Tuesday 12 December 2017

Enrique the latest Liverpool star to weigh in behind 'amazing' Carroll

Chris Bascombe

There is a pattern emerging on a match day at Anfield. No sooner have Liverpool surrendered home points to modest opponents, and Andy Carroll again failed to ignite his Liverpool career, than one of his team-mates launches a vigorous defence of the £35m striker.

Jose Enrique is the latest to stand up for the Geordie centre-forward, whose recall against Blackburn yielded more missed chances and concerns about whether he is good enough to be a Liverpool player.

Enrique played alongside Carroll (right) at Newcastle so he can base his judgment on far more than the miserable 12 months his team-mate has spent on Merseyside.

The endorsements of Carroll's capabilities remain wholesome, but it has reached a stage where the post-game assessments are more convincing than what has gone on in the previous 90 minutes.

"Andy is a great player. Nobody pays £35m for a player for nothing, and Andy is value," said Enrique. "When he starts to score one goal, he will score many goals.

"It is a different style of play here. We have Luis (Suarez), we have Dirk Kuyt, Bellamy -- all of them are different. For the style of English football, Andy is very important. Like the game against Blackburn, it was a little bit hard to go in behind their defence.

"You are firing crosses in from everywhere and Andy is capable of scoring a goal. I thought Andy was amazing. I just think when the luck comes we will start to get a lot of points."

If he keeps his place for the next home game on Friday, at least Carroll might feel fate will be on his side as he faces the Newcastle side he left in that staggering deal last January.

Kenny Dalglish's options were at least significantly enhanced by his captain's return. Steven Gerrard played the final 22 minutes against Blackburn, his first appearance for two months. He will be looking for even longer against Alan Pardew's side, and with Suarez's lengthy ban on hold, Gerrard will provide even more firepower.

Suarez should be informed by the FA this week of the date of the disciplinary hearing into the obscene gesture he is accused of directing at Fulham fans this month.

Suarez, who plans to appeal against a separate eight-game ban imposed by the FA for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra, will defend himself against a further improper conduct charge over the hand gesture at Craven Cottage. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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