Carrick's Late Claim

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Glenn Roeder is not ruling Michael Carrick out of making Sven-Goran Eriksson's World Cup squad in Japan and South Korea this summer.

While much of the debate is about Joe Cole and his claims for a place, Glenn insists that Michael's non-inclusion in the full squad for the friendly against Paraguay does not have sinister overtones.

What is more, Sven's assistant Tord Grip is expected to run the rule over Michael and the other contenders against Sunderland at the weekend, and the Hammers boss says: "Michael played very well for the under-21s, even though they lost against Portugal.

"There were good reports about him, and I think the reason he was used in the under-21s rather than the full team was simply because in the full team he wasn't guaranteed 90 minutes, whereas in the under-21s England could get the whole match out of him, which he probably needs after being out for six weeks with a double hernia.

"Now he is fully fit, and just because he wasn't in the Paraguay squad wouldn't necessarily mean to me that he's not going to go to the World Cup. I am still hopeful that Michael will make a show for that final 23.

"He is going to be a really top drawer midfield player for many, many years in an England shirt - in my opinion.

"I'm not picking anyone's team, but I am allowed an opinion, and that is mine."

Glenn knows that both Michael and Joe should have long, illustrious careers ahead of them wearing the three lions, and points to the fact that they could be involved in SEVEN major tournaments after that.

"The two midfield boys are 20 years old and I hope they go to the World Cup, but they mustn't become too disappointed if they don't get selected," he says.

"If neither of them go they will be 24 for the next World Cup, they'll be 28 for the one after that, and 32 for the one after that - so it's three World Cups for them.

"And with the European championships they will be 22, 26, 30, and 34 so that is the best part of four of those.

"There is so much international football for both of those lads, and I am hoping it will work out for Jermain in the same manner at senior level. They have got so much ahead of them, and time on their side.

"It is a great honour for the club and that is why we always allow the boys to join up and play for their country, and what it does prove is if they show the sort of form that the international manager is looking for they can achieve what they want playing for West Ham.

"It is important for the club, for me, and obviously for the players to know that through their efforts for West Ham they can get international football, and if the young lads do make it this summer it will mean they get great experience."

Trevor Sinclair might not have as many international tournaments to look forward to, but Glenn adds: "Obviously Joe got a lot of plaudits on Thursday morning, and he deserved them, but I thought Trevor didn't let himself or his country down and showed how versatile he is, whether wide on the right as he was against Paraguay, or if he plays off the left, which he has done in previous internationals and a lot for us.

"The two boys did themselves a lot of good, though it is a shame David James didn't get involved, as it would have been nice to see him get on the field.

"But I can understand Sven-Goran Eriksson giving David Seaman the full 90 minutes because he has obviously had quite a lot of time out with injuries."

Amongst other Hammers on international duty was Vladimir Labant playing for Slovakia, and Glenn adds: "Vladimir had 90 minutes playing for Belgium in an excellent 1-1 draw; he did very well and I spoke to him yesterday.

"He enjoyed the game playing left back in a 4-4-2, and the most important thing is he has come back fit and healthy."