Seeing Kevin Davies name in an England squad may be a shock to some people, indeed it may be a shock to Kev himself.
Is it some sort of madness by Capello? Is he really so desperate for strikers that he has to select this Bolton Wanderers journeyman?
At 33 years of age, Davies is hardly the future. But what he does offer off the bench is one very big thing indeed and that very big thing is his arse.
A substantial backside has been Kev’s weapon of choice for many years and he’s an expert at using it. He can stick it into defenders all day long, block them off, hold up the ball and generally bruise people with the sheer power of his muscular buttocks. Kev doesn’t play a lot of football really and admittedly he isn’t a high class, sophisticated footballer, nor is he especially skilful but on some occasions it can be very effective. If you want someone to be a target man, to occupy defenders and create space for more skilful progressive players to do their stuff, Kev is the go to man. It is what he does. In fact, it’s almost all he does.
Now, it is unlikely that Capello really sees this as the way forward for England. Davies isn’t the new Heskey, in fact, as it turned out at the World Cup, not even Heskey was the new Heskey. But there might be an occasion when this is exactly what is needed and the bench is there to offer different options. Some games call for a very physical approach; someone to get stuck in and put themselves about a bit. If that’s the case on Tuesday, Kev will not let anyone down.
Admittedly, Capello has almost no other English strikers to choose from who are not injured. Talk of Newcastle’s Andy Carroll always looked premature after just a handful of top flight games.
So when Fabio got to the bottom of the barrel there was Kevin with his ready and willing backside looking back at him. It illustrates the lack of top quality striking depth available to play for England but it also should give hope to every Englishman, no matter how much of a journeyman he is. One day, due to a lot of injuries and with a mere 33% of Englishmen starting a weeks Premier League games, you too could play for England. Let’s face it, if Kev is an international footballer, we might as well all bring our boots to the game.
Editor’s Note: Johnny’s new book: “We Ate All The Pies: How Football Swallowed Britain Whole” has received the massive honour of being listed as one of William Hill’s Sports Book Of The Year 2010 – the biggest, most prestigious sports books prize in UK.