Paddy Power’s Euro 2012 columnist Robbie Fowler argues that Andy Carroll can be the main man for England against Sweden by following the lead of a hero of 1996.
I think it’s a great move by Roy Hodgson to include Andy Carroll tonight against Sweden.
Andy needs to go back to doing what he does best causing teams handfuls by being a good, old-fashioned English centre forward. Backing into play, playing to his strengths. Using his height. Using his elbows, and I don’t really mean that in a bad way.
I’ve said before that he needs to be a little less Messi and more like Shearer.
Let the Swedes start worrying about Andy and England rather than us worrying about them. We got a good draw against France but the team set its stall out a little too defensively. We a big striker we have more options to play it long or whip in crosses from the wings.
Ashley Young should use his pace down the flanks to better effect out wide and while Jamie Milner isn’t as quick he can deliver accurate crosses.
If the Swedish defenders start worrying so much about Andy, it’ll take his mind off his own game. If Andy’s pushing him, shoving him, a few little elbows. Nothing malicious. Just let the defenders know they’re in for a game.
If he’s winning his own battle —that creates chances for his team-mates and I still think Steven Gerrard still has the engine to get into the box and finish any knock-downs.
He can’t do it every minute but if Andy’s causing havoc he’ll try to get on the end of things rather than making exhausting shuttle runs when the ball flies back over your head just as you arrive in the danger area.
Carroll came to Liverpool for a £35m fee and he tried to be a £35m player.
He was trying too much. He was dropping deep. Trying to beat men. Shooting from ridiculous distances. But towards the end of the season, the penny dropped.
He was showing defenders they were in for a game. At the start of the season he wasn’t doing that — by the end of the Premier League Andy was doing the simple stuff, brilliantly. Like in the FA Cup Final against Chelsea.
I’m not his size, and I wasn’t that type of a player. Alan Shearer used to do it — let defenders know they were in for a game. Andy Carroll has got to follow Shearer’s example in this tournament. Don’t forget how good Shearer was. He finished Euro 96 as top scorer with five goals.