Despite his improvement, he still doesn’t have the power and strength he had at Newcastle.
He was a real bully there. He will be better when he gets that back.
Carroll helps to take the attention off Suarez and that gives the Uruguayan more space, and they can strike up a good partnership.
That said, I’m not sure whether Carroll will play at Wembley.
For me, Craig Bellamy is in the team in a heartbeat.
But that people are now debating whether Carroll should start whereas two months ago there was no chance of him starting underlines his progress.
Perhaps the one silver lining to the dark cloud of Suarez’s long ban has been to give Carroll the time and games to finally bed in.
Jordan Henderson will be sweating over a starting role at Wembley, but so too will many others.
From Kenny Dalglish’s point of view, it’s back to the old days and real competition for places.
If Liverpool turn up and play well, they will win. But they have got to turn up. Dalglish will settle for an ugly performance and a 1-0 win. Lifting the trophy is all that counts.
Bellamy could be the man who makes the difference.
He knows Cardiff, he knows the players and, just as importantly, they know him and what he can do.
Bellamy has been Liverpool’s best signing of recent times, especially as he cost nothing. And he knows this is his last club where he has a chance to really win something.
Liverpool will win. But it will be a tight, tight affair.