West Ham v Liverpool: Andy Carroll has 'nothing to prove', says Brendan Rodgers, who claims striker is 'one of the best players in Europe'

The England striker will come up against Liverpool for the first time since his £15m exit

Brendan Rodgers insists Andy Carroll has no point to prove despite leaving the club just a couple of months after the Northern Irishman became Liverpool manager.

The England striker was signed by former boss Kenny Dalglish for a club-record £35million but, when the Scot was sacked in May 2012 and replaced by Rodgers, it soon became apparent he no longer fitted in.

Rodgers wanted to introduce a pressing, passing game and, while he maintains Carroll could have adapted to his methodology, the need to re-work the squad and get the big frontman's significant salary off the wage bill meant he was swiftly ushered out the door to Upton Park - initially on loan in August 2012 - before eventually completing a permanent move at a £20million loss for the Reds.

He was injured for the Hammers' 4-1 defeat at Anfield in December, but seems like to face them on Sunday on home turf.

"Andy wasn't let go from here because he wasn't good enough - I'll state that first and foremost," Rodgers said.

"He is wonderful in the air, has a good touch in and around the box, so he certainly has nothing to prove to Liverpool.

"I think he is one of the best players in Europe in how he plays - that style of attacking the ball in the air is outstanding.

"When I came in here, everyone knew the way I worked and it was never to say Andy couldn't work that way, but we had other certain financial aspects of the football club we had to look at.

"He needed to play and I think he has gone on and done great for West Ham. When he has been fit he has shown he is one of the top strikers playing in that style of football West Ham play.

"He knows he is a very good player. West Ham paid a lot of money for him and they have identified him as a top young player.

"Andy wanted to play because he had spent the 12 to 18 months beforehand not playing regularly, so this was a chance for him to do that and he has taken that really well."

Andy Caroll celebrates after his header opened the scoring in a win over Sunderland Andy Caroll celebrates after his header opened the scoring in a win over Sunderland  

Just a year after Carroll's departure, Stewart Downing followed him to Upton Park from Anfield - again at a £15million loss.

He was another player who Rodgers identified early on did not fit in with his philosophy and, although the former England winger briefly won his place back in the starting line-up midway through the manager's first season, he was let go last summer.

"I didn't want to sell Stewart," Rodgers said.

"Like all the players in the first few months, it was difficult for him when I came in but then he really progressed and became an important member of our squad by the end of the season.

"But the money we were offered for him was going to help get other players in and continue our journey along the philosophy, and unfortunately Stewart left.

"He has been one of the best - if not West Ham's best - player this season."

 

Against the Hammers, Rodgers is likely to name the same squad which beat Tottenham 4-0 last weekend.

However, defender Jose Enrique's season appears to be over as he is taking longer than expected to recover from a knee operation.

The Spaniard has not played since November. It was initially felt he could be back by February, but his rehabilitation is going slowly and Rodgers does not think he will feature again in this campaign.

"The likelihood is he will miss from now until the end of the season," the Reds boss said.

"The priority now is getting him fully fit and getting him ready for next season."

PA

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again say analysts

News
A Brazilian wandering spider
news

World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas

Life and Style
fashion

British supermodel and hitmaker join forces to launch a 'huge song'

News
news

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announce they are set to welcome second child in spring

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually a challenging and nuanced title

Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in the win over QPR
footballInternet reacts to miss shocker for Liverpool striker
Voices
Sol Campbell near his home in Chelsea
voices
News
i100
News
Kimi the fox cub
newsBurberry under fire from animal rights group - and their star, Kimi
Sport
Fans of Palmeiras looks dejected during the match between Palmeiras and Santos
footballPalmeiras fan killed trying to 'ambush' bus full of opposition supporters
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past