Andy Carroll hasn’t donned an English national kit since 2012. Battling injuries yearly, Andy has struggled to show any consistency required to be called up in representation of his country. However, since rejoining the squad in late November against Arsenal, the statuesque striker has been a man on fire.
Carroll has hit the back of the net 6 times in his last 9 starts, quickly catching up to team leader Michail Antonio, with 8. The most impressive stat, however, may not be his offensive capabilities or his unparalleled presence on the pitch. Andy has been integral in defense of opposition set pieces. So much so, this year he has 28 defensive clearances, the most of any striker in the Premier League.
New England manager, Gareth Southgate, is certainly looking to shake up what was largely considered to be a disappointing English squad. England brought six strikers with them to France for Euros 2016; Wayne Rooney, Theo Walcott, Jamie Vardy, Daniel Sturridge, Marcus Rashford, and Harry Kane. While star studded, they managed only three goals between them in a tournament that saw England exit early. In fact, it was Tottenham Hotspur’s Eric Dier that had perhaps the best goal of the tournament against Russia.
Ultimately, England’s failures rested on Roy Hodgson’s shoulders and he was released of his managerial duties. It would be surprising to many to see Gareth Southgate pick a similar squad for World Cup qualifiers. I think it’s safe to assume Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford will make repeat appearances, but there are sure to be plenty of new faces. Why not Andy Carroll? He brings an unmatched physicality that was so desperately missing last summer in France.
Andy Carroll could be next in line as we recently saw Michail Antonio and Aaron Cresswell get their nods. Antonio never left the bench, however, Cresswell made his debut in a friendly match against Spain back in November. Southgate, if nothing else, has shown he’s willing to give a chance to players he deems worthy of one.
England will face Germany in a friendly on May 22nd before taking on Lithuania in a World Cup qualifying match. If Andy Carroll can keep up his incredible streak and score wonder goals as he did against Crystal Palace, he certainly has a chance to get called back up.
Andy Carroll with a savage strike #WHU pic.twitter.com/JZzmgxISjX— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) January 14, 2017