Neil Ashton from the News of the World claims England manager Fabio Capello has in-form Newcastle striker Andy Carroll on his radar as a stand by for his World Cup squad.
With England’s attacking options in tatters, could the striker who has been hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons of late, be the Italian’s surprise call-up this summer?
Suggestions are Capello has been impressed with Carroll, who has scored 16 times for the North-East side this season, and is in the manager’s future plans. England’s striker force has been hampered by injuries and players out of form, so the England manager may be expected to rely on those waiting in the wings.
The sight of seeing Manchester United ace Wayne Rooney leaving the Allianz Arena on crutches, with his right foot in a protective boot sent shivers down every England fans’ spine. With West Ham striker Carlton Cole featuring on the bench and out of form of late and Emile Heskey injured, Capello is clutching at straws in terms of strikers.
Rooney’s injury is expected to keep him out of United’s side for two weeks but England fans will hope this doesn’t put an end to his sensational goal scoring form this season.
The Magpies’ striker is in contention with Darren Bent and Bobby Zamora, who are all hoping for a seat on the plane to South Africa.
Bent has been finding the back of the net for Sunderland on a regular basis this season but failed to impress at international level against Brazil last November. Zamora has looked a revelation under boss Roy Hodgson but calls for his inclusion in the England squad against Egypt fell on deaf ears.
Tottenham’s Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe will be ahead of Carroll in the pecking order but if history has taught England fans anything, expected the unexpected. Sven Goran Eriksson called up Theo Walcott without even seeing him play.
If the Newcastle striker does get his opportunity by being included in Capello’s squad then he may get a chance to impress in England’s B side warm-up game.
Despite his prolific form in front of goal this season, the Italian may be reluctant to take Carroll after an alleged training ground bust-up with team-mate Steven Taylor. The defender is understood to have had his jaw wired.
So could the England manager risk anymore negative media attention surrounding the squad this summer?
Newcastle manager Chris Hughton has stood by his in-form striker and as long as he spearheads the Magpies charge back to the Premier League, he surely cannot be ignored by Capello.
The European 2012 qualifiers may be a more realistic aim for the Newcastle striker, but knowing he is on Capello’s radar caps an excellent campaign for the player, who surely will make his return to the Premier League with the Magpies next season.
Written by Michael Muncaster