Martin Jol backed Bobby Zamora’s England bid at his pre-match press conference this afternoon.
The Fulham manager said Zamora, who enjoyed an encouraging first start for England against Sweden in midweek, has all the attributes to shine as an old-fashioned number nine. Jol, who again dismissed rumours of a rift between him and the former West Ham striker, believes Zamora would offer Fabio Capello a different option as Wayne Rooney looks set to miss all of England’s group games at Euro 2012.
He was very quick to call himself, but players know when they haven’t played well.
When a striker scores he has done well. It’s about performances so if he gets another chance or a couple of chances, he will take it because he is different.
They are all different. Darren Bent is different, Jermain Defoe is different, Wayne Rooney certainly is different. And I don’t feel they have a lot of players who are a real number nine who can hold up the ball.
It’s up to the manager – if he wants to play with a goalscorer, then Bent is probably the best goalscorer in England, he’s certainly different to Bobby. But if you play Bobby with offensive midfield players he can be very useful. If you play him on his own with a flat midfield, you are better playing Darren Bent.
They give all the options so I think Capello will think about taking him because he is a different sort of number nine. Capello will know he is a number nine who will hold the ball up all the time. His first touch is very good, he’s good in the box, he’s a link-up number nine.
Peter Crouch is probably similar. He’s better than people give him credit for at holding the ball. But Bobby is probably the most gifted. He’s not only a link-up player, not an immobile number nine, he’s an intelligent number nine. He’s very versatile.
Jol confirmed that Aaron Hughes and Philippe Senderos have both recovered from thigh injuries and are available for selection ahead of Saturday’s game against Sunderland. Steve Sidwell faces a fitness test after undergoing a hernia operation, whilst Stephen Kelly and Simon Davies are set to return to training next week.