After weeks of speculation, Liverpool striker Andy Carroll has opted to join West Ham on a season long loan. First preference Newcastle backed away from a deal, opening the door to a move to Upton Park. West Ham only paid £1mil for a loan fee to sign the England international, pay his full wages for the season, with a view to buy next summer for an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the region of £17mil.
A big influence on this deal, was the fact that Carroll, best friend & West Ham captain Kevin Nolan, and the Hammers manager Sam Allardyce, all share the same football agent, Mark Curtis. Also, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers had stated that Carroll was not in his plans, and would only be used as cover if his current strikers, which left the big man only one option on the eve of Transfer Deadline Day; join West Ham on loan.
What exactly will Carroll bring to West Ham, he is tall, strong, physical, a generic ‘Sam Allardyce’ player, and will likely play the lone striker role, but here is a statistical look at his career, his time at Newcastle, his time at Liverpool, and how he will fit in at West Ham.
Carroll is only 23, he has time to develop, but here is a comparison of his 10/11 season at Newcastle, & his 11/12 season at Liverpool.
Carroll made roughly double the appearances for Liverpool in 2011/12 than he did for Newcastle in 2010/11, yet, Carroll managed to score 7 more goals (11 in 2010/11, 4 in 2011/12), from 17 less shots (60 in 2010/11, 77 in 2011/12). This can be put down to the price tag weighing on his mind, footballers have fragile mindset’s in some people, it took Fernando Torres a while to start scoring, but Carroll was never given the chance to score regularly.
KEY STAT: Carroll never started three consecutive games for Liverpool in the 18 months he has at the club.
Carroll was also able to create more chances at Liverpool, which is understandable due to the fact he played 17 more games for Liverpool, he created 42 chances for his Liverpool team-mates, compared to the 22 for his Newcastle companions. The real key stat people picked up on was the difference in accuracy and conversion. In 2010/11 with Newcastle, Carroll had a shooting accuracy of 43% just under every other shot on target, for Liverpool in 2011/12, his shooting accuracy was 35%. His chance conversion for Newcastle was 18%, just under 1 in every 5 attempts were goals, for Liverpool, 5%, 1 in every 20 attempts. Some experts have put this down to confidence, other’s say its a talent thing, but Carroll managed it for Newcastle, but was unable to carry that form over in his Liverpool Career.
Carroll, as we all know, is aerially dominant, the picture above states that Carroll attempted the most headed shots last season, 42, incidentally, he only scored one. (Source: @OptaJoe Opta Stats Twitter). But, the fact that he was able to attempt 42 headers last season means that he is aerially dominant, and most Premier League defenders are unable to compete with the tall striker. As most people know, and criticise about Sam Allardyce’s West ham, they like to put the ball in the box, which would give Carroll an advantage over most players.
So Andy is dominant in the air, but how dominate exactly, here is a look at some aerial stats from the Premier League last season:
This is a look at the total aerial duels, and aerial duel win percentage, comparing Andy Carroll from 2010/11, Andy Carroll from 2011/12 & Peter Crouch from 2011/12, the next best player in the field, and a very similar player to Carroll. As you can see, the Carroll last season won the highest percentage of aerial duels across the league, with 64.53% and attempted the most aerial duels in the league, with 242.
Carroll puts himself about, but, what he thrives on is great crossed into the box, West Ham’s new signing Matt Jarvis, winger from Wolves was one of the leagues top crossers last season, here are his stats:
Jarvis was one of leagues top crossers last season, attempting 271 crosses, with 71 being accurate, giving him an accuracy percentage of 27%. Jarvis was also a good chance creator, making 63 chances for Wolves last season, he will look tom improve of that this season, with the likes of Andy Carroll & Modibo Maiga looking to pounce on his creativity.
How will West Ham fit Carroll into their current set up? Well, here’s a look at how I think it will be done:
West Ham will utilise the width that Jarvis & Taylor will offer on each wing, to supply Carroll with delivers into the box for him to get himself on the end of. Alternatively, they could play the ball into Carroll, for him to hold it up, and feed it into someone else, like Nolan, who has made a career out of feeding off of scraps. Carroll will be used as a target man for West Ham, play the lone striker role, but to hold up play, allow the attack to start, and get more players involved.
To conclude, what are West Ham getting with Andy Carroll this season, and potentially the years to follow? A tall, talented forward with a history of scoring goals, but needs consistent game time. It’s clear that Carroll can thrive under the right system, which he had at Newcastle, but was not able to have under Kenny Dalglish at Liverpool, but with Allardyce at West Ham, they will focus around him, play to his strengths, and make him the focal point of the side. I’m tipping Andy Carroll to have a big year this season for West Ham, and guide them to a comfortable finish in the Premier League.
All of the stats from this article have been taken from the Opta Stats Centre at EPLIndex.com – Subscribe Now (Includes author privileges!) Check out our new Top Stats feature on the Stats Centre which allows you to compare all players in the league & read about new additions to the stats centre.