Roy Hodgson says Bobby Zamora can’t do much more to press his England claims after an excellent performance slayed Wolfsburg in the Europa League.
Zamora added a quite brilliant early goal to a terrific display as Fulham brushed aside the German champions to progress to the semi-finals last night and his nineteenth goal of the season should be a timely nod in Fabio Capello’s direction as the Italian considers his options with the World Cup approaching.
Hodgson joked about raising Zamora’s asking price after he shone far more brightly than Wolfsburg’s expensively-assembled front line.
I read that the price for Edin Dzeko was 40million euros, so we might have to up our price for Bobby Zamora. But we don’t want to sell him.
Bobby Zamora is a very good player. This year, by adding goals to his excellent build up play, he’s come to everyone’s attention and he can do no more than continue to play well.
Then, I’m sure when Fabio Capello is looking at the players available to take to the World Cup, he will make his assessment. I know Fabio is aware of Bobby as a player, but Bobby can’t do any more himself.
Zamora’s participation in the second leg was in doubt due to an Achilles injury, but it barely registered as a concern on the night – making this a much more straightforward selection than Sir Alex Ferguson’s decision to play Wayne Rooney on Wednesday and Arsene Wenger’s choice of Cesc Fabregas, Andrey Arshavin and William Gallas a week earlier.
The medical staff were always confident Bobby’s Achilles wouldn’t be a problem and, as you saw, it wasn’t. He was excellent throughout. It was excellent combination play throughout the midfield for the goal and he was very cool and calm in taking the chance.
Hodgson admitted he was delighted to secure a place in the last four.
We’re very proud to be in a semi-final as Fulham and, most importantly of all, we are proud for Fulham, our owner and our supporters. It’s an extra bonus that, with our best teams this year not being able to reach a semi-final of the Champions League, it’s a very nice feeling for ourselves and Liverpool to be in semi-finals.
We’ll face a very arduous task if we want to get to the final but the main thing is we’re in the semi-final and we have that chance.
Wolfsburg’s caretaker coach, Lorenz-Gunther Kostner, was fulsome in his praise of Hodgson’s side – suggesting they are more than capable of going further in the competition.
They are a very good team with a very good defence and I’d always warned it was not going to be an easy game. If Fulham play in a very compact way like they did tonight then they have a very good chance of making the final.