Carroll to West Ham: A deal well struck?

Rodgers will look to bring in a few players with the funds that he received from what West Ham describe as their "marquee signing"
Unlike last summer when Andy Carroll joined West Ham United just hours before the transfer window, Brendan Rodgers has closed the Geordie striker’s agreement quickly. Perhaps if they did so sooner, they would have had ample time to bring in a replacement.

West Ham officials have confirmed that Carroll has completed a £15 million move to the club signing a 6-year contract with the Hammers which will see him net £100,000 a week. Liverpool would be pocketing around £20 million (£15 million fee and another £4 million in wages and some add ons) from Carroll’s sale
which they would use in luring Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Shakhtar Donetsk or Kyriakos Papadopoulos from FC Schalke 04.

Good riddance?

In his first season at Anfield, Rodgers has created a style which if developed with precision and care could be responsible for the failure of top defenses in a few years’ time. According to his system, there is high priority on possession which is combined with clever off-the-ball movement. When his team has the ball, his players play a nice, flowing passing game making the pitch as big as possible. Defensively, his belief is that if you put your opponent under pressure, they have less time and space to work with, which may force them into making mistakes. In this brand of play which Liverpool endorses under Rodgers, it is pretty clear that a player like Carroll would not have any part to play.

This doesn’t mean that Carroll is a poor striker. A move to West Ham under Sam Allardyce would probably be a good place for Carroll to start afresh and establish himself in the national roster, given his inconsistent performances and injury concerns over the past two years. So what exactly will Carroll bring to West Ham?

Allardyce plays reactive, direct football which means utilising a powerful centre forward that is good in the air, and has the ability to hold up play anywhere on the pitch. Carroll, standing tall at six feet four would thrive in Big Sam’s system. In fact, last season he won 9.3 aerial duels per game proving why he’s suited in a formation which employs a lone striker.

The future looks bright for the Geordie under Big Sam

Carroll is a typical ‘Sam Allardyce’ player and he will have the team built around him at West Ham. Out of the 38 games which The Hammers played in the Premier League, there were 27 occasions where Carroll was the lone striker placed in a 4-4-1-1 formation. In this system, they had the best success rate of nearly 50% (gathering 40 points from a possible 81 points). They will make use of the width provided by Matt Jarvis, Matthew Taylor and Ricardo Vaz Te on the wings, who will look to put in a lot of crosses for Carroll to get on the end of.

Another approach would be to knock the ball onto Carroll, for him to hold it up and feed it into someone else, like Kevin Nolan, who has made a career out of feeding off of scraps. Carroll will be used as a target man for West Ham, playing the lone striker role, will hold up play allowing the attack to start and will look to get more players involved.

To conclude, this deal is a win-win situation for both parties. West Ham will get a tall, talented forward who needs consistent game time. It’s clear that Carroll can prosper under the right system, which he had at Newcastle United, but didn't prosper under Kenny Dalglish at Liverpool. With Allardyce at West Ham, they will play to his strengths, and make him the focal point of the side. For Liverpool, parting with Carroll brings in much needed cash in their transfer kitty which will be used for providing further depth to their squad.

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