Carrick For England

Tony Gale says that Michael Carrick could play for England against Greece next month.
"I thought Michael was outstanding against Newcastle," he says, "and for me if England do not play Teddy Sheringham with Emile Heskey in the absence of Michael Owen - if they are worried about the age factor with Teddy - then they will have to play Paul Scholes in that 'Teddy' role.
"Then I think they should bring Michael Carrick in alongside Steve Gerrard, which would release Gerrard a little bit to go further forward.
"I think Michael is up to it now; let's hope he can get in that England side soon, because once he does he will be hard to dislodge."
Although some would see selecting a player with so little international experience as a risk, Tony says:
"I think he will be ready; he is a boy who doesn't show any nerves, you can see that in his play.
"He gets about the park, and gets his interceptions in though he is not a big heavy tackler.
"He reads the game well and is a very good passer of the ball - he has got the lot."
Tony says there are not many players in the modern game who possess Michael's talents, and adds:
"There were loads of players like Michael in the past but they are few and far between now.
"He is such a level headed boy who has got everything in his game, and he seems nerveless, a footballer who is a bit of a throwback, if you like."
But he does not elicit comparisons with Glenn Hoddle, as some observers have.
He explains:
"He is a better defender than Glenn; he sits in the middle of the park and gets about a bit more than he did.
"He's a bit like Steve Gerrard in that he can do a little bit of everything, which is what you want - a good all rounder.
"He has that reliability to sit there and defend in front of that back four - which is important."
Michael will be part of a Geordie midfield doing battle against an even more famous midfielder from that part of the world - Paul Gascoigne - on Saturday, and Tony says:
"I don't think there will be anyone detailed to mark him specifically, but I think it will be Hutch more, because Gazza will play a little bit deeper to get the ball off his back four."