But that doesn't mean I have to like it.
There's little I can add to James Tyler's wonderful piece for ESPN FC on Andy Carroll.
The new Liverpool is one of Raheem Sterling and Joe Allen. Of Adam Morgan and Fabio Borini. If you loathe Rodgers for being so swift to dismiss the likes of Carroll, at least credit him with having an identifiable plan. Unlike with Dalglish, there appears to be a crystalline method to such madness, even if it does mean Carroll's depressing demise.Aye, there's the rub. So be it.
As painful as it is to admit, still, Carroll was a misguided purchase to begin with. Rodgers clearly doesn't believe he fits with Liverpool's future – he did everything but drive Carroll to London himself, and he probably didn't do that only because Liverpool had a match yesterday. Liverpool want him off the wage bill, and Carroll wants and needs to play regularly. And Liverpool simply can't get a better offer at the moment.
Personally, I'd still prefer Liverpool kept Carroll.
We'll see who, if anyone, Liverpool purchase with the added money, but the club will save all of approximately £3.2m (40 weeks at £80k/week), plus a rumored £1m loan fee. That's not much added to the piggy bank, as Rodgers admittedly earlier today.
Even if Rodgers has determined he has no use for Carroll, it's depressing. Carroll's 23. Liverpool paid an enormous, club record amount to sign him. And Rodgers won't even give him the chance to prove himself? That's an indescribable condemnation of Carroll as a player and Liverpool's spending under Comolli and Dalglish. And I truly hope it doesn't bite Liverpool in the ass. Carroll has more than enough time left in his career to prove Liverpool wrong, and now that much more motivation to do so.
Maybe he'll thrive at West Ham, and return to Liverpool a conquering hero and better player, with a role to play next season. Admittedly, not bloody likely. But maybe he'll thrive at West Ham and Liverpool will actually be able to sell him for a reasonable fee. That's the hope, and a distinct possibility. Or maybe he'll fail, West Ham will be relegated, and it'll be that much harder to find someone to take him off Liverpool's hands. That's a frightening prospect, but not as frightening as the concern that Liverpool will actually miss his few-and-far-between goals. But we'll get to that.
Adam departs for similar reasons, on a smaller scale, and permanently, transferred to Stoke for an undisclosed fee, most likely somewhere around £4-5m. Another of last season's scapegoats – right or wrong, right and wrong – another who didn't fit with Rodgers' future. I'm less sorry to see him depart, mostly because Liverpool should have more than enough in midfield to cope thanks to the Allen and Şahin additions. I'm still sorry he got more criticism and less credit than he deserved, but mostly I'm just relieved I won't have to tortuously defend his flaws any more. Can't help but wish Charlie luck, no matter how much I detest Stoke, because he should fit very well in that squad. And will probably punish Liverpool when Liverpool face the Potters this season because that's what happens.
Adam (and Spearing) aside, I still can't help worrying about squad depth. Maybe there will be a late purchase to ease concerns, but eight players have departed – Carroll, Adam, Spearing, Bellamy, Kuyt, Maxi, and Aurelio (even if Aquilani barely merits mentioning) – and four have come in, one only on loan for a season: Allen, Assaidi, Borini, and Şahin. It seems Sterling has a large role to play this season, so maybe we should call it five. More specifically, Liverpool have gotten rid of four forwards – Carroll, Kuyt, Bellamy, and Maxi – who played 8593 minutes and made 149 appearances combined, and scored 29 of Liverpool's 79 goals last season. If you add Adam's stats to those four, they contributed 39% of Liverpool's goals last season (31 of 79) and 39% of Liverpool's assists (22 of 56).
Scoring goals have been an issue, the issue, since the beginning of last season. And now, Suarez, Borini, and Morgan are Liverpool's only central strikers. Eccleston does not count. Eccleston will never count. Adam Morgan made his senior debut yesterday. Liverpool signed 18-year-old prospect Samed Yesil yesterday as well, who's just a month younger than Morgan, but his first interview for the official site suggests that he's a ways away from first team action, making just one late substitute appearance for Leverkusen last season. He'll almost assuredly spend the season with the u-21s. It's no surprise that Liverpool are currently scrambling around like a last-minute Christmas Eve shopper trying to buy a forward. We'll find out if it comes to fruition within nine or so hours.
As much as I regret Carroll's loan, it's the manager's decision, and an identifiably new era. And the manager's clearly decided Carroll has no role to play in it. Carroll and Adam were two of Comolli and Dalglish's marquee signings. I doubt Liverpool are consciously ridding themselves of the last regime, but you can't help but wonder, especially with yesterday's mooted Henderson for Dempsey swap deal – a deal with makes less than zero sense and is hopefully massively incorrect. The new regime's regime's strategy is simply far, far different than the last one. Which is probably the point.
Do you trust Brendan Rodgers? FSG sure seems to.