Carew forced to sit out match

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Norwegian football star John Carew lost some of his shine this week, because he seemed out of shape and reportedly needs a new club affiliation. He ended up having to watch the national squad’s latest match in Oslo from the grandstands.

John Carew needed to sit out Tuesday's match against Lithuania. PHOTO: Aston Villa

Carew had been picked to play against Portugal over the weekend, but newspaper Aftenposten reported that 60 minutes of play was all he managed. Coach Egil “Drillo” Olsen and team doctor Thor Einar Andersen decided that Carew suffered from “limited training” and photos indicated he had packed on some extra pounds.

He ended up being cut from the national team that Olsen picked to play against Lithuania in a friendly match at Oslo’s Ullevaal Stadium Tuesday evening. Now both Olsen, teammates and several football commentators think the 31-year-old Carew is a crossroads in his career.

Carew, born in Lørenskog northeast of Oslo, rose to local fame in Norway while playing for Oslo club Vålerenga from 1997 to 1999. Then he went to Rosenborg, generally viewed as Norway’s top club, before he made it into the big European leagues, playing first for Valencia in 2003-2004, then for Roma and Besiktas, then for Lyon and finally for Aston Villa. This year he’s been on loan to Stoke.

Meanwhile Carew has played in 88 matches for Norway’s national team and been a fixture of sorts, but not this week. His teammates and coach agreed that he needs to find a club and get back into better shape before he can join them again, reports Aftenposten.

“I’m not certain what kind of choices he has, he certainly has some offers,” Olsen told Aftenposten. “So it will be very exciting to see which club he ends up with. It can be decisive for his future.” Some of the clubs linked to Carew are Queens Park Rangers and Blackburn, along with a few in Turkey.

Asked how he can make a comeback on Norway’s national squad, Olsen replied that he needs “to get to a club where he thrives and is able to play lots of football. Then he’ll still be interesting for us.” Olsen added, though, that he’s not certain Carew “is hungry enough. We’ll see.”

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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