[unable to retrieve full-text content]
Liverpool’s manager said the Â£35m striker needs to deal better with frustration after an unhappy return to his former club
Kenny Dalglish has ordered Andy Carroll to deal better with his frustration after the Â£35m centre-forward reacted to his second-half substitution by ignoring Liverpool’s manager and storming down the tunnel swearing to himself.
Carroll, who was booked for diving while endeavouring to win an early penalty, struggled painfully as Newcastle United enhanced their chances of European qualification with a 2-0 victory featuring two more goals from the prolific Papiss CissÃ©.
It consigned Liverpool to a sixth defeat in seven Premier League games and increased speculation that the Anfield club’s owners may be tempted to part with Dalglish this summer.
The Liverpool manager’s afternoon was darkened by the sending off of Pepe Reina, his goalkeeper, for an attempted headbutt on the Newcastle defender James Perch seven minutes from time. Reina will miss the FA Cup semi-final against Everton.
Whether Carroll starts that game is anyone’s guess. “Andy came off and went down the tunnel,” said Dalglish. “He was frustrated with the way the game had gone. Nor just for himself but for the team. That frustration takes him up into the dressing room.
“We have not got a problem with people showing desperation or disappointment or frustration. But we need to channel it better than we have done.
“We started well enough. We passed and moved and looked quite threatening but it ended with a lot of frustration and disappointment and I think that was a result of the actions that Pepe [Reina] took. He got a deserved a red card.”
Asked if Reina had apologised, Dalglish replied: “There was a bit of remorse there, yes.” Even so, some Liverpool players seemed to feel that Perch, who was booked for fouling the goalkeeper at the incident’s outset, had provoked matters before over-egging his reaction to the attempted butt. Although things had calmed down by the final whistle, Reina and Perch appeared to be agreeing to reconvene in the tunnel as the Spanish goalkeeper departed.
Asked about Perch’s part in Reina’s dismissal, Alan Pardew, Newcastle’s manager, was circumspect. “I’ve watched it again and I don’t want to delve into it too much,” he said. “But the goalkeeper had to go.”
Pardew was more forthcoming about Carroll, whom he sold controversially in January 2011. “Andy needs to have a game plan that works for him and Liverpool are struggling to find that game plan for him with the players they have,” he said.
“When Andy was here we were more direct than we are now and he was magnificent. But Andy will be magnificent again. I felt for him today, I really did. He’s having a tough year but he’s a terrific lad and his game will come back.”
Carroll might have scored with an early header had Danny Simpson not cleared the ball off the line with what looked suspiciously like an arm â€“ Pardew insisted it was a shoulder. “We could have had a penalty kick in the first half,” said Dalglish. “That would have been them down to 10 men but we never got it.”
He agreed Tim Krul had not felled Carroll when the Liverpool striker appealed for a first-half penalty in the wake of his collapse after a non-contact challenge from Newcastle’s goalkeeper.
Although Krul subsequently accused his former team-mate of diving â€“ “He was looking for a penalty, like all strikers try to do” â€“ Dalglish was rather less harsh in his assessment. “I thought it wasn’t a penalty kick when Andy went down with the goalkeeper,” he conceded. “But I also thought Andy was losing his balance anyway. Even if he had got fully past the goalie I think he would have still fallen over. We don’t have a problem with that. We might have a problem with the yellow card, though, because I don’t think it was intentional him looking for a penalty kick.”
Outwardly upbeat, Dalglish outlined his manifesto for the remainder of the season. “We’ll try and remain calm and sort the problems out that we have. We want to get back to the way we want to be playing. We’ve got to take the openings that come our way. We’ve got to believe in ourselves. We’ll stick together. The best way to get out of it is to stick together.
“My players believe in what they are doing. It’s not as if they don’t work hard. It’s not as if they don’t have the determination and the effort. It’s up to us to channel the frustration and disappointment in the right way. If they start to enjoy losing games, then we will have a problem.”
Pardew attributed CissÃ©’s excellent performance to diet. The striker’s two goals here took his Premier League total to seven since his debut in February â€“ two more than Carroll has managed in the league in 14 months at Liverpool. “We had Africa day at the training ground on Friday,” Pardew said. “We made him feel at home by having curried goat for lunch. It was lovely.”