Mixed Fortunes For Heskey
Friday could be an interesting time for our own Emile Heskey as Fabio Capello seems unsure on whether to stick with the big man or make a change.
As was said at the time, against the US of A we saw the best and worst of Emile Heskey. A fantastic performance, winning everything in the air and holding the ball up perfectly for the overhyped in England's midfield to get into the game.
Proof of the pudding being when he set up Gerrard for the opener and it wasn't the only chance he helped set up or create, but when push came to shove and he was clean through on Tim Howard no Villa fan (or non Villa but England fan for that matter) had any faith whatsoever that the ball would land in the back of the net.
It didn't, and the press since has been about a brilliant performance overall, but yet the age old concerns of can you carry a striker who simply does not score.
It seems this conundrum hasn't escaped Capello either who said recently on his first 11 selection for Algeria:
'I have to decide about two positions, the goalkeeper and the next forward.'
Capello's decision rests on Heskey or Defoe...not Crouch. But as he also confirmed Barry would return maybe he'll surprise everyone and just go with Rooney upfront?
The selection headache is something that can only have been round the corner with Heskey, had he not been presented with the chance in the first place his stock would probably be higher because he'd have had nothing to miss and because of his scoring record he is an easy target.
There are far more people, well 5 of them actually who's performances against the USA should call into question their selection, but whilst Fabio may be his own man can you really imagine him dropping Rooney, Gerrard or Lampard? I'd be surprised if Lennon or SWP got near the team, but their every error or impotence isn't blamed on an easy target or forgotten because they have media friendly names in the England set up.
By the same token, whilst being excellent at club level Defoe has hardly showered himself in glory when given a chance at International level either.
However he can quite easily sit there for 89 minutes then put the ball in the net, something you don't expect from Heskey.
With all that said though, over the past few days Heskey would've been far better talking up his performance instead of looking for tired cliche excuses.
We've all seen the 'ball' excuses for why he simply toe poked it straight at Tim Howard, instead of placing it (something to do with not knowing where it would go, generally in the direction you hit it like all footballs I'd have thought) and today on the Official Site we have Heskey claiming the more he plays with Rooney the better they will become.
How much more does he need to play with Rooney before remembering a few years ago he also knew how to score? It's always been his weak point, apart from one season at Liverpool? That won't change regardless of who he plays with because it has to be a confidence issue.
'The more you play with any player, the more you get an understanding with them and that is the case with Wayne. We are prepared to perform better if we get the chance again.'
You did perform Heskey, my Man of the Match, Rooney didn't but you didn't score and Rooney, like others, simply can't be dropped.
If we see another non performance from the 'stars' against Algeria and Defoe is on the pitch, I think it's bye bye World Cup hope. At least with Heskey giving his all, and holding the ball up instead of letting it go by him because he's not presented with a golden opportunity to score we stand a chance of Gerrard or Lampard doing their obligatory 'one thing' a match to secure selection for the next 10 years.
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