ANDY CARROLL didn’t even break his stride as he walked past the hordes of reporters and out of Wembley on Tuesday night.
Interview requests were rejected and it was hardly a surprise that the Liverpool striker was in no mood to share his thoughts in the capital.
After 10 days away on international duty, all he had to show for his efforts was two minutes of action and a glut of unwanted headlines. The sanctity of Melwood couldn’t come soon enough.
Open season was seemingly declared on the £35million frontman this week. Those with no knowledge of the 22-year-old’s lifestyle have been queuing up to wax lyrical about how he’s throwing it all away.
The trigger for this unfair avalanche of criticism? Carroll’s failure to make the bench for England’s clash with Bulgaria and Fabio Capello’s attempt at justifying his decision.
The England boss did Liverpool no favours with his response to the questioning about Carroll.
Capello’s poor grasp of English always leaves his words open to interpretation and they were unceremoniously twisted in some quarters.
Certainly, Kenny Dalglish’s anger wasn’t directed at the Italian but the scribes he feels are out to knock his player at every turn.
Having the label of being the most expensive British footballer in history is always going to be accompanied by a high level of scrutiny.
Dalglish knows that but what Carroll has been subjected to this week has been out of order.
Frank Lampard was dismal against Wales but Capello wasn’t asked if that was because the Chelsea midfielder had been knocking back too many Bacardi Breezers.
If Carroll really was the beer-swilling party animal some are trying to portray him as he wouldn’t be anywhere near Liverpool’s side. The Geordie would be the first to admit he has made mistakes in the past but previous indiscretions are being used as a stick to beat him with.
Going away with England should be a source of pride but Carroll must wonder if it’s worth the hassle. It’s no wonder players turn their backs on international football.
Dalglish has once again made it clear there is no problem with Carroll and he’s happy with his progress. “We know the truth,” he said.
Carroll will let his boots do the talking at Stoke today. And after the week he has endured, there will be no shortage of motivation.