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Arsene Wenger backs Andy Carroll for England

Newcastle striker Andy Carroll
Carroll (right) has scored six goals so far this season

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Newcastle striker Andy Carroll is good enough to play for England.

Striker Carroll, 21, scored his side's winner against Wenger's side on Sunday as he impressed in front of watching England boss Fabio Capello.

"I think so," said Wenger when asked if Carroll was ready to play for England.

"He has presence, charisma, confidence and is intelligent on the ball. I had doubts about him when I saw him a year ago but he has improved tremendously."

Capello will announce his England squad on Saturday ahead of the friendly against France on Wednesday 17 November.

Carroll's form so far this season has given him a strong chance of being picked by the Italian, especially with fellow England forwards Wayne Rooney, Jermain Defoe and Darren Bent sidelined with injury.

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The 6ft 3in Newcastle youngster announced himself on the Premier League stage this season with a hat-trick in the 6-0 win over Aston Villa and he has scored six goals in 11 league outings.

Carroll's aerial ability is one of his main strengths but off-field controversies have marred his campaign.

He was ordered to live with Newcastle captain Kevin Nolan as part of his bail conditions after an alleged assault charge.

Carroll also pleaded guilty to a separate assault charge after an incident at a Newcastle nightclub and was fined £1,000.

Newcastle boss Chris Hughton has retained faith in his striker and stated: "Andy is mentally very strong.

"He is a player who is developing, apart from having a prowess in the air, he has given us a mobility which can stretch defenders.

"He has still got a long way to go. Andy is working hard on all aspects on his game and he is certainly going in the right direction.

"For me, being picked for Newcastle United is the most important. Anything which comes from that means he has earned it."



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see also
Carroll signs new Newcastle deal
08 Oct 10 |  Newcastle
Hughton backing striker Carroll
23 Oct 10 |  Premier League


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