After once again showing his finishing ability last night, Jermain Defoe can surely have got the attention of Roy Hodgson.
After firing a brace, both of which were tidy, clinical finishes, in Spurs’ 3-0 home win over Norwegian side Tromso, surely he is worthy of regular appearances for England, providing he gets game time under Andre Villas-Boas.
He was in the most recent squad for the games against Moldova and Ukraine, but was overlooked by the defensive-minded Hodgson.
Defoe himself has spoke out this week about his frustration at being reduced to a place on the bench for his club and he understands how it will hamper his chances of making the final World Cup squad.
It’s also a fact the majority of Defoe’s goals come against lesser clubs, only scoring twice against Liverpool in nearly 20 appearances and a similar figure against Arsenal.
His record against Chelsea and Man United isn’t great either but given opportunities, he still has a knack for scoring: according to Opta, he has scored an impressive eight goals in his last seven Europa League games- he’s a player who knows where the goal is.
England’s disappointing draw against Ukraine showed we lacked a game changer, someone to come off the bench and grab a winner. Granted, Lambert was in the wilderness due to England’s approach, struggling to get a foothold of the game, but he held the ball up well at times but he needed support. England never looked like scoring and someone like Defoe would be a good addition as he can play off the last defender and make good runs.
His first goal was through good play and movement from Defoe and his dink over the Tromso keeper showed his composure in front of goal.
He could link up well with either Rooney, who provides so well for RVP for Man United, Welbeck or Lambert-strong strikers who can hold up play and combine well with a faster strike partner.
After all, he is no stranger to international games- he has played 54 times for his country. At 30, he still has some caps left in him and out of those he has played so far, 34 have been victories. Only nine losses and a total of 19 goals isn’t a bad record to have for your country either.
Whilst game time may be limited for Spurs, substitute and Europa League appearances may keep him fit and ready for a call from Hodgson. Providing his form, AVB may consider starting him ahead of Soldado and with England’s current shortage of strikers; Defoe could answer all our problems.
Not to mention Daniel Sturridge, who has been in fine form for Liverpool this season, this can only be a good thing. Having in-form strikers means England’s front-line cannot rest on their laurels and actually have to fight for a place in the team, aswell as a ticket for that all important plane to Brazil next summer.