Today starts a new regular feature at EPL Talk — a weekly mailbag where you can post questions, and we’ll pick the best ones out to be answered in future columns.
All your comments and opinions are greatly appreciated and we want to hear more from you. So that is why we will be introducing a weekly mailbag so that you, the readers, can become even more engaged with the site. You have a question or a comment? You want to know our opinion on a situation, a transfer scenario, or a rumor in the EPL or English football? Or maybe you just want to talk football?
Go ahead and post it in the comments section below, or e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t worry, there are no dumb questions or comments, so please don’t be afraid to ask us anything at all. We are here to serve you, the readers.
As with any good mailbag make sure to keep it civil, fun and clean. Make sure to include your name (or nickname that you would like to be addressed by) so that we know which reader to credit when we’re answering. And don’t forget to write ‘EPL Talk Mailbag’ in the subject line when contacting email@example.com.
This week’s reader mailbag question comes from Augustine George who asks:
Q: “I am baffled. Why over the years have players such as Kevin Phillips and Danny Murphy been overlooked by the English select?”
The Gaffer: Great question. The same can be asked right now about why an England manager hasn’t selected Danny Graham or Grant Holt for the England squad. Wayne Rooney has scored 20 goals in the league this season, but Graham and Holt are the next highest English goalscorers in the league — with 10 goals each, tied with Frank Lampard.
Unfortunately, a lot of it is due to timing. Phillips scored 113 goals in the league for Sunderland and played for England 8 times during that part of his career (1999-2002), while Danny Murphy played for England 9 times between 2001-03 despite having netting 25 goals for Liverpool during that timeframe. Unfortunately neither Phillips or Murphy played for England’s 2002 World Cup squad — during the height of their playing careers. Danny Murphy was initially selected for the squad but had to drop out due to injury. Phillips played 8 times for England but was unable to find the net, although he never had a full 90 minutes on the senior squad. For the 2002 squad, England manager Sven Goran-Eriksson went with Michael Owen, Emile Heskey, Teddy Sheringham, Darius Vassell and Robbie Fowler instead.
How many goals did those forwards score for England that summer, where the team made it all the way to the quarter-finals until losing against Brazil? Michael Owen scored two, Emile Heskey scored one, while the other forwards scored none. Could England have used a Kevin Phillips in that World Cup? I would certainly think so, but we will never know what impact he may have had or not.
Together we can make this a fun feature on the site. Thanks in advance for your participation. And as Kartik would say, enjoy your football.