This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
When Roy Hodgson selected Andy Carroll against Sweden, familiar fears about England's style of play reared their head, writes Jamie Carragher.
There were concerns England would revert to long-ball football, opting to go direct and abandon any pretension of the more subtle passing game the country craves.
It's been a particularly English problem for too long. Play anyone over 6ft upfront for our national team and there is a tendency to start bypassing midfield to hit the big man too quickly.
The Germans select a similar type of target man in Mario Gómez and offer us the perfect example of why picking a giant powerhouse up front does not necessarily mean you have to play a long ball game. At their best, players such as Gómez and Carroll can give the side more options rather than expose limitations.
Gómez and Carroll may have had contrasting fortunes in domestic football over the last few seasons, but their similarities can be underlined by the fact Liverpool almost signed the Bayern Munich striker before we moved for Carroll.
The move for Gómez fell through at the last minute - when Hodgson was Liverpool manager - and since then Gómez has not stopped scoring.
Carroll, at the end of last season for Liverpool and now for his country, is proving he has the potential to stand in such esteemed company and there is far more to utilising him than simply hitting it high and long.
The prototype modern target man is Didier Drogba. When we signed Andy, the hope was he would become an English version - a battering ram at both ends of the field but with touch and technique to score goals.
He endured a difficult start to his Liverpool career but on the basis of recent performances, that aspiration is carrying greater weight.
Not only did Drogba excel at Stamford Bridge with his goals, but as a defensive weapon. He was one of Chelsea's best defenders against Barcelona and Bayern Munich in the Champions League Andy did exactly the same role for England on Friday and it is also an essential responsibility he has at Liverpool.
When he was struggling earlier in the season, there were times people would ask me why he wasn't substituted. I'd tell people to consider the defensive contribution he was making, particularly against those Premier League teams who do bombard you with set pieces. That kind of work tends to go unnoticed because ultimately a striker lives or dies by his goals, but from a manager's point of view it is incredibly important.
Now Andy is adding that essential ingredient of goals too. The change in him now to a few months ago is self-evident. I'd sum it up in one word. Mobility.
Since he's become fitter, his movement has increased, his aerial presence has intensified and his balance is better, which is impacting on his shooting ability. Piece this together and you have a confident beast up front who, at times, looks unplayable.
There are basic qualities you want from your front men. You want to see him making plenty of runs to provide a passing option, to have the strength and touch to hold it up and lay it off, and then have the ability to time runs into the box and get on the end of crosses. When you're a defender, you want your strikers running into channels to find space to make sure you can play a meaningful ball.
Andy has started to do that. An on-form striker turns bad balls into good ones. A poor striker turns good passes into bad ones. It sounds simple enough, but these are the fundamentals lesser strikers consistently fail to grasp.
As a centre half, there is nothing I love more than coming up against a player who is static. You know they're not going get a running start on you when balls fly across goal, so even if they win a header it will just tamely bounce off their head to nowhere in particular.
When Andy was struggling for fitness, he was too static. Now we're seeing him timing his runs and leaping to get power on his headers, as he did for the first goal against the Swedes. He will justifiably argue he has not always received that kind of service.
Hodgson must now decide whether to keep Andy alongside Wayne Rooney against Ukraine. As well as Andy played, I suspect he'll be the one to make way.
The club relationship between Rooney and Danny Welbeck will be hard to resist. I also feel one of the reasons for selecting Carroll against the Swedes was because of the height factor. They're probably the tallest side in the competition.
It proved to be the right call from Hodgson and he deserves credit for making changes which impacted on the outcome both in his starting line-up and his substitutions.
Theo Walcott may have proved himself the ultimate impact player rather than starter. Carroll could also return to becoming an ideal second option from the bench.
Either way, it's exciting to see him show that meanness and quality that made all of us at Anfield so enthusiastic about his signing.