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Are Liverpool’s Long-Ball Tactics Justified?


Andy Carroll’s arrival has prompted a change in tactics for Liverpool, here I will assess what he brings to the team and what he changes in a team.

Okay, so first point that I’d like to make is simply that only the smaller clubs play with the ‘Route 1′ tactic (launching a long high ball for their striker to collect). It’s done at Newcastle, Stoke City, and as pointed out by Arsenal’s manager, it is also done by Tyneside club Sunderland.

Well, why is it that it is so effective for the smaller clubs, yet all the ‘Big Clubs’ in Europe don’t play with this intriguing style of football? Look at the top attacking teams around, Barcelona have Villa, and they play most of their football on the ground, Real Madrid have Higuain, and they normally opt for the through pass and Chelsea have Drogba, whom sometimes plays route 1 but is more reliant on ground play.

But fact is, Andy Carroll is the type of player who can only win headers for the team, and to blast screamers into the back of the net. He lacks the pace, and he doesn’t have the best ball control, in some ways he reminds me of our former striker, Peter Crouch. He absolutely emphasized this point against Manchester City (he scored a screamer and a header).

Don’t get me wrong, he could be a Liverpool legend, still 22, but the thing is that as seen against Arsenal, Carroll won’t be able to do well against the Big Teams, reason being that Liverpool are simply not set up to play ‘Route 1′, it is not something that they are familiar with, they recognize the through ball more, as used with Fernando Torres.

Will the £35 million reap more benefits? We’ll have to see…

Submitted by Two Liverpool Fans



  1. xabi

    April 20, 2011 at 11:08 am

    crap article

    seems u know better that the best LFC footballer. Why not replace Dalglish?

  2. RedNProud

    April 20, 2011 at 11:28 am

    ‘submitted by two Liverpool fans’ – my ars*.

    Are you totally stupid! On Sunday we were without Gerrard, Johnson and Agger. We then lost Aurelio, Carragher and finally Carroll through injury during the game.

    For any team to come away with a point from the Emirates is good but with upto six senior players missing, that’s excellent.

    Most supporters were buzzing after a performance that showed pride, spirit and determination, yet you come up with this cr*p.

    As I stated above ‘submitted by two Liverpool fans’ – my ars*.

  3. JIm

    April 20, 2011 at 11:32 am

    What a load of rubbish. Just what fact backs you up that he wont do well against the top teams?? He has far more pace than Crouch, has a much better shot on him, and is, according to players who have marked him, deceptively quick for his size.

    Mate, base your articles on fact will you?

  4. magnumopus

    April 20, 2011 at 11:35 am

    The point to look at should be do we want to play route 1 ball or play like the big boys play? I say let us remain as a big boy and play on the ground. Andy will do well on the ground too.

  5. Liverpool Football Blog

    April 20, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Actually Crouch has pretty good ball control… I agree that we played ugly football going forward against Arsenal but I don’t think that’s due to Carroll being in the team.

    I think it’s more to do with the fact that Liverpool stuck their best play maker (Raul Meireles) way out on the left side of midfield.

    Had he been given a more central role, perhaps just in front of Spearing and Lucas, I think Liverpool’s attacks would have had far more flow and creativity, rather than just hoofs forward to Carroll.

  6. DaveWestAus

    April 20, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    LFC are never a long ball side,so wake up to yourself !

  7. chris

    April 20, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Long ball? Viewpoint-small,more like.You did well to get a reaction though.Soon be totally ignored by all L.F.C. fans as the view/s of two complete whoppers

  8. Dan

    April 20, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Like pretty much every other comment so far, this is a crock of s***.

    What do Carroll and Crouch have in common other than size? Jack. Crouch would get a long ball, jump on the defender and give a foul 4/5 times. Carroll seems to draw the fouls or win the balls most games so far. Crouch doesn’t have a belting shot, and doesn’t have power.

    Until the new season I don’t think we’ll see anything near what we can from Carroll, we need wingers to start delivering.

    I may be wrong but wasn’t his goal against us from far out from a through ball?

  9. Neverman

    April 20, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    This article is a long ball. It has no facts to back it up or realistic point of view. 1. No one is “afraid” to play against Crouch, but are petrified of Carroll’s size, speed, and power. Crouch is tall, end of. 2. The tactics were to play the counter vs. Arsenal in Emirates with 3 teenagers and our 4th choice midfielder in the center (no offense to them as they played brilliantly). 3. If we’re playing long ball, why’d we buy Suarez? 4. Every player, writer, and coach understands that Carroll is the future of English strikers. But we should take your opinion over theirs? No thank you.

    I wish this article were longer because the further it went, the more idiotic you seemed. Got to give enough rope for you to hang yourself and all that. But it looks like you’ve just managed to tie yourself to your muppet buddy. You two LFC fans make us all look bad with rubbish like this.

    Stand back and let the big boys comment. You are woefully out of your depth.

  10. peter

    April 21, 2011 at 4:24 am

    “He lacks the pace”

    Well how come his top speed for the three games was higher than anyone else?

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