England coach Roy Hodgson is "scared" to recall striker Andy Carroll because of the reaction that decision might get, West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has claimed.
Carroll, 24, on loan at the Hammers from Liverpool, has produced a string of impressive recent performances but has not played for England since coming on as a substitute in the 5-0 win over San Marino at Wembley last year.
Allardyce believes Hodgson fears an international recall for Carroll would lead to critics accusing him of adopting a direct approach.
But he said Carroll's hold-up play and ability to link with his co-forwards meant that was not the case - a point also made by Hammers forward Ricardo Vaz Te, who described Carroll's play as having "perfect" accuracy.
"Roy would be scared to do it [recall Carroll] because of the reaction he'd get," Allardyce said.
"He would be accused of a direct approach - but playing Andy does not make you a long-ball team. It just gives you extra options.
"He is good on the floor, and others can play off him. Andy and Wayne Rooney together would work very well - and it would benefit Wayne, who is often carrying England's hopes all on his own."
Allardyce defended Manchester United's Rooney against accusations that his game was on the slide and praised his performance in the 2-2 Upton Park draw on Tuesday.
"I'm not going for any of that stuff about Rooney being on the way down," he said. "Against us, I thought he was really good and some of his passing was excellent."