Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Geordie Gem

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Geordie Gem

Article excerpt

Byline: By Lee Ryder

Peter Beardsley today tipped Geordie Michael Carrick to keep his place in England's midfield for the mammoth clash against Portugal after shining in the last 16 triumph against Ecuador in Stuttgart.

Carrick yesterday emulated fellow Geordies Beardsley and Alan Shearer by becoming the third former Wallsend Boys Club product to star in the World Cup finals for England.

The Tottenham Hotspur midfielder, who was linked with a pounds 10m move to Manchester United over the weekend, broke up several attacks by Ecuador and rarely misplaced a pass after being deployed as a holding midfielder by Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Toon legend Beardsley said today: "He was fantastic ( I thought he performed really well out there.

"A lot of people were surprised by his selection beforehand, but to be fair to him he hardly gave the ball away.

"And he also allowed Stevie Gerrard and Frank Lampard to get forward a lot more which they haven't been doing in the previous three games.

"Lampard had plenty of chances and Gerrard was almost like a second centre-forward supporting Wayne Rooney.

"Now Michael will be disappointed if he is not in the team against Portugal but I think after that performance he would deserve it."

Carrick's appearance maintained Geordie interest at the World Cup after Newcastle United's pounds 17m man Michael Owen suffered a horrific knee injury against Sweden last week.

And Beardsley acknowledged that there would have been plenty of support in the pubs and clubs around Tyneside for Carrick, not least in his native Wallsend.

Beardo added: "It's fantastic for Wallsend Boys Club, the people in that area and the North East in general.

"He is another product of the club and they will be proud of the way he performed.

"And after Owen's injury it has given everyone back home a bit of a lift from a North East point of view."

For 24-year-old Carrick, who was roared on by his father Vince and the rest of his family in Stuttgart, it was cap number seven against Ecuador and now the ex-West Ham star will be keeping his fingers crossed he is in Sven's starting XI against Portugal on Saturday. …

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