Rush backs Carroll to come good at Liverpool
Record goalscorer Ian Rush has rejected the suggestion striker Andy Carroll is not a Liverpool-type player and has backed the £35m signing to come good in time.
The 23-year-old, who became the most expensive British player when he moved to Anfield in January 2011, has scored just eight goals in 47 appearances.
He has been criticised for being unfit and out of shape and, now with increasingly regularity, not fitting in with the Reds’ way of playing.
But Rush insisted there was no identikit for a Liverpool player and believes, in time, the England international will prove himself.
“Who is a Liverpool player? It is because he is not scoring people are saying that,” he told Press Association Sport.
“People judge strikers on goals, which is not fair sometimes, but when you are not scoring that is the first question the press ask.
“Maybe the way they play is different to what it was at Newcastle but Andy wants to learn and so he needs to be given the chance to do that.
“He is working really hard and he is only a young lad and is just taking time to adapt. There is nothing wrong with that.
“It is who you play with. We had big men like John Toshack, who played with a much smaller Kevin Keegan, and Michael Robinson.
“People like that were big players but adapted and good players will play with anyone.
“Andy Carroll is a good player and Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard will play off him because they read the game well.
“Being a big or small striker at Liverpool makes no difference at all.”
Rush, scorer of 346 goals in 660 appearances for the Merseysiders, also thinks Carroll may also take time to adjust to the change of mentality which comes with moving to a club like Liverpool.
“He is learning about the game and the standards of the club, which are so high, and he has probably not had that at Newcastle,” he added.
“The expectations of the club are so big you need to play well in five out of six games not three out of six.
“That is the pressure of playing for Liverpool and it will always be that way.”
The struggle for goals has not been Carroll’s alone as leading scorer Suarez has just 11 for the season, with seven coming in the league.
Liverpool have scored just 36 goals in 30 league matches despite hitting the woodwork 22 times.
Tomorrow’s opponents Newcastle, Carroll’s former club, have collected 21 league goals from strikers Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse, the latter only joining in January.
Rush does not see the goalscoring issue as a major problem to overcome at the moment, however.
“It is when they are not creating chances there is a problem,” he said.
“It all comes down to confidence. As a striker goals breed confidence and it is as simple as that.
“They have to believe in themselves. If you have one game now when you don’t score people have a go at you.
“People want instant success and it is not going to happen.”