Capello tells Carroll: curb the pinting if you want England shirt
England manager Fabio Capello has told Liverpool striker Andy Carroll to drink less if he wants to hold down a regular place on the international scene.
Back in March Carroll appeared to be Capello's golden boy, marking his second cap with his first senior goal against Ghana at Wembley.
Since then though, the Gateshead-born frontman's career seems to have stalled.
He missed the subsequent Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland - and the European Under-21 Championships - due to injury, and during the summer he was pictured partying on holiday in Barbados.
However, despite not even finding a place for the Liverpool striker among his substitutes in Bulgaria on Friday, Capello's warning was of a general variety rather than isolating specifics.
"I think if he wants to be a good player, a good sportsman, he needs to drink less," Capello said.
The Italian said he had spoken to Carroll but declined to give details of his advice.
"It's a private message. I spoke with him. It's a private discussion between two people but he understands a lot. He's young, we need to help him. He's a really important player.
"He needs to be careful, because he's an important player not only for the England team but for Liverpool. I think he understands what he needs to do."
It would be a major surprise if Carroll was in contention for a starting berth in tomorrow's encounter with Wales at Wembley, purely on the basis of how well England's attack performed in Sofia on Friday.
Yet Capello is considering changes for what he hopes will be his last competitive game at Wembley as England manager.
In dismissing the theory that he might drop either Gareth Barry or Scott Parker, who are both a booking away from being suspended for the final game in Montenegro on October 7, Capello highlighted the difficulties his side encounter at Wembley.
A run of three draws and a defeat from their last four outings at the national stadium is their worst for almost three decades and with the pace of Gareth Bale at their disposal, Capello is anticipating Wales adopting safety-first tactics.
"It is possible I will change the style," Capello said. "I don't think about yellow cards and whether some players will miss the next game. It is step-by-step and tomorrow will be a tough game.
"I watched the game they played against Montenegro. They played really well on the counter-attack and Bale is back on top form.
"After his injury he only played at 80 per cent of his capacity. Now he is really good.
"He is a really important player. He is so fast. It is difficult to stop him. We need to prepare something."