Jermain Defoe. [Photo: Jav The_DoC_66]

Will Jermain Defoe Be In The England Squad For The World Cup Finals?


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.

Jermain Defoe - Will he have to leave Spurs to fulfill his World Cup dream? [Jav The_DoC_66]

Jermain Defoe – Will he have to leave Spurs to fulfill his World Cup dream? [Jav The_DoC_66]

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.

Defoe has always found it difficult to get a starting place in the England team under different managers – from Sven-Goran Erikssen, Steve McClaren to Fabio Capello and now Hodgson. He has made 54 appearances for his country and scored 19 goals but he has started only 21 of those games and only played the full 90 minutes on two occasions. Defoe has been used as a substitute 33 times according to englandstats.com, a record for England and has often been among the goals when used as a substitute.
There’s still a long time until the finals and much can happen with injuries and form but if everyone is fit for selection, Defoe could be the odd one out when it comes to strikers with Rooney, Welbeck, Sturridge, Lambert and possibly Andy Carroll, if fit, to provide a different option, likely to be ahead of him in the manager’s thinking. It would be unfortunate for Defoe who, like with Tottenham, has shown great loyalty and desire to play for his country. It means a great deal to him as he indicated recently in a report on SkySports.
When you have played in a World Cup and have been involved with the England squad for a number of years, it’s just the best thing in the world – representing your country at that level. You want to play.
It is a long season but if he hasn’t mad it into the Tottenham team on a regular basis by January, Defoe will have to consider a move away from White Hart Lane to improve his chances of a place in the England World Cup squad come next June.

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