Carroll back in England squad
Roy Hodgson has recalled striker Andy Carroll to his England squad for friendlies against the Republic of Ireland and Brazil.
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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."
The team is notable for the absence of 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 wants to look to the future but he also explained why he has refused to categorically state he would never turn to the likes of former England skipper Terry.
He told Sky Sports News: "I think it is very foolish to say I would never do this or I would never go down this route.
"Who knows? We actually played a long time without Rio and then suddenly I found myself before the last two internationals in a very difficult situation, we lost four centre-backs we had chosen.
"So Rio very much came back into the frame and now he has disappeared again because he has retired from international football.
"The way he has handled himself with all his statements and everything have been very laudatory.
"Basically we are preparing to move on.
"I think Rio's statement summarised it all quite well.
"He's had a fantastic time, 15, 16 years around the international team.
"He feels it is time for some of the younger players now - or not just the younger ones, people like Phil Jagielka who isn't that young but has been waiting in the wings for a long time.
"He feels it is time for the younger ones or those waiting in the wings to step up and they can show that they can do for the international team what Rio and John did for so long.
"I don't want ever to have a situation where we might need to turn to somebody and for everybody to say 'you said he would never play again'.
"I've seen it with (former Manchester City manager) Roberto Mancini - he said with Carlos Tevez he would never play for this club again and of course he ended up playing for them again."
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.
He was in inspired form against Manchester City on Tuesday night, and Hodgson revealed the decision to select McCarthy had only been made in the past couple of days.
"I thought now with Alex having done so well in the games I've seen him play and in the reports I've received of his, this is a good chance to bring him in behind Joe Hart and Ben Foster," he said.
"We'll see how he copes with being in a senior squad. He deserves his place because he's played well."
"I have to be honest I haven't had a chance to speak to him. We made the decision to take him just a couple of days ago and I've been in Amsterdam.
"I'm rather hoping you don't need to speak to someone to give them the news. I hope when he hears the news today he'll be very happy and I'm looking forward to spending some time with him when we meet up.
"It is important to give these young players a chance to show us what he can do."
Hodgson hinted McCarthy might not get the chance to make his debut, however, as he looks to use on the players he is likely to rely upon in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
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.