Why Did Man Utd & Liverpool Sign David De Gea & Andy Carroll?

By on August 22, 2011

Welcome to another edition of The Green Room. Further debate on all things Liverpool FC and the Premier League. Two mysteries and two players to discuss in the huddle this week. Why did Liverpool sign Andy Carroll? and the next one, which is akin to the meaning of life is, why did Manchester United sign David de Gea?

After Saturday’s performance, this is a question I have to ask. I’m sure, for all Liverpool fans, this is tantamount to sacrilege for me to question Kenny Dalglish’s judgement in the transfer market but nonetheless I have to do it. I know we’re only two games into the season but thus far, other than the last 20 minutes of Saturday’s game, I’ve not seen Liverpool play anywhere like they did in the latter half of last season. In both cases, Carroll was not playing for the most part. Carroll huffed and puffed and pushed and bundled his way through the game with precious little to show except another disallowed goal following another questionable attempt to win the ball.

The only time Liverpool really looked like they were going to get anything from the game was when Luis Suarez and Raul Meireless came into the fray. Was it simply down to the fact that Arsenal were down to 10 men? Was it really down to the fact that Arsenal lost arguably their best performer on the day in Emmanuel Frimpong? Was it pure coincidence that the two goals were born out of the efforts of the two aforementioned substitutes? None of those points are true. The only certain fact is that Liverpool continued to adopt the route-one method up until Suarez and Meireles came into the game. After this their approach was different, their passing improved, their movement improved, albeit against 10 men. It’s beyond argument that Liverpool do not play with as much purpose or flair when Carroll is in the side. Fair enough, the passing was a little better this week but the end product was again severely lacking.

Apart from the fact that Carroll looks incredibly laboured and slow, I’m yet to see him actually go past a player and create a decent chance without the predictable “knock-on”. As I said last week, Liverpool have to improve, and on Saturday they did so immeasurably in the time it took for two players to leave the pitch and two to enter. Liverpool’s game took another dimension when we neglected the direct game and took a more considered approach, and I’m sure Dalglish will come to realise this as the season goes on.

Let’s face it, if you send over £100m on players, it doesn’t follow that they’re all going to come good. Same goes that if you pay £35m for a player that also doesn’t define his future success or failure. Sometimes you just have to hold your hands up.

Speaking of hands up, this brings me onto the next great mystery. Why on earth did Sir Alex Ferguson sign David de Gea? In the same way that Andy Carroll is never going to be a John Toshack, David Gea is never going to be a Peter Schmeichel. In the best case you have the same dimensions. Believe it or not, Schmeichel and De Gea are both the same height at 6ft 1in but after that, the similarity ends. Schmeichel was a huge presence in the United goal mouth and the impression was always that if you ever got past the defence, you’d have to get past Schmeichel which was a job in itself.

Schmeichel’s command of the area was also second to none and his positioning was only bettered, perhaps, by the Arsenal no. 1 David Seaman. I don’t see any of this in De Gea. Yes, he looks as if he’s a god shot-stopper, but for me, he doesn’t have the presence needed to intimidate attackers, to get that bit more out of his defence. It’s generally accepted that goalkeepers mature later than outfield players and at 20 years of age, it’s certainly feasible that De Gea may never have the time to develop the talent he undoubtedly has. Schmeichel was 28 when signed for United so they probably got the best years out of him.

I’m not sure De Gea has the next four or five seasons to prove himself so it’s one hell of a big ask from Ferguson. Similarly David James went to Liverpool at the age of 22 and I personally believe he was a better goalie by the time he went to Aston Villa when he was near on 30. Ultimately as with all these things and all things Sir Alex Ferguson, time will tell, and the old Scot is rarely wrong when it comes to choosing a player. Let’s see if this turns out to be the next Peter Schmeichel, the next Mark Bosnich or the next Roy Carroll… Hold on, that last name sounds familiar!

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21 Comments

  1. Max

    August 22, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Give Andy Caroll a chance and give LFC a chance to get going. Maybe you have to play tactical in the premiership, and mix it up a bit!

  2. Dr

    August 22, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Dear author,

    Please get off the armchair and go to a game. You questioning both signings after two games is exactly why you would expect from someone who has:
    A) never played the game to any decent standard.
    B) never coached any level of players
    C) his washing and ironing done by his mummy.

    Best regards,

    Every fan of any team

    • Danny Salford Red

      August 22, 2011 at 10:16 am

      Well said mate. The whole article is as though it was written by a small child. I bet you decided Aguero was the bestest player in the whole wide world after his debut the other day as well didnt you? 🙂

      • Dr

        August 22, 2011 at 10:37 am

        You knows there’s a bad writer around when even pool and man u fans agree!!!!!!!!

  3. Bheko

    August 22, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Totally agree with you, when Carroll’s playing everyone just thinks of lobbing the ball up to him but no one has yet noticed that he can’t control the ball at all so inevitably we lose possession more when he’s on the pitch and our pass success rate is greatly reduced. I’ve been saying the same thing about him and getting slaughtered by the In-Kenny-We-Trust brigade, even the great man can make a mistake people just need to accept that Carroll is one of those mistakes and a BIG one at that, pardon the pun.

    He was never, and will never be good enough to play in the Red Shirt. Stop fooling yourselves into believing Kenny will make him better, you cannot teach a dog how to fly no matter how hard you try!

  4. Dr

    August 22, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Bet you were also one of the bubble heads that said kuyt was rubbish…. I’m embarrassed about the fact some people may think you’re talking sense…

    Go and play now little one

  5. Dr

    August 22, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Bheko plays too much FIFA 11. Go and watch the mls and grab an ok magazine you metrosexual!

  6. Usmaan

    August 22, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Why would you say that about de gea schmical never started off good he worked his way like de gea has to. he has been excellent in training this was said by smalling and carrol your right hes too much of a peter crouch he gets penelised for being tall.

  7. Stephen

    August 22, 2011 at 10:30 am

    6ft 1? Flawed.. They are both 6ft 4.

  8. steve mcauley

    August 22, 2011 at 10:47 am

    @bheko and the numpties who wrote this article.
    your insight into the beautiful game astounds me! after a whole TWO games of a new season you have written off two potential stars of the game, wow!
    the young keeper at utd would have been in the top three of ANY team needing a new goalie and i also believe he would have been in YOUR top three too!
    as for andy carroll, so at 22 and with less than a season in the top-flight, he’s unteachable is he? what rubbish! i agree there’s more of a tendancy to lump the ball up to him but that’s mainly from carra and he’s been a lumper for two years now, good coaching and a bit of time (and a little grace from prats like you)and you will see the best of how to use a “big man”!
    we all have 20-20 vision when it comes to hind-sight, it’s having vision for the FUTURE that takes guts, faith and belief, something you clowns will NEVER have!

  9. dan

    August 22, 2011 at 11:11 am

    stupid writing…

  10. Jeff

    August 22, 2011 at 11:33 am

    Is this website run by 9 year olds? Because that is the impression you get reading these articles. AMATEUR TO SAY THE LEAST.

  11. Stewart Southward

    August 22, 2011 at 11:52 am

    huffed and puffed his way around …? second game into the new season(not fully match fit )why did they buy him …err physical presence ,superb right foot,hang a ball up in the box,target man ,decoy…..fkn ignorant twat

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  13. Convert traffic

    August 22, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    I am a Liverpool fan but I liked Carroll at Newcastle. He’ll come good and so will de gea. My main concern is talk of merielles going to Chelsea. That would be a big shame. Carroll needs a goal and some support. De gea needs a few clean sheets and they will look like totally different players. you have to give them till Xmas at least

  14. Ryan

    August 22, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    This is probably the worst article I’ve seen here. You’re questioning two great players after seeing them in 2 games (both teams did great). I’m a Man Utd supporter, but I can’t deny Carrol’s got quality, and he’s a good target man and can help set up Suarez. De Gea is a great shotstopper and he’s obviously a great keeper (won the Europa league and U21 Euro). Both managers wouldn’t have signed the players if they didn’t know/see them play. Give them time to settle in. De Gea’s working on English and it’s a new country for him, so he needs to adjust. Carrol is getting fit after his injury and moving from Newcastle to Liverpool is a pretty big step up.
    Give them atleast halfway through the season to judge, instead of burning them 2 rounds into the season

  15. Mankind Adeliz

    August 22, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    This article is totally rubbish. Carroll and De Gea got huge talents and at 22 & 20 respectively, u know that they arent anywhere playing near thei potential. Carroll of Newcastle was a threat to any defender and De Gea @ Athletico was simply exceptional even against Bárca. Give them few months and they will come big for their clubs.

  16. carlos lfc haynes

    August 23, 2011 at 2:10 am

    whoeva wrote dat article is a muppett some people do chat and write sum crap and clearly no nufink about football. grow up!!! truss me carroll and th man utd keeper wil do wel in king kenny i trust!! kenny and fergie very rare make bad signings…

  17. Callum

    August 24, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    ur douche… De Gea has 3 games hes getting used to English football it takes more then 2 premier league games you know, as for andy carroll i dont think hes been that bad still young and he was at newcastle went to liverpool big step. stupid tw@t!

  18. united

    August 28, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    the writer is a douchebag.

  19. Kristjan

    December 9, 2011 at 3:57 am

    I’m United Suporter and I still don’t know why United brought De Gea

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