Why Rickie Lambert Deserves an England Call Up
Rickie Lambert has scored in all four of England’s top divisions, including 13 goals this season in the Premier League. The Scouser is currently the top English goalscorer in the top flight, and thus is deserving of a call-up to the England national team.
Remarkably, Lambert is ahead of Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck and Jermain Defoe in the Premier League goalscoring chart. Despite Roy Hodgson already naming his World Cup qualifying squad for England’s important upcoming games against San Marino and Montenegro, it’s a shame that Lambert wasn’t handed an opportunity to be in the squad and compete for his first England appearance.
England manager Roy Hodgson was at Lambert’s most recent match when Southampton played Liverpool at St Mary’s Stadium last Saturday. The Saints talisman scored a freekick in the 3-1 win that helped Southampton climb four points away from the relegation zone. Lambert is a Liverpool fan and revealed after the game that he ‘had to remain professional’ after scoring against his favoured club.
Southampton footballers are no strangers to recent England call ups. Hodgson called-up Lambert’s teammate Adam Lallana last September for a World Cup qualifier but the midfielder didn’t feature in the match against Ukraine.
Lambert also scored his 100th goal for Southampton this season, which is an impressive landmark for any player, especially for Lambert who helped the Saints gain back-to-back promotions to the Premier League.
Considering the England team’s poor record with penalties over the years, an added bonus for Lambert being called up would be his penalty-taking prowess. The striker has scored 31 out of 31 penalties for Southampton, which is almost as good as former Saints legend Matthew Le Tissier, who converted 47 out of 48 whilst at the club.
Lambert is no stranger to playing at Wembley either. He scored for Southampton in the Johnstone Paint Trophy final. Plus he played for Bristol Rovers in the League Two play-off final at England’s national stadium.
When looking at form, there’s no doubt that Lambert should be selected for the England squad and, if he impressed during a future England match, he should possibly considered for the World Cup in 2014. He’s shown enough promise to be given a chance. The only tough question for Hodgson would be who to remove from his England squad to make room for Lambert.