England have made it to the Finals of the World Cup in Brazil. It was a tortuous journey at times but with two home games to complete their programme, they’ve secured their place in the Finals. All eyes will now be focused on preparations for the finals with players like Jermain Defoe hoping to be included in manager Roy Hodgson’s final squad selection for next summer’s tournament.It’s over eight months until the start of the World Cup but many England players will be looking forward with anticipation to the experience of representing their country in the finals. There are a number of players in the England squad, however, who know that this will be their last opportunity to play at a major tournament. After lengthy careers, time is catching up with some of them. Defoe, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Ashley Cole are all nearing the end of their international careers but it is Defoe who could be the first to drop out and miss this final opportunity of playing in Brazil.
Jermain Defoe has been a regular choice in the England squads selected by Hodgson but he hasn’t played since the friendly against Ireland last May when he came on as a first half substitute for Daniel Sturridge. His last goals were against San Marino in the World Cup qualifying game the previous March. Even in September when England had been hit by injuries, Hodgson didn’t select the experienced Defoe but opted for Welbeck and Ricky Lambert, strikers who were getting regular football with their clubs. Defoe has been with the squad for the past five internationals since the start of the current season but hasn’t appeared in any of the matches.
The England manager is looking to his younger strikers to play with Wayne Rooney – Danny Welbeck and Sturridge are being given the opportunity to gain international experience and prove themselves to the manager. This has left Defoe very much on the periphery of the England squad. His lack of first team football at Tottenham at the beginning of the season was a factor as Hodgson stated and Defoe is aware of the problem. He has, however, shown in the European games and Cup matches that he hasn’t lost his goalscoring touch but still he’s not high on Hodgson’s list of strikers to start. Defoe stated in recent comments reported in the Mirror, that he needs to be scoring in the Premier League.
To get into the squad that goes to a major tournament, you have got to be playing for your club. It is great to score in those cup competitions, but I feel you have got to be scoring in the Premier League.