After his incredible performance against Arsenal, there are people beginning to claim for Andy Carroll to be given a place in the England squad this summer. His recent past with injury mean that he hasn’t had the opportunity to play a part for the national side, but he did play and score in the last European Championships, while he will also offer something different. It already looks like Jamie Vardy, Harry Kane, Daniel Sturridge and Wayne Rooney will all be going to France, but there is a spot open for one more, most likely Danny Welbeck. Although there is no reason why Carroll can’t be considered for that place.
West Ham have emerged as contenders for the top six and the appointment of Slaven Bilic could have spelt the end for Andy Carroll. However, the Englishman has remained a key part of the club’s attacking plans, and when fit, has tended to get the nod over Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho. In 21 matches, Carroll has scored seven times, but the majority of these came as a substitute. He doesn’t have the goal return of Kane or Vardy, however Carroll showed on Saturday that he is a big match player and he is still capable of dominating defences.
Roy Hodgson has been known to be a big fan of Carroll in the past and will be watching the 27-year-old ahead of the summer. The former Newcastle and Liverpool forward is an old-fashioned centre forward, and nobody else in the squad has similar qualities, which is why he still has a great chance of being selected. Carroll is excellent in the air, and he has added intelligence to his game over the last year, as he now targets full backs, instead of trying to consistently beat the centre backs in the air. He showed that on Saturday as he kept winning balls in the air, and bullied Arsenal, grabbing three goals in the process.
Carroll has never been a prolific striker, despite the amount of money that has been spent on him in the past. His highest return for a Premier League season was 13 and that came in the 2010/11 season for Newcastle and Liverpool combined. This is why his lack of goals this season shouldn’t be seen as a big issue, while his dominating performances show that he is in the best form of his life and England could benefit from that. Danny Welbeck is a good striker for England, but he is similar to Daniel Sturridge and taking Carroll could be a better move for the squad as a whole.
The coming weeks will be interesting in terms of who Roy Hodgson will pick for his squad this summer. Andy Carroll needs more performances like the one he gave against Arsenal if he is to be a surprise inclusion. However, I feel he should be considered purely for the different strengths he would bring to the squad. Harry Kane should be our starting forward, but we should take as many different options as possible to give Hodgson more than one way of playing.