Big Sam sings Carroll's praises

09 November 2010 05:00
Sam Allardyce believes Andy Carroll could become a fixture for both Newcastle and England - and should face France next week.

Carroll played under Allardyce during the Blackburn manager's short time in charge of the Magpies and has thrust himself to the verge of England selection with some powerful performances.

Allardyce, who will return to St James' Park for the first time as a manager on Wednesday night, has also warned that if Carroll does get the call by Capello he must not let it go to his head.

Allardyce said: "I had Andy as a young man at Newcastle when I was there, and you could see the raw talent.

"They love a number nine there and it's a big ask to live up to the expectation but he's brave, he's fearless and he has exceptionally good ability, particularly aerially - as we saw against Arsenal. Few players could score goals of that type today and that's why he's such an exciting player.

"He's the sort of centre-forward that Fabio Capello likes - a big man up front.

"In the beginning it was Emile Heskey and we all know the one thing Emile couldn't give the England side was goals. He could make a lot of goals and could create opportunities but you had to rely on other players scoring.

"Then Peter Crouch has been tried, and I think Andy Carroll is emerging now and on the back of a very good start to the Barclays Premier League - and six goals to boot - he deserves to be included in a friendly international. I think Fabio should let the lad have a little taste of what it's like at that level."

Allardyce warned that Carroll should take care not to follow the path of Michael Ricketts, who was capped by Sven-Goran Eriksson and then his career went downhill from there.

He added: "I can cast my mind back to Michael Ricketts getting a chance when I was at Bolton. He played in Holland for England for half a game and let that go to his head and his career almost evaporated from that day on.

"So it can be a very dangerous thing as well as a very, very good thing and Andy and everybody around him has to manage that if he gets the call that he deserves."

Allardyce said he is unconcerned about the reception he will receive from the Newcastle fans - he is more concerned about achieving a result against a side who have won three league games on the spin.

He said: "It will be my first trip back to St James' Park as a manager and I don't know whether I'll get a good or bad reception. It's three years ago and a long time since it happened and, right or wrong, what happened is history.

"They are the in-form team in the league, three wins on the trot has boosted their confidence so we will need to be at our very best."

Source: Team_Talk