I was slightly disappointed not to see Fabio Capello give Bobby Zamora a start at Wembley on Wednesday night as you get the feeling that he and Wayne Rooney could really have gelled up front for England. If this really was a new era, perhaps the Fulham striker would have got a go alongside one of our few genuinely world class players.
Mind you, Bobby’s had to bide his time to get a chance at the highest level. Definitely, a late developer, he’s had to work hard to prove himself as a Premier League striker – and after a poor goals return in his first season at Craven Cottage, plenty of people were writing him off once again. Those of us who revelled in last season’s exploits know just how good he can be – and how many top class defenders, both in this country and around Europe, he frightened during the course of the past nine months or so.
International football’s a cut-throat business and Capello’s certainly not an arm-round-the-shoulder type manager. That means you have to seize your chance when you can – and Bobby did that. There was an added verve to England’s play in the second period, helped by Zamora linking cleverly with skipper Steven Gerrard, who was playing in a more advanced role after the break, and the Fulham striker was unlucky not to mark his debut with a goal: twice denied by a couple of excellent saves by Gabor Kiraly.
It’s a measure of Zamora’s confidence and ambition that he’s immediately aiming to cement a regular place in the England set-up.
I was slightly unlucky not to get a goal, the keeper pulled off a couple of great saves. I hoped to round my debut off with a goal but it wasn’t to be. I was quite pleased with it though.
I want to stay in the squad now, definitely. We have some great strikers and it will be very tough to get in that squad. All I can do is score goals for Fulham. If I do that then hopefully I’ll be included.
It wasn’t easy for us but the lads showed some great character and the fire that everyone was looking for. I’d like to think that it showed everybody what England can do.
For me, there’s no point in dwelling on what’s gone. We just have to focus on qualifying for the European Championship now.