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Warren Buffett and Andy Carroll

“It is far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price”.

Famous words uttered by one of the richest men on the planet, Mr Warren Buffett, who also goes by the moniker “The Oracle of Omaha”. Buffett is shrewd investor who has made billions investing in the right businesses at the right price – naturally, he has invested in some lemons along the way but that is part of the process of being human and his hits far outnumber his misses.

If one were to substitute the word “company” with “Andrew Thomas Carroll”, and if Mr Buffett was a football team manager or owner, he would have steered well clear of the transaction that took Andy Carroll from Newcastle United to Liverpool for the princely sum of £35 million.

There are some wonderful footballers plying their trade in the world at the moment – the likes of C. Ronaldo, Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, van Persie, Mata, Pirlo and Fabregas who conjure their magic on a weekly basis with moments that take the breath away. Then we have the fair footballers – guys who’ve had to work hard to get to the elite stages of top class football. These guys have put in the hours and now rub shoulders with some of the wonderful players described above.

Let’s be honest here – even Andy Carroll’s biggest fans would probably admit that the not-so-divine ponytail would fall into the category of fair footballers as opposed to wonderful. The price that Liverpool paid was a wonderful one for a fair footballer. A return of 11 goals in 58 appearances for Liverpool was scant reward for the huge outlay made by Liverpool. Admittedly, Carroll struggled to start many matches and started predominantly from the bench which is hardly ideal for a striker’s confidence. A major problem that strikers face when they move clubs is that it is very easy to assess their so-called value or return to the new club – you either score or you don’t and there is no place to hide (can anybody say Fernando Torres?). Commentators love to throw in the phrase “he’s just repaid a chunk of his XX million transfer fee with that goal”, but for midfielders and defenders they are somewhat shielded from the glare of that particular spotlight.

The new Liverpool manager decided that Carroll was not part of his future investment portfolio at Liverpool and made no secret of his desire to offload the burly striker at the first opportunity. Part of the reason was the supposition that Rodgers prefers his teams to play football on the ground as opposed to the aerial approach favoured by other managers.

Looking back on the Carroll transaction Liverpool will probably heed another of Buffett’s nuggets of wisdom prior to making an expensive acquisition: “Price is what you pay, value is what you get”.


About Ticha Pfupajena

I'm beginning to get the sense that my career as a professional footballer may not happen. As a result, I'll try write about football and sports instead....


14 thoughts on “Warren Buffett and Andy Carroll

  1. Nice one as always. However my understanding of Buffet’s comment reads more like,”it’s far better to get a great company at a fair price than an average one at a bargain”. So Carroll don’t fit into it. I am a big Carroll fan but ask myself who bought him. KKKD certainly didn’t buy him and played him sparsely. Why spend so much money on a player you have no intention of basing your strategy on. Torres played because they wanted him. That is what boggles the mind. He can be a Drogba given the right guidance. Drogba didn’t score many in his first few years at Chelsea but still started

    Posted by Tafarrell | 04/09/2012, 08:26
    • Agree with your comment about why Carroll was bought. Liv has struggled with finding half decent wingers to cross the ball so no clue why you then buy a target man? Admittedly Downing was supposed to also come to the party but there was never any confidence shown in AC.

      Kenny rather saved his energy for defending his racist number 7 instead.

      Posted by Ticha Pfupajena | 05/09/2012, 08:35
  2. Nice read as always Mr. Whitebone. I agree Carroll is turning out to be a dud but maybe don’t off load him as yet. Look at Torres, he seems to have found his mojo…..late ….but he found it all the same.

    Posted by Tsitsi | 04/09/2012, 08:42
  3. Its pointless buying either company if you don’t have any management skills

    Andy Carroll is a fine footballer, perfect for the premier league and mark my words he will be a star this year. I believe the problem here was not so much the player as the club. When you buy a player for 32M then you build your team around that player giving him the service and support he needs. Liverpool did not do this. Wayne Rooney usually takes abround 5 games to get his season started and he needs to get at least 80 mins in a week to stay fit and sharp, he can go 8 matches without a goal and then score a hatrick. Torres could not play with Drogba because he plays off the shoulder of last defender on his own, so for Chelsea he was wack but wins world cup with Spain a team who know his strengths. Drogba gone Torres back. Carroll at WestHam , Jarvis with crosses will do well.

    Posted by Farai Dhliwayo | 04/09/2012, 09:18
  4. Good analogy. I think the signing of the English summer has been West Ham taking Carroll on loan. He made an immediate impact in his first game, unsettled defenders which helped set up goals for the Hammers. Pity he went off injured, hopefully will be back soon.

    Carroll has not been managed well. For England in the Euros he scored a fantastic header linking up with Stevie G against Sweden. As a Liverpool supporter that gave me hope for this season. Then for the next match Rooney was eligible to play and so Hodgson dropped Carroll to the bench. Carroll was the in-form striker and got dropped, sure Rooney scored but it was a defensive error that allowed him to score, he didn’t have to work hard for the goal. Similarly in FA Cup 12, KD brought him on in the second half and he turned around Liverpool’s performance. Bottom line, Liverpool only arrived at Wembley when Carroll came on. Then, next match in the league, Carroll is on the bench. Also, in the 2010/11 season, not long after he recovered from the injury he was carrying when Liverpool signed him, Carroll scored two against City to effectively kill their hopes of winning the league that year, two quality goals. Next game, KD drops Carroll to the bench. Again, he’s on form, building his confidence in front of goal and scoring, and the manager drops him. What is he doing wrong that when he gets goals and makes an impact, he gets dropped?

    I think at West Ham with Allardyce in charge he’ll grow, get lots of game time and Liverpool will rue the decision to send him out on loan.

    Posted by Suvir | 04/09/2012, 10:20
  5. Carroll marara!

    Posted by mamatdiaries | 04/09/2012, 11:17
  6. Nice

    Posted by m | 04/09/2012, 21:36
  7. Nice one Whitebone. Couldn’t agree more Mr Carroll is and was an slightly better than average footballer for whom Liverpool overpaid. That price tag put him under a lot of pressure to perform, some elements turn to diamonds under pressure other elements simply turn into dust.

    I’m quite certain however that now he has a point to prove and is playing at a club where he is the star his performance will improve. That’s good for him, great for us.

    Posted by Njikaldo | 05/09/2012, 07:36
    • Some players need a team built around them as you say. Look at Zlatan as an example. I think with Big Sam around, AC will flourish

      Posted by Ticha Pfupajena | 05/09/2012, 08:39

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