Don’t get me wrong, I was as excited as any West Ham fan when the Official Club Website confirmed that we had finally “Captured Carroll”. I thought to myself, “well this is it, we’re finally going to live up to every WHUFC fan’s expectations, and we’re going to finally break into Europe”. However, only a few days later I am suddenly wondering if this is where everything starts to go wrong for the club. I am almost certain that if Andy Carroll is fully fit for an entire season and Matt Jarvis shows some of the form we saw towards the end of the 2012/13 season then we will have a hugely successful season, and who knows maybe even battle for a place in the Europa League. But what if this does not happen? What if big Andy struggles with injuries throughout next season like he did last season which saw him score only seven goals? What if Matt Jarvis goes back into his shell and, just like most of last season, refuses to take on his opponent and doesn’t use that lighting pace that we saw only glimpses of last season?
What I’m trying to say is that it could be that we are so focused on getting Andy Carroll scoring and Matt Jarvis providing as many perfect crosses for the big Geordie to get his head on as possible, that we are forgetting to create a contingency plan.
We have spent so much money on Andy Carroll and Matt Jarvis in the past two seasons(around £30 million in fact, not including wages) that we are now being told that the club can only afford loans and free transfers to “improve” the squad. This means that we now simply cannot afford a plan b! So if the problems that I referred to earlier do arise we will only have a loaned striker and Modibo Maiga (if he isn’t sold) possibly along with Ricardo Vaz Te on the left wing. If so we will have to settle for mid-table mediocrity at the very highest. Even if we do sign somebody like Demba Ba on loan, will they be able to hold the front line with the style of play Big Sam is insistent on playing with? I believe not!
Then we come on to problems that the club’s bank balance could face. As I said earlier, the club has spent around £30 million just on the combined transfer fees of Matt Jarvis and Andy Carroll and if you take into account that we were paying Carroll £80,000 per week for the whole of last season which, if you listen to the speculation, could have risen to closer to £100,000 per week for the next six years at least! How a club like us can afford to pay this I will never know. If it does all go wrong then we could be stuck with Carroll on huge wages for a very long time with no club willing to pay anything close to the £15 million fee rising to £17.5 million that we’ve forked out for him! I know many people will say “well losing £20 million on Carroll hasn’t ruined Liverpool” and I obviously realise this. However what many people do not seem to realise is that we are not Liverpool, we don’t have John W Henry pumping us with money and as David Gold said himself “I don’t own 250 oil rigs, I own 250 knickers shops!”
I hope I’m very wrong and we will be challenging for Europe as I first hoped. I suppose we’ll soon find out.