I spotted this great piece about Andy Carroll and his similarity to Emile Heskey by Paul Little for http://www.football365.com which links to some words I wrote about Fernando Torres a few weeks ago. In the article, Little discusses the plight of current Liverpool player Andy Carroll and his struggles for goals at his loan club West Ham.
Little suggests that Carroll has assumed some Heskey-like attributes during his goal drought.
“Heskey was one of the great exponents of a forward player hiding by working prodigiously hard in all areas of the pitch apart from the penalty area. As Heskey’s career slid, he could be seen defending manfully, powerfully, closing opponents down, getting deeper and deeper or wider and wider – working his socks off in full view, trying to compensate for the fact that he was no longer capable of doing what he was ultimately paid to do. Heskey lived in fear of the goal chance – every miss crushing his brittle confidence yet further. But in the instances where he did appear in the box, he did his very best to make sure he was ‘tightly’ marked and unable to make a goalscoring impact – damn those clever defenders.
I particularly enjoyed the comment that Little makes about the Spaniard and the Liverpool link – “Fernando Torres (is this a Liverpool illness?) has been playing in similar fashion in the last year of his slow and painful decline.”
As disappointed as I am with the desperate decline of Torres, I think that Little has a point about hiding in plain sight.