PAUL GASCOIGNE is backing his fellow former Newcastle favourite Andy Carroll to hit form for England at Euro 2012.
With Wayne Rooney suspended, Liverpool’s £35million man is in contention to lead England’s attack against France in Donetsk when England begin their campaign on Monday.
Former England playmaker Gascoigne claims the 23-year-old – Gascoigne was also 23 when he shone in England’s run to the 1990 World Cup semi-finals – is beginning to show the full extent of his ability.
And he joked that Carroll must have German links, given he is finding his best form when it matters most.
Gascoigne said: “The guy needs a boost and you never know what comes out of these tournaments.
“I came back from the 1990 World Cup as a hero and I’d like to think it wasn’t just about the tears, but because of the passion I had for my country. I wish everybody well. But because Andy’s a Geordie it’d be good for him – it would boost his morale because he’s not had the best of seasons.
“But he’s coming good. He must be a German – he’s coming good towards the end.”
Gascoigne, however, questioned the passion of the England players.
“Anyone could manage England. You’ve just got to pick the right players,” Gascoigne said. “If the players aren’t performing we’ve got no chance.
“I try not to watch as many (England games) because I didn’t feel the players play for the fans.
“Some of them just score and walk away – it means nothing.
“It meant a lot when I used to play. I did it because of the passion.”
I played for England for nowt. There was a time when I got offered £10,000 every time I played. I said, ‘No, I don’t want it’.”