Protected by his manager like a wounded pup, Andy Carroll has got to start proving he is not a one-dimensional forward.
Since moving from Newcastle United 13 months ago, Carroll has yet to shake off the £35m burden that has weighed down on his broad shoulders.
But how long can his inflated transfer fee be the excuse for his lack of success and form with the Anfield outfit?
Carroll has as many goals in the league this season as yellow cards, a mere three, and doesn’t seem to fit in with Liverpool’s desired style of play.
There’s no question he can head the ball, winning 60 per cent of all aerial duels this season, but Liverpool’s players are not suited to winning the ‘second ball’.
The link-up between Steven Gerrard and Luis Suárez has proved more successful this year and has been prioritised over Carroll’s involvement.
With only two starts in his 15 league appearances this season, Carroll will be desperate to get involved against his former club Newcastle this weekend.
Working in Carroll’s favour, however, is Liverpool’s rotten run of form.
With just a solitary win from their last seven games, Liverpool are now looking at an end-of-season scrap for seventh place with the likes of Everton, Swansea City and Sunderland.
Carroll will be hoping that Dalglish throws him a bone this weekend.
There’s no denying that what Brendan Rodgers has achieved with Swansea City has been impressive but talk of him taking over at Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur is ridiculous.
Taking Swansea up on a shoestring budget and keeping them in the Premier League with an attractive style of football is no mean feat, but let’s not forget that has been done before by Reading and Ipswich Town.
Norwich City also look like they will avoid relegation this season but Paul Lambert has not been touted as Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor.
The acid test comes in the second season.
That is when Rodgers’ tactics will have lost their novelty in the Premier League and teams will be able to tailor their approach to them, as Everton so effectively did at the Liberty Stadium.
What happens then will be indicative of Rodgers’ real abilities. Will he keep faith with his tika-taka philosophy, or will he be able to adapt and mould his tactics to keep the Swans flying high?
Even if he does that there’s no reason to suppose he could transport his limited success to White Hart Lane or Stamford Bridge.
There’s a world of difference between the pressure of keeping a club up and masterminding a Champions League challenge. It sounds harsh when many would like to see British managers in the top jobs but experience of that environment isn’t a bonus; it is a necessity.
And while Rodgers might be flavour of the month at the moment, all of his achievements in South Wales will be forgotten in an instant as soon as he has real responsibility thrust upon him.
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