The whole world has gone insane

Jeff Walls

Liverpool's Andy Carroll

The 56 million dollar man.

“If Liverpool spend 30million on Andy Carroll I will ride onto
the pitch on a white horse at halftime in the Stoke game, naked and kill
myself.” -Dan on Football 365

This has been a rough year for Liverpool fans: New coach, new
owners, a string of terrible results, another new coach, a tenuous
return to mediocrity, and now an outlandishly high bid for Andy Carroll,
the sleaziest and possibly most talented striker in all of England. The above quote, which does a pretty good job of summing up the frazzled
mental state of diehard fans, was actually made before Liverpool threw
an additional 5 million pounds in to pry Carroll out of the Geordie maw
of Newcastle United, bringing the final transfer fee to record-setting
levels.

On the surface this seems like a reckless waste of 56.1 million
dollars (or 35 million pounds), and the media and fans have been pretty quick to ridicule the
deal for its outrageousness. Carroll's C.V. to date consists of a good
season in the Championship (a.k.a. minor leagues), 14 Premier League
goals, an injury, two fist-fights with fellow players (one of which left
a teammate with a broken jaw), a police caution for assaulting his
girlfriend, an arrest for smashing a glass in someone's face, another
arrest for assaulting a different girlfriend, and a torched Range Rover. So he's not exactly a class act, but England boasts a proud lineage of self-destructive soccer geniuses,
and he seems primed to take his place in that pantheon. He's really
good in the air, physically imposing, and seems like he could become a
fan favorite on Liverpool, a club that treasures it's working-class
roots.

The immediate downside is that Liverpool's anime doodle-resembling
superstar Fernando Torres is off to Chelsea for an even more outrageous
amount of money. Torres, who at one time was probably the most prized
striker in the world, seems to be in some sort of slump within a slump
within an injury spell that makes it, to me, much crazier that Chelsea
would pay a reported 50 million pounds for his diminishing services
especially when they already have Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba,
although Drogba has malaria which can't be good for his pace. Either way, Liverpool is essentially paying 15 million pounds less for their new star versus their old one.

Unlike America's beloved socialist sports league, the Premier League is a world of cutthroat
capitalist oil barons and crooked Uzbek kleptocrats who pour wild amounts of cash into random teams because they have
nothing better to do with it. This creates imbalances that allow wacky
deals like this one to happen, especially when new owners want to make a
statement. Only time will tell if this ends up being ruinously
wasteful or a tactical masterstroke, or if Carroll's newfound wealth
will speed up or slow down his inevitable spiral into alcohol fueled
violent madness, but one thing is for sure: he has a fucking terrible haircut.

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