Rio Ferdinand hopes England newcomer Andy Carroll will learn from his mistakes after the defender admitted shortcomings off the pitch slowed his own rise to the top of the footballing tree.
England head coach Fabio Capello has confirmed Carroll will make his debut in Wednesday's friendly international with France at Wembley. The Newcastle striker has made a fine start to campaign but has also been on the front pages following some well documented incidents in his private life.
England skipper Ferdinand concedes he was "a social butterfly" himself during the early phase of his career and said: "As a young lad coming into not only the England set-up, but also in the north east at Newcastle, sometimes it takes time to take on responsibility. I had that as a young player. I had to make mistakes to understand that. It's how quickly you learn and hopefully Andy will be one of the quick learners."
He added: "I am sure the manager (Fabio Capello) has spoken to Andy and he has got people at his club who have spoken to him over the situations that have arisen over the last few weeks.
"With all the stuff that has been documented in the media, hopefully it concentrates Andy to work harder, to look after himself, work hard on the football pitch and he will get the rewards.
"But you have to take each individual case as it comes. I don't think you can just say 'you've got to become a responsible adult when you get in the England squad'."
Ferdinand added: "Everyone is different. I grew up with Michael Owen in the England teams. We went to the 1998 World Cup and were two totally different people.
"I was a social butterfly that wanted to be out and about and see things. Michael wanted to be a professional footballer and do everything he could to be a top player.
"He got to where he wanted a bit quicker than me and I put it down to me not having the right attitude at a young age.
"If there is any advice I can give to players it is to make sure football is the be all and end all in their life and everything else comes a long second."