Tottenham’s Jermain Defoe deserves regular England starting spot

Sharethematch.com looks at why Jermain Defoe deserves a sustained run in England's first-team under Roy Hodgson

jermain defoe
Jermain Defoe netted 14 goals for Spurs last season Photo: Paul Blank

jermain defoe

Defoe deserves proper chance in England shirt

Jermain Defoe marked his 50th appearance for the Three Lions with a well taken goal for his country in a 5-0 victory over Moldova.

A record of a goal every two-and-a-half games is pretty impressive for a striker who has never been first-choice for the side, and rarely gets selected for two or three games in a row.

But if you delve a little deeper, the quality of Defoe’s goal scoring record really appears – Friday night’s strike against Moldova was his 17th in 18 starts.

In fact, despite racking up a half century of caps, Defoe has never completed 90 minutes for England, either coming on after an hour or departing around the same time.

But despite only being given short opportunities to shine, he regularly gets on the score sheet – compare that strike rate to the inexplicably popular Emile Heskey, who managed seven goals in 60-plus caps.

It also raises the question why successive England managers have based the team around Wayne Rooney as the “talisman” has 29 goals in 76 games – exactly the same scoring ratio as Defoe but with more minutes on the pitch.

Maybe it’s time he was given 90 minutes on the pitch to show what he can do.

Lampard not as good as Hurst

After his two-goal salvo against the giants of Moldova on Friday night, Frank Lampard has been reaping plaudits from all quarters including manager Roy Hodgson.

“Quality is permanent,” said the England manager as his ploy of fielding Lampard and Steven Gerrard paid off in a 5-0 thrashing.

A big deal has been made of Lampard notching his 25th goal for the national squad, moving past Sir Geoff Hurst in the process – and up to 13th on the all-time list.

But let’s not get carried away. There’s a big difference between Hurst and Lampard. For a start, Hurst hit his 24 goals in just 49 games, a fantastic strike-rate in any era, while Lampard is approaching 100 caps.

And second, Hurst came into the England team in a World Cup quarter-final, scored, then set up a goal in the semi-final, and became the only player to hammer home a hat-trick in a World Cup final.

Lampard, by contrast, is England’s all-time record scorer for qualifying campaigns. His late runs, ghosting into the box, and deadliness from the penalty spot are incredibly effective against the likes of Moldova, San Marino and Northern Ireland.

But where are his match-winning contributions when it really matters?

In tournament situations Lampard, and indeed Gerrard, have consistently gone missing, been outclassed and shown up as what they are decent players out of their depth at the very top and short of world class.

Until we move on from the ironically named dregs of the Golden Generation, we will not win anything.

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