Fabio Capello is relishing the prospect of partnering Andy Carroll with Wayne Rooney next time England take the field, no matter who it is against.
The Three Lions are due to be in action in February but the planned friendly fixture has become a bit of a farce with the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen booked without it being established whether the Danish Football Association (DBU) were happy with the move. The DBU decided not to allow a friendly to take place on February 9 as their national team was in action, albeit away from home.
However, when Capello does get his players together he has high hopes for a Carroll-Rooney axis, and said: "They will be a good combination. Not only is Carroll really good in the air, he has good movement, he can bring other players into the game when he receives the ball, he can dribble and is always looking for the goal."
He added: "When I saw him playing for Newcastle against Arsenal he surprised me and this week he confirmed what I saw."
The DBU requested the February 9 fixture be moved forward 24 hours. Argentina were due to be England's opponents, but they pulled out because it was felt there would be insufficient preparation time for players travelling from South America.
The FA are now searching for another opponent, but it is still not clear how many England players will be available for the clash on Tuesday, February 8 because of key Premier League fixtures just 48 hours earlier.
Capello was impressed that Carroll played exactly the same way against France at Wembley on Wednesday as he did for Newcastle against the Gunners when he scored the only goal. It was obvious the 21-year-old was feeding off scraps, yet this only made his performance all the more impressive.
Capello has never made any secret of his preference to have an attack spearheaded by a more physically imposing player than Rooney and the England manager is now crossing his fingers that - in the three months before his own team play again - his star striker can rediscover his form.
"Everyone knows that when Rooney is fit and in good form, he is one of the best players in the world," said Capello. "He makes a difference. Look at France. Without Karim Benzema they are another team.
"Some players are too important. But we all know Rooney needs to be fit. When you play at his level you have to be fitter than you would normally. At 100%."
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