Glenn Roeder suggests Newcastle United’s Andy Carroll is an international liability, but is he?

Opinions of players are usually reserved for fans on the terraces, journalists and bloggers, when they’re not watching repeats of X-Files in their dark flat which has become a shrine to Dana Scully.

It seems that Andy Carroll is the exception though, as recently he has garnered both glowing praise for his performances on the pitch and critical concern for his activities away from football from fellow professionals, as well as enthusiasts.

His contribution to Newcastle’s defeat over Arsenal at the Emirates prompted Arsene Wenger to shower him with praise.

“He has presence, charisma, confidence and is intelligent on the ball. I had doubts about him when I saw him a year ago but he has improved tremendously”.

The Arsenal-Carroll love-in continued as his former England Under-21 teammate Theo Walcott also expressed an admiration for the big striker.

“He’s shown he can do it in the Premier League and he’s a fantastic prospect,” Walcott promisingly told BBC Sport, before he disappointed with a predictable final product.

“He’s a handful to play against and I’m sure if he gets the opportunity he will take it with both hands.”

However, a former Newcastle teacher has reminded us all today of what a naughty boy Carroll can be and that perhaps his misdemeanours mean that his inclusion in the England squad to face France on 17th November would be setting a bad example to the lower half of the school.

“I’d select him but I’m not saying he should play. I’m not certain he’s sending out great signals to young players,” Glenn Roeder told BBC Radio 5 live.

“If he is picked the signals for me would be ‘I can do what I want it doesn’t matter, as long as I play well I’ve got a chance to play for England’. The standards should be much higher than that.

“He’s a great lad around the training ground, coaches love working with him, but by living the way he is he’s not fulfilling the potential that he could possibly fulfil by having just a bit of a quieter life.”

Roeder is correct in suggesting that Carroll has been equally busy on the pitch, as he has been off it and he is certainly in need of a realisation that his antics can affect his career.

The strikers rise to national prominence has been matched by his equally dramatic rise to football notoriety, but whether an international call-up would turn Carroll into a mischievous fiend as Roeder suggests, or be a catalyst for cleaning up his image is yet to be seen.

As much as he is renowned for his bullish centre-forward play, he is also well-known for his antics away from the football pitch, in incidents that have included slippy bottles, breaking international curfew, training ground dust-ups and allegedly glassing a man in a nightclub.

This certainly taints his image as a professional who is solely focused on the game of football and paints an image of a young man who has a long road of maturation ahead of him, who is perhaps not ready for the added scrutiny and pressure of international football.

Teammate and fellow scallywag Joey Barton unsurprisingly sympathises with the big lad though and suggests international selection is perhaps not all about form.

“Hopefully they will stop worrying about Goody Two Shoes image which the sponsors want for England” he said in hope of a call-up.

“They need to start picking players to win matches. The frustrating thing for me is that England pick the good guys for the World Cup because they won’t cause any problems, but every other national team picks the players who are simply the best in their position.”

With a lack of emerging talent at the top end of the pitch, England could utilise the friendly to nurture the troubled talent.

Plus, Fabio Capello has always claimed that he picks players solely by the strength of their club performances and if that is truly the case then Carroll deserves a chance to bury the memory of past off the field fuckery and establish himself as a well rounded international.

Tags: Andy Carroll, Newcastle United

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Martyn 9 November 2010 at 1:50pm

If picking Andy Carroll is sending out the wrond message, what about picking Rooney, Terry , Ashley Cole, Ferdinand, Gerrard all these player have done the same if not worse than what Andy Carroll has supposed to of done.

Dan Mobbs 9 November 2010 at 2:09pm

England does seem to have a team of wrong-uns at the moment. Carroll will fit right in and I don’t think (quite) a few youthful indiscretions should deny him a chance internationally, as it hasn't hindered any other stars as Martyn quite rightly pointed out.

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