Pearce to make Carroll decision today


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The Independent Football

Stuart Pearce will make his decision today on whether Andy Carroll is named in the England under-21 squad for the European Championships this summer with a row brewing over the Liverpool striker's suitability for the trip.

The England under-21s manager has to make a decision on the fitness of the striker, who has played just nine club games since December, knowing that Liverpool don't want him to play in the tournament in Denmark.

The consensus at Liverpool is that Carroll needs the summer to rest – he has an ongoing knee problem – and that having played for the senior England team, no purpose is served with him dropping down a level.

However, that has to be balanced with Pearce's determination to call up Jack Wilshere, already a key member of Fabio Capello's senior team but one who has – unlike Carroll – outlined his desire to play in the tournament. If Carroll is left out and Wilshere is included the likelihood is that Arsène Wenger will lodge a strong protest. Arsenal are worried about the effects of a summer tournament on Wilshere's fitness. Unlike Carroll, Wilshere has played a key role in the under-21s qualification for the tournament.

The main determining factor on Carroll's selection will be his fitness and even if he is named in the under-21s squad for Denmark today he may yet be left out at a later date if his knee proves to be a problem. The England under-21s squad will be announced this afternoon.