Smart
Tue 14 August 2007

It's just not Cricket

Wayne Rooney is injured. Michael Owen is broken. Peter Crouch is suspended. Fernando Torres is Spanish.

With such a long list of unavailable strikers, its no wonder Steve McLaren has resorted to dusting off his filofax and looking up a few of his reserve strikers in time for the forthcoming Israel match.

But wait! What’s this? It seems as if Steve need search no more as other available strikers are contacting Steve. Isn’t that nice? That’ll save the FA paying his phone bill.

Well, when I say ‘contacting Steve’ what I actually mean is ‘shooting their mouths off in the National press’.

Haven’t scored in 12 months? Had a season long injury? Didn’t score at the weekend? Then you’ll be fully justified in saying “I can be your new number one striker” in the press then, wont you? Well Dean Ashton seems to think so.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking Ashton’s ability, potential etc, etc, and yes I am fully aware of the bad injury Ashton suffered - which is why I find it all the more surprising that someone who has scored less than Mr Bean in the past 12 months deems himself worthy of shouting from the roof tops. How about finding a bit of form first and start scoring some goals - you know, ‘putting your money where your mouth is’? Ever heard of that saying?

Perhaps he should have taken the more subtle approach of getting someone to do the shouting for him, such as his manager. Oh no, too late. David Moyes claims that Everton hit-man Andy Johnson could be "the answer to England’s problems upfront". At least he has scored of late, I guess.

Maybe I’m just having a bad start to the morning. Perhaps my morning coffee hasn’t kicked in yet. Perhaps I'm old-fashioned. It’s just that I’m used to players scoring goals, then the manager pondering “Hmmm… who is in form at the moment?“ whilst chewing the end of their pencil. All this “LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME!” business just isn’t cricket you know, especially if you’ve played only one competitive match in over a year.

Is there anybody else out there willing to let the England boss know that they are fit, available, and the answer to McLaren’s prayers? I would add my name to the list, but due to an old war wound I doubt I’d do my country justice.

Then again, Stewart Downing was picked last time.

Pass me the coffee…

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