Another barmy week in the world of British football. From Newcos to Not Guiltys, RVPs to AVBs, we haven’t been short of sporting column inches or to put it in new-fangled terms; those journos haven’t half been tweeting furiously. And in the eventful ‘week that was’, Liverpool’s new signing of Fabio Borini attracted some tranquil shade.
That could be because – like us – many football hacks simply didn’t know that much about him having plied most of his professional trade in Italy – and we’re no longer blessed with James Richardson sat outside an Umbrian cafe with a fine espresso and the world’s largest broadsheet paper giving us the lowdown on all things Serie A.
And though we speak with little authority on the boy’s strengths and weaknesses, what we do know is highly encouraging. A quick, agile, adaptable forward with high-class movement and a natural finisher; in essence, he’s a Rodgers player.
An interchanging forward line has been the hallmark of BR’s managerial career to date; if you’re static you’re offering little to the midfield players and full-backs. If you’re in a rigid formation you’re easily marked. And there’s little doubt that Andy Carroll is a 6ft 4 inch square peg struggling to fit in our new ideological hole.
So what of Andy? It’s a desperately sad situation; a player who showed his true promise in the closing weeks of the season and impressed on England duty is being marginalised without having the opportunity to show he can adapt. But deep down, as much as we all want him to realise his potential at Anfield, it’s difficult to see how a player of such physique and muscle can show the technique and hustle that Rodgers and the backroom staff will demand.
Their ruthlessness has to be seen as a good sign.
It’s fair to say that if Andy is one of our three key forwards alongside Suarez and Borini in a month’s time, it will be because we failed to get someone else in. Forget his price-tag; for the wages he’s on, he’s simply too expensive to be a Plan B battering ram when all else has failed.
Letting him go could ultimately come back to haunt us; he has time on his side to refine his game and become a 20-goal-a-season striker, but Rodgers and Liverpool need to concentrate on what’s best for the club right now. And that’s all that really matters.