England Links: Andy Carroll still has believers, and Michael Carrick should too

Where should you be born if you want to play for England? Why are Manchester United winning matches? Who’s arranging the UEFA Euro 2012 opening ceremony? Will the dynamic duo escape from certain death at the hands of The Penguin? Click ‘More’ to find out.

One in 58,000 Merseysiders will win a cap for England, according to research that appeared on Metro.co.uk this week. County Durham has produced a sackload of defenders since 1966, while Nottinghamshire has provided the most strikers. Fascinating.

Statistics aren’t really my thing, and for my money they rarely prove what they appear to prove. But sometimes they can still be very impressive, and the on-field statistics that reflect the games played this season by England and Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick are certainly that. You can find them on The Republik of Mancunia.

With the 12 Euro 2012 referees named back in December, UEFA has now also confirmed its assistant referees and additional assistant referees. Hooray.

The Euro 2012 opening ceremony in Warsaw on June 8th will be produced by Filmmaster Events, guided by Creative Director Marco Balich, who is already recruiting “dancers, gymnasts, actors, acrobats”. What could be finer?

Ukraine and Spartak Moscow goalkeeper Andrei Dykan is unlikely to face England at Euro 2012 after a sickening collision with Alexander Kerzhakov of Zenit St Petersburg left him with some painful sounding facial injuries. More concerningly he has severe concussion, which as Major League Soccer aficionados will know is a more serious problem in football than we tend to recognise here in Europe. Ukraine have already lost Alexander Rybka to a doping ban.

Iain Macintosh still believes in Andy Carroll, and to an extent so do I. Iain’s Unibet column this week covered the Liverpool striker’s current woes, and asked whether he’s going to come good. Worth a read.

Finally, a quick word for the great Tom Finney, who turned 90 this week. Who Ate All The Pies? pays tribute with a cracking gallery of photographs of the former Preston North End man.

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