Lots of stuff surrounding today’s game in the Boxing Day papers.
Plenty of talk about potential England call-ups. Harry Redknapp has been praising his centre back Michael Dawson to the hilt, tipping him as a possible newcomer to Fabio Capello’s squad as a result of Tottenham’s improved defensive form of late.
When Michael got his chance he just took it with both hands. He’s been outstanding.
Terry and Ferdinand are fantastic if they are fit. But Lescott has an injury problem with his knee. Michael Dawson, if he continues the way he is playing, could put himself in the picture.
He’s just a fantastic character. A lovely guy, you’ll never meet a better boy. He’s wholehearted, a proper centre-half, great in the air. He’d go through a brick wall for you. He can pass it too, he has a great range, his long passing, it’s fantastic.
Dawson was one of those bright English talents who was perhaps expected to breakthrough sooner than he has. Sven-Goran Eriksson included him in an early England training squad while Dawson was still at Nottingham Forest and he’s perhaps suffered from the surfeit of centre halves that Eriksson and his successors have had to choose from. Sol Campbell was a regular in the side up until Euro 2004, Terry and Ferdinand have been the first choice for a while, whilst the likes of Jonathan Woodgate, Jamie Carragher, Matthew Upson and Joleon Lescott have all been in the picture as well.
The Daily Mail runs the rule over Bobby Zamora’s World Cup chances. The forward received plenty of column inches last week as he starred in Fulham’s demolition of Manchester United down by the Thames, but for me the more striking performances came in Basel and at Burnley, where Zamora showed the ruthlessness in front of goal that his game has sometimes lacked at this level. There’s encouragement from a former Fulham manager – and the man who took Zamora to Brighton – Micky Adams.
Bobby’s in peak form and, if Fabio Capello is set on picking players who are at the top of their game, then why not?
Bobby isn’t a selfish centre forward; he’s not worried about not scoring. Centre forwards are normally manic-depressives if they don’t score, but Bobby’s not one of those players. He’s an intelligent footballer. If you point something out he listens.
Shearer was very single-minded and wanted the ball in the box at all times. Bobby’s got more to his game than perhaps Alan had. He’s a natural finisher but he can link up the play as well.
With those two likely to be up against one another, this afternoon’s game should be a very interesting watch.