You know you’ve got a drinking problem when John Terry tells you to go easy on the bottle. And that’s just what happened yesterday, as England prepared for their Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales at Wembley tonight.
Yes, Terry, the bloke you may think uses “Troubled” as his first name, has told Liverpool’s pony-tailed striker Andy Carroll to lay off the booze.
Chelsea and England defender is famous for his boozy nights and rash affairs – not to mention having an alleged drug dealer as a father and a convicted shop-lifter as a mother.
No better man to give Carroll a word of advice is there? Carroll, remember, had to move in with his former Newcastle captain Kevin Nolan as part of his bail conditions after an assault charge last year. After having his car burnt out in the driveway, Mrs Nolan and the two kids had to decamp to Liverpool when Nolan and Carroll started throwing wild parties in the family home.
And then there was the time he broke a team-mates jaw after a row over a girlfriend at training. Nice guy, Andy Carroll.
Hence the need for Terry to warn him: “I've made my mistakes, maybe drank a little bit too much when I was younger and gone out a little bit too much.
"But, having gone through that, at 26 or 27 you maybe look back and are glad that you did it then because you don't want to do it now."
Ah. Carroll is only 22, still wet behind the ears after his £35m/R350m move from hometown Newcastle to resurgent Liverpool, where he has managed just one goal this season. Does that mean he has four more years of drinking to come?
Apparently not. Terry tells the Sun how young Master Carroll should try a more healthy style, adding: "Andy is a young player who's at a very big club with a really good future. He has still got to enjoy his time away from football. I'm sure he will. He's a really good pro on the pitch and good around the camp”
As England go into tonight’s key qualifier, Wales boss Gary Speed, fresh from his side’s 2-1 win over mighty Montenegro, are concentrating on another reformed bad boy, Wayne Rooney.
The United star scored twice in the 3-0 win over Bulgaria on Friday night and Speed admits: "We have looked at ways of minimising Rooney’s effectiveness but it's going to be difficult because of his quality.
“I wouldn't like to be a centre-half playing against him. Rooney is an amazing player and, from a pro's point of view, great to watch. People talk about his goalscoring but his movement off the ball is fantastic as well and causes teams so many problems.
"We haven't done that much in training because of the time but we do a lot of work off the pitch in the video room."
Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey will have the armband tonight. He admits: "We know the task ahead of us and we will all be ready for him.
"He's proved this season that he is back to his best. But, hopefully, we can keep him quiet."
Speed has no injury worries but is without the suspended Craig Bellamy and David Vaughan after their bookings in the 2-1 win over Montenegro on Friday.