- Premier League
Angry Carroll 'never given a chance' at Liverpool
England striker Andy Carroll has hit out at Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers - saying he nearly 'lost his head' after not being given a chance to prove he deserved to stay at Anfield.
Carroll was loaned out to West Ham United for the current campaign following a summer transfer saga that saw Rodgers keen to push him towards the door - unconvinced the £35 million signing from Newcastle could fit into his preferred style of play.
The 23-year-old, in an exclusive interview with ESPN, has admitted that Rodgers' reluctance to give him a chance after taking the helm on Merseyside left him frustrated - and, with first-team football not guaranteed, he ultimately felt he had no choice but to leave in order to advance his career and remain involved at international level.
Hammers manager Sam Allardyce's desire to sign Carroll ultimately won the battle for West Ham, with old club Newcastle also believed to be interested.
"I haven't got a fair chance, I don't think, at Liverpool, and I was really told that I should move on to a team where I'll play regular football," Carroll revealed to ESPN. "I knew Sam wanted us here and told us I'd be playing games so for me it was a no-brainer coming here.
"I want to play football all the time. Every time there's a game I want to be involved and obviously I didn't get a chance there - a new manager came in and he had what he wanted to do and I wasn't part of his plans and for me to play football this was a chance for me to do that, so that's why I made the move."
Despite that, Carroll is adamant he could have adapted to Rodgers' style of play - which places a premium on retaining possession and keeping the ball at players' feet.
"Yeah of course I think I could fit into any system and I believe in what I can do, and obviously he's got his beliefs and he didn't think that," Carroll said. "But for me it was better to move on instead of waiting for my chance, which he told me might not come, and obviously coming here I have a great chance to score goals which I haven't really had many of last season."
The striker has admitted frustration nearly got the better of him during his final days at Anfield - but his performance at the European Championship (including a memorable header against Sweden) showed exactly what he do.
He insists he will not be trying to make Rodgers regret his decision through his performances at West Ham, however.
"I kept my head a lot and I could have lost it to be fair at Liverpool - but I got my chance when we went away to the Euros and I took it," Carroll added. "I don't have a point to prove, I think that's the wrong way to put it. I know what I can do, my ability; I know what I'm capable of and if other people don't believe it then that's fine really; I'll just get on with it.
"I know what I can do."
The move to Upton Park does see Carroll link up once again with former Newcastle team-mate Kevin Nolan, a player he shares a prolific goalscoring partnership with. The Hammers skipper admitted his disbelief that Liverpool would let his young friend leave for another Premier League side.
"What happened with him has been quite remarkable from my point of view," Nolan told ESPN. "I know Andy's strengths and I think he would have been ideal for them too - but I'm not getting carried away, I'd rather him here than Liverpool.
"I'm delighted he's here with us, but at the end of the day he had to make the move to make sure that the England career carries on.
"I think it was a match made in heaven for us."