From ‘crock’ Carroll to super Salah – look how far Liverpool have come

first_imgAs they look towards a glittering future, Liverpool must first confront a ghost from their recent past.Jurgen Klopp’s Reds travel to West Ham on Monday evening looking to restore their five-point advantage at the top of the Premier League. After victories for Tottenham on Saturday and Manchester City on Sunday, the pressure will be right back on the league leaders at the London Stadium.AdChoices广告These are heady times for the men from Anfield, who have their eyes on a 19th league crown, and a first since 1990. Rarely since then have they found themselves in a better position at this time of year. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Their success has been built on stability, on consistency, on sound recruitment and strong management. It’s taken them a while, but Fenway Sports Group, the club’s owners, appear to have found the winning formula. They have the manager they want, the players they want, and they’re getting the results they want.Apt, then, that on Monday night they could run into Andy Carroll, a weathered, robust reminder of the way things used to be at Liverpool.Carroll, it is fair to say, represents a different Anfield era; an era of gambles and mistakes, of muddled thinking and expensive missteps. He’s the sixth most expensive player in the club’s history, whose 11 goals came at a cost of more than £3 million each. He’s the man who scored in an FA Cup final, who settled a Goodison derby and a Wembley derby, and yet he’s still, at £35m, one of the biggest disappointments in recent memory.Who could forget the excitement when Carroll arrived at Melwood on the final day of January 2011? It was the day Fernando Torres left for Chelsea, the day Luis Suarez joined from Ajax. Carroll, though, was the story. Amid a sea of flashbulbs and supporters eager to catch a glimpse of their new hero, the grinning Geordie with the ponytail and the prodigious leap became the costliest English footballer of all time.Andy Carroll Luis Suarez LiverpoolIt was, by any measure, a remarkable transfer. Carroll’s form at Newcastle had been good, but he was in the middle of his first full Premier League season, and his off-field reputation on Tyneside was far from perfect. There had been scrapes in bars and clubs, a fight with team-mate Steven Taylor and an assault charge which had seen him ordered to move in with club captain Kevin Nolan as part of his bail conditions.The signs were there early on that this was not a marriage made in heaven. Carroll had not wanted to leave Newcastle, and admitted later that he had spent the helicopter journey to Liverpool Googling some of his new team-mates. He arrived on Merseyside injured, having not played in over a month. It would be five more weeks before he took to the field.That, as much as anything, helps sum up Carroll. A career that could have been defined by goals has instead been about pulls and strains, aches and pains. In the seven full seasons since his move to Liverpool, only twice has he managed to play 20 or more games. Not once has he reached double figures in terms of scoring.“I honestly don’t know what I’ve done in my life to get the sh*t I get,” Carroll said recently, opening up admirably about the struggles of being injured for long spells. The ‘crock’ tag clearly irks him, though he has also been honest enough to admit that he contributed to his own problems earlier in his career, when his drinking was excessive and his approach to training far from perfect. “That is the old me,” he says. “I have regrets looking back.”Carroll played regularly for Liverpool under Kenny Dalglish – the pair shared a relationship good enough to justify them once attending a Boyzone concert together – and helped Liverpool win the League Cup in 2012. He scored the winner against Everton in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley, and grabbed his side’s goal as they lost to Chelsea in the final. Had it not been for Petr Cech and one of the great cup final saves, he may well have written his name into Anfield folklore.But Brendan Rodgers, Dalglish’s replacement, was never convinced. “Not a Liverpool player,” was his initial assessment of Carroll, relayed to local journalists in an off-record briefing soon after his appointment. A month later, Liverpool’s record signing was heading to West Ham on loan, admitting he “could never get a grip” on Merseyside. Rodgers, he said, gave him mixed messages, telling him one minute that he was part of his plans, then offering him the chance to leave. “I lost respect for him,” Carroll said.There have been highs since – a hat-trick against Arsenal at Upton Park sticks out, as does a spectacular overhead kick against Crystal Palace – but 95 starts in six-and-a-half years tells its own story. Carroll has lost 142 games to injury – be it hamstring, groin, ankle, foot, knee or heel – since moving to East London.Andy Carroll, West HamFor now, he’s fit, although he is likely to start on the bench on Monday if Marko Arnautovic shakes off a foot problem.Liverpool, whose defence has looked shakier than usual in recent games, will certainly be wary of the threat he will pose, though the Reds have bigger things to concern themselves with than their former striker. Klopp’s men are going for glory this season, their team is evolving into one of Europe’s finest and the club is better run now than it has been for years. Aberrations like Carroll, or Stewart Downing or Charlie Adam, or even Lazar Markovic, who left for Fulham last week, belong in the past.A win in Stratford will give them their 20th league win of the campaign, only one fewer than they managed in the whole of last season. Their progress is unarguable.You’ll see it on Monday night, in fact. From Carroll to Mohamed Salah, that’s how far Liverpool have come. Beat West Ham, and they will take another huge step towards that glittering future. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more

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TSX resumes retreat as loonie falls for sixth day New York higher

TSX resumes retreat as loonie falls for sixth day; New York higher despite Brexit by Linda Nguyen, The Canadian Press Posted Jun 16, 2016 9:39 am MDT Last Updated Jun 16, 2016 at 3:20 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – North American stock markets were mixed while the Canadian dollar fell for a sixth straight session Thursday amid continuing worries over whether Britain will exit the European Union.The S&P/TSX composite index in Toronto closed down 41.04 points at 13,882.41, with the mining and energy sectors among the biggest weights.In commodities, the July contract for North American benchmark crude oil fell 1.80 to US$46.21 a barrel, while the August contract, which is currently trading at a larger volume, was down $1.76 at US$46.74 a barrel.The August contract for gold bullion, which is seen as a safe haven in times of turmoil, rose $10.10 to US$1,298.40 a troy ounce.Elsewhere in commodities, July natural gas shed a penny to US$2.59 per mmBtu and July copper gave back four cents to US$2.05 a pound.The loonie fell again, fading 0.21 of a U.S. cent to 77.15 cents US.In New York, indexes broke a string of five consecutive losses, with the Dow Jones industrial average gaining 92.93 points to 17,733.10, while the broader S&P 500 added 6.49 points to 2,077.99 and the Nasdaq composite advanced 9.99 points to 4,844.92.The gains came despite growing uncertainty over the outcome of a British referendum next week in which British voters will decide whether they want to leave the EU.Current polls forecast that it will be a tight race, with the Bank of England cautioning that a so-called Brexit would likely result in damage to the economy and the pound dropping sharply.“The real possibility is that it may happen and it makes markets worried about what will happen next,” said Roland Chalupka, chief investment officer at Fiduciary Trust Canada.He noted that there are serious concerns over British growth in the short term, which could stagnant with trade deals needing to be renegotiated over the next few years.Also, multinational companies headquartered in Britain could look to move out of the country and London could potentially lose its reputation as a major financial capital, Chalupka said.A yes vote could also prompt other countries to consider similar referendums of their own.“The whole concept of the EU would face a lot more scrutiny and be far more uncertain if Britain does, in fact, decide to leave,” said Chalupka.In European trading, Germany’s DAX fell 0.59 per cent, while France’s CAC 40 was off 0.45 per cent and Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 1.30 per cent.In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 plunged 3.05 per cent after the Bank of Japan decided against further easing of monetary policy to help the country’s faltering recovery. The Bank of Japan already is pumping about 80 trillion yen (US$769 billion) into the country’s economy each year with purchases of Japanese government bonds and other assets.— With files from The Associated PressFollow @LindaNguyenTO on Twtiter. read more

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