Monday, May 28, 2012


England striker Andy Carroll impresses Roy Hodgson with his work in little and large act up front (Henry Winkler, 5/26/12, Telegraph)

Hodgson’s teams have always been built on partnerships and the Carroll-Young axis started promisingly. This was nothing radical from Hodgson, nothing that signalled much homage to the more fluid, possession-friendly modern systems. With a big man leading the line, feeding a smaller, nimbler accomplice, England were all 4-4-2.

Assuming Hodgson sticks with the same system in the Euros then the England manager faces an intriguing decision for the Ukraine game. On the basis that Wayne Rooney is expected to return straight away from suspension, does Hodgson omit the line-leading Carroll or the quicksilver Young against Ukraine? As Rooney prefers the No 10 scheming role Young may prove the loser.

Carroll seems cemented in Hodgson’s plans. He never stopped showing for the ball, helping out defensively as well in the attacking third, although he needs far better service. Barring one early delivery from Stewart Downing, Carroll was largely starved of enticing crosses.

While he mishandled the young striker all season, all you need to know about why the King was canned is that he didn't even start him in the Cup final.

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