Carroll has scored just five goals in 30 appearances since his £35million switch from Newcastle and this season he has appeared bereft of confidence.
But former Anfield favourite McManaman believes Gerrard, who is back in action after an injury-dogged 2011, has the quality to bring the best out of Carroll.
And McManaman warned that Oldham could feel the backlash in Saturday's FA Cup third round tie.
"Steven is Liverpool's best player, he is arguably England's best player," said ESPN football analyst McManaman, who will be working with the broadcaster as part of their FA Cup third-round coverage this weekend.
"His assists are wonderful. Just ask Fernando Torres what his assists were like. His delivery, his ability to put a ball through is second to none.
"It should help any centre forward, whether it is Luis Suarez, Torres or Andy Carroll and hopefully it will do.
"You have the best player putting the ball in better areas than you have received it in the past, areas that will help you to score a goal.
"Against Manchester City he was a little bit isolated. Liverpool huffed and puffed and lacked that real goal threat.
"I felt a little bit sorry for him because he was up front on his own and Liverpool felt 'we have a big man here, let's chuck everything into the box'.
"It is about quality. Andy Carroll will improve significantly by being at Liverpool. The time to judge him is not now. I hope in years to come we are talking about a number nine superstar.
"You hope that Steven plays against Oldham because he is trying to get his fitness back and that Andy Carroll does play.
"He just needs a goal, one to hit off his backside and go in. If you are a centre forward who needs goals, he will want to play.
"He won't come up against centre-halves like Vincent Kompany every week and against Oldham there should be that extra yard of space on the pitch."
Carroll is under pressure not only because of his own record price tag but because his replacement at Newcastle, Demba Ba, arrived on a free transfer and has scored 14 league goals in 16 starts.
But McManaman urged patience from the Kop faithful.
"I understand in our industry people want success straight away. I know what it is like to play for Liverpool. He is a big signing for a lot of money so there is a lot of pressure on him," McManaman said.
"But I am a realist. He is 22 (23 tomorrow) and there is a lot of time. I dont expect miracles from a Jordan Henderson or a Phil Jones or Chris Smalling at Manchester United. I want to see them improve."
:: ESPN football analyst Steve McManaman was speaking ahead of the sports media company's live and exclusive coverage of three FA Cup third round matches this weekend: Birmingham v Wolves (12pm Saturday January 7), Bristol Rovers v Aston Villa (4.30pm Saturday January 7) and Arsenal v Leeds (7pm Monday January 9).