Former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler believes Andy Carroll will become a better player when he forgets about his STG35 million ($A53.65 million) price tag and focuses on his personal strengths.
Towards the latter end of the season, and briefly at the European Championship, the 23-year-old began to show glimpses of the form which made him such a hit at Newcastle.
Despite that the England international is currently being linked with a move away from Anfield – either on loan or permanently – as it is perceived he does not fit the plans of new manager Brendan Rodgers.
Fowler believes the hefty price the Reds paid for Carroll, who became the most expensive British player on the back of Fernando Torres’ STG 50 million move to Chelsea in January 2011, has weighed heavy on the striker.
“Liverpool is a massive club. What Andy has to do is forget about the price tag and let other people worry about that,” said Fowler.
“It is not as if he was saying ‘Buy me for 35 million’. The clubs agreed a fee but he has to forget about that.
“At times last year he tried to do a little bit too much and tried to be a 35 million player and not do the simple things that got him the move in the first place ie: being a tough forward to make and getting his elbows into defenders in a good old-fashioned English centre-forward way.
“He has to continue what he was doing at the end of last season in being a headache for defenders as he looked a totally different player to the one at the start of the season.
“I know he only started one game (at Euro 2012) but I thought he was fantastic and caused the Sweden defence a lot of problems.
“It was a little bit reminiscent of what he was doing for Liverpool at the end of the season when I think he believed in himself a bit more.”
Fowler will join his former club on their pre-season tour of the United States in an ambassadorial role along with Ian Rush.
He will get to witness first-hand Rodgers’ methods and approach but already the 37-year-old has been impressed by what he has heard from the Northern Irishman, who succeeded Kenny Dalglish last month.
“It is fantastic. He has bought into everything this club deserves and needs, the ethos, the Liverpool Way, the traditions – everything,” he added.
“He has done his homework on the history and certainly the traditions of the club and as a fan I think it’s really refreshing for someone to come in and say that.
“He’s steeped in the traditions of the way he wants to play and he has set his stall out at other clubs where he has managed.
“What he did at Swansea was unbelievable. No disrespect to Swansea but the players here are better than the players at Swansea so if he can get us playing the way we want to be then it puts us in exciting times.
“So many people have said to me that Liverpool’s season last season was classed as a failure. I never saw that.
“I know we finished eighth in the league, which was disappointing, and of course owners and chairman want to finish as high in the league as possible because it’s a money thing, it’s business.
“But I always want to look back on my career at how many trophies I’ve won, not that I finished fifth in the league and from that side of things it certainly wasn’t a failure – we got to two cup finals and won one of them.”