Carroll looks out in the wilderness
ANDY CARROLL is facing a bleak international future following his latest England snub due to lingering doubts over his body. England boss Gareth Southgate decided against recalling the West Ham forward despite the chronic shortage of strikers. There looks no way back from the international wilderness for Carroll, whose last cap came in 2012. Southgate has made discreet checks on Carroll as well as having him scouted. But the manager has not been convinced by the 28-year-old. Concerns over the forward’s fitness levels were Southgate’s main worry, particularly his ability to stay injury-free in the build-up to and during tournaments. Southgate’s predecessor Roy Hodgson held the same reservations about Carroll, which is why the striker was not selected for England’s Euro 2016 squad. It is understood those concerns have been relayed to the current regime. The former Liverpool striker missed most of the first half of the season with a knee injury. And despite scoring six goals since returning for West Ham in December, he has since been troubled by a groin injury. Meanwhile, Southgate views Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as a central midfielder in the England set-up this week. The Arsenal player was handed a recall last week, which has coincided with his new role in the heart of the Gunners midfield. The former Southampton man has been used as a winger in previous England squads but Southgate, who is set to start Marcus Rashford in tomorrow’s friendly against Germany, is keen to have a look at Oxlade-Chamberlain in a central role.