Crouch, Carroll, Bent, Defoe… who deserves the nod?

Wayne Rooney has been the focal point of the attack for the England team for some time, but the big debate is who should partner him? Several players have had a go – but it’s fair to say that no one has really made the position their own. Of course it’s not necessarily the case that there is one man for every occasion. However, let’s assume for now that we will be looking for one player to play with Rooney in the majority of the games.

I have always held the view that players should be picked on form and not reputation and I always prefer to see a striker who has a strong goal scoring record. I know this is not true of all managers, hence why we saw Emile Heskey playing at the 2010 World Cup.

The Contenders

Peter Crouch has been around the England set-up for some time and tends to always play well when selected; he has a very impressive England record scoring 22 goals in 42 caps. However, his Premier League form has been poor this season and he has only scored 2 league goals.

Andy Carroll has recently made that £35 million transfer from Newcastle to Liverpool and is still settling in at his new club and is also fighting back to full fitness following injury. Carroll has settled into life in the Premier League well and has scored 11 league goals. However, he is relatively new as an international player – but he did manage to score his first goal in the recent game against Ghana. His England record to date is 1 goal from 2 caps.

Jermain Defoe has been another player that has been around the England set-up for some time and made a number of international appearances. His record for England is currently 15 goals from 45 appearances. In common with his Spurs teammate Peter Crouch, Defoe has also only scored 2 Premier League goals this season.

Darren Bent has consistently scored goals in the Premier League, but his appearances for the England team has been few and far between. To date his record for England reads 3 goals from 7 caps and in the Premier League this season, Bent has scored 11 goals.

The Verdict

I am quite clear in my mind that all of the four players mentioned are natural strikers and can be clinical in front of goal. However, I mentioned at the top of this piece that players should be picked on form and not reputation; therefore I think Darren Bent and Andy Carroll should currently be ahead of the other two. If the next England game was tomorrow I would pick Darren Bent, because he has been playing Premier League football longer and has been very consistent. However, I would like to see Carroll given opportunities as well. Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe should get themselves back in Premier League form in order to put themselves back in contention for a starting place with England.

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