Bobby for England

Bobby Zamora’s England performance won’t have changed anyone’s mind.

Which is to say: if you thought he was good before, you’d have been pleased to see him doing what he does well, namely holding the ball up, combining well with team-mates, and generally doing his bit to make sure the attacking phase is cohesive.  If you didn’t rate Zamora before you still won’t now.  It’s like Emile Heskey all over again, and those arguments are too tiring to get into for the thousandth time.

It seems reasonably obvious to me that there’s a role for Zamora in England’s European Championship squad. Nobody else plays the role nearly as well, and against certain types of opponent his involvement will surely be important (I can’t decide which types of opponent though: against Spain, with so little of the ball, perhaps it’s important to have someone who can make the ball stick? Or do you need someone like Darren Bent, who can spring off on the counter, gobble up rare chances, but not play as well in team moves? Perhaps there’s a good argument for a Zamora/Bent combo?).  His work with Downing (a player I’ve always rated) and Baines on the left was excellent, and England looked goodish with Zamora on the pitch.

Without Zamora the forward players England have available are more reliant on something being created *for them*, rather than creating for others. It’s a bit of a chicken and egg thing this: Peter Crouch scores most games for England, so does it matter if he’s not providing much for others? Same for Jermain Defoe? The counter argument might be that England have played a fairly predictable game for years and not got beyond Quarter Finals, so a more progressive approach with less traditional roles up the field may be in order.

Whatever. Zamora did pretty well and should at this point be considered a good bet for inclusion in the final squad. Whether he makes it depends on how Fabio Capello views the other striking options available to him: Sturridge, Wellbeck, Bent and Rooney are all players of promise, and that’s ignoring the now fringe players like Crouch, Defoe and even Andy Carroll. A scoring binge from any player could propel him into the team, but Zamora’s uniqueness should  ensure that someone else misses out.

One thought on “Bobby for England

  1. England were considerably worse when Zamora departed – the ball was pinged up and invariably came straight back for the final half an hour. As you say Rich, if you like Zamora (and his ilk) your view won’t have changed, but if you prefer the goalscoring stats of a Bent or a Defoe, Zamora’s two misses will be enough to discredit him. I’m quietly confident that Capello knows he needs this sort of striker, and I think Zamora is racing away with the spot at the moment – unless Caroll has both a purple run of form and a personality transplant/lobotomy.

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