So 15m for a man that had no hope of ever fitting into the squad once BR took over? I'll take it. Yeah, it is a 20m loss, a massive loss that has implication far beyond just being a gift to Newcastle. It has forever (along with Downing and Henderson) affected the way FSG will do business in the transfer market. Was it fair to Andy Carroll? Not exactly. Does it matter? No, because he hardly justified a 10m transfer fee in his time here, let alone a British record 35m. It was clearly a knee jerk to Torres' transfer request. In fact, getting 15m for him considering his production this year (yeah, I realize he was injured for a bit) is remarkable feat.
He came with all the hoopla that one would expect for such an exorbitant fee on such a young largely unproven failure. Whether he ever wanted to admit it or not, the pressure obviously got to him. I believe the idea was to have him play as a bit of a hold up man for Suarez, but he never had the style or ability to keep up with Suarez's movement. His goals were sparse and largely against less capable/non-EPL teams. In fact, five of his nine goals for Liverpool last season came in the FA and Carling Cup. It shouldn't discount the fact that he did score one goal in both the semi-final and final of the FA Cup, but that is about all he did of any memory.
The only other thing he did was absolutely divide fans as to whether he would ever pan out and live up to the hype. Most of you who have read this blog for a while will know I felt this was long overdue. His movement was stagnant. Specifically, he was ineffective on crosses because his runs were nearly always North-South inside the box. He never had the intelligence to cut in front of the keeper and make the smart near post run to capitalize on the ridiculous number of crosses Liverpool played. Couple that with a number of nagging injuries and he can only be labeled a massive flop.
Would he have worked if Kenny had stayed? I doubt it. Another aspect of his game that needed a lot of work was simply just his overall work rate. His style was bullish, but tracking back was nearly non-existant. When the ball was lost, it was someone else's job to win it back and hoof it to him. Which is my last point, he ruined any sense of fluidity as soon as he stepped on the pitch. To be fair to him, it wasn't all his fault. When Andy Carroll played, the entire team got lazy and assumed it was hoof it to Carroll time. Every single ball was lumped over the top towards Carroll rather than building pressure as a team through the midfield. It drove me batshit crazy every time.
All this aside, I do wish him luck. With all that he went through here he handled if fairly well overall, seemingly just taking it and crying behind close doors. The good thing for him is he is young still and can put this behind him and move forward. Best of luck Andy, even though I hated seeing you in Red.