Stunning substitute performance gives late hope to West Ham star

Despite Roy Hodgson’s reluctance to use West Ham players in his squad, there is a very real fear that Andy Carroll’s influential substitute performance against Chelsea could have people calling for the clumsy forward to be brought into Euro 16 contention.

In the days of Rickie Lambert, Carroll still didn’t deserve an England place, but now? Please no. If there is any chance of England changing as a footballing nation, please do not succumb to the ‘plan B’ that is Andy Carroll, do not fall to the ‘cross it in the mixer’ crew and do not pass go.

A goal against Chelsea’s comical defence will be chalked up into the ‘Andy Carroll is a modern Alan Shearer’ column and we will have to deal with the torture of his fans. Unfortunately, the quality of Vardy, Kane, Welbeck and Sturridge won’t be enough to shun these Carroll lovers, the big geordie can do no wrong for some people, those who refuse to accept that flicking it on in any random direction is not actually a talent.

There is still space for direct football in the modern game – just ask Claudio Ranieri – but Carroll’s brand of ‘brave’ jumping an uncontrolled flick ons would be as helpful for England as allowing Bill Turnbull to play sweeper keeper.

The game has moved on, it is now 2016 and even Kevin Davies has diminished. Long ball merchants have been replaced by Rickie Lambert and Troy Deeney; players who have great strength and power, but a footballing brain, technical skill and are a symbol of the change in English football.

Please Roy, please don’t take Carroll to France. It may seem unlikely now, but we all know that a bandwagon can carry even the most inept of individuals to a cap or ten.