Southampton’s start to the season has been a roller-coaster ride; of course given the recent history of the South Coast club such confusing back-to-back results in the form of 6-1 mauling’s and delivering your own hammering during a 4-1 win would seem a trivial topsy-turvy moment.
Indeed they have come from a club, threatened by imminent financial collapse, to a rejuvenated Premier League outfit in an incredibly short period of time. A lot of that is due to the late Markus Liebherr, the financial saviour of the club, who even posthumously continues to plunge money into the club he had grown to love.
Indeed one of the first investments made by the club was the £1million purchase for Bristol Rovers striker Rickie Lambert. The Blackpool reject as who had developed from an attacking midfielder into a centre forward during his time at Rochdale had been scoring goals for fun in the past two seasons for The Pirates and continued that trend at Southampton scoring 36 goals in 58 appearances in his debut season at St Mary’s and cementing himself as a fan-favourite.
He hasn’t looked back since that season despite now entering his 30th year he has taken to the Premier League with equal aplomb. Four goals in his first five games is impressive in itself, when you consider one apiece of those strikes came against the Manchester giants City and United.
So can he do what Grant Holt never quite achieved while performing brilliantly for Norwich last campaign and make the England squad. Peter Crouch has been shelved by Roy Hodgson into the England wilderness while Andy Carroll is currently struggling with injury.
Yet my argument is that even if Carroll was fit, that Lambert should play instead of him in the England set-up. While many people will understandably argue the age issue at this moment in time Rickie Lambert is the most consistent option if England wants a traditional ‘bigman’ in the squad. He shouldn’t come ahead of Defoe of Welbeck in the squad but his ability on both feet; goal-scoring potency and far more accomplished then Carroll ability to hold up the ball and bring other players into the game make him a genuine contender for the England squad who cannot be ignored simply because of his comparatively unspectacular career and age.
The one thing that you can know about Rickie Lambert is that if he gets an opportunity he will score; something you can’t say about Carroll; and even if just a substitute coming on late in a game Rickie Lambert could definitely make a huge contribution to the England side.
What do you think could Rickie Lambert get an international opportunity?
image: © joncandy