West Ham star still well placed to make England World Cup squad
England coach Roy Hodgson was absolutely right to leave Andy Carroll out of his 30-man squad to face Denmark, but nobody should be put off backing the pony-tailed prince of Upton Park at 9/4 to make the 66-year-old’s touring party for Brazil this summer.
Having failed to register a strike of any note for more than 10 months, the former Newcastle and Liverpool man needs to show considerable form in front of goal between now and season’s end to warrant a recall, but there’s every reason to believe Carroll will find his shooting boots shortly.
The 25-year-old has failed to score in his last eight matches for the Hammers across two injury-ravaged seasons and has missed his side’s last three fixtures, after being sent off for a rogue elbow in the 2-0 win at home to Swansea.
However, prior to opening his West Ham account with a consolation strike in the 3-1 reverse at Spurs in November 2012, Carroll had made 14 appearances for club(s) and country without rippling the onion bag.
He went on to fire home six times in his next 12 Irons outings, and with 11 matches left to impress Hodgson before the Three Lions coach names his squad for South America, another goal-every-other-game ratio would make Carroll’s claims impossible to ignore.
Such a streak looks entirely plausible based on the player’s past record, combined with the sparkling upturn in Sam Allardyce’s team’s fortunes in the final third during their last four matches.
After managing to find the net just once a game on average in their first four Premier League matches of 2014, the Hammers have struck nine times in consecutive wins against Swansea, Aston Villa, Norwich and Southampton in recent weeks.
Hodgson will have been delighted with Carroll’s brace of assists for midfielder Kevin Nolan in West Ham’s victory over the Swans, prior to the striker receiving his marching orders.
With Southampton’s Rickie Lambert looking like the only ‘Big Man’ alternative to the 6ft 4in Gateshead native in the England setup, an 11/4 anytime goal for Carroll when West Ham travel to Everton would certainly give England’s gaffer something to think about ahead of the Wembley clash with the Danes.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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