Andy Carroll is back scoring again for West Ham, but 68% of England fans surveyed would prefer him to be left at home during Euro 2016.
Carroll is finally back to full fitness after missing the final three months of last season and the opening five weeks of the current campaign.
He’s been tipped by some as a surprise inclusion for England at Euro 2016, but the majority of England fans don’t want to see the striker on the plane to France.
According to a 90min poll answered by 68,067 supporters, 68% of respondents don’t think Carroll has done enough to deserve a recall to the national team after being out for so long.
He may have scored a winning goal against Chelsea in his last appearance, but England’s second most expensive player ever is yet to start a Premier League game in 2015-16 and has played just 69 minutes.
Even once he gets stronger there is no suggestion that Carroll is going to become a regular starter either. He doesn’t appear to fit into West Ham’s new style of play under Slaven Bilic and is much better utilised as an impact substitute as has recently been proven. Therefore, why should he be given an England place over someone else who may have been starting for their club week in, week out?
On the other hand, however, such a role for West Ham could leave him much fresher than others by the time the Euros kick off in June. And, while most who responded to the poll don’t want to see Carroll back in an England shirt any time soon, 32% of people actually do.
They perhaps see the potential impact he could make. England already have a varied attack, with Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy and Theo Walcott all offering different things. None have the aerial presence of Carroll, though, and that could be an invaluable weapon for the Three Lions.
On top form, a level he showed for a few months at Newcastle before joining Liverpool for £35million midway through the 2010-11 season, Carroll has the potential to be genuinely unplayable.
For West Ham boss Bilic, “Andy’s quality was never in doubt – it was always about fitness.” As such, the big question remains, can Carroll stay injury free for long enough to put himself in contention?
There are still seven months to go and plenty of football to be played before Roy Hodgson has to name his squad for the tournament. Only time will tell who makes the cut, and whether Andy Carroll is among them.
By Jamie Spencer
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