Bobby Zamora for England? Don’t Laugh. Who Else Can Play the Heskey Role?
I know. That headline looks silly. Because despite his recent run of form and the above performance vs Man Utd, Fulham’s Bobby Zamora isn’t brilliant.
But he’s not bad either, and he’s in form, and – crucially – he looks as if he can play the Heskey role.
I’m a big believer in the way Capello sets up the England team right now. Specifically the idea of having a target man for Rooney to play behind. That formation gets the best out of Rooney, and also helps to solve the Lampard-Gerrard problem. It’s a huge part of the reason England have gone from Euro 2008 losers to possible World Cup 2010 winners.
But if Heskey gets injured then that system falls apart.
Seems right now that Crouch is Heskey’s reserve. But I’m not convinced he has the physical attributes. Despite his height, Crouch is a pretty delicate player. Greatf feet and he’s a big target lengthways. But he’s not a target man.
Which is why I’d love to see England’s 23 man squad for South Africa contain one other forward who can effectively replace Emile Heskey if needed. The only player I can think of to do that right now is Bobby Zamora. Maybe Gabby Agbonlahor at a push (although both Heskey himself and John Carew already have that job at Villa). But mostly Bobby Zamora.
He’s 6′ tall. He’s physical, and he currently does a fine job of setting up teammates. As well as his goal, check out Zamora’s link up play at 7:50 into the above video. With back to goal, Zamora holds off a defender and drops the ball to Damien Duff to shoot and score. That’s what we need.
Doesn’t matter if he’s not your favourite player. Heskey probably wasn’t either. All that matters is whether he can fit into Fabio Capello’s system, play in front of Rooney and keep everything ticking should Heskey be unavailable.
I’m not saying he should definitely make the squad. Of course he shouldn’t. Because right now we don’t know if he can do it for England or not. But if Bobby Zamora is still in form when England play Egpyt at Wembley in March, then Bobby Zamora deserves a chance.
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