Andy Carroll, the Newcastle United striker, will make his England debut against France in tonight's friendly, Fabio Capello confirms.
Capello warns Carroll to learn lessons
Andy Carroll, the Newcastle United striker, will make his England debut against France in tonight's friendly, Fabio Capello confirmed yesterday.
The 21-year-old trained yesterday after sitting out Monday's session with a slight injury and will start alongside Jordan Henderson, the Sunderland midfielder, who also wins his first cap, and Kieran Gibbs, the Arsenal left-back.
"He's OK. He's fit. He'll play," Capello, the England coach, said of Carroll. "He'll start in the first XI along with Henderson and Gibbs."
One player who definitely will not play is Jack Wilshere, the Arsenal midfielder, who has been ruled out through injury.
But the Italian was more hopeful about central defender Phil Jagielka and Joe Hart, the goalkeeper, who also missed training yesterday.
He said: "Wilshere is going home. Jagielka has flu but we think he will be OK. Hart - the doctor is waiting to decide what happened. We think it will not be a big problem for him."
Asked whether he was concerned about allegations surrounding Carroll's private life, Capello said: "I think you have to help him because he made a mistake but he is really young.
"I think everyone makes mistakes during their life and you have to help the young ones.
"He's a good player and I think he will understand, to stay with the senior [squad] will be really important for him because all the people, the newspapers, journalists will be focused on his life. I think he will improve."
"He needs to improve things in his private life now because it's really important. I spoke with him about what you have to do on the pitch. I will speak to him about his private life.
"I didn't select him in the last game we played because the Football Association, myself and Stuart Pearce [the Under 21 manager] decided it was not OK to select him. I think this was really important for him and for us. Since them I think he learned something about this."
Laurent Blanc, the France coach, is treating tonight's match at Wembley Stadium as part of France's rebuilding process following their disappointing showing at the World Cup in South Africa, where they failed to win a game as they went out in the group stages.
"Before and after the England tie, we are and will remain in a reconstruction process," he said.
"This is an opportunity for some players to show against a major opponent that they can settle for good in the team."
In other friendlies tonight, Joachim Loew, the Germany coach, will cast an eye to the future in his side's match against Sweden in Gothenburg with four uncapped players in his squad including Mario Goetze, Borussia Dortmund's highly rated 18-year-old attacking midfielder.
The Germans will be without midfielders Mesut Ozil, Thomas Muller and defender Philipp Lahm, who have been left out at their club's requests, while Miroslav Klose, the striker, is injured.
Marcel Schmelzer, Lewis Holtby and Andre Schuerrle are the other debutants set to feature.
Cesare Prandelli, the Italy coach, has continued his policy of experimentation by handing debuts to four players, including Cristian Ledesma, the Argentine-born midfielder, for tonight's friendly with Romania.
The Lazio midfielder, who gained Italian citizenship in 2008, will join the likes of Mauro Camoranesi and Amauri in representing the Azzurri without having been born in Italy.
"I feel 100-per-cent Italian," he told reporters.
Andrea Ranocchia, Federico Balzaretti and Alessandro Diamanti will also make their debuts in the friendly in Klagenfurt, Austria.