Andy Carroll to get England call as Hodgson goes for goals
Big striker will pose aerial threat but Oxlade-Chamberlain is dropped for Sweden clash
WITH every man and his dog agreed that England need to show more attacking intent against Sweden than they did against France, Roy Hodgson is set to unleash Andy Carroll up front for tonight's Group B clash.
But enthusiasm for Hodgson's bold attacking move could be tempered by the fact that Arsenal starlet Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is likely to be the player sacrificed to make room for the big Liverpool striker.
Ashley Young will be switched from the centre to the wing and Carroll will fit in alongside Danny Welbeck in a 4-4-2.
"England, a slight rush of adrenalin now slipping into their veins, want to play a game of heads and tails up. Andy Carroll could prove the ace in Roy Hodgson's partly-reshuffled pack," says The Daily Telegraph.
Sweden are vulnerable in the air notes the Daily Mail, six of the last seven goals they conceded were headers. And the paper says: "Hodgson suspects Sweden manager Erik Hamren will be terrified of Carroll, who ended the season in top form."
But picking a big centre forward hardly makes Hodgson a visionary says Richard Williams in The Guardian. And he grapples with two different interpretations of the move.
"The first is that England's new coach is a flexible thinker who is capable of using his knowledge of the opposition – in this case Sweden's vulnerability to aerial power – to modify his tactics. The second is that he is in danger of leading England back into football's Stone Age, into a lost world of long balls aimed at a hefty target man."
Whatever happens, Williams will be able to say 'I told you so' on Saturday.
Meanwhile the English and Swedish tabloids are enjoying the build-up. Swedish paper Aftonbladet mocked the English team and the press, publishing a spoof Daily Mirror front page that recounted a huge win for Sweden.
The Mirror responded with a mock-up front page of its own taking pot shots at Ikea, Abba and Zlatan Ibrahimovich. ·