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Carroll can be Roy's Andy man

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Phil McNulty | 13:51 UK time, Thursday, 24 May 2012

One of Kenny Dalglish's final acts as Liverpool manager was to deliver the reference that pushed Andy Carroll in England's Euro 2012 squad.

New England manager Roy Hodgson, wrestling with the inherited problem of Wayne Rooney's two-game suspension for his red card in Montenegro, was pondering with his attacking options.

Carroll had long been considered one half of the biggest pair of transfer busts in British football history when Liverpool spent £35m of the £50m they received from Chelsea for Fernando Torres on the raw Newcastle United striker as the window closed in January 2011.

Signs of late-season rejuvenation, plus a shortage of strikers exacerbated by Darren Bent's ankle injury, persuaded Hodgson to contact his successor at Liverpool for a form guide and character reference.

Dalglish spoke in glowing terms of the 23-year-old to clear any lingering doubts in Hodgson's mind that Carroll could be of service when Euro 2012 gets under way early next month.

Carroll will hope to cement the good impression given by Dalglish when Hodgson's England reign starts with the friendly against Norway in Oslo's Ullevaal Stadium on Saturday.

And the need is made even more urgent by lingering worries over the ankle injury Manchester United's Danny Welbeck sustained in the derby defeat at Manchester City that makes him a doubt for to face Norway.

Carroll scored four league goals for Liverpool last season. Photo: Getty

Hodgson himself admitted he has been "parachuted in" and the demands of completing the final weeks of his time at West Bromwich Albion means the 64-year-old has effectively started a crash course in shaping his team.

After Norway, there is only the friendly against Belgium at Wembley before the opening Euro 2012 game against France in Donetsk on 11 June.

And he revealed when his squad was unveiled that his selection of strikers had caused him more soul-searching than any other position, saying: "Forwards have been a major problem. In an ideal world you balance out the outfield squad 8-8-4 or 8-7-5. I said Rooney was always going to be in the squad so I had to rob an area elsewhere to make up for him."

So top of his list of immediate priorities will be being sure in his own mind about how to shape his attack as Rooney kicks his heels on the sidelines against France and Sweden before, presumably, returning for the final group game against co-hosts Ukraine.

Carroll will be desperate to get at the Norwegians to confirm he has overcome 12 months of under-achievement at Liverpool and the evidence was stacking up in his favour towards the end of Dalglish's reign.

He scored winning goals at Blackburn Rovers and in the FA Cup semi-final against Everton before transforming Liverpool - too late admittedly - when he came on as a scoring substitute in the 2-1 FA Cup final defeat against Chelsea at Wembley.

For good measure he then ran Chelsea captain John Terry ragged three days later as Liverpool beat Chelsea 4-1 in the Premier League.

Hodgson's selection of Carroll ahead of Stoke City's Peter Crouch and even Norwich City's favourite underdog Grant Holt drew some adverse comment - but he believes the Liverpool striker offers him a variety he can use to England's advantage.

"Andy is a different type of player," he said. "He has aerial ability but also the ability to make the runs behind defenders and use his power. I spoke to Kenny at some length about him. I didn't know too much and you can be tricked by perceptions of players - by what you hear or read about them - but Kenny praised him for being serious as a professional so I had no reservations.

"The conversation with Kenny put my mind at rest with regards to criticism he has faced for extra-footballing activities. That was very important for me.

"He is the type of player who balances up with the other forwards we have. He will give me other options because of his target play and ability."

And Hodgson also dismissed his long early struggle at Liverpool as he insisted: "I shouldn't be confronting him with the failures of the early part of the season. I should be encouraging him for the successes of the latter part."

Hodgson faces several dilemmas as he crystallises his thoughts ahead of Euro 2012, with Chelsea's Champions League winners not having to join the squad until Tuesday. This opening friendly takes on even greater importance as it is the first serious chance for England's new manager to put his ideas into action.

The door is ajar for Carroll - now he will hope England's friendly in Norway offers him the chance to barge through and move even further to the front of Hodgson's Euro 2012 plans.

Phil McNulty will be reporting on England's friendlies against Norway and Belgium and throughout Euro 2012. You can follow him on Twitter: @philmcnulty

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    Carroll is slow, one dimensional, not great on the deck. Crouch is slow, but at least he has decent feet and knows where the net is. I think taking Carroll could be a mistake. Hoping I am proved wrong and he scores a few, but I would be surprised.

  • Comment number 3.

    Just had to get that out of the way.

    We have to talk up Carroll don't we. What else can we do at this stage? No doubt we'll find out soon enough. Let's not forget he was brilliant at Newcastle. And current form is always important.

    I can't say I wish we had Crouch instead. He has good stats internationally but somehow I was never excited with him in the team. No offence.

  • Comment number 4.

    Third?

  • Comment number 5.

    Fourth and fifth then...

  • Comment number 6.

    Not that impressed with Carroll but give him a chance. We should be building for 2014 anyway

  • Comment number 7.

    Welcome back kick and run brand of football

    From what I read in DT, Winter said that in the training session " there was emphasis on playing the ball forward quickly" and with big man upfront we can imagine what's it going to be

    Rest of the Europe is scared!

  • Comment number 8.

    @2

    Carroll is actually surprisingly very quick for his size at full pelt, he just doesn't have great acceleration which is understandable given his size, I don't think there is a striker in the Premiership that would even as much as rival him when it comes to attacking the ball in the air, I think he is a great option to take away to the Euros, reminds me very much of Niall Quinn in his pomp and look how good he was for Ireland in International competitions, I believe Carroll is England's 'curve ball' for the Euros... Have hope for the sake of your country!

  • Comment number 9.

    I can't see any great harm in taking Carroll, though i think if Welbeck is fit he should be the automatic starter. England have a real shortage of attacking talent and we need to encourage the younger players to develop. Crouch might be some people's choice over Carroll, but Crouch, Defoe, even Holt are closer to the end of their careers than the start.

  • Comment number 10.

    Give Andy Carroll a chance. He will come good for England this summer and for Liverpool next season. He is a confidence player and needs the support of the fans to play well. P.s. Martinez for LFC is going to be great!

  • Comment number 11.

    When Carroll was playing for the Newcastle, they played to his strengths. At Liverpool they failed to do this and as a consequence, he looked a poor investment and his confidence was lower than a snakes belly. Towards the end of the season the penny dropped in King? Kenny's head and you could see the confidence returning to his game and once again he started to hit that cows arse that his banjo had been missing since he arrived at Anfield. If RH plays to his strengths, Carroll will score goals for England.
    Looking at it from another perspective, who else is there really if we are trying to build a new England team?
    Irrespective of who is in the team, lets get behind England and maybe they will surprise us. After all, this is the first time in a long time that we are not expecting us to 'get to at least the semis'.

  • Comment number 12.

    It's a disgrace that Carrol went ahead of Holt. Carroll has been rubbish for 95% of the season and scored just 4 league goals in a team with quality players to to give him service.

    Grant Holt scored 15 goals in a newly promoted, unfashionable team. He didn't have the likes of Gerrard to supply him either. Holt scored goals against: Man United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Newcastle, Liverpool, Everton.

    Ask yourself this, If Carroll played for Norwich and scored just 4 goals would he be on the plane to Euro 2012...

  • Comment number 13.

    What is it with the media...Carroll had a couple of good games, was pretty terrible during the rest of the season, and now they think he can turn it on on the international stage, without anything to back up that theory. I'm all for giving these players a go, but don't assume that they'll be any good at international level!

    I guess we're into the run up to the Euro's and as usual the media is starting to write all kinds of articles about England's team/ players, most of which will be fabricated/ mis-quoted/ etc to try to show that they have a clue about international football!

  • Comment number 14.

    I personally desperately want to see Andy Carroll succeed. There is no doubt that £35m is a huge sum of money... let's get it clear, Carroll did not ask for that valuation and nor at any point as he said he is worth it. I would be incredibly surprised if this did not have some sort of contributing factor to the relatively poor start to his career on Merseyside.

    With regards to his inclusion in Roy Hodgson's squad; I wonder whether a 4-week period of very good form should overshadow someone who has shown more consistency since last August (Grant Holt for instance), but at the same time, contradict myself with the reassurance that an international tournament is a relatively short period of time and maybe we are in need of players who are 'bang in form' rather than those who we perceive to be 'better' options?

    I have always wondered about Carroll's ability to step up to the international stage with particular criticism of his first touch. However, I think it would appear that not only has Carroll improved his off-field behaviour, he visibly seems to have improved his technique on-field also. The guy appears to have knuckled down and has tried to improve parts of his game where previously he could be accused of lacking and I think he could be a fairly useful attribute for England at Euro 2012... and beyond I hope if I continues to work on these other parts of his game.

    http://thethoughtsofphil.wordpress.com/

  • Comment number 15.

    Long ball dross here we come, not surprised tho' there's so little flair or imagination in this squad we can't play any other way.

  • Comment number 16.

    Carroll looked a shadow of his former self for most of the season, but then again he was working his way back from a lengthy injury and looked like a man burdened by an over inflated price tag.
    The last half a dozen games he played he began to resemble the man Liverpool brought and (particularly in the two games against Chelsea) was back to his un-playable best.
    Most strikers play better when full of confidence and for the first time since he arrived at Liverpool, Carroll appears to have found his. I hope the timings perfect for England.....

  • Comment number 17.

    17 Woo yay

  • Comment number 18.

    Carroll was excellent at Newcastle but either the £35m price tag or the level of expectation at Liverpool seemed to get to him. If he's that sort of person, he will struggle because the level of expectation will be just as high when he puts on an England shirt. When you compare the way he has settled in at Liverpool to the way Aguero has settled in at Man City it only goes to emphasise the shortage of quality English strikers available to Hodgson.

  • Comment number 19.

    Andy Carroll.....A pub team player. I always thought Heskey was a modest talent, but next to Carroll he looks like Pele. Is this really the best we can do?

  • Comment number 20.

    For the last few major tournaments everyone has been moaning about taking players based on reputation rather than form. Now Roy selects the form striker in England and he gets crucified. Come on guys sort yourselves out before you begin criticising others.

  • Comment number 21.

    Shock horror. Phil McNulty writes an article promoting Andy Carroll, a Liverpool player, for the England side. And the basis? That the ex-Liverpool manager spoke in "glowing terms" about his own player and a couple of decent performances at the tail end of the season. On that basis Grant Holt should be a shoe-in given he has been decent all season and I am sure that Paul Lambert has said nice things about him at some time or other. Maybe Phil would like to see Johnson at right back and Steven Gerrard in the middle of the park too despite both being very poor or injured for the most part this year.

  • Comment number 22.

    I think we need to give him the chance because looking from the games during the premiership he was able to put up nice performance so with my best of knowledge,he should be taking to EUROS.

  • Comment number 23.

    I remember when Germany were short on talent and so they played the long game with Carsten Janker, who scored after just 3 minutes against England in a 1-5.....

    Oh, wait.

  • Comment number 24.

    Even as a Liverpool fan, ACs inclusion surprised me. However, looking at it subjectively - he's a bully on the pitch and we haven't had one of those since Shearer. He's nothing on Shearer but when big Al was having a bad game he would still be a nuisance because of his physical presence...

    There is no doubt that if we are to get anywhere near winning this competition, England will have to win ugly. Without Wilshere and Rooney, there is no creativity or flair in the team; it's going to be won the way Greece won it.

    Those complaining about long ball tactics. It's only a few games worth, just live with it. Spain are the best team in the world and they keep the ball better than anything most of us have ever seen but does it really get your blood pumping? The tournament will foolow WC10 and be a bit boring - too much pressure on players not to fail rather than the country getting behind them to succeed.

    My biggest hope for the tournament is that Roy can encourage them to play with a bit more freedom. It's like watching a team of debutants sometimes - experienced players hiding from the ball, it's painful and so far removed from the players we watch week in week out in the EPL who want the ball all the time.

    C'mon Roy and c'mon England.

  • Comment number 25.

    Many people will think Carroll only had a few good games at the end of the season.

    That's not the case however - he had a string of MOTM performances which went unnoticed to most.

    The anti-Liverpool brigade will bleat on, but he's come of age and is now looking like a very decent player.

  • Comment number 26.

    I wonder if the people so quick to criticise Carroll are the same who have spent the last 6 days lauding Drogba.
    Both play the game in a similar way, how else would they play given their size?
    Interesting that both players had similarly poor starts to the season and productive in their own respects ends to their seasons.

  • Comment number 27.

    Andy Carroll was the correct choice to take and why not try him out in a friendly if Welbeck's out. He looks decent when he's on form and England lack quality strikers.

    Realistically, we don't have much chance of winning and he is one we need to check out for the future to see if he can offer anything at international level.

    His game offers something different to the rest and that can only be a good thing for the squad.

    As far as Crouch goes, it's a known fact that foreign referees have him pegged as a persistant fouler when the balls in the air (rightly or wrongly - it's still a fact). I'd take Holt if I thought we had any chance of winning, we don't and he's too old to be long term.

  • Comment number 28.

    @2 have you just not bothered watching his goal in the FA cup final which showed has had very good feat in a tight situation.

    Carroll has more pace, power and is much less likely to give away free kicks than Peter Crouch.

  • Comment number 29.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 30.

    I don't understand why Rooney is going. Can't play for the first two games (and let's be realistic, we're not going to get more than three or four), hasn't scored in a finals since 2004, was woeful at the WC in 2010, been sent off twice for lashing out at an opponent. Hardly the sort of person you want representing you.

    Also, England's win/loss record is better when he doesn't play. Carroll deserves a chance, Hodgson should have taken Crouch not Rooney

  • Comment number 31.

    Can anyone in the England side cross a ball? Most, like Beckham, only get excited if there's a chance of a shot meaning that they can take the personal glory so things like crosses and corners are boring. Carroll might be good in the right side with the right service but neither England nor Liverpool are the right teams for him. Personally, I'd be surprised if we scored a goal at all in the group stage before we come home.

  • Comment number 32.

    Could you please confirm that 10 - Peter is an Everton Supporter?????

  • Comment number 33.

    The very fact that we are talking about which of Carroll, Wellbeck and Sturridge should be leading the England line into a major tournament underlines the paucity of our attacking options sans Rooney. They're all fairly average (none would get into the Spain, Germany, France, Holland or Italy teams, for example) and to my mind there's no real stand-out candidate.

    For what it's worth I think taking Carroll above Crouch and Holt is a good call, for the main reason that Carroll (and Wellbeck and Sturridge) will still be in contention for the squad in 2014 for the WC and Holt and Crouch will both be 33 and probably past their prime. For that reason it's worth giving these guys the experience of tournament football and the whole situation (six weeks in a hotel with the same group) to see how they handle it. He may have had an average start to the season but he's found a bit of goalscoring form and he poses problems for defenders in the air and on the deck. For me, Wellbeck gets knocked off the ball too easily and Sturridge hasn't got the experience of being the focal point of the attack and holding the ball up so each player has key deficiencies. In the absence of an obvious candidate, AC is as good an option as anybody - he's scored in pressure games and can occasionally make things happen from both outside and inside the box which I'm not sure is the case with the others...

  • Comment number 34.

    The fact that so many under achieving Liverpool players have been picked ahead of far superior players only confirms, to me, that Roy hasn't got a clue or is totally biased in his choices.

  • Comment number 35.

    #20

    FORM striker?

    When was this?

    Did I miss his 8 goals in 10 games streak?

    Desperation, Phil, desperation.

    Had to be a Dutchman who crocked Welbeck, too-no wonder Fergie got so upset about it.

  • Comment number 36.

    @32 almost certainly, although I can be completely certain that @21 is definitely a Liverpool fan!!

  • Comment number 37.

    30.At 08:22 25th May 2012, SwissColony wrote:
    "I don't understand why Rooney is going." - He's the best player they have? He's their only world class player. He's scored 27 league goals this season. Need I go on?

    "Also, England's win/loss record is better when he doesn't play. Carroll deserves a chance, Hodgson should have taken Crouch not Rooney" - Errr it's not. Need to check your stats. Unless you're counting meaningless friendlies in those games?

    Take Crouch ahead of rooney? Carroll deserves a chance? Thank God Hodgson didn't listen to your advice. You'd have the England line up with a strikeforce devoid of any pace, skill or creativity, with the midfield playing "hoofball".

  • Comment number 38.

    The people on here slating Carroll clearly have football amnesia, yes he's not been in explosive form for Liverpool but he has the talent. Like Shearer keeps saying Newcastle was built around Andy because he was their best player but it is (was) a different system at Liverpool. He and his team mates have just taken a little longer to gel.
    We aren't blessed with the 20+ goal strikers we used to have so make do what we have and back him.

  • Comment number 39.

    Carroll to be a key player for England at the Euros? Surprised you don't mention Downing as well!! This is the ultimate clutching at straws article.
    And #26. You are not seriously suggesting that Carroll is on a par with Drogba are you ?? If only....

  • Comment number 40.

    Holt looks dangerous every time he gets near the ball, he'd terrify European defences. Strong, unpredictable and in good form. Crouch would be next, difficult to play against, excellent international record. Those that talk about their age and building for the future are talking blox, this is it, starting in a few weeks, the European championships. There are only two international comps, one every 2 years, so play to win this one. Both Holt and Crouch would have been better picks than Carroll for this competition.

  • Comment number 41.

    Poor striker playing in a poor team who will have a poor turnout in the competition.

  • Comment number 42.

    26.At 08:18 25th May 2012, wabo wrote:
    I wonder if the people so quick to criticise Carroll are the same who have spent the last 6 days lauding Drogba.
    Both play the game in a similar way, how else would they play given their size?
    Interesting that both players had similarly poor starts to the season and productive in their own respects ends to their seasons.
    ____________________

    Except one should have been raced at the Grand National, the other is a world class player.

  • Comment number 43.

    Caroll had one decent game all season - against a disinterested Chelsea side. Now he is England's hope..
    Roy is a very brave man indeed. He took on the Liverpool job in very bad circumstances. Now is has taken on the England job, which we all know is impossible under any circumstances. Everyone knows that poor old Roy will be finished after the Euros. There will be no comming back from this one. But a brave man indeed. You have to be brave to choose the time and place of your own execution - summer of 2012 in Ukraine/Poland.

  • Comment number 44.

    @34

    No, it confirms that Liverpool failed as a team but have a strong squad, but I guess that's hard to swallow eh.

    My only concern with Carroll is that the European refs might not like his battling style - Crouch fell foul of this all too often as well. I hope this doesn't impede his performance, because he seems well up for it.

  • Comment number 45.

    Carroll's late season form? Reeeaallllyyy? He had two decent games, that is NOT form! The fact is, that he has been included at the expense of players like Grant Holt/Peter Crouch who are much better, and I think that is a decision that will cost us.

  • Comment number 46.

    Isn't kelly on standby with henderson for England? Wow.

    If Roy Hodgson did pub sides..............he'd probably fill the england team with LFC players.

  • Comment number 47.

    #39
    Obviously the 2 players clubs had very different ends to the season. The point I was trying to make is that both players had great ends to their personal seasons after difficult starts. Whilst I accept Carroll didn't do it in as many high profile games as Drogba, he did change the FA Cup final.
    The point of my post was to point out the negativity that surrounds Carroll and his style of play, yet the player he is most similar to is Drogba who has been receiving unequivocal praise, and rightly so, for his performances recently.
    Neither player will pick up the ball the ghost past players like the Messi's of this world, but they do have other facets to their game that the Messi's of this world would be terrible at.
    There seems to be an air of embarrasment when faced with the prospect of playing at Euro 2012 with a traditional English style of play. We should embrace it, we are not as technically gifted as the Spanish or Germans but we have a style of our own and strengths that should be played to.

  • Comment number 48.

    If we're going to play Hodgson's usual brand of defensive, counter-attacking, route one, agricultural football, we may as well play Andy Carroll up top. As far as I'm concerned, if you approved of Hodgson's appointment, then you have no grounds to complain when Carroll is included in the England starting line-up.

  • Comment number 49.

    @45

    You only may have noticed Carroll having a couple of decent games - truth is, he had 4-5 motm performances earlier in the season, and has been consistently strong up until the last few games.

    If the rest of the team had been up to his performances then he would have been laughing.

  • Comment number 50.

    @39 Big4r_a_bore
    You are not seriously suggesting that Carroll is on a par with Drogba are you ?? If only....
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Lets not forget how much stick Drogba got in his first season for Chelsea

    Carroll when he turns up to the game (which has not been nowhere near enough this season) he is unplayable, much like Drogba.

    Personally if there is a chance he turns up in a mood to play to his best ability then Carroll needs to be going to the Euro's

    As for Downing even as a avid LFC fan I think it's probably the worst choice ever.. of all time. Should of dropped him and took another striker

  • Comment number 51.

    37.At 08:38 25th May 2012, eduard_streltsov_ghost wrote:
    You don't know how I'd set up the midfield, or the tactics I'd employ. It certainly wouldn't be hoofball. Just because Crouch is tall doesn't mean you have to lump it up to him. Unfortunately the mouth-breathers that usually get picked for England don't realise this.

    I'll watch the Euros as will you, my point about Rooney will be made in the final group game where he'll start and we'll draw 0-0 with him being very ineffective as usual.

  • Comment number 52.

    I think one of the refreshing things about this tournament is that most England fans have pretty low expectations.

    When kick off against France rolls around (with one or two faces aside) its still the nucleus of the squad that has failed so miserably time and time again.

    Add in the smattering of boot polishers that have to be taken...Downing, Milner etc then getting out of the group and losing to Italy or Spain in the next round will pretty much be the end of another campaign.

    How we are taking a squad without Richards, Adam Johnson, Carrick and Crouch is mystifying.

    We can only hope that the Liverpool players that failed to perform over the course of an entire season turn it on for a few games agianst some of the best players in the world....it doesn't seem very likely though does it?

    Unless Roy is counting on their experince in the cup competitions?

    Seeing Cardiff off on penalites after extra time is exactly the same as playing the likes of Spain isn't it?

  • Comment number 53.

    Phil, I cannot imagine why you are talking up Carroll, he is a crash bang wallop merchant totally unsuited to International football. I'd use him as a desperation substitute at best. You need pace, movement and intelligence to do well in a tournament like this, as well as good set pieces. I'd put him well behind Welbeck and Defoe in the pecking order. My heart sinks at the thought of England playing defensive midfielders, wide players and high hopeful crosses. That would just be embarrassing. France and Holland have both given us football lessons recently at Wembley, although we did well against Spain, albeit by being very defensive. Can't say I'm optimistic with the squad we have but at least no one is talking up our chances. Qualifying from this group will be hard.

  • Comment number 54.

    Am I 51 or 52?. Probably later by the time I finish typing.

    Anyway, as an LFC fan I have been hugely disappointed in the acquisition of AC and his subsequent displays for LFC this season but the disappointment actually comes from the price that was paid and the way he has had to fit in to a system which doesn't work for him. He looked like a lost eight-year-old on the pitch at times and doesn't look "quick". Even a big man needs good acceleration up front.

    However (as with many comments here) he's been picked so we cannot change that, let's get behind him and the squad and hope that being an underdog for once we might get that bulldog spirit back.

    I agree with the Holt comment, that Corrol wouldn't have been picked playing for NCFC..... but again it is politics in football that will never be eradicated.

    Good luck to Engerrrland, and good luck Roy!

  • Comment number 55.

    "Signs of late-season rejuvenation". Not sure two decent games against Chelsea justifies this comment. The guy is woeful. I'm sure the rest of Europe will be trembling in their boots.

  • Comment number 56.

    under_stand9, "Ask yourself this, If Carroll played for Norwich and scored just 4 goals would he be on the plane to Euro 2012..."

    If Carroll played for Norwich and scored just 4 goals, he would be on a plane to Lanzarote with the rest of the Norwich team for pre-season training prior to the new season in the Championship, having been relegated.

  • Comment number 57.

    How about an article on whether we can even get out of the group?
    Andy Carroll will (like Crouch before him) be a serial giver away of free kicks and therefore possession. Combine this with Gerrard's hollywood passes to nobody we are going to be doing a lot of running without the ball.
    How about a few more Liverpool players in the squad? Spearing?

  • Comment number 58.

    The hopes and expectations will place extra pressure on Carroll. He has it in him to do the job. Let's hope he can put all these comments to one side and focus himself on his game.

  • Comment number 59.

    eduard_streltsov_ghost @ 37

    "He's their only world class player."

    -----------------------------

    Ashley Cole ?

  • Comment number 60.

    Good God, it's 27 degrees out there, the sun is high in the sky and the olympic torch comes through my town today. Only negative England fans could have dampened my spirits today.

    Bless em.

    Carroll to score 10 goals at the Euros....

  • Comment number 61.

    Comparing Drogba with Carroll is like comparing Arkle with a pit pony. Throw him on if desperate and there are no other options (as in the cup final) but please dont build the team around him. Newcastle built their team around him and look how much they improved after he left.

  • Comment number 62.

    51.At 09:01 25th May 2012, SwissColony wrote:
    You don't know how I'd set up the midfield, or the tactics I'd employ. It certainly wouldn't be hoofball. Just because Crouch is tall doesn't mean you have to lump it up to him.
    __________________

    But he's an average striker anyway!! He's not the best at holding the ball up, his touch and technique are average, as is his movement. And he's got no real pace either! Sure he scores aganst Andorra & Trinidad & Tobago, but is he able to score past France, Italy, Spain even Sweden?

    Rooney's not going to play for the first 2 games, but so what? Arshavin was banned for the first two games for Russia in 2008, he came on in the last game, scored the winner and was then instrumental in Russia's hammering of the Dutch in the quarters.

  • Comment number 63.

    I don't think taking Carroll was a bad shout. He was looking a menace towards the end of the season and we have to approach this tournament with an eye on the future and unfortunately, despite being fantastic for Norwich this season, Grant Holt is not that. Having said that however, I am shocked by the number of Liverpool players that are in the squad/ reserves who have been appalling all year and haven't come good toward the end of the year; Johnson, Downing, Henderson and now Kelly. It's almost as if Richards has done something to anger the FA behind closed doors because there is no way anybody can truely believe Kelly is better than Richards.

    I also hope Roy isn't hung out to dry if we have a tough Euros. The reality is that our squad is poor this year and we are in a very tough group. We have only ever made 4 semi finals out of 30 in history in Euros/ WC, so I really don't understand how we have such high expectations each tournament, although admittedly they are slightly lower this year (I still imagine there will be very heavy criticism if we weren't to make a semi- our 5th in history).

  • Comment number 64.

    59.At 09:14 25th May 2012, Fernando is faster than me wrote:
    eduard_streltsov_ghost @ 37

    "He's their only world class player."

    -----------------------------

    Ashley Cole ?
    ___________________

    True........but is Ashley Cole going to score for England?

  • Comment number 65.

    @44 dogeared
    "Liverpool have a strong squad."
    Ok, I'll leave that comment open to the ridicule it deserves. Nobody in their right mind can say Kelly, Johnson, Henderson, Downing, Gerrard or Carroll actually deserve a place in the England team ahead of players who have performed far better than they have ALL season long.
    Roy clearly isn't picking players on form. He must be a fan of the Liverpool slow motion, long ball game.
    Allardyce could do that. And better than Roy.
    Any team in the Euros with genuine pace will rip England a new one.

  • Comment number 66.

    Am I the only one that's missed this "late-season rejuvenation"? By my reckoning he scored a whopping 3 goals in March, April and May.

  • Comment number 67.

    Did Hodgson ask Paul Lambert about Holt? No way and yet Holt scored more goals than the Welbecks and Carrolls all together. The key was the quality of his goals.It takes a few minutes to check out all 15 on video. The other points are Holt's all round play and leadership skills. Alan Shearer even said that Grant Holt is the most under-rated player in the Premiership.

  • Comment number 68.

    @60

    Indeed - not sure why folks can't leave club politics aside for the tournament.

    lol, I have no doubt that in reality all the Carroll bashers would have put him in their squad, but they prefer to take this opportunity to have a whinge.

  • Comment number 69.

    I don't see much from Carroll that gets me interested.

    England really needs to re think how they approach these tournaments because the current method is clearing not working

  • Comment number 70.

    Getting a bit tired of all the Grant Holt-a-philes on here. He was NEVER in with a shout for this squad. Why would he be? Roy's got a 4 year contract to build for the future and WC, why pick a 30-something who's had one pretty good season in the PL? Carroll was of course dire for a lot of the season but at least you see a real improvement and people forget how young he is. I think if Carroll continues improving and playing like he did towards the end of the season, he could become a Drogba-like figure for England. Now, before everyone jumps down me, he's nowhere near Drogba yet but I can see Carroll developing his sort of qualities; fear, power, strength, heading, finishing, bullying etc.

    I quite like the proposition of 3 up top for England with Carroll in the middle and 2 of Young/Walcott/Ox flanking him. Could be exciting. Could be dire but let's give it a go.

    Also, think of how we could be for the 2014 WC, some great youngsters coming through; Wilshere, Rodwell, Cleverley, Walker, Smalling, Welbeck, Ox etc... A lot of those aren't in this squad through injury. Maybe things aren't as bleak as everyone's making out.

    Carroll to bag 2 against Norway, get an assist and a red card for a head butt late on.

  • Comment number 71.

    I quite like the proposition of 3 up top for England with Carroll in the middle and 2 of Young/Walcott/Ox flanking him. Could be exciting. Could be dire but let's give it a go.

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    Problem with that is whenever the England midfield (Lampard, Barry, Gerrard being the main offenders) see a target man up front, the ball is immediately lumped in their general direction rendering the wide men useless.

  • Comment number 72.

    Forget Grant Holt. For 90% of his career he couldn't hit a barn door with a donkey's arse.

  • Comment number 73.

    eduard_streltsov_ghost @ 64

    True........but is Ashley Cole going to score for England?

    -------------------------------------------

    Quite improbable I would say. Just wanted to put a Chelsea player in the mix ;-)

    Agree with you on Rooney's inclusion but only because of the quality (or rather the lack of it) of the other strikers available.

  • Comment number 74.

    62.At 09:19 25th May 2012, eduard_streltsov_ghost wrote:
    Sure he scores aganst Andorra & Trinidad & Tobago, but is he able to score past France...

    Crouch's last international goal was against France ;-)

    Crouch scores goals (22 in 40 odd appearences) if he 'only scores agaisnt weak opposition' then fine. Algeria are weak opposition right? As I recall we needed just one goal against them to win our group and avoid the Germans. Crouch consistently gets goals against these teams, Rooney doesn't.

    Take a look at the list of countries he's scored against whilst you're at it, Rooney's never scored agaisnt the teams you mention, Crouch has against both the Ukraine and France - who are both in our group.

  • Comment number 75.

    What is with this sudden obsession with Grant Holt? He's 31, if he was that good he would've been called up for England already. The fact that noone has ever mentioned him before tells you that he's not particularly good, and people are getting excited after one decent season. Even he went to the Euros, he would not play again for England after this tournament, so surely it is better to take Carroll and build for the future

  • Comment number 76.

    With rooney out for the 1st 2 games, Roy was always going to have to take a chance on someone, and Carrol is just that: a chance. He has some good attributes and has shown some form at the end of the season. He also has the physical presence up front to compliment the pace and movement of welbeck or dafoe.

    Rooney had to play the last 2 major tournament with a broken foot, and when fit, was always more effective with the support of Heskey (hence his otherwise inexplicable international career). His is going into this one on the back of a fantastic season and will be rested and have a point to prove. I don't think we'll get past the 1/4s, but he does at least have a decent chance to shine.

    All of this talk is irrelevant unless we get the midfield sorted out. The last time out we got taught some pretty tough lessons, let's see if Roy has done his revision.

  • Comment number 77.

    I would love to see us go with a really young line-up, just telling them to go out and play football and enjoy it. Don't worry about getting knocked out, just play your natural game. I'd play Richards, I'd like to have played Smalling, I'd play Walcott and Ox and I'd definitely play Welbeck and Carroll.

  • Comment number 78.

    Nothing wrong with the article. Plenty wrong with the title of it. Am I reading the Daily Mirror??

  • Comment number 79.

    Gonna put my Lord Nelson hat on now and say I don't care what we do as long as we have a go and WE BEAT FRANCE!

    That is all that matters.

    It's like at the World Cup, when we just have to beat Argentina lol

  • Comment number 80.

    64.
    At 09:20 25th May 2012, eduard_streltsov_ghost wrote:


    59.At 09:14 25th May 2012, Fernando is faster than me wrote:
    eduard_streltsov_ghost @ 37

    "He's their only world class player."

    -----------------------------

    Ashley Cole ?
    ___________________

    True........but is Ashley Cole going to score for England?

    _________________________________

    He is probably more likely to than Carroll!

  • Comment number 81.

    Did Hodgson ask Paul Lambert about Holt? No way and yet Holt scored more goals than the Welbecks and Carrolls all together. The key was the quality of his goals.It takes a few minutes to check out all 15 on video. The other points are Holt's all round play and leadership skills. Alan Shearer even said that Grant Holt is the most under-rated player in the Premiership.
    _______________

    Holt is not a sexy name. Taking Holt is like Giving Di Matteo the Chelsea job. Gray, empty, boring. What would the pundits/papers have to say about Holt? Nice bloke and I have absolutely nothing against him - but in this country, you need to be a Beckham or Terry to guarantee your a place. You have to be colourful, and maybe, decent at football..

  • Comment number 82.

    @71

    Really? I've never noticed that happen, maybe you're just whinging again ;o)

    @70

    Agree about Grant Holt. Choosing him would be a much greater gamble than Carroll or Crouch. He's never played at international level and to debut at his age and background is a big ask.

    I do think we should have taken 5 strikers rather than 4 however.

  • Comment number 83.

    Im not for holt and im not for carroll.

    But people saying holt has only had one good season what else has he done, what about carroll what has he done? (okokok i know hes been a donkey)

  • Comment number 84.

    I think that having an underwhelming strike force will do wonders for England - think of it this way how many tournaments have we gone into thinking we are world beaters only to be embarrassed at the teams output after the pundits, bookmakers and fans talking up our chances. This is the first tournament in my lifetime where England are going into it with realistic expectations and Carrol whenever he has played versus Ghana if my memory serves me correct for example has looked the part. Carrol on his day can smash and grab, set up and hold up play the later is something England have not had since - well Heskey so in my mind its a big improvement. Come on the Three Lions

  • Comment number 85.

    Forget Carroll; the question is why Gerrard? why Terry?; why not Ferdinand? and ultimately why Hodgson?

    The answer (singular); because the FA are a conservative bunch of fools;

  • Comment number 86.

    Carol is in the mould of say Niall Quinn, never gona get u 20 a season(which is poor anyway) but may score vital goals.

    Its slow after the season, eh phil?

  • Comment number 87.

    the only good thing that has come out of andy carroll is the 35million that we newcatle got.on the playing side he is to slow but he can put himself about a bit still would not pay the money what liverpool paid for him.

  • Comment number 88.

    Hodgson to play long ball counter attack then?

    lfcfansworldwide.freeforums.org

  • Comment number 89.

    8

    No way!! I never saw your Carroll/Quinn comparison before I posted haha.

  • Comment number 90.

    ps why has kelly been called up for the warm up game???

    if i was richards id be hiring someone to take out hodgson

  • Comment number 91.

    I realise this is about Carrol but quite interested in hearing Soul_Patches comments on the Guardiola Latest. He hasn't even left for his year long break and its already down to a couple of months and less if a club seduces him..... maybe he did bail on Barca after all! HA

  • Comment number 92.

    74.At 09:32 25th May 2012, SwissColony wrote:
    __________________

    Guess it's just opinion. The France game was a friendly as well.

    Point is that Crouch has scored 12 goals in friendlies and 10 in competitive matches.
    Rooney's got 18 goals from 28 in competitive matches. He's the proverbial "big game" player.

  • Comment number 93.

    90.At 09:42 25th May 2012, Titus Bramble wrote:
    ps why has kelly been called up for the warm up game???

    if i was richards id be hiring someone to take out hodgson
    _____________________

    I alraedy alluded to this in post #46 and answered your question. :)

  • Comment number 94.

    I see the BBC has head-hunted the Sports headline writer from The Sun.
    Disgusting.

  • Comment number 95.

    @81 Which is where carrolls ponytail helps?

  • Comment number 96.

    If I was Roy I'd think this.....

    If Grant Holt was so great, why did Steve Morrison keep him out of the Norwich side for half a season?

    Would you pick the Andy Carroll that was at Newcastle? The same Andy Carroll that appeared to be returning at the end of the season? This is the question?

    He has finally learned to live with his price tag and the expectation he now has, better pick him when he's in form rather than wait until a WC qualifier in 4 months when he's not playing so well.

    And Peter Crouch, as great as goalscoring record is at International level (hello Jamaica), did we not always play long ball football when he was playing? Problem being he's not actually that good in the air.

  • Comment number 97.

    #82
    True, the beautiful passing of the national team over the past few tournaments and qualifying has been a sight to behold. Gerrard, Lampard et al certainly don't simply hit 'Hollywood' passes within 3 seconds of getting the ball do they?

  • Comment number 98.

    if i was richards id be hiring someone to take out hodgson

    -----------------------------------------------

    I heard that Richards refused the standby call from Hodsgon? Don't know if thats true. If he went to kelly first then that's just a ridiculous decision

  • Comment number 99.

    @67
    If I'm not mistaken, shearer did say he wouldn't take him though.

  • Comment number 100.

    To be honest I don't think it will matter too much whether Welbeck or Carroll start. Both are decent premier league players but I can't see either of them having a big impact at the tournament.

    The biggest call Hodgson has to make is how the team are set up, particularly in midfield. We lack pace and creativity in the centre of midfield and against France in particular this could be a big problem.

    France will probably have Cabaye as the creative lynchpin in the centre of midfield and then 3 from 4 of Ben Arfa, Nasri, Remy and Ribery behind Benzema. With the pace and fluidity they have going forward I think the only way we can counteract that is to play a quick tempo, pressing game and hope to catch them on the break. Essentially similar to how we played against Spain recently.

    A draw in our first game would be an excellent result, but even losing might not be that bad - providing we don't get hammered.

 

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