So what’s all the fuss about?
Something that appears to be decidedly obvious to most is a huge talking point now. Andy Carroll must go to the EUROs in France this summer.
However, the one person with the power to make it happen, doesn’t see it.
West Ham fans, and in fairness most football followers, can see the legitimate reasoning for taking the Hammers striker to the finals. Yet Roy Hodgson appears to be continuing his stubborn stance that he won’t take him.
Certainly to most Upton Park dwellers, Mr. Hodgson is colour blind when it comes to claret and blue and a little corner of east London, but why? If players are good enough, in form and playing well for a club playing above expectations, why not look at them when your favourites are out of form, not playing well and in teams below West Ham?
The argument for Carroll is that he has hit form at exactly the right time after a succession of injuries that has blighted what could have been a stellar career with the capital club. The team and the fans have not seen the best of the Geordie, and his bit-part cameos haven’t really helped his cause.
Yet, for the first time in his whole career, the 27-year-old has scored in three consecutive games – hitting a truly majestic hat-trick against Arsenal. Carroll must have thought his birthday and Christmas had come together that day. No Petr Cech and no Per Mertesacker, just two clowns covering as centre backs.
Despite the goals, the England boss still refuses to be honest about Carroll. Recently Hodgson said: “Every time someone scores a goal and he’s English it is ‘why is he not playing for England?”
“I’m certainly not going to pick him on the basis that he scored a hat-trick so therefore has to be in the England team. We know Andy, we know his qualities,” added the 68-year-old. “In an ideal world, if you had a lot of places at your disposal, you’d always include a guy like him because he is exceptional in the air – but whether or not I’d be able to include him with all these others, I don’t know.”
All these others? Only Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy should be assured of their place up front. You cannot seriously overlook Carroll for Daniel Sturridge or Wayne Rooney or even Danny Welbeck?
Sturridge is as bad as Carroll for injuries, Rooney has been off form all season, but will go because he’s the captain and scored more England goals than anyone else and Welbeck is injury prone also.
What the others don’t have is Carroll’s ability to cause absolute mayhem in the penalty box. And alongside his ariel ability he has ‘a great touch for a big man’. If you don’t believe me, I refer you to Carroll’s second goal against Arsenal, the goal at the Liberty stadium last season and his quick thinking against Watford this week.
The problem lies with the fact that Carroll is not a favourite of the England manager.
It’s great that Hodgson is loyal to his team, you have to admire that, but England are going to the finals to try and win it. If you go to the finals with players that are not performing at club level and then England come home after group stages, where has your loyalty got you?
You pick a team on their current form and take those players that give you an edge, and Andy Carroll will give him something that the team doesn’t already have.
Obviously, Carroll wouldn’t start, but when you need him, you put him on and he could turn a game for you. The European defenders wouldn’t know what’s hit them.
Carroll hasn’t given up and he needs to carry on his fine form for West Ham until the last whistle blows at the end of the season. He said: “Without a doubt I’m keeping half an eye on the Euros this summer, but I’ve got to keep that in the back of my head. At the minute I just have to play each game here and see how it goes.”
Keep going Andy – all the way to the finals in France.