For Fulham fans, the most interesting one was the inclusion of Bobby Zamora who was unlucky to miss out on South Africa – although watching England displays from the sidelines due to his injury, the Z-Man might have thought differently.
With Emile Heskey retiring from international football, there is a huge opportunity for a striker to grab the spot next to Wayne Rooney. And there is every reason to think that Zamora can be that man.
We always have a tendency to look at what a player lacks rather than what he actually has in his locker so there will be some doubters regarding Bobby but he is certainly worth a strong shout. We know Capello, like many Italian managers, has a soft spot for a big man up front, as Heskey’s regular appearances under Fabio confirm.
A target man who can be physical and unsettle a central defensive partnership seems a key attribute to get the best out of Rooney. To hold the ball up, bring others into play and build attacks from there. Zamora can do that and much more. His scoring record is a strong one and the potential he has shown for a few years has finally come good.
Okay, so he might not have Defoe’s mad run of goals or Crouch’s goal per game return at international level, but if Heskey can perform and give something to the team without any goal return, then Zamora can certainly do the same but with a greater threat.
Zamora is also more mobile than Emile, has a desire to get on the end of crosses and is a little more feisty – no bad thing for a strapping centre-forward – he won’t be intimidated by anyone.
Scoring goals and linking play in a team that likes to knit their passes together as Fulham have done, has seen such improvements in his touch that national selection was a natural next step.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.