Will He? Wont He?
A lot of the media attention and speculation in the last couple of weeks has been geared towards one thing...will Andy Carroll get an England call up? The simple answer, as it turned out, was yes.
But, as is often the case with anything associated with Newcastle, things are never quite simple. Playing the full 90 minutes against Fulham at the weekend has appeared to damage Big Andy's chances of getting that landmark first cap, as he picked up a groin strain late on. 'I just felt a twinge in the groin as we were pushing forward to try and get a goal, but I don't really know how it happened... I saw the doctor after the match, and it was decided to have another look at it on Sunday. I hoped that if I got a good night's sleep, I might wake up and it would feel better, because that's happened before... It felt worse when I got up, but improved during the day' said Carroll.
Even so, with reservations, Hughton allowed Carroll to join up with the England squad in London and be assessed by their doctors, but making it clear that he felt Carroll should not play. Hughton even went as far as to say: 'He is with England because it is the right thing to do and part of the protocol...
From our feelings he has to be doubtful for Bolton, and if we had a game on Wednesday it certainly would be the case that he wouldn't be playing' Hughton, and indeed all of us, know Andy's main concern should be getting fit for Newcastle, and if Carroll plays on Wednesday and truely is injured, our season could suffer irreparable damage.
To quote Hughton again - 'The most important thing for us is, of course, him playing in a black and white strip.' England appear to have prepared for a late exit from Carroll, and with Gabby Agbonlahor also pulling out of the squad, Capello took the opportunity to draft in another of those big target men he likes, in the shape of West Ham's Carlton Cole.
Our striker remains upbeat however, regardless of what may happen: 'I'm not afraid of playing for England - I see it as a great challenge - and if I miss out this time, it will just make me more determined to get in the squad the next time.'