England's forgotten injured stars: Andy Carroll

England's forgotten injured stars: Andy Carroll

Within the space of two years, Andy Carroll went from being Newcastle United’s top goal-scorer to one of Liverpool’s biggest transfer flops in history. The £35m price tag planted on his head on the final day of the January transfer window was an audacious statement of risk by the Reds after the cashed in on Fernando Torres’ move to Chelsea. It was a risk that never paid off and after a short, but impressive career in the Premier League with Newcastle, Carroll’s quick rise to the national set-up was short lived. He’s currently on the books at West Ham but whilst form and goals have been a problem in the past, he’d now fighting his way through a constant battle with injuries which have put a stop to his progress once against this season.

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When Newcastle United bounced back into the Premier League following a shock relegation to the Championship the season before, they returned bringing an exciting English prospect in the shape of Andy Carroll – a tall, commanding figure who was vastly becoming known as a goal-scoring machine. His partnership with Ameobi was a successful one and as Newcastle and Carroll revelled in the goals, the Premier League quickly learnt his name. In the 2009-10 season, Newcastle’s final campaign in the Championship, Carroll notched up a total of 19 goals in 42 games. In the top flight, before his January transfer to Liverpool, he netted 11 times in 20 appearances whilst his strike partner, Ameobi scored 9 times. Carroll finished the season as the sixth highest goal-scorer in the league, despite not featuring at all in January and February for Liverpool and his goals were vital in helping Newcastle secure a 12th placed finish in the top flight, just a year after battling in the Championship.

Carroll’s form with Newcastle United warranted him a position in Fabio Capello’s 2010 England squad. The 27 year-old was one of three new additions to the national set-up which also gave international caps to Jay Boothroyd and Jordan Henderson. He made 9 appearances for England, scoring 2 goals between 2010 and 2012 but his international career was short lived and since playing his final competitive game against San Marino in a World Cup qualifier in 2012 he’s been trying to fight his way back into contention after a four year exile. He was named as a back-up to Roy Hodgson’s 2014 World Cup squad but that’s as close as he’s got in recent years and despite showing some promise with current club, West Ham United, his return to the international set-up seems highly unlikely.

The switch to Liverpool was always a risk and fans hoped Carroll would bring his goal-scoring form to Anfield but that simply wasn’t the case. His Liverpool career started disappointingly as he suffered with a thigh injury which saw him miss 13 games in a 63 day absence at the start of the new year. He recovered to make his Liverpool debut on 6th March 2011 against Manchester United in a 3-1 victory during a substitute appearance. It took him a further five weeks to score his first goal against Manchester City and added his second in the same game. However he never looked composed in a Liverpool shirt and those two goals were the only ones he scored for Liverpool in the 2010-11 season.

Despite becoming Liverpool’s record transfer signing for £35m, the transition from Fernando Torres to Andy Carroll was a dip Reds fans found hard to take in. Carroll was ridiculed by fans after continuously producing poor performances and his career at Anfield only lasted a further two seasons, including a loan spell at West Ham United. He ended up netting on just 11 occasions during 35 appearances for Liverpool, with only 6 of those goals coming in the Premier League. His Liverpool career turned out to be nothing like his Newcastle days and the heavy price tag weighed him even further down.

When West Ham came knocking, it was an offer Liverpool couldn’t refuse and the £15m sale was as good as they were going to get. The tall Geordie wished a disappointing farewell to Merseyside and turned his attention to a new start with the Hammers – hoping to recover from a serious blip in his football career. His time at Liverpool wasn’t a complete failure though and it has to be noted he scored some important goals against Everton and Manchester City as well as making eight of his nine international appearances whilst on the books with Liverpool. However, his January injury set-back at the start of his Merseyside career during the 2010-11 campaign had lasting effects on the forward and he’s never been the same player since.

Since joining West Ham United, he’s made 57 appearances and scored seven goals. But with 645 total days out injured, Carroll’s missed 82 games for West Ham and looks set to be plagued with injury for the rest of his career. His return will unlikely mirror his goal-scoring seasons with Newcastle United and he looks unlikely to make any more appearances for the national side. With his England career all but officially over and his time with the Hammers damaged through injury, he’s a striker that may be forgotten sooner rather than later and he’s one Liverpool fans have already tried to forget.