Tag Archives: kenny

Liverpool debts rise to 87.2million after 21.8million loss

In the Red! Liverpool debt rises to 87.2million… and instalments on Downing and Henderson transfers are to blame

– a restructured period designed to bring alignment with the football season.

However, the loss was less than the 49.3million made the previous year and done against the backdrop of no European football, although Liverpool did get to two cup finals, winning one.

Some of the deficit was as a result of investing heavily in the transfer market – and the costs associated with bringing in the likes of Stewart Downing (20million) and Jordan Henderson (16million) in the weeks preceding the accounting period – while offloading other players at a loss.

Costly: Kenny Dalglish unveils his new signings Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam, Doni and Stewart Downing

Costly: Kenny Dalglish unveils his new signings Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam, Doni and Stewart Downing

But with the club's owners Fenway
Sports Group firmly focused on the impending arrival of Financial Fair
Play Ayre stressed there was necessary work to be undertaken.

'The key message for me is that we are
continuing to transition to the point we have been working on for
several years under this ownership – which is to continue to improve
revenues and manage our cost base effectively,' he said.

'The biggest cost base without doubt
is player trading and player wages – but these accounts demonstrate that
we are still working hard to improve that.

'I take comfort in the fact that the
work we have done, some of which costs us a lot of money in this period
and beyond, looks pretty painful at the time.

'But as long as you invest in it and
manage it in the right way, then hopefully it bears fruit as we go
forward and gives us a better platform to exist on in a different
environment and in a world where we are expected to break even.

'You never take comfort from any business that makes a loss but I am pleased that we're making the progress we are making.'

In the period relating to these
accounts the club offloaded 11 players, including the likes of Milan
Jovanovic, Christian Poulsen and Raul Meireles – all signings by
previous managers.

The then boss Kenny Dalglish – the
cost of whose sacking last May was included in 9.5million of 'exceptional payments' – wanted reinforcements for his squad and that
meant players had to be moved on to make room.

Lead: Downing scored the opening goal in Liverpool's 4-0 win over Wigan on Saturday

Lead: Downing scored the opening goal in Liverpool's 4-0 win over Wigan on Saturday

Contribution: Henderson has scored three goals for Liverpool this season

Contribution: Henderson has scored three goals for Liverpool this season

Reassurance: Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre

Reassurance: Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre

Boss: Liverpool owner John W Henry

Boss: Liverpool owner John W Henry


Downing had a well-documented goal drought at Anfield, and his Wikipedia page was hacked to reflect that.


'We see a big charge within the
accounts for amortisation (depreciation in value) of players that have
been disposed of within the period that perhaps came in on a higher
cost,' Ayre told the Liverpool Echo.

'We've made losses as a result of
selling them but at the same time we've improved our longer-term
position in terms of our wage bill by reducing the wages for those
particular contracts.

'These accounts show investment in the
squad – players like Jose Enrique and Sebastian Coates – and as we have
seen in accounts that flow from that – we will continue to invest in
the squad both for improved playing performance but also a far better
structure in deals that we have with players.

'So we are fortunate in some sense in that we know we are improving in this year and we are continuing to improve.'

In addition to transfer-related costs
captain Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez were among five players who
signed new contracts during the accounting period, since the end of
which FSG have injected 46.8million via a non-interest bearing
intercompany loan.

Turnover increased by 5million but so did wages, with the salary bill now around 142million or 70 per cent of income.

Liverpool's Steven Gerrard

A dejected Luis Suarez

Out of the big league: Liverpool have not played in the Champions League since being eliminated from the group stage in 2009 and this will have affected their financial situation

'It's good to see that even in a year
where we have a downturn in fortunes by not playing European football,
we can bolster our revenues by performing in other areas,' added Ayre.

'It shows that we have a very strong and growing business that sits behind the football club.

'And as we approach things like Financial Fair Play and that type of environment, that puts us in a very strong position.'

The figures do not include the record
25million-a-season six-year sponsorship deal with kit manufacturers
Warrior, which came into effect last summer and could net the club a
similar amount through associated merchandising.

'We've had record sales of their products throughout this year,' said Ayre.

'We've also seen new sponsors come on board, notably Chevrolet and Garuda Airlines.

'If you have got a successfully
performing team and you have got an infrastructure which we now have and
the business ability to deliver revenue, then both of them coming
together would be a fantastic solution for the football club all round.'

VIDEO: Watch highlights of Liverpool's 4-0 win at Wigan on Saturday

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Rafael Benitez crisis: Chelsea had Mourinho, Rodgers, Villas-Boas and Clarke – now they are full of resentment

Chelsea old boys Mourinho, AVB, Clarke and Rodgers are full of simmering resentment… is it any surprise after working at this club

Roberto Di Matteo (Mar 2012-Nov 2012)
Rafa Benitez (Nov 2012- )

It was no surprise the combustible Villas-Boas and Mourinho fell out, but more damagingly Clarke and Rodgers now have one of the frostiest relationships in the game.

Clarke played a pivotal role in getting Rodgers’ career started at Stamford Bridge and was torn apart by the way he was treated by the Ulsterman when their paths crossed briefly again at Liverpool last summer.

Clarke, regarded as one of football’s nice guys, had put his own reputation on the line to get Rodgers a job at Chelsea.

Brendan Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers

Now and then: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was once youth and reserve-team boss at Chelsea

Can West Brom's grim reapers Bag another Chelsea manager's scalp

Rafael Benitez will not be happy to see Chelsea's next opponents are West Bromwich Albion – the grim reapers of Blues bosses.

The Baggies have hammered the final nail into the coffin of Benitez's two predecessors in the Stamford Bridge hotseat, Andre Villas-Boas and Roberto Di Matteo.

Villas-Boas' reign was ended after just eight torrid months following a dismal 1-0 defeat at West Brom in March 2012, in which Gareth McAuley struck the winner.


And Di Matteo saw his reign terminated, despite winning the Champions League just six months before, after an unacceptable run of results culminated in a 2-1 defeat at The Hawthorns in November last year.

Shane Long and Peter Odemwingie scored the goals as the Italian's fate was sealed even before the Champions League defeat against Juventus three days later.

Yet when Rodgers arrived on Merseyside
to succeed Kenny Dalglish as manager, Clarke – the club’s
assistant manager – learned about his dismissal with a phone call from
the club’s human resources department, rather than from Rodgers himself.

Fortunately for Clarke, he has been able to rebuild impressively his shattered career at West Brom this season with the club standing seventh in the Premier League, and is too polite to follow Benitez’s example and go public with his grievances.

But as he walks out at Stamford Bridge this weekend, he’ll undoubtedly cast his mind back to 2004 when he was Mourinho’s assistant manager at Chelsea and Rodgers an unknown 31-year-old whose playing career had been cut short by injury.

When a vacancy came up as youth-team manager, Chelsea playing idol Gus Poyet was the hot favourite until Clarke remembered the keen young coach he’d met on a pro-licence course and recommended him to Roman Abramovich.

The rest, as they say, is history. Rodgers learned avidly under Mourinho and used four years at Chelsea as a springboard for his own managerial career, at Watford, Reading, Swansea and currently at Liverpool.

In all that time, Clarke felt his early assistance went unappreciated.

‘Even at Liverpool, Brendan never spoke to him through the process of Steve leaving his job. They knew each other well but he left it to another department to sort it out,’ confirmed a friend.

‘The thing that hurts most is he never got a thank you. It’s an understatement to say he was badly treated.’

Rafa Benitez will know how he feels. It must be a Chelsea thing.


Glory days: Mourinho and Clarke formed a strong bond which brought huge success to Chelsea

Glory days: Mourinho and Clarke formed a strong bond which brought huge success to Chelsea

The Special One led Chelsea to their
first title since 1955 but was sacked after a Champions League draw against
Rosenborg. Now in charge of Real Madrid but tipped for a return.

STEVE CLARKE (assistant manager)
A former Chelsea player, he was able
to teach Mourinho all about the club’s history and tradition. After
being a long-time No 2, will be back at the Bridge this weekend as West
Brom manager.

BRENDAN RODGERS (reserve-team manager)
Clarke gave him a reference to become
Chelsea’s youth-team manager and he was promoted to the reserves. Now in
his fourth managerial job, at Liverpool.

ANDRE VILLAS-BOAS (scout and cheerleader)
Mourinho’s close friend from Portugal,
AVB was often a hot-headed figure seen on the Chelsea bench. Now
reinvented himself as a great thinker, he failed as Chelsea manager but
doing well at Spurs‬.

Kenny Dalglish lined up for Liverpool return

Liverpool line up offer to bring King Kenny back to Anfield – as an ambassador

John Drayton


00:04 GMT, 10 January 2013



09:43 GMT, 10 January 2013

Liverpool are hoping to lure Anfield legend Kenny Dalglish back in an ambassadorial role.

Dalglish was sacked in May following an 18-month spell as boss, having taken over from Roy Hodgson in January 2011.

Although Dalglish took up a similar position before his appointment as manager – and was involved in the club's academy – it is unclear whether he would be open to the idea of a return.

Tempted Kenny Dalglish could be on his way back to Anfield as an ambassador

Tempted Kenny Dalglish could be on his way back to Anfield as an ambassador

Since being replaced by former Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers, the 61-year-old has only been to Anfield once this season to watch Liverpool in action.

Dalglish, who played more than 350 times for the club, has always been held in high esteem by the supporters.

And Liverpool are keen for him to help attract lucrative sponsorship deals, according to the Daily Telegraph.

After his departure last summer, Dalglish gave the impression that he was warm to the idea of returning to Liverpool.

He said at the time: 'I said when first approached about coming back as manager that I would always be of help if I can at any time and that offer remains the same.'

Liverpool owner John W Henry also hinted he would have his former manager back, describing Dalglish as 'part of the family'.

New boy: Brendan Rodgers (right) took over from Dalglish (left) last summer

New boy: Brendan Rodgers (right) took over from Dalglish (left) last summer

Hull 2 Leeds 0 – match report

Hull 2 Leeds 0: Quickfire double from Evans and Meyler sends Warnock's Whites packing


14:27 GMT, 29 December 2012



14:40 GMT, 29 December 2012

Premier League hopefuls Hull overcame their problems in front of goal to see off a woeful Leeds side at the KC Stadium.

Steve Bruce's men are in the thick of the promotion race and cemented themselves in second place heading in to 2013 with this win, eventually brought about by goals from Corry Evans and David Meyler.

Prior to Evans' 52nd-minute opener it had looked as though the one thing to have blighted Hull this season – a dismal lack of goals – would haunt them again, but once the seal was broken they did not look back.

Job done: David Meyler scored Hull's second to put the game beyond doubt

Job done: David Meyler scored Hull's second to put the game beyond doubt


Hull City: Jakupovic, Chester, Hobbs, Evans, Koren (Proschwitz 76), Faye, Aluko (Simpson 89), Elmohamady (Rosenior 82), Quinn, Meyler, Brady

Subs not used: Amos, McShane, Cairney, Olofinjana

Goals: Evans 52, Meyler 55

Booked: Brady

Leeds United: Kenny, Lees, Pearce, Tate, Green, White, Brown, Norris (Austin 68), /12/29/article-2254528-16AE8D59000005DC-931_468x344.jpg” width=”468″ height=”344″ alt=”Hard fought: Sone Aluko tries to hold off Leeds United's Jason Pearce ” class=”blkBorder” />

Hard fought: Sone Aluko tries to hold off Leeds United's Jason Pearce

With no possession to speak of, Leeds
reverted to unsavoury methods of staying in the game, with Aidy White
and McCormack booked for late challenges and Michael Brown shown a
yellow card for refusing to step off the field while he received

The pattern of the match continued
into the second half, Aluko drilling just wide after cutting in, with
Paddy Kenny then doing well to get down and deny Meyler after Brown's
error had set Hull free.

Aluko then turned Pearce inside out
and flashed a cross-cum-shot across goal which Koren should have turned
in, but the latter was more effective with 52 minutes gone as he laid on
Evans' goal.

His neat reverse pass put the Northern
Ireland international in down the right-hand side of the box and,
without a moment of hesitation he rammed a low drive across Kenny and
into the bottom corner.

It was no more than Hull deserved, in
fact another couple of goals would have been justified, and one arrived
three minutes later as Meyler, due to return to Sunderland tomorrow,
rose to head in Robbie Brady's corner at the near post.

Only the theatrics of Kenny from Brady
and Koren's wasteful follow-up denied Hull a third, with other near
misses coming and going as both sides happily saw the game through to
its conclusion.

Damien Comolli defends Kenny Dalglish"s transfer record at Liverpool

Comolli defends Dalglish's 110m Liverpool spending spree… as it emerges they missed out on Ba, Giroud and Kagawa



09:57 GMT, 14 December 2012

Former Liverpool director of football Damien Comolli has defended Kenny Dalglish’s transfer record at the club despite the fact that many of his signings are no longer part of Brendan Rodgers' plans.

In his time at the club Comolli oversaw an estimated 110million spending spree as Liverpool aggressively pursued Champions League football.

And since the Frenchman departed Anfield, Dalglish has also left, while his high profile signigs Carroll has been loaned to West Ham, Charlie Adam and Craig Bellamy have departed, Stewart Downing will leave if a buyer can be found in January, and Jose Enrique, Jordan Henderson and Sebastian Coates have had doubts raised against them.

Mixed reviews: Liverpool signed Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez in the same transfer window

Mixed reviews: Liverpool signed Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez in the same transfer window


ANDY CARROLL (35million)
LUIS SUAREZ (22.8million)
CHARLIE ADAM (9million)
JOSE ENRIQUE (5million)

*Estimated fee

That leaves Luis Suarez – an 18m signing from Ajax – as the only player who still plays a key role at the club.

Goals have been one of the main problems for Liverpool over the last few seasons and while he does not confirm names, the likes of Demba Ba, Olivier Giroud and Shinji Kagawa all were linked with moves to Anfield but all eventually moved elsewhere.

But Comolli defends his record at the club, speaking to the Daily Express, he said: ‘We did 26 deals and to think we wouldn’t make any mistakes in such a huge number of deals in and out would be totally unrealistic.

Defending his role: Damien Comolli says the signings he made should be judged over the long term

Defending his role: Damien Comolli says the signings he made should be judged over the long term

‘I do not think we made any mistakes on the players going out and whether we made mistakes on the players who came in, time will tell. I am very uncomfortable for players to be judged after six, eight or even 12 months. Sometimes it takes two or three years.

‘In two or three years you can say, ‘Damien and Kenny, you were wrong’. Or you can say, ‘They just needed time’.’

The 35m move for Carroll is one of the moves that has attracted the most criticism, but again, Comolli is quick to defend the actions of the club.

Demba Ba

Demba Ba

Olivier Giroud

Olivier Giroud

Shinji Kagawa

Shinji Kagawa

He added: ‘If you want to talk about the Carroll deal, the situation was quite clear.

‘The way we looked at it, we were selling two players – Fernando Torres and Ryan Babel – and we were bringing two in – Suarez and Carroll – and we were making a profit and the wage bill was coming down considerably as well. It was a four-player deal.

Parting ways: Kenny Dalglish won the League Cup but owners Tom Werner and John W Henry decided to go a for Brendan Rodgers this season

Parting ways: Kenny Dalglish won the League Cup but owners Tom Werner and John W Henry decided to go a for Brendan Rodgers this season

'Chelsea kept bidding higher and higher for Torres. The difference between their first and final bid is double.

'They [FSG] asked me what the risks were and I said if things don’t go well you’ll lose something on Andy, but it is difficult to measure whether you will make money if things go well because Liverpool aren’t a selling club and he could be here for the next 10 years.’

QPR line up Joe Cole bid in January

EXCLUSIVE: Harry to go for Joe… But is Kop flop Cole the man who can keep QPR from the drop



17:15 GMT, 29 November 2012

Joe Cole is wanted by Harry Redknapp to save QPR from the drop.

The relegation-threatened club will explore the option of taking the former England international on loan until the end of the season when the transfer window re-opens.

The midfielder is an outcast at Liverpool under Brendan Rodgers and needs a fresh challenge elsewhere.

Heading south Joe Cole is a January target for QPR

Heading south Joe Cole is a January target for QPR

That could come at Rangers, who are attempting to salvage their season under newly-appointed Redknapp.

The deal would be dependent on both club's striking an agreement over Cole's 90,000-per-week wages.

Although Redknapp has maverick midfielder Adel Taraabt on his books, he would jump at the chance to be reunited with Cole.

We've met before: Harry Redknapp brought Cole through at West Ham

We've met before: Harry Redknapp brought Cole through at West Ham

Cole was handed his professional debut by Redknapp at West Ham in 1998. He signed for Chelsea for 6million in 2003 before arriving at Liverpool on a free transfer in 2010.

However, he has failed to secure a regular spot in the Anfield line-up under his three different managers – Roy Hodgson, Kenny Dalglish and Rodgers.

Back to fitness: Cole has overcome his injury problems that blighted his early season

Back to fitness: Cole has overcome his injury problems that blighted his early season

He spent last season on loan at Lille and, despite enjoying success in France, he failed to secure a permanent switch across the Channel.

Now it seems he will be offered the chance to resurrect his career at Loftus Road in the fight for survival.

Jose Enrique to fight for place at Liverpool

Enrique up for the fight after Rodgers gets tough with ultimatum



22:44 GMT, 26 November 2012

Jose Enrique will fight to save his Liverpool career after admitting he still has to convince Brendan Rodgers he can play a long-term role at Anfield.

The Spanish left-back, along with Stewart Downing, received an ultimatum from Liverpool’s manager that 'talent alone' would not be enough to convince Rodgers they should stay at the club.

While the 20million winger has
subsequently been told he can leave Liverpool in January if a suitable
offer arrives, Enrique has managed to work his way back into the
starting line-up, ironically in the position that should have been
reserved for Downing.

Tough times: Jose Enrique (right) faces a fight to save his Anfield future

Tough times: Jose Enrique (right) faces a fight to save his Anfield future

Enrique, however, is by no means safe and the likelihood is Liverpool would consider trading him if the opportunity arises but the former Newcastle man, who was signed by Kenny Dalglish in August 2011 for 7million, is determined to win his battle.

When asked how he felt to hear his place at Liverpool was in jeopardy, Enrique said: ‘To be honest, you cannot worry about it. I believe in myself. I always have done, no matter what team I have played for. This is the biggest club I have ever played for.

‘Every day you have to prove yourself. It doesn’t matter how well you have played in the past, it is what you are doing at the minute that counts. If you don’t play well, you are on the bench. There are players here waiting to come and take your place. I want to be here for a long time.

‘I had some problems with my knee at the start of this season. I had this pain but in the scan, everything was showing okay. Then, one day, the pain had just gone. Now I want to keep improving.’

Time up Stewart Downing looks set to leave Liverpool in January

Time up Stewart Downing looks set to leave Liverpool in January

Though Enrique, who had a ‘goal’
disallowed in Sunday’s 0-0 draw at Swansea, made a blistering start to
his Liverpool career, he suffered an alarming drop in consistency in the
New Year and he recognised that the first six months of 2012 have left
him with everything to prove.

‘Last year, until December, I really
played well,’ said Enrique, who scored his first goals in the Barclays
Premier League during a 3-0 win against Wigan 10 days ago. ‘I don’t know
why my form dropped after that. But now I feel as if I am doing well

‘You don’t live off what you have done before in football, you live in the now and I am trying to do my best.

‘He (Rodgers) is the best manager I
have had in terms of tactics and everything else. Tactically, he is very
Spanish. He reminds me of when I had (Manuel) Pellegrini at Villarreal.
He really likes Spanish players, those who give him 100 per cent every

Point to prove: Jordan Henderson (right) has failed to shine

Point to prove: Jordan Henderson (right) has failed to shine

Another player with everything to
prove is Jordan Henderson. He was offered to Fulham in August as Rodgers
tried to find a way of signing Clint Dempsey but the 16million
midfielder, who made his first Premier League start of the season at
Swansea, turned down the move.

Just as significantly, Henderson – England’s Under 21 captain – insists he is not looking to escape in January, either.

‘I was happy with the way things went
but I have to improve an awful lot of thing,’ said Henderson. ‘In the
final third, I need to get better. Defensively I have been sold and done
what the manager asked. The fee doesn’t bother me. People might talk
about it but that had nothing to do with me.

‘A move to Liverpool has to be for
life, not just for Christmas. When I signed, I definitely wanted it to
be for the long term. I want to make sure that when I am given my
opportunities, I work hard and try to take them.’

Brendan Rodgers not expecting Liverpool to spend big in January transfer window

Rodgers rules out January splurge as he admits Liverpool's frivolous past has cost club dear



06:52 GMT, 26 November 2012

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers does not expect to make any major investment in his squad in January as the club continue to count the cost of previous regimes.

Rodgers watched his side secure a goalless draw on his return to former club Swansea on Sunday, where they lacked the cutting edge to claim the three points despite having several presentable chances.

Jose Enrique had a goal ruled out on a marginal offside decision, which Rodgers disagreed with, while Raheem Sterling struck the bar and Luis Suarez twice tested Gerhard Tremmel in the Swansea goal.

Demands: Brendan Rodgers won't have big money to spend in January

Demands: Brendan Rodgers won't have big money to spend in January

The result leaves Liverpool 11th in the Barclays Premier League, a point and two places below the Swans, but their performance suggested progress is being made in the adaptation to their manager’s passing principles.

The Reds are only five points adrift of Merseyside rivals Everton in fifth, but Rodgers does not expect January to help bring about a huge leap up the table and admits he does not yet consider the current squad to be his own.

He said: 'It will evolve. The guys are working very well, they have been fantastic, but we all know you need to get in your own types of players before you can say it is your own side.

'When I came to Swansea in my first season there were 12 players that were used and six moved on. In the second year seven came in over the course of the season and there were nine who went the other way.

'Until you get that turnover of players you can only look at it then as your team. But we will work with the players we have.

He added: 'I am not so sure it will be in January to be honest. This year the club wanted to balance the books and see where it was at.

Splurge: Kenny Dalglish's doomed regime cost the club a lot financially

Splurge: Kenny Dalglish's doomed regime cost the club a lot financially

'There was a big investment in the club and obviously a lot of players went out in the summer and a few came in.

'We will look to do some business in January to help and support the players here, but that is where we are at as a football club and it is something the owners trust me to grow over time. Eventually we will get there.'

Andy Carroll goal drought: when will he score again?

Without a league goal since April, can Carroll rediscover his golden touch at high-flying West Ham



15:03 GMT, 20 November 2012

It’s a question that only Chris Hughton knows the answer to and to a slight extent, Alan Pardew too.

Kenny Dalglish was left stumped, Brendan Rodgers didn’t try to put much effort into answering it and now Sam Allardyce is doing some long division sums to find a solution.

So on to the poser itself: How do you get Andy Carroll scoring goals

Imperfect 10: Carroll has not scored yet this season

Imperfect 10: Carroll has not scored yet this season

West Ham’s 1-1 draw with Stoke on Monday night brought another battling performance out of the striker but also his tenth match this season without a goal.

In fact you have to go back to Euro 2012 in June for the last time Carroll found the back of the net, with a brilliant header for England against Sweden.

The 23-year-old’s last domestic goal proved to be a consolation strike against Chelsea in the FA Cup final, while his last Premier League goal was a 90th-minute winner at Blackburn in April (another great header).

That’s a worrying drought for any marksman, let alone one that cost Liverpool 35million last January when he joined from Newcastle.

It’s coming up to two years since Carroll departed St James’ Park on the last day of the 2011 January transfer window and the stats do not make good reading for him.

After helping Newcastle return to the Premier League in 2010, the striker scored 11 goals in his first four months back in the top flight under Hughton and Pardew. Since joining Liverpool he has scored six.

Revelation: Carroll burst onto the scene with Newcastle in 2010

Revelation: Carroll burst onto the scene with Newcastle in 2010

To put that into context we have Fernando Torres, who left Liverpool and joined Chelsea for 50million on the same day Carroll ventured into Merseyside.

With 40 league starts (seven more than Carroll) the much maligned striker has found the net 11 times. But while Blues fans have started to lose patience with the Spaniard, West Ham and some sections of Liverpool fans only have positive things to say about Carroll. So if he isn’t scoring, what is he doing

The simple answer is he is bringing more team-mates into play just by being on the pitch. The striker’s fantastic ability to contest an aerial ball has made him a victim of his own success.

As a relative unknown threat at Newcastle he was the focal point of the attack and given as much licence as any striker to contest a cross – and the goals soon followed.

At Liverpool he was often in a more unsuited role playing alongside No 1 striker Luis Suarez (or injured). But the Premier League teams have caught up on their homework and now, on loan at West Ham, he is a marked man.

Frozen out: Rodgers was not interested in keeping Carroll at Liverpool

Frozen out: Rodgers was not interested in keeping Carroll at Liverpool

Or make that double marked. Watch any long ball played towards Carroll this season and you will see two opposition defenders jump with him. It’s no wonder the goals have dried up when he is given very little chance to win an attacking header these days.

This may be starting to read like the England international is a heading machine and nothing more but there is finesse to Carroll’s game too.

His left foot can be just as powerful and deadly inside and outside the penalty box. He holds the ball up well and can spot an intelligent pass to make.

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce knows this and has been keen to exploit the gaps left by defences’ concentrated efforts on Carroll by bringing Kevin Nolan into an advanced role – the midfielder may as well be masquerading as a centre-forward these days.

Carroll and Nolan, good friends off the field, were a lethal combination at Newcastle and have formed a similar understanding at Upton Park.

Marked man: Carroll is renowned for his aerial ability

Marked man: Carroll is renowned for his aerial ability


Newcastle: Games 91, Goals 33,

Liverpool: Games 58, Goals 11

West Ham: Games 6, Goals 0

England: Games 5, Goals 2

Nolan in his ‘secret striker’ role has scored five goals already this season – only Everton’s Marouane Fellaini has more from midfield (Michu has played as a striker on many occasions for Swansea).

Everyone benefits from having Carroll in the team, and that includes the defence as the striker is always happy to come back and defend set-pieces inside his own box too.

West Ham are a more balanced team with him than without him and he is a big reason why the Hammers are flying as high as seventh in the table.

In six games without the striker this season, West Ham have won just two. One was the opening day victory against Aston Villa, the other a Capital One Cup win against Crewe.

It’s a similar story for England. The Three Lions have won six of the nine games Carroll has been involved in and despite scoring just two goals in that time remains in Roy Hodgson’s plans.

At a time when the national side is struggling for creativity, Carroll’s presence on the pitch potentially builds space for players like Theo Walcott and Wayne Rooney to exploit. But he also has the desired quality to show off his own contribution when needed – a factor that often caught out Emile Heskey when he played his own supporting role for Michael Owen at international level.

High hopes: Carroll's last goal was scored for England against Sweden at Euro 2012

High hopes: Carroll's last goal was scored for England against Sweden at Euro 2012

Nurtured well he could still be England’s new No 9 but he needs to find a way to adapt an already promising game. His work-rate so far at West Ham has been admirable but there is more to learn and he can’t live off the excuse of being marked out of every game.

A potential Plan B for West Ham going forward is the impressive Modibo Maiga being paired up in attack with the striker to try and discourage the double marking.

It should free Carroll up slightly and at least give him a few more chances in front of goal. He may have missed a sitter at Newcastle recently but he looks settled at West Ham and the goals will surely come if given more opportunities to feed on.

It’s very unlikely he can ever match his 35million fee, but Carroll didn’t choose his price tag and much of the value in that transfer was due to the enormous loss and little time Newcastle had to replace their star man (plus the Torres factor) rather than a fair gauge of his overall ability.

It’s a striker’s job to score goals but it’s a team’s duty to win and so far West Ham and Carroll are proving a winning combination despite his non-existent strike rate. Even if Rodgers still doesn’t want him at Anfield by the time next summer comes around – plenty of other Premier League teams will.

Liverpool should have chosen Steve Clarke as boss over Brendan Rodgers – Petr Cech

Liverpool should have chosen Clarke as boss over Rodgers, insists old pal Cech



12:03 GMT, 16 November 2012

Petr Cech rates Steve Clarke so highly that he was surprised Liverpool did not appoint him as manager when Kenny Dalglish was sacked.

Clarke's high-flying West Brom side will face Chelsea on Saturday for the first time since the Scot took up his first job in management this summer.

He had spent 14 years as a coach before moving to the Hawthorns – a significant portion of which came at Chelsea, where he was assistant manager to Jose Mourinho and Avram Grant.

Tough job: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers

Growing reputation: West Brom manager Steve Clarke

Who would you rather Brendan Rodgers (left) and Steve Clarke (right)

After leaving the Blues, Clarke had coaching roles at West Ham and Liverpool, where he remained until Dalglish was fired at the end of last season.

Cech, who says he has benefited enormously from Clarke's coaching during his time at Stamford Bridge, never had any doubt that the 49-year-old would make it in to top-flight management.

'I was surprised that it took so long before he actually got (a job in management) because I would have thought that he might have got his chance at Liverpool,' the Chelsea goalkeeper said.

West Brom have surpassed all expectations so far this season under Clarke.

With 11 games gone the Baggies are fifth in the Barclays Premier League. Should they beat Chelsea at the Hawthorns, where they have dropped just two points this year, they will move within one point of the big-spending Blues.

Influence: Petr Cech was coached by Clarke, who spent four years at Chelsea

Influence: Petr Cech was coached by Clarke, who spent four years at Chelsea

Cech has been delighted with how things are going for the new Baggies boss.

'I think he has been doing really well,' Cech said. 'I know he's been waiting for his chance quite a long time.

'He was always an important first-team coach while he was at Liverpool, and then obviously when he was with us.

'Now he has his chance to be manager, to do something with the team the way he wants to do it – his way. And he's been doing really well.

'That's great to see because I think as I know him he's always been working very hard to get a chance and I am pleased for him to have such a great start.'

Blues boss Roberto Di Matteo is expected to reveal today how long he will be without the services of John Terry.

Terry injured his knee in a tackle with Luis Suarez last Sunday and looked set for a long-term lay-off, but Chelsea revealed earlier this week that their captain would be out for 'weeks rather than months'.

The London club have since carried out tests on the 31-year-old's right leg to determine precisely how long he will be out for and Di Matteo will give an update on the player's condition at his weekly press conference this afternoon.