Shearer: Carroll can be England’s talisman

England and Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer believes the strike partnership of Andy Carroll and Wayne Rooney has ‘real potential’.

The two players are expected to lead the line for England in this weekend’s Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales at the Millennium Stadium and the Liverpool forward has been given the seal of approval by his hero.

Shearer said: “Carroll is something very different, he is big and strong. There are not so many players who can beat him in the air. But you don’t have to kick and rush with him.

“He’s got a decent touch. He will run into the corners and he will score goals. Judging by [Fabio] Capello’s actions, it looks like he wants Carroll and Rooney leading the attack for his 18 months left in charge of England.

“That has real potential – one guy who’s one of the best in the world, and another who has gone for a big price-tag and wants to get where Rooney is. They are both hungry and want to better themselves, so it has real potential.

“Andy can be the talisman of the England team if he continues. He reminds me a lot of Big Dunc, Duncan Ferguson, and in a good way, not a bad one.

“Defenders hate playing against him because he’s horrible to go up against. For a kid who’s so young, that’s a statement. Give the ball to him in the box and he will score goals. He’s not just good at heading it.”

Shearer also believes it is important not to put too much pressure on the young striker.

“It’s all right us former players speaking in flowing terms about him – and it’s hard not to because of the season he’s having – but we mustn’t put too much pressure on him,” he said.

By Laith Al-Hashimi