Dalglish urges critics to lay off 'easy target' Carroll

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The Independent Online

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish yesterday insisted no-one is in a position to pass judgement on Andy Carroll's lifestyle and feels the striker has become an easy target.

The 22-year-old unwittingly found himself the focus of attention in the warm-up to England's Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales when Fabio Capello, not for the first time, questioned his fitness and off-field attitude.

Carroll also missed England's Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland at the end of last season due to injury and was pictured partying on holiday in Barbados during the summer.

It prompted Capello to describe the player's lifestyle as "a private problem", adding: "If he wants to be a good player and a good sportsman, he needs to drink less than the others."

Understandably, Dalglish, who spent £35 million to sign the Newcastle forward in January, defended the player and reiterated his support.

"For us, as we've said often enough, it falls on deaf ears. Andy wasn't properly fit last year because of a knee injury," said Dalglish. "We've been very pleased with his level of fitness this year because he's lost that knee injury. His fitness now would stand up against anybody's and we are delighted with the progress he has made.

"I don't know how much the media is going to milk this, the story goes back to March. You don't know his lifestyle. Who knows his lifestyle? Andy. Andy is wiser than a lot of the people who write about him, and I don't think his lifestyle is anything like they'd like it to be to get stories.

"Andy is very appreciative of advice from anybody that's got a good standing in football. I think he appreciates Fabio Capello's advice."

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