Carroll told to enjoy the boos in Newcastle
Published 22:31 29/03/12 By David Anderson
Andy Carroll returns to his hometown and boyhood club Newcastle for the first time on Sunday, with his Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish insisting he still believes in the striker.
The £35million man has struggled to establish himself as a regular since arriving on Merseyside - carrying an injury - on deadline day in January 2010
Since then, he has made 47 appearances, but only 28 starts.
His eight goals have come at a cost £4.375m each.
However, Liverpool have won six of the last seven times he has started a match.
Dalglish has dismissed what those critical of the Geordie say, and claims everyone at Anfield have faith in him.
"They are all entitled to their opinion," said the Liverpool boss. "I'm
sure whatever we say about, whatever Andy had done, opinion will always be split.
"There are always going to be people saying it was good or bad. But that
doesn't make any difference really. For me, we were delighted to get him and we're still very pleased to have him.
"We have said all along about the boys who have come in that some settle in
quicker than others - and in the environment away from football, too.
"The quicker you settle in, the better chance you're going to give
yourself. I think Andy's settled in the area, and he's worked really hard
to progress his career."
Dalglish knows from his bitter experience of returning to Celtic that you can face a backlash from the fans who once idolised you and he hopes the Toon Army will welcome Carroll's return.
He claims any critics the 23-year-old has on the Gallowgate should remember the 31 league goals he scored for them in 80 games to help them return to the big time, as well as his transfer fee, which has been used to reinvigorate the club.
Dalglish, who spent 20 months in charge of Newcastle between 1997 and 1998, has told Carroll to view any flak he receives as a compliment.
"I'm not sure he will get abuse, because what happened was outside his
control," he said. "It's up to them what they want to do. They pay their entrance money and if they want to give him stick, they will give him stick.
"But I don't think he ever did anything other than give of his best
for Newcastle, and then they got £35m into the bargain. That's not bad, is it?
"How did it affect me when I went back to Celtic? I scored two. Maybe they
should have booed me more often.
"If you get booed, you take it as a compliment.
"I think he will be excited about it. It's the club he supported as a boy,
the club that introduced him and gave him his chance in professional
"So I think he will be excited about it as a local boy and will be looking
forward to the game.
"[Liverpool defender] Jose Enrique had a few years up there too, and he will be looking forward to it as well."
Carroll has come off the bench in Liverpool's shock defeats to QPR and Wigan as he has been recovering from illness, and the stats show he is becoming more important for the Reds.
Dalglish claims he doesn't need to see the numbers to appreciate Carroll and says his main concern is the team starts winning again after losing five of their last six in the league.
"Stats are there for everyone to twist and turn whatever way they want to," he said. "I won't sit and analyse everyone's stats to see where they come out at the end.
"If you're looking for someone with good stats, the most impressive is Maxi, when he's started the games.
"For me, it's not about any one individual, it's about ourselves as a squad and what the squad has done to get results."
ANDY CARROLL BY THE NUMBERS
Premier League season
Shots On Target (inc goals)
Shots Off Target (inc woodwork)
Total Shots Attempted
Goals to Shots Ratio
Left Foot Goals
Right Foot Goals
Goals from Open Play
Goals from Corners
Goals from Throws
Goals from Set Plays
Attempts in Open Play
Attempts from Corners
Attempts from Throws
Attempts from Direct Free Kick
Attempts from Indirect Free Kick