LONDON: England manager Roy Hodgson has recalled striker Andy Carroll to his England squad for friendlies against the Republic of Ireland and Brazil.
Carroll has not been involved since October’s World Cup qualifier in Poland, when he was an unused substitute, but has finished the season in fine form for West Ham, where he is on loan from Liverpool.
Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy earns a first call-up to the senior squad for the double-header, having featured three times for the U21s, while Wayne Rooney is included in the 22-man party despite uncertainty over his future at Manchester United.
England take on Giovanni Trapattoni’s Republic side at Wembley on 29 May, before travelling to World Cup hosts Brazil to play in Rio’s newly-refurbished Maracana Stadium on 2 June.
Hodgson is yet to make a call on who will captain the side in the absence of the injured Steven Gerrard.
The manager said Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney were the “captains elect” although he will also speak to Ashley Cole, who is due to receive his 100th cap before the game against the Republic of Ireland.
“Lampard and Rooney are the captains elect, but I’ll speak to Ashley Cole; he’s receiving his 100th cap,” he told a press conference.
“Most players who receive their 100th cap do receive the honour of captaining the country. But the last time I spoke to Ashley about it he was happy to stay in the shadows. Out of courtesy I’ll speak to him as I will with Frank and Wayne when we get together.”
Absent from the squad are Rio Ferdinand, who retired from international football on Wednesday, and John Terry. While Ferdinand’s England career is over, it is understood his Chelsea counterpart would be willing to end his exile.
Hodgson said McCarthy had deserved his first call-up after impressing for Reading since returning from an injury that ruled him out for the majority of the campaign.
Asked if McCarthy could play, he said: “Not necessarily no. I regard them as preparation games rather than friendly games.
“I’m more interested in this squad to give the players who I think might be more important to us in the qualifiers in September and October a chance to really play.”(I don’t want) a situation where in every game you are trying to use 18 players instead of playing long periods and instead getting a 15-20 minute cameo.”
Goalkeepers: Ben Foster, Joe Hart, Alex McCarthy
Defenders: Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole, Phil Jagielka, Glen Johnson, Phil Jones, Joleon Lescott, Kyle Walker.
Midfielders: Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Frank Lampard, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott;
Forwards: Andy Carroll, Jermain Defoe, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck.