Capello hopes to give Carroll 'big chance'

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Fabio Capello has urged Andy Carroll to seize his "big chance" to make the grade with England and reform his life off the field at the same time.

Capello openly admits he had it in mind to select Carroll before now, only to put the plan on hold following discussions with the Football Association and under-21 boss Stuart Pearce, who was not too impressed with the Newcastle star pulling out of matches against Portugal and Lithuania in September.

Similar discussions took place before the Italian named his squad for tonight's friendly with France on Saturday evening. This time the response was positive.

"It's a big chance, to play with the seniors and to change his lifestyle," said Capello. "I hope that he will understand what really happens when you play with the seniors."

Capello was quick to seize the opportunity to talk with Carroll about football matters when the England squad gathered in Watford on Sunday evening.

The discussion surrounding personal issues was forced to wait until this afternoon, when Capello outlined why it is in Carroll's best interests to avoid the negative headlines that have appeared far too frequently during his career so far.

"Everyone makes mistakes when they are young," said Capello. "Carroll is really young. He is 21. We have to help him. A lot of people like a drink but he also has to understand now he is in the senior team there will be journalists, photographers and everyone else focusing on him.

"Life will be different for him now. He has to change. His behaviour has to be better. He cannot make the mistakes he made before."

Carroll may be some way short of another Newcastle number nine, Alan Shearer, but he has the physicality Capello likes and is more capable of finding the net than Emile Heskey ever was.

"I saw Carroll play against Arsenal," he said. "He played very well. He was good when he received the ball, his movement was excellent, he attacked the space well and was fantastic in the air. Technically he was good and he was very strong.

"I hope he shows the same qualities. It will not be easy because France are a really good team, one of the best national teams in the world. But it will be a really interesting test."

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Andrew Carroll
Newcastle United

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