Shearer backs Carroll in Euro 2012

Mon, 28 May 23:02:00 2012

Alan Shearer has backed Andy Carroll to take the European Championships by storm - but only if England play to his strengths.

Despite a turbulent year and a half since becoming the most expensive English player of all time, Liverpool striker Carroll is in line to spearhead his country's assault on Euro 2012.

And Shearer, who briefly managed Carroll at Newcastle, said: "The ability's there. I saw that at Newcastle. He's had an in-and-out season but, for the last month, you've probably seen more of what Andy Carroll is about."

The 23-year-old started Roy Hodgson's first game as England manager - Saturday's 1-0 friendly win over Norway - and with Wayne Rooney suspended and concerns over the fitness of Danny Welbeck, he could be in the XI for the opener against France.

Significantly, Carroll has risen to the occasion on the big stage, scoring twice at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-finals and final - with Liverpool finally taking advantage of his aerial ability.

Shearer believes that bodes well for Euro 2012, providing England do the same.

"If you've got him in your team, you've got him in your team for one reason, and that is to get balls into the box," Shearer said. "Because, if you get the right balls in, not many people will be able to stop him.

"If you do that, he'll score goals, whether that's at club level or international level."

Getting Carroll playing well may be only half the problem, with the striker having also endured more than his fair share of off-field issues.

But Shearer insisted Carroll was the model professional during the 41-year-old's otherwise ill-fated spell in charge of the Magpies. "He was fine, no problem at all," he said. "He was a very hard-working lad who wanted to do well: desire, hunger, passion."

 

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