Forget about tiki-taka…Barcelona’s revolutionary approach to the game has become increasingly tedious – crafty playmakers and a ‘False number 9′ are not a necessity for every team, strictly speaking that is. As football fans we welcome a nice passing game by any team, besides a passing game is the only option available to teams that don’t have the luxury of having Andy Carroll in their starting XI, those neanderthals!
Britain’s most expensive footballer’s performance last Wednesday night was like watching Match Of The Day in the 1970s or 80s as Carroll barged into any human being that had the misfortune to cross the Geordie’s path.
Carroll’s display even brought some members of the media to wonder whether the West Ham centre forward had put himself back into the England frame. The Geordie’s “rough and tumble” approach included clattering David De Gea to the floor and swinging his elbows wildly at Nemanja Vidic.
Requirements, we all agree, that are absolutely quintessential to England’s chances of success on the world stage and to English football’s development.
Football’s perennial nostalgic have come crawling out from under their rocks, casting melancholic glances at pictures of Andy Carroll’s crashing into De Gea as their minds drifted back to the era of Andy Gray, Joe Jordan and other typical centre-forwards ruled defenders with an iron elbow.
That era, fortunately or unfortunately, is now long gone. Route one football belongs to that era, and so does Andy Carroll.
Those suggesting that Carroll is simply exploiting the relative softness that has spread across football nowadays are missing the point – Andy Carroll’s approach isn’t part of a meticulously planned strategy, rather a lack of talent.
In short, Carroll’s not good enough to play with the ball at his feet, hence he resorts to terrorise defenders with his size and elbows. How this attitude could make him England’s saviour is anyone’s guess – maybe we need to ask one of todays well informed journalists.
English football might have softened up since the 1970s and 1980s, but the Premier League is still widely regarded as the most physically demanding of Europe’s top five leagues. The problem is that while the physical approach to the game is appreciated on these shores, it often backfires on the international stage as well as in European competitions.
Battering rams like Andy Carroll might be relatively effective for medium-sized Premier League clubs – even though, other number 9′s such as Cisse and Lukaku confirm the clubs’ tendency to employ a more dynamic centre-forward – but they would look totally out of depth on a bigger stage, both in European competition and internationally.
England have often being ridiculed for their over-simplistic, “route one” football and suggesting a return to such tactics doesn’t bode well with the intent to develop talented players, who are comfortable with the ball at their feet.
Andy Carroll is a product of an archaic football culture, one where kids as young as 11 are thrown on a pitch too big for them and the result-driven environment dictates that is the bigger who wins, not the more skilled.
England’s failures on the international stage have repeatedly sparked cries for a revamp of the coaching style and the necessity to take bold, much-needed steps forward to follow the footpath proved so successful by other European countries.
Nobody wants to see the physical side of the game completely eradicated from English football, but the physicality of the Premier League is evolving in to something that is based around athleticism rather than brute force that borders on the edge of dangerous play. Football has evolved and Andy Carroll, the “put it in the mixer” approach and battering ram centre-forwards belong to a bygone era, as much as crumbling terraces, hooliganism and FA Cup semi-finals played on neutral grounds.
If English football is serious about moving forward, those memories should remain just that – memories.
Andy Carroll will head back to Liverpool in the summer – is he good enough to play for such a team or is a mid-table Premier League side his level? Is an England recall just around the corner for Andy Carroll? If you have an opinion, then get it in the comments section below. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to get a different view of football.