Andy Carroll given his chance to shine

Liverpool beat Newcastle 3-1 and all eyes were on one former Newcastle player but it was another in Craig Bellamy that stole the show with some clinical finish.

Onto Andy Carroll and during the game he looked focused on his own performance rather than getting involved in and producing a reaction to some of the Toon Army chants. In the first half he was largely anonymous and struggled to get into the game but in his defence he is never going to shine when Liverpool are trying to play with the ball on the floor every attack. However for a player that cost £35 million he should be more than a one trick pony, and should by now nearly being at the club for a year have adapted to the way Liverpool want to play. The second half showed a different side to Carroll and this was largely down to the introduction of Club Captain Steven Gerrard who was not afraid to mix it up sending in three teasing crosses for the number 9 to attack. One of these crashed against the bar when arguably he should have done better but he was under pressure from Newcastle defender Mike Williamson.

With only five goals scored for Liverpool so far he has not lived up to his price tag in any stretch of the imagination but when Gerrard plays he does look far more threatening and given the right service as he was in the game last season when scored twice against Manchester City he could become a Liverpool legend. The big problem for Kenny Dalglish is when Luis Suarez plays he surely cannot lump the ball up to Carroll as he won’t be able to influence the play as often as he would like. But with Suarez looking like he is going to be banned for eight games it will give the pony-tailed striker the opportunity to have a decent run of games and to get back some of the form that he had while playing for Newcastle.

If Liverpool win the next eight games and Carroll bags a few goals and assists then King Kenny will have a big call to make. With Suarez in the side they have not won as many games as they would have hoped and with many people expecting more of a challenge on the Premier League title itself this season it may force the manager to leave out the Uruguayan instead of the Englishman.

The pressure is really on now for Carroll to pay back the club that obviously had a lot of faith in him when he arrived. So over to you Mr Andy Carroll can you lead Liverpool back into Europe?