Andy Carroll is worse than my grandson says Polish legend

Andy Caroll for England ahead of Euro 2012

Zbigniew Boniek mocks West Ham man as Gerrard defends desire of England's youngsters

LAST UPDATED AT 10:43 ON Tue 16 Oct 2012

ANDY CARROLL has been mocked by Polish football legend Zbigniew Boniek on the eve of tonight's England World Cup qualifier against Poland in Warsaw. 

The attacking midfielder who won 80 caps for his country in the 1970s and 80s said his eight-year-old grandson was a better player than the giant striker, currently on loan from Liverpool at West Ham.

"My grandson Mateo moves better on the pitch than Andy Carroll," declared the former Juventus and Roma star. "Mateo is very good at golf and tennis. He has better co-ordination."

Carroll is the most expensive English footballer ever after he moved from Newcastle to Liverpool for £35m in January 2011. However, the injury-prone striker failed to make much of an impact at Anfield and was sent out on loan by new Reds manager Brendan Rodgers.

The Daily Mail seems unimpressed by the comments. "Boniek is lauded as one of Poland's best-ever players and is set to become the president of the Polish FA. But his sly dig could backfire if Carroll finds the net against his country in Tuesday's Group H encounter."

Meanwhile, returning England skipper Steven Gerrard has taken issue with comments made by French legend Patrick Vieira last week, who suggested young players did not "dream" of representing England and were not proud enough of their country.

"I know the young players are hungry," said Gerrard. But he also warned against expecting too much from them. "It's important not to get carried away, " he said. "But there's talent there to give us real optimism for the future."

Roy Hodgson will probably be more concerned about the state of the pitch, which as The Daily Telegraph reports cut up badly during Poland's match against South Africa at the weekend, than the pre-match war of words. · 

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