Andy Carroll wins England backing from Alan Shearer
International friendly: England v France Venue: Wembley Stadium Date: Wednesday, 17 November Kick-off: 2000 GMT Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live; Live text commentary on BBC Sport website & mobiles; Also live on ITV1
Alan Shearer has called for England boss Fabio Capello to hand Newcastle striker Andy Carroll his international debut against France on Wednesday.
"Who is playing better than him?" asked Newcastle legend Shearer. "Nobody. Who is scoring more goals than him? Nobody.
"He's not the finished article, but get him in there and let's have a look at him," Shearer told BBC Radio 5 live.
But 21-year-old Carroll's hopes of playing in the friendly are in the balance because of a groin injury.
He was named in Capello's squad on Saturday after being omitted from the under-21s for Tuesday's friendly in Germany but was injured in the weekend's 0-0 draw with Fulham.
Newcastle manager Chris Hughton and Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger have backed Carroll's call-up, although former Magpies boss Glenn Roeder has urged Capello to think twice before awarding the frontman his debut because of his off-field problems.
Carroll was ordered to live with Newcastle captain Kevin Nolan as part of his bail conditions after an alleged assault charge.
The striker also pleaded guilty to a separate assault charge after an incident at a Newcastle nightclub and was fined £1,000.
Despite Roeder's concerns, Shearer says Carroll deserves his chance.
"You have to judge these guys on what they do on the football pitch," said BBC Match of the Day pundit. "They are young guys with a lot of money and he is a young single guy.
"You are going to have scrapes. We all make mistakes, but you have to learn from those mistakes. If he can do that then of course he should be included in the England squad."
With fellow strikers Wayne Rooney, Jermain Defoe, Darren Bent and Bobby Zamora all injured, Shearer suggested the 6ft 3in Carroll could prove a real handful for opposition international defences.
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