Many people mentioned his name in relation to Southampton before the season started and now that it has Rickie Lambert has given a glimpse of his goal scoring potential. Against Manchester City on the opening day he scored a fine finish from just outside the box and then against the other Manchester club he used his aerial presence to score and also grabbed an assist. With the England manager watching on in the stands the Saints fans were chanting “Lambert for England!”.
And with Andy Carroll injured for the upcoming qualifiers why not bring him in? According to a story in the Daily Mail Lambert believes he is good enough and he is a similar type of player to Carroll but without the brutish strength that made Fulham’s defence cower in his wake on Saturday afternoon.
It seems that right now Roy Hodgson wants to try out the young talent that will be seen as integral to the first team come 2014, meaning the likes of Sturridge and Wellbeck will always get the nod ahead of an older journey-men like Lambert or his former striker partner whilst at Bristol Rovers, Grant Holt. For the long term I agree with what Hodgson is doing and wish him all the luck in doing so.
But, our first game is against Moldova, a team ranked 141st in the world. These rankings can’t be taken too seriously as we are ranked 3rd and the absurdly talented Brazil squad isn’t even in the top ten but my point being that against a team like Moldova why not give Lambert or Holt a go? Andy Carroll showed on Saturday that when he is at his best he is unplayable and if England can figure out a system to suit him then maybe we can start to do things in international tournaments .
A system like this will never beat Spain but it would be more fun to see us at least try rather than attempt to play them at there own game and get beaten harder than a woman that disagrees with Chris Brown. If we develop a system which combines the pace of Oxlade-Chamberlain and Walcott with the power of Carroll then our sever lack of technical ability won’t matter as much.
If Carroll got injured we could use a player of similar build and ferocity like Lambert or Holt. People may scoff at this and say that neither has any international experience but with qualifiers against teams like Moldova, San Marino, Poland and Ukraine we have the chance to give these players a go at the top level. Journey-men such as Holt and Lambert who have played in all four tiers of the English game won’t be phased about playing a cold night in Poland or Ukraine either, unlike some of the pampered starlets that the Premiership churn out year after year.
Hodgson should look at youth for the future but if we begin to adopt a strategy that appeals to our players strengths then we should give players like Lambert and Holt a chance.