Geordie goalscoring hero believes starlet has what it takes to win over Anfield sceptics but only when service from the flanks to to the England international improves
By Rob Stewart
Former Newcastle United striker Malcolm Macdonald has backed Andy Carroll to prosper at Liverpool but only when Anfield manager Kenny Dalglish changes his tactics to suit the £35 million club record signing.
Macdonald saw Carroll hit the heights on Tyneside as he came through the ranks to fill the club’s iconic No.9 shirt, and he is certain that he will flourish on Merseyside as long as ex-Newcastle boss Dalglish makes sure he is given the right service.
Carroll has only scored five times for Liverpool since he switched clubs last January but Macdonald is confident that he will regain his goalscoring touch when a system is developed to bring the best out of a player who developed a reputation for aerial prowess last season.
The 22-year-old will be under the spotlight when Liverpool host Newcastle in the Premier League on Friday night and Macdonald believes that improving service to Carroll from the wings could be crucial to the player silencing his critics.
“Kenny needs to work out how the get the best out of him,” Macdonald told Goal.com.
“I do not think Kenny is quite sure as to what is the best way to do that even though he does seem to be getting the best out of Luis Suarez.
“I reckon the best way to do that with Andy Carroll would be to keep getting crosses into the box but also to make sure that the wingers or full-backs hang those crosses up for him to attack.
“It is then that Carroll will start to frighten the living daylights out of opponents because Kenny would want to see him pulling off at the back post to come in and attack, coming over the heads of the centre-halves that are patrolling the box.”
Macdonald, who is now a highly respected radio station pundit on Tyneside, earned the nickname ‘Supermac’ thanks to his goalscoring exploits for Newcastle during the 1970s and he also played for Arsenal and England.
“Andy showed at Newcastle in the Premier League last season that he is the sort of player who can lead the line and have defenders quaking in their boots but also score goals,” he added.
“Andy is what you would call a throwback of a centre-forward because he has such physical presence but he can play a bit as well. He’s 6ft 4in but has a nice touch for one so big. He links up play well and he’s got a sweet left foot.
“He’s not the finished article by any means but people need to be patient with him. He’s still relatively young. It’s just a matter of having a system that allows him to build on his strengths.”
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