The Andy Carroll Con

Alan Pardew: “We have a big club mentality, and will hold on to our best players,” December 21, 2010


When Andy Carroll was sold for 35M in the dying moments of the January transfer window it was a move that was met with a slurry of varied reactions. For the most part there was an initial anger resulting from the sale of our most promising young player. A player who was contracted to the club for another 5 years. A player who many felt we could build the side around. Eventually this anger began to subside, with many consoling themselves with the fact that the club did receive a massive chunk of money for him. A chunk larger than many felt the player was worth. That chunk of cash was only of course going to mean anything to the club if it was consequently reinvested into the strengthening of the team – something that the club and the manager vehemently insisted would be done.


Now, almost 6 months later we’ve still seen very little of that money be spent. Noone would have accepted the sale of Carroll without the knowledge that the money would be used to strengthen the side ad yet that precisely what appears to be happening before our very eyes. No doubt ensuring that this business was conducted at the close of the window has given Ashley and Llambias the power of time. The initial feelings of anger have dissipated, as feelings do over time, and we’ve been plied with statements to gradual wear down our resolve over the 35 million. At first the insinuation was that it would all be spent on players, then that it would be spent on players and wages (such a bullshit bit of creative accounting it defies words) and now the 35M figure is not something we ever hear. It is clear from the movements in the market that we will be operating at the bargain basement end of the scale. Granted we’ve signed what appear to be talented players, but with two of them their value was heavily undermined by their poor injury records – an area where we’ve been burnt in the past. More worrying we sold our leading goal scorer and team captain to a championship team despite him having half of his 4 year contract left to run. At this precise point in time our outgoings only just exceed our incomings – a fact that defies the 35M we apparently would see spent in the summer.


Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.


Derek Llambias: “And he won’t take a single penny of this £35 million either – all the money will go to the club and we are already working on identifying transfer targets for the summer. We will spend in the summer. Every penny of the £35 million will stay in the club.”


Stay in the club, and be used to strengthen the playing roster are vastly different propositions.


Derek Llambias: “ [On Carroll] Yes, he went in our helicopter. But the sooner the deal was done the sooner we could make our own moves in the transfer market. It was already very late.”


Lucky he went in the chopper lads, or else we’d never have been able to pull off the massive coup of signing Shefki Kuqi!

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