Davies could lead England - Coyle

08 March 2010 07:22
Davies ran West Ham's central defenders ragged all afternoon at Upton Park - including England's Matthew Upson - as he led Bolton to a vital 2-1 victory.

The 32-year-old scored the first with a powerful 10th-minute header and played a key role in Jack Wilshere's second after robbing the ball from hapless Hammers defender James Tomkins.

West Ham were unable to cope with his physical presence and Coyle hailed his captain as an inspiration in Bolton's rise from the relegation zone.

Capello likes using a target man and 6ft 7in Peter Crouch took a giant stride towards cementing his place in the squad with two goals as a substitute against Egypt on Wednesday.

West Ham's Carlton Cole and Aston Villa's Emile Heskey have both been involved under Capello and Coyle thinks the unfashionable Davies should be considered in the same bracket.

"He's a top player, a top man and a great captain," said Coyle.

"How he leads the line, his link-up play, his work-rate - he's such a powerful player. He's there for everybody to admire.

"His timing in the air is exquisite and obviously with the power, that makes it difficult for any centre-half to deal with. He just has a real hunger to win that ball.

"There is much more in his locker than some people perceive. He's comfortable to feet, so you can go to his feet, you can go to the channels because he's a powerful runner as well.

"I believe if we can get him better service of the ball he's going to score even more goals.

"Capello's a world-class manager and the job he's done at this point has been outstanding. It's certainly not for me to tell him his job, but I do know that Kevin Davies would never, ever let anybody down.

"If he continued the form he's in just now it might give Mr Capello food for thought.

"If he was given the chance then there's no doubt he'd wear that shirt with pride and he would do ever so well for them."

Bolton were in the relegation zone when Coyle arrived from Burnley but Saturday's victory - their sixth on the bounce against West Ham - lifted them above the Hammers into 13th place.

Coyle said that if Bolton can match Davies' standards then they should comfortably avoid the drop.

"We are nowhere near safety, we are still entrenched in that group of seven or eight teams there and anything could happen," said Coyle.

"But if I get performances of the standard of Kevin Davies here then that'll stand us in good stead and result in us winning games.

"He sets an example at the training ground. The players have the ultimate respect for him.

"He's got a real appetite for the game, he loves the football club and I think you can see how he goes about it.

"Hopefully I can help Kevin as much as he can help me at the football club and he can continue to get better."

Coyle would not be drawn on how many points he believes Bolton need for safety but West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola expects it could be as few as 37.

The Hammers are 10 points shy of that target and now head into back-to-back away games at Chelsea and then Arsenal.

"We are thinking that 37 points should be enough," said Zola.

"I know Chelsea and Arsenal are big, big teams and big games. Probably, no-one is expecting anything from us but football is strange.

"Last year, we got a point in both games. I am not going to go there already beaten because I know football can have surprises."

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Source: Team_Talk