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Carroll's leaving of Liverpool had nothing to do with player's ability

Andy Carroll has no point to prove despite leaving Liverpool just a couple of months after Brendan Rodgers became manager.

Brendan Rodgers believes he is one of the best target men in the business and fits in with West Ham's style of football. Picture: Getty Images
Brendan Rodgers believes he is one of the best target men in the business and fits in with West Ham's style of football. Picture: Getty Images

The England striker was signed by Kenny Dalglish for a club-record £35m but, when the Scot was sacked in May 2012 and replaced by Rodgers, it soon became apparent he no longer fitted in.

The Northern Irishman wanted to introduce a pressing, passing game and, while he maintains Carroll could have adapted to his methodology, the need to rework the squad and get the big frontman's significant salary off the wage bill meant he was swiftly ushered out the door to West Ham United - initially on loan in August 2012 - before eventually completing a permanent move at a £20m loss for the Anfield club.

Carroll was injured for West Ham's 4-1 defeat at Anfield in December, but seems like to face them tomorrow on home turf.

"Andy wasn't let go from here because he wasn't good enough - I'll state that first and foremost," said Rodgers. "He is wonderful in the air, has a good touch in and around the box, so he certainly has nothing to prove to Liverpool. I think he is one of the best players in Europe in how he plays; that style of attacking the ball in the air is outstanding.

"When I came in here, everyone knew the way I worked and it was never to say Andy couldn't work that way, but we had other certain financial aspects of the football club we had to look at.

"He needed to play and I think he has gone on and done great for West Ham. When he has been fit he has shown he is one of the top strikers playing in that style of football West Ham play."

Sam Allardyce, Rodgers' opposite number at Upton Park, was also in the mood to praise opposition strikers and believes Liverpool and Luis Suarez are now benefiting hugely from the loyalty shown by both parties after a difficult summer.

Suarez indicated his desire to leave for a Champions League side in August but was persuaded to stay on. He is now the talismanic attacking influence in a free-flowing Liverpool XI who know that if they win every game between now and the end of the season they will land their first league title since 1990.

West Ham will be tasked with shackling both Suarez and his strike partner Daniel Sturridge, with Allardyce putting the former among the best players around.

"At the moment he now finds himself in the top two or three in the world," he said. "The commitment he has shown to Liverpool and they've shown to him has given him extra impetus to be even better after the problems he had."

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