Newcastle United may have slipped to a disappointing home defeat at the hands of Blackburn Rovers, but their star striker Andy Carroll did manage to enhance is ever-growing reputation with another goal. Carroll’s equaliser was his seventh goal of the season, a tally that will surely be enough to see him named in the England squad for next week’s friendly with France.

But his call-up will not be without controversy. The 21-year-old’s well documented troubles in his private life have seen Carroll fill newspapers throughout the UK for all the wrong reasons. Many are now of the opinion that the Gateshead born forward is not the sort of role-model that an England international should be.

While I do not wish to defend Carroll for his actions, you have to remember that he is only 21. When somebody so young is bombarded with massive wages and fame there is a real recipe for problems. Carroll isn’t the first talented footballer to go off the straight and narrow and he certainly won’t be the last.

However Carroll does seem to have an ability to switch off from his private life when he crosses the white line, something which many other footballers struggle with. For example in the week after his car was torched, Carroll headed Newcastle to victory at West Ham, an achievement which is quite remarkable.

That is a quality which could see the striker become a role model for youngsters, and I have no doubt that as he matures the problems in his personal life will become a thing of the past. If anything, giving Carroll a place in the England squad could only see him mature quicker. Fabio Capello is the ideal man to advise Carroll, and while the Italian will only be around for 2012 he could really focus the forward on making the most of his footballing talent.

His footballing talent will be enough to see Carroll as a permanent fixture in the England squad. He is hard-working and committed, couple this with his obvious ability to score goals and the Three Lions will have a real asset. So while it may be controversial in the short-term, calling Carroll in the England squad will be the best for the country in the long-term and more perhaps more importantly for Carroll’s whole career.