Rickie Lambert's goalscoring record at Southampton speaks for itself and now he is
aiming to prove himself at international level with England. He has made a very
impressive start so far.
Lambert appears to be a natural in an England shirt, adapting to the different pressures and differing playing styles that international football brings. A truly natural goalscorer is a rarity in the modern game and in an England shirt there have been very few - only Michael Owen, Alan Shearer and Gary Lineker in recent history.
He showed against Moldova that he has the quality to succeed at this level. Moldova may not be the greatest of international teams but Lambert still showed glimpses of what he can do. He is not just a target man in the form of Peter Crouch and Andy Carroll.
He not only has the ability to hold the ball up and link up the play, but he has a fantastic appreciation of the game and an awareness that seems to buy him time when on the ball. The two passes he made to create Danny Welbeck's goals against Moldova showed the vision that he possesses.
Two goals in two international games is a statistic that he should also be proud of. In both games he has shown his striking instincts and eye for a goal. His appearance from the subs bench against Scotland was like Roy of the Rovers and his header against Moldova just showed his natural tendencies to get himself into scoring positions.
He seems to be a very confident footballer at the moment and confidence is what every striker needs, especially at the top level. Lambert is an all-round striker, he doesn’t just score one type of goal.
Despite just one year in the Premier League and The Championship, Lambert looks set to lead the attack in England's crucial World Cup qualifier in Ukraine. Although this has been brought about due to injury I believe he will be very adept at doing it.
His recent club form is nothing short of remarkable. His rise to Premier League and England stardom has been quick and dramatic. His began his career at Blackpool before being released after just three competitive games.
The 31-year-old then had spells at Macclesfield, Stockport and Rochdale between 2001and 2006 before really kick starting his career with Bristol Rovers. The 2008-09 season, for Bristol Rovers in League One, was the first sign that Lambert was becoming a prolific goalscorer. He netted 29 goals in 48 competitive games for the club which prompted Southampton to stump up more than £1m for the striker.
At Southampton he has been a key part of their success, guiding them from League One to the Premier League with successive promotions. His 197 games for the club has yielded 104 goals. His 16 goals in 41 Premier League games alerted the attention of the England management which has led to a thoroughly deserved call-up.
Lambert's story is a huge boost to all those non-league and lower league players who may believe that Premier League and England stardom is out of their reach. His England career, whether short or not, will have already given him memories that he can cherish and nobody can take those away from him.
Lambert could well bepulling on an England shirt at the next World Cup and nobody, least of all Lambert himself, would have predicted that when he was released by Blackpool over a decade ago.
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