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Southampton's Lallana and the curse of the England no 9

Southampton's Adam Lallana failed to make much of an impact as England lost 2-0 to Chile at Wembley on Friday.

Hugely impressive at Southampton in the last two Premier League seasons, Lallana struggled (along with most of the rest of his team-mates) to contain the impressive Chileans, who frankly should have won by a far higher margin. And it's now over 50 years since England have beaten (or scored a goal) against Chile in a full international match.

Lallana, who was playing with Southampton in the third tier of English just football 30 months ago, will no doubt add to his England cap, but if he is at all superstitious, he may be concerned that he debuted for his country against Chile wearing the number 9 shirt.

And here's why:

In 1989, Nigel Clough, then at Nottingham Forest, made his England debut wearing number 9 in the 0-0 draw against Chile in the Reus Cup. Clough went on to feature in a total of 14 England matches in the next 4 years, failing to make the expected impact. He didn't score a goal.

And then there's Dion Dublin, who also debuted wearing number 9 against Chile in the 2-0 loss at Wembley in 1998. Dublin appeared 4 times in total for England (all in 1998), and he, too, failed to make the score sheet.


image: © wonker

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