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Cottee’s Column: Still room for Hammers Andy Carroll on the plane

16:00 11 March 2014

Archant

Hammers legend TC writes for you each week

I was at Wembley for last week’s international against Denmark and I have to say that it was a typical friendly match with little passion and we didn’t learn much from it.

I guess the highlight was seeing the Southampton boys Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw. Both did really well and they seem to play without fear which is something that may be useful in the World Cup.

Lallana put in a great cross for the goal and he and Shaw look so confident and hopefully that will be the key for England in the summer.

The other thing I learned was that Andy Carroll would not look out of place in this team. If he stays fit I firmly believe that he will make that plane to Brazil because he gives you something a little bit different and that is what you need.

We have few players who can do that. Wayne Rooney, Stevie Gerrard and now maybe Lallana, but I think Carroll is another one like that.

There are a couple of things that worry me about this England squad. Firstly the lack of an out and out goalscorer and secondly a lack of depth at centre half. We really missed Phil Jagielka against Denmark and I’m not sure we have the back up when he is not in the team.

There was a lot of talk about Ravel Morrison over the weekend after his brace for QPR and I have to say fair play to the lad for getting out there and letting his football do the talking.

He is a great talent and I think talk of West Ham letting him go would be a huge mistake. Either play him, or send him out on loan for experience and this is exactly what we have done and hopefully we will benefit from that.

We are still top of the pack of 11

We didn’t have a game at the weekend, but looking at the other results we have not really lost any ground and we still sit top of the pack of 11 teams below the big boys.

Sometimes when you don’t play you can drop two or three places, but aside from Cardiff’s big win over Fulham there was little movement.

I don’t think we can catch Southampton or Newcastle, but I do think we should try and finish in that 10th spot, though we have some tough games to come, starting with Saturday’s clash against Stoke City.

The Britannia Stadium is never an easy one to go to, the atmosphere is always electric and we will have to cope with that if we are to get a result.

This is not the Stoke of old under Tony Pulis that would hoist the ball forward and put you under pressure. Mark Hughes has tinkered with them and got them playing some decent football as well as making them hard to beat.

They have players who can certainly make things happen and they have already beaten the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal at home this season.

It will be a very tough afternoon, but we are playing confidently, despite the defeat at Everton, so I will go for a 1-1 draw.

Come on you Hammers!!

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