WILL ROY PICK CARRICK? Hodgson Tempted to Give United Midfielder Nod Ahead of Lampard

Daily Mail (London), October 8, 2013 | Go to article overview

WILL ROY PICK CARRICK? Hodgson Tempted to Give United Midfielder Nod Ahead of Lampard


Byline: by NEIL ASHTON Football News Correspondent

AS Roy Hodgson prepares his players for the World Cup qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland, he has again been considering the merits of Michael Carrick.

At Sunderland on Saturday evening, Carrick brought a touch of class to Manchester United's midfield in their 2-1 victory in the Barclays Premier League.

Sitting in a familiar role in front of United's back four he was in possession 123 times, keeping his team ticking over as they recovered from Craig Gardner's early strike. He had the joint highest number of i will not smoke again, says jack JACK WILSHERE has finally admitted smoking a cigarette last week, after initially claiming he had posed with it for a prank. The Arsenal star was snapped outside a London nightclub on Wednesday and yesterday told Arsenal.com: 'I made a mistake. Players make mistakes. I explained it to the boss and we sorted it out. He put me in the team and hopefully I repaid him. I'm not a smoker, so I think that will be my last one.' touches in a Premier League game this season and more than England's golden triangle -- Steven Gerrard (100), Frank Lampard (79) and Jack Wilshere (60) -- at the weekend.

Hodgson would need Carrick to fill a similar role for his country but for the England manager to find a spot for him against Montenegro on Friday, the United midfielder must excel at their Burton training base all week. That is the target which has been set by Hodgson if Carrick is to dislodge one of his favoured three in the centre of England's midfield for the Group H clash.

Hodgson is, by nature, a conservative and cautious coach, but he is determined that his team take control against Montenegro and again when they play Poland the following Tuesday. England are unbeaten in this qualification campaign, but have drawn half the games -- against Ukraine (twice), Poland (away) and Montenegro (away).

That is not good enough, but two victories at Wembley will guarantee a place in Brazil at the World Cup.

Carrick has not played for England since the draw with Brazil in the Maracana on June 2 and he is frustrated with his lack of playing time.

Wilshere appears to have been ring-fenced by Hodgson, who fears being heavily criticised if he leaves the Arsenal player out.

Before England's friendly against Scotland at Wembley in August, Gerrard described Wilshere as a 'world-class talent' and predicted that he would go on to captain his country. Since then, Arsenal have stormed to the top of the Premier League and Wilshere scored his first goal in nearly three years with the equaliser at West Brom on Sunday.

Despite being pictured smoking a cigarette outside a London nightclub last week after Arsenal's 2-0 victory over Napoli, Wilshere's standing with Hodgson has not been affected. …

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