Carroll mystery after U21 delay
Andy Carroll’s participation at next month’s Under-21 Euros
remains shrouded in mystery after the England squad announcement
Stuart Pearce has already informed at least two players of their
fate, with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger confirming Jack Wilshere’s
selection and Scott Loach revealing on Wednesday night he had not
made the cut.
It is fair to assume the vast majority of the 40-man provisional
party named by Pearce earlier this month have also been made aware
of whether they have made the final 23, and full details of the
squad were expected to be released on Thursday afternoon.
But the Football Association have revealed it will now be
announced on Monday, the same day as the senior squad for the June
4 European Championship qualifier against Switzerland.
The FA claimed the decision to delay was made because it was
felt better to wait until after Sunday’s final round of Premier
League games before going public.
But Thursday’s news will only serve to fuel speculation over the
inclusion of Liverpool striker Carroll, following reports he had
expressed concern about taking part in the finals in Denmark.
The 22-year-old, who has endured an injury-hit second half of
the season, is said to have questioned whether tournament football
could do him more harm than good ahead of the new campaign.
Like Wenger, Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish has suggested he is
not in favour of players being drafted back into the Under-21 fold
after graduating to the senior set-up.
Wenger has also expressed concern about 19-year-old Wilshere
suffering burnout as result of the number of games he has played
for club and country this season.
Wenger said on Thursday: “I heard he has been picked. We just
have to accept and respect the choice, even if we think it is the
“Jack Wilshere is in the red for a while now and this can be a
risk for his health.
“He will respect the decision. He knows that he is nearly at the
end of his energy level but he is keen to do well.
“He has played nearly 50 games this year. To go to a tournament
for me is a massive risk.
“I am happy if the under-21s do well because I want England to
do very well.
“I think it is not the right decision but will respect (it) and
let him go.”
Pearce has been adamant that including the best players at his
disposal is crucial not only to England’s chances this summer but
also to boosting the country’s hopes of success at future World
Cups and European Championships.
One player who has confirmed he did not make the final 23 is
Watford goalkeeper Loach.
His omission may spark speculation Fabio Capello is preparing to
make him a permanent part of the senior set-up following Ben
Foster’s decision to make himself unavailable for selection.
Loach, who was twice promoted last year following a series of
withdrawals, wrote on Twitter on Wednesday: “Didn’t make final
23..so no more 21s for me.
“Just an honour to have gained 14 caps for my country. Time to
relax n have a few weeks off now.”
Both Wilshere and Carroll are expected to be named in the senior
squad against Switzerland at Wembley, meaning they would miss the
Under-21s’ pre-tournament training camp.
England’s Under-21 Championship campaign begins on June 12 and
they will play three games in eight days, and five in 15 days if
they reach the final.