Does Andy Carroll represent value for money?

As a Spaniard myself, I’m a huge fan of intricate, “tiki-taka” football and all those who entertain us with their movement, skill and so on. 

Watching teams like Barcelona, Real Sociedad, Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal, for example, rarely fail in their quest to entertain me. 

Sitting through games involving Andy Carroll however, does not quite have the same effect and, having just seen him sign permanently for West Ham, I can’t help but feel that they’ve paid over the odds for his, somewhat erratic, services. 

To put into a little perspective, Carroll, who made his international debut in 2010 and has won nine caps, probably, represents the worst of Kenny Dalglish’s signings. Signed on transfer deadline day in January 2011, the £35 million Newcastle received remains a record fee for a British player.

To be fair to him, he had impressed most onlookers by scoring 31 times for Newcastle in 81 appearances, but his time at Anfield was to be a lot less enjoyable.

Hand-in-hand with the arrival of Brendan Rodgers, Carroll was forced to adapt to a new style of play and, following his inability to grasp what was being asked of him, the big man’s paltry return of just six goals in 44 league appearances for Liverpool saw him loaned to West Ham.

Now I’ve nothing against the Hammers, they’re a well run club and part of me wishes they’d kept Joe Cole, Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard etc., and made a real go things all those years ago, but I just can’t see the logic in spending £15 million on a player who is more likely to hit a teammate than the back of the net. 

I sense it’s not their fault though, their valuation was probably heavily influenced by Liverpool’s desire to recoup some of their substantial outlay, but I can’t help feeling that the money could have better spent on other areas of the team.

I know his game offers more than just goals and, perhaps, it is unfair to judge him solely on his ability to plunder in the occasional loose ball. His aerial ability is un-matched and his ability to hold the ball up to allow his teammates to support him are two of his most obvious gifts and I’m not knocking him for that. What I can’t understand though is how he’s managed to secure such a lucrative contract. 

I mean £100,000 a week for a guy who managed a meagre seven goals in 24 games can not, by anyone’s standard, be considered value for money and, in an age when Javier Hernandez cost Manchester United £6 million and Darren Bent is probably available for a similar fee, £15 million on the big georgie just seems too much.