Fabio Capello has warned Andy Carroll he has to get himself into shape before he can be considered a potential England starter, ahead of tomorrow's Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales at Wembley.
Carroll, 22, who was left out of Liverpool's last match against Bolton, is highly rated by Capello but was not even on the bench for Friday's 3-0 victory over Bulgaria. With Darren Bent withdrawing from the squad yesterday with a groin problem the England manager has a decision to make as to whether Carroll will be promoted to the bench for tomorrow's game.
Capello said: "He [Carroll] needs to find good form. All the players do. I chose 25 players and decided that the first XI would be the players who were, for me, in the best moment of form. Andy didn't play the last game with Liverpool and probably he is not at the top. Also he is big. He needs to play games, games, games. It's the start of the season."
Capello is considering a recall for Frank Lampard for tomorrow's game just four days after the England manager left the midfielder out of the team on Friday – the first time Lampard had been dropped for a competitive England match in four years.
Capello is concerned that a booking for either Gareth Barry or Scott Parker at Wembley will mean they are suspended for the final Group G qualification match against Montenegro in Podgorica next month – from which England will need a point to be sure of qualification if they beat Wales.
The 33-year-old Chelsea midfielder is in contention to start as one of the two holding midfielders tomorrow. England will be without Jack Wilshere for the game against Montenegro on 7 October after the 19-year-old confirmed yesterday that his right ankle injury means that he will be out for up to three months.
The Manchester City right-back Micah Richards also withdrew from the England squad last night to go back to his club for treatment on a groin problem. The rest of the squad trained on Saturday and the players were given the afternoon off to play golf. They were back in training yesterday although Wayne Rooney was underwhelmed. He tweeted: "In [England] hotel longest day ever [sic]. The Office USA is getting me through the day."Reuse content