England Hopefuls: West Ham United

"Call me up Mr. Hodgson". Photo Credit - Clint Hughes

Continuing our coverage of England Hopefuls, this time we shift the spotlight to West Ham United.

If the Premier League is a stock market, then the traders on the floor will be screaming "buy, buy, buy" as West Ham have bounced back nicely after spending most of the season in the bottom half (they were in 19th place for a couple of weeks). Currently, they are sitting in 10th place and though the gap between the last relegation spot and the 10th place is only 7 points, it seems likely that The Hammers will play in the top flight for another season.

Now, let's see which Englishmen in Sam Allardyce's squad stands a chance of making it to Brazil and those who doesn't.

Andy Carroll

After a failed spell with Liverpool where he was not able to live up to his £35 million price tag, Carroll joined The Hammers on a permanent deal having spent the entirety of 2012-13 with the London side. Thus far this season he have only made 4 appearances in the league (all in 2014) since he spend the fist half of the season recuperating from a heel injury. However he's missed West Ham last few games after he was sent-off in the match against Swansea.

On the plane or on the beach? Despite his limited appearance, Carroll offer something different for England upfront, mainly a target man that is strong and good in the air. However, with limited appearances due to injuries and suspension, it looks like he will miss out on the World Cup. However, he have the biggest chance to represent The Hammers at this summer's showcase.

Kevin Nolan

Last night after the 30-man squad for the upcoming friendly against Denmark was announced, @SBNLionsRoar has this to say:

Screen_shot_2014-02-28_at_12

And I couldn't agree more with the tweet above. Nolan has been the catalyst for West Ham charge from the relegation zone to their current spot in 10th. Compared to Cleverley, Nolan is older (he'll be 32 this summer), but he has shown that he has more to offer for the national side, with an eye for a goal (last season he scored 10 goals in the league) and also creating chances for his teammates (he has created 22 chances compared to Cleverley's 10).

On the plane or on the beach? Sadly, the beach. Despite his performance this season, Nolan has not been able to push his way into the side, and with his age it's likely that he'll never play for the senior side.

Ravel Morrison

A few months ago, after his dazzling solo effort against Tottenham and scoring twice for the U-21s, it seems that Ravel Morrison have put his checkered past and finally living up to the talent that once had Sir Alex Ferguson saying that he is the most talented product of Manchester United's academy after a certain diminutive, red-headed midfielder. A call-up to the senior side is a real possibility back then,

Fast forward to the present, Morrison is currently playing for QPR in the Championship, joining them on an emergency loan deal for 93 days. He barely features for West Ham in 2014, with his last appearance coming over a month ago in the 2nd leg of Capital One Cup semifinal against Manchester City. Rumor has it that Morrison's relationship with the manager, Sam Allardyce has broken down. Allardyce denies this, and said that the recent uptick in the team's performance and new additions in January transfer window is what prompted him to let Morrison go out on loan.

On the plane or on the beach? The beach. At the moment the door to the senior side is all but closed. However, if he can sort out whatever problems he had with the manager and play regularly and consistently, he's bound to make the senior side at some stage, as he is immensely talented.

Stewart Downing

The former Middlesbrough winger, joined West Ham over the summer after stints at Aston Villa and Liverpool. His performance for Liverpool over the course of two seasons left little to be desired (his debut season with Liverpool he failed to score a single goal or register an assist in the league). For his new team this season, he has played 21 times and registered 2 assists to his name.

On the plane or on the beach? The beach. Despite the fact that he was selected for Roy Hodgson's England squad for Euro 2012, he simply haven't performed for his clubs and at the moment hasn't show why he is deserving of another call-up.

Joe Cole

Cole was a former youth prodigy who progressed through the West Ham academy before captaining his side in 2002/03. That season West Ham was relegated and Cole have since turn out for Chelsea, Liverpool, plus a season in France with Lille on loan (while at Liverpool). However, injuries have hindered his progress and he was a shell of his younger self during those times he spent away from Upton Park. After two and a half season with Liverpool, Cole returns to his boyhood club in January 2013. This season he has made 14 appearances in the league scoring 3 goals.

On the plane or on the beach? The beach. With his age, injury history, and performance so far, it doesn't seem too likely that he be recalled by the senior side again.

Mark Noble

Noble, like Joe Cole, also progressed through the ranks of West Ham's academy. At the moment he is also the longest serving player for West Ham. Noble has been involved in each and every game in the league for The Hammers this season. The tough tackling midfielder has contribute 2 goals and 2 assists in the league so far.

On the plane or on the beach? Let's put it this way, if Kevin Nolan who have scored 7 goals and contributed 5 assists couldn't get anywhere near the England squad, the what chance does Noble have? He'll be watching the World Cup on TV for sure.

Matt Jarvis

The winger who is now in his second season with West Ham having joined them from Wolves in the summer of 2012 has had an average season. Jarvis is well known for his crossing ability, having attempted 134 crosses this season, with 24 of them being accurate. He has also scored a goal and chipping in 3 assists in the league so far.

On the plane or on the beach? Considering that Adam Johnson, who has scored 7 goals in his last 9 games for Sunderland was overlooked by Roy Hodgson, it seems that Jarvis solitary England cap will remain so for the foreseeable future.

James Tomkins

Tomkins is also another product of West Ham's academy who have made the step into the first team squad. The 24-year old defender main strengths is that he is good in aerial duel and accurate long balls. According to data from whoscored.com he has won 82 out of 111 aerial duels, while finding his team-mate 44 times out of 91 attempts with the long ball.

On the plane or on the beach? The beach will probably be full with players from The Hammers at this rate. Tomkins might want to go someplace else less crowded. However at only 24 years of age, which is relatively young for a defender, he might still have a chance in the future.

Matthew Taylor

The only thing I could remember about Matthew Taylor is his tendency to score outrageous volleyed goals. Sadly, that probably won't get him anywhere near the England squad. He has only made 13 appearances this season and have not scored a goal nor provide an assists.

On the plane or on the beach? Getting crowded here in the beach.

Carlton Cole

Cole spend his early career with Chelsea, however he found his chance to be limited and after several loan spells moved to West Ham in 2006. At the end of last season he left the club after his contract had expired, but returned to West Ham after failing to find cover for the injured Andy Carroll. He's been involved with the national team before, playing 7 times for England (he never started a single one of those 7 games though).

On the plane or on the beach? Sun, sands, and surf, welcome Carlton!

We'd like to hear your thoughts in the comments below! Did Roy make a mistake in leaving out Andy Carroll or Kevin Nolan? Or is there no one deserving of a call-up from West Ham?

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