiculous money they paid for Torres
    ------------

    So that entitles Kenny to pee the money up the wall? Liverpool overpaid for Carroll by £34.5m. He was valued at only £500,000 in the last set of Newcastle club accounts the year before he was bought by Liverpool. He wasnt even top scorer in the championship and he was part of a team that romped to the league. Think its time for Kenny to come out and admit "I fluffed up on that one"

  • Comment number 92.

    #68 kapnag

    I think you've hit the nail on the head. It amazes me that Liverpool fans hail the return of Kenny. He's having a laugh. Throwing money away on players like Downing, Henderson and Carroll? If Liverpool want to be a successful club (which i assume they do), then they need to buy players with a big-game mentality. Downing is a good example of Liverpool's failure here. A player who will shy away on the big occasion. Happy to pop in the odd good cross against weaker teams, but essentially bullied by top-class full-backs - often out-paced and out-muscled.

    Of course, Downing is a very very good player. But with all the money Liverpool have spent i just feel that they're not quite getting the top quality they're paying for and, more importantly, looking for.

  • Comment number 93.

    Give it a season or two, and Suarez will be off to Real or Barca. The good news about that for Liverpool fans is that they'll probably get £40m-50m for him, so they''ll probably recoup the £25m which they overpaid for Carroll. :P

  • Comment number 94.

    Phil - Bellamy is the type of player who suits Liverpool's current game plans better than Carroll does, therefore he will probably get more 'game time' than the big lad.
    The price tag for Carroll seems OTT, but at the time it needed something of that size of fee to get Newcastle to part with him and everyone at St James knew of course that 'King Kenny' had £50m in the bank from the sale of Fernando!
    Carroll now finds himself in a similar position at Liverpool, to Berbatov at United.....by the way I am not suggesting Carroll and Berbatov are similar players, far from it, but they do share a problem that their individual styles don't suit the styles of play at their respective clubs.
    Maybe 'King Kenny' can turn Carroll into a decent centre-back? Afterall, Berbatov was giving it a go the other night for the last few minutes of the Leeds game!!!

  • Comment number 95.

    "I've never understood this myth, which has been perpetuated by some Liverpool fans, that Liverpool paid ''a little over the odds'' for Andy Carroll, because the deal was somehow intrinsically linked to the selling of Torres, and that Newcastle could ''hold them to ransom'' on the last day of the transfer window."

    I don't see how that's so hard to understand. I've already mentioned that Carroll is a long term investment, something that the new owners at LFC are clearly keen to go ahead with.

    Besides that, if we had waited until the end of the season, we wouldn't have landed him because even if he HAD wanted to go (which I don't believe he did), we wouldn't have been able to compete with other clubs...and I'm not talking financially.

  • Comment number 96.

    Someone needs to get a hold of Kenny and his chequebook before he makes a £40m bid for Lee Cattermole.

  • Comment number 97.

    Carroll is highly overrated in my opinion. He offers air support, leg support, but plays a one dimensional wooden game. testament: observe the Arsenal game won against some very inexperienced and frankly, had suarez come on sooner, it would have been done and dusted by half time.....Carroll to be sold on by 2012 my prediction...and Im a gooner!!!

  • Comment number 98.

    #92 Yes spot on. They will make it back to the top 6 more from sound management and a return to old form than their signings. Arsenal's in the dumps, but compared to the League's current highest spenders, are still capable of giving them a run for their money at full strength..
    No, liverpool's signings have not been the most astute, they were more hype to satisfy moaning fans...Somethings Arsenal did out of panic, but equally poor signings there.

  • Comment number 99.

    90.At 10:14 22nd Sep 2011, nigjhon wrote:
    honest response mate just being honest

    Of course it was.......and we are all entitled to our opinion on here.

  • Comment number 100.

    35 million for a benchwarmer! makes Nando look a bargain!

 

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