Gale Praises Carrick

Tony Gale says Michael Carrick, whose winning goal against Holland on Tuesday night earned the England under-21s a place in the European Championship finals, should be in the full squad come the summer.

"I can't praise him highly enough and think he has a big England future says Tony, "and I would put him ahead of Nicky Butt.

"He is a very responsible player for his age who realises when players are out of position; he is very quick across the floor for such a big lad, and he is agile as well."

Of his performance in the 1-0 win over the Dutch, he says: "I think Michael has had better games; at times England got a bit outnumbered in midfield but Michael got forward well to score the winner.

"It was the result that mattered, though, and the lads now qualify for the European Championships - but he might be going to the World Cup with the full squad.

"Perhaps we don't see enough of Michael going forward, but he is so good sitting in front of the defence.

"And when he does get forward it reminds you what a good player he is when he attacks; it would be nice to see him sharing defensive responsibilities and getting the chance to do it more often."

Jermain Defoe also played and Tony adds: "Jermain is all about scoring goals and sniffing in and around the area; he didn't really get into the game that much but that wasn't his fault because he is dependent on the service.

"He has scored important goals in qualifying and he is going to have a big future as well.

"But he has such quick feet in and around the area and it is a question of when Glenn puts him in the first team.

"He is working with him every day and he will be the best judge."

Alan Curbishley said this week that Charlton did not get adequate compensation for Jermain - a matter that was, of course, settled by an independent tribunal - and Tony says: "He hasn't made it until he is playing regularly but, even if the total fee ends up at £1.65million, I think it will be a real bargain."