Andy Carroll facing an England setback
ANDY Carroll is set to have his England hopes dashed for a second match running today, and the striker’s latest injury could cause Newcastle United a major headache at the weekend.
The Gateshead-born 21-year-old reported for international duty last night. However, his first experience of the senior squad is expected to be brief after complaining of a groin injury in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Fulham.
England’s medical team will assess the problem today and are expected to rule Carroll out of Wednesday’s friendly with France.
Of greater concern to Newcastle is the thought of being without their number nine for Saturday’s Premier League trip to a resurgent Bolton.
Fellow striker Shola Ameobi missed the draw with Fulham, and according to manager Chris Hughton “will be tight for next weekend” after injuring his ankle in Wednesday’s defeat to Blackburn Rovers.
Were both strikers to be ruled out at the Reebok, Hughton would be left with Peter Løvenkrands, Nile Ranger and Xisco to choose from.
Løvenkrands demonstrated again on Saturday he is low on form and confidence, while his replacement for the final quarter of an hour, Nile Ranger,
is yet to score in the Premier League. Spanish Under-21 international Xisco remained on the bench for the whole 90 minutes even as Newcastle pressed for a winning goal. It was his first involvement in a matchday squad since the second week of the season. His last Newcastle start was in January 2009.
Carroll has scored seven goals already this season, and he and Ameobi are fundamental to the team’s style of play because Hughton likes Løvenkrands or Kevin Nolan to play off a tall targetman. He was widely expected to be called into Fabio Capello’s England squad for last month’s qualifier at home to Montenegro.