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Andy Carroll set for England recall

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England manager Roy Hodgson is old enough to know that England never win a World Cup unless they have a powerful West Ham centre-forward leading the line. The man who may be entrusted with the tricky job of emulating Geoff Hurst's famous 1966 hat-trick is the current West Ham striker Andy Carroll.

After making a promising start for England, Carroll's career took a nosedive. Injury and the disdain of Liverpool manager Brendan Rogers resulted in the pony-tailed target man being farmed out on loan to the East End of London where West Ham manager Sam Allardyce was far more sympathetic. Some promising recent performances and goals in the claret and blue have rekindled Hodgson's interest. The England manager's assistant Ray Lewington has been briefed to check up on Carroll when he plays for West Ham against his former club Newcastle.

Hodgson made Carroll part of his plans for the European Championship finals last summer and the player performed well, scoring a particularly memorable goal against Sweden. His subsequent injury problems and his rejection by Liverpool made it difficult for Hodgson to keep him in the squad.

Allardyce believes Carroll would add a useful element to the England attack, although he was concerned that Hodgson might be deterred by Carroll's image as a one-dimensional kind of striker. "Roy would be scared to do it because of the reaction he'd get," Allardyce suggested. "But playing Andy does not make you a long ball team, it just gives you extra options. He is good on the floor and others can play off him. Andy and Wayne Rooney together would work very well, and it would benefit Wayne."

Carroll's club future next season remains uncertain. Although he has expressed a willingness to stay at West Ham, Liverpool may need to recall him as cover for the suspended Luis Suarez, who will miss the first six matches of the new season.

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