Carew Is Flying High
Byline: PETER JARDINE
HE celebrated his 26th birthday yesterday at Norway's Oslo training camp yet already has experience of playing in no fewer than five different leagues across Europe.
And, at a towering 6ft 7in, unlikelylooking Viking John Carew could cast a giant shadow across Scotland's World Cup vision here tomorrow night.
Gerard Houllier's [pounds sterling]5.5million signing for Lyon has taken French football by storm, with seven goals in just six games, and has been identified as a major threat to Walter Smith's men in the Ullevaal Stadium.
Former Norway manager Egil Olsen, he of the wellington boots at Wimbledon and the long balls that took his nation to the 1998 Finals in France, insisted he has never seen Carew playing so well.
And former Hearts goalkeeper Gilles Rousset, on Houllier's staff at Lyon, argues that Steven Pressley and David Weir face an awesome challenge and cannot afford to be caught in behind an opponent who has previously played in Norway (Rosenborg), Spain (Valencia), Italy (AS Roma) and Turkey (Besiktas).
' Carew is playing well and I can honestly say he has never been as dangerous as he is now,' said Olsen, now a television analyst in Norway.
'He is scoring goals, making goals and terrorising defences. He has signed for Lyon and is the top goalscorer in France in their new season.
'He is difficult to mark because he is so big, so strong and so fast.
Sometimes defenders just have to let him win a header and look to defend the "second ball", as the coaches say. He is more or less certain to win the first header.
'But Walter Smith can work that out for himself. I am sure he will think of something. But I am not sure it will be enough to stop Carew.' The striker scored his 13th international goal in 49 appearances in Norway's 3-2 win in Slovenia on Saturday evening and Lyon goalkeeping coach Rousset knows the size of the task that awaits the Scotland defence. …