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England call for Carroll would not mean long ball, says Allardyce

09:01 04 February 2013

West Ham

West Ham's Andy Carroll (left) holds off Swansea City's Angel Rangel. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce insists England would not have to employ ugly long-ball tactics if national team boss Roy Hodgson opted to recall Andy Carroll.

Carroll made a successful return from a nine-week injury lay-off on Saturday, scoring the only goal in West Ham’s crucial 1-0 victory over Swansea at Upton Park.

The 24-year-old was key to every attack, picking up long balls from the back and feeding them to Kevin Nolan, who would have taken home the match ball had he not squandered his chances.

Although punting the ball up to Carroll may not have been easy on the eye, it was certainly effective.

But Allardyce insists there is more to Carroll’s game and such tactics would not be necessary if Hodgson called the former Newcastle strike up for next month’s World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.

“All this talk about someone as tall as him suggests that England would play a different way...well you play to win, don’t you?” Allardyce said.

“If you have a player of his capabilities, play to him. Everyone is saying that playing up to his head is the best way, but it’s not. It’s playing it in to his feet or chest.

“He is good at holding the ball up from the opposition and then you can break from there.”

Hodgson omitted Carroll from his squad for Wednesday’s friendly against Brazil as he was not fit enough, but Allardyce is convinced he deserves a recall.

“He wouldn’t have been considered [for the Brazil game],” Allardyce added. “If Roy had have rang me up, I would have said ‘No chance.’

“We need to keep him with us. We don’t want him getting injured again but if he stays fit and keeps putting in top-class performances in the Premier League you get picked again don’t you?

“You can’t afford to be ignored.”

Signing Carroll on loan from Liverpool was considered one of the biggest coups of last summer’s transfer window, but his progress was hampered after suffering a hamstring injury on his impressive debut against Fulham.

West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan revealed yesterday that the club have agreed a fee with Liverpool for a possible permanent deal for Carroll in the summer, and Allardyce reckons a long run in the starting XI could boost the chances of that happening.

“I think it’s about Andy enjoying his football between now and the end of the season,” the former Blackburn boss said.

“Then he will ask himself ‘What have I achieved here this season?’ We just hope he has an injury-free 14 games and produces better form than he did today.

“If he can perform like that when he hasn’t played for nine weeks, then I am looking forward to seeing what he can produce when he is fully fit.”

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