Dalglish fumes at Carroll ‘obsession’
KENNY DALGLISH has railed against what the Liverpool manager perceives as the game's "obsession" with Andy Carroll, insisting the striker will prove to be an asset for the Anfield club in the long term and describing his £35m price tag as "irrelevant".
Carroll has yet to score for Liverpool this season and has started just three of their five games, prompting questions about how well he suits the style of play the Scot is trying to implement and -- thanks in no small part to comments from England manager Fabio Capello -- his fitness.
Such doubts, Dalglish believes, are evidence of an unhealthy obsession with the 22-year-old -- the most expensive English player in history. The Liverpool manager is absolutely adamant that he has no fears whatsoever that history will judge the January purchase of Carroll as astute business.
"I think people are obsessed with Andy Carroll," said Dalglish. "I do not understand the paranoia. People talk about him like they know him. They do not know him. They talk about his lifestyle. What lifestyle? Everyone is obsessed with him.
"I do not understand it. There are other players who have not started, too. Andy started against Tottenham. Luis Suarez did not start against Arsenal.
"We will be better off with a good squad of players, rather than just a team. We do not have a problem with anybody here.
"He is young, but he is an excellent player and he will be a valuable asset for us. The price tag is irrelevant. Does that mean if we get someone in on a Bosman free transfer he is rubbish? Should he not play because we have not paid any money for him?
"Andy knows we are on the same side as him. We will always look after him and I am sure he will look after us."
Dalglish gives equally short shrift to the idea that Liverpool's most potent attacking displays this season have come without Carroll on the pitch.
Victory at Arsenal was assured after the former Newcastle striker was substituted, while Suarez was joined up front by Dirk Kuyt for victory over Bolton.
"We always pick a team we think can win," said the Scot.
"The team does not change for the sake of change, it changes for the benefit of everyone, for varying reasons. Everyone will be treated in exactly the same way here, whether they are the most expensive or the cheapest." (© Daily Telegraph, London)
Liverpool v Wolves,
Live, Setanta Ireland, 3.0