Defoe v Cole v Agbonlahor…The Race For England’s 2010 World Cup Squad

851512-jermain-defoe-england-v-hollandDarren Bent

I am a huge Darren Bent fan, although I fear he does not have a great chance of being included. The Sunderland striker has been in great form this year, scoring 9 Premier League goals so far for a side that are no Manchester United or Chelsea. A poacher in the mould of Ian Wright or Gary Lineker, Bent will guarantee goals. He is a natural finisher yet this may be where his problem lies. A partnership with Wayne Rooney may not be possible because of the tactics that Capello plays. I do not doubt that Bent will get another chance or two before the twenty three is decided yet he is often expected to provide instant results when given the chance. Rating 7/10

Jermaine Defoe

The Spurs striker is one of the best forwards in the Premier League. He currently leads the chase for the Golden Boot after his five goals last weekend and in the game against Wigan he showcased all his attributes. Defoe is not only a natural finisher but offers the team a cutting edge. His pace and technique are likely to cause any international defender a problem and if he plays on the shoulder of the last man he will always give the midfield the option of a through ball. He has proven himself for England before, most recently in the friendly against Holland and will certainly be an asset to the squad. Rating 8.5/10

Gabriel Agbonlahor

The Aston Villa man finds himself as somewhat of an outsider for the squad despite beginning this season in good form. He has scored 6 goals so far this season, which is more than some of his competition. His downfall is that he is a similar player to Defoe, offering pace and the ability to play on the shoulder yet at this point in his career is not as good as the Spurs man and lacks experience. Although his chances may be slim, a sparkling end to the season could still see the Villa man on the plane to South Africa. Rating 6.5/10

Carlton Cole

The former Chelsea striker has been West Ham’s shining light in a season that has been full of darkness. He is the competition to Emile Heskey for the role of the target man. He is strong, quick and surprisingly agile for a big man. He has impressed when coming on for England in the past and is likely to get more chances to prove himself before the decision is made. In my opinion he also poses more of a goal scoring threat than Heskey, yet Capello has shown he is a big fan of the Aston Villa striker. Cole will have to continue his form for the duration of the season if he is to steal Heskey’s place. Rating 7/10

Emile Heskey

Heskey is the favourite for the target man role. He has bags of experience and has drifted in and out of the international picture since 1999. Capello is a big fan of the striker and he appears to have forged a successful partnership with Rooney. My main concern with Heskey is that he does not  score enough goals. He plays his role well and there is no doubt that the team benefits from his inclusion however it is questionable whether a partnership of Heskey and Rooney will provide enough goals. He does not provide the cutting edge that Jermaine Defoe does and is also not playing regular club football at the moment, something that is a huge hindrance on his chances. Rating 6.5/10

Peter Crouch

Another tricky one in the sense that he is not always a regular on the Spurs team sheet, however you cannot argue with Crouch’s record for England. The former Portsmouth and Liverpool man has 18 goals for England and always looks a threat for the national side. Although by no means a target man, Crouch still offers an aerial option and also has exceptional ball control and technique. His ability to play in many roles for England will help his cause. He has been a constant member of the squad for the last few years and is a favourite to be on the plane. Rating 7.5/10

My Verdict – Take Rooney, Defoe, Crouch and Cole