Archive for the ‘Southampton’ Category

Joey Barton this week came out and said that England haven’t used him enough over the years. There is a simple enough, but not very polite answer to that, Joey: “because you are…” This however did get me thinking: what players have the likes of Graham Taylor, the late great Bobby Robson and Sven the super Swede let slip through their fingers?

Ian Wright

Such a loveable character (even Spurs’ fans would fail at not loving that golden toothy smile), Ian Wright had an international career that spanned eight years with three different full time managers and yet still only achieved 33 caps (16 as a substitute.) This is such a small number, considering that in the seven seasons that followed World Cup 1990 Wright scored over 23 goals each season for his club.

Andy Cole

Andy Cole made only 15 appearances for England, scoring one goal. Glenn Hoddle, in defence of his decision not to select Cole for the World Cup in 1998, accused Cole of needing six or seven chances to score one goal. That must mean for Cole to become the second highest Premier League goal scorer with 187 goals, he had 1309 chances. Nice one, Glenn.

Matt Le Tissier

Anyone dubbed ‘Le God’ surely warrants more than eight England caps? And if that argument isn’t convincing enough for you, then perhaps the words of FIFA Footballer of the Century/Demi-god Pelé are, “If Matthew Le Tissier was Brazilian he’d be in the Brazilian first XI every game.”

Scott Parker

Has the rather unfortunate record of being the first player to earn four caps while playing for four different clubs. Overlooked constantly because of the rather frustratingly ineffective partnership of Gerrard and Lampard. Hopefully getting his time now under Fabio.

Tony Adams

Admittedly, Adams did play 66 times for England, scoring 5 goals, but if Bobby Robson hadn’t surprisingly omitted him from the 1990 World Cup squad and Glenn Hoddle handled the way he appointed Shearer captain over Adams better; then England may have gotten a lot more from the Arsenal man.

Steve Bruce

Despite being one of the finest English defenders of the early 90’s and captaining Manchester United, Bruce never earned an England cap, arguably the greatest faux-pas ever by any manager, especially when you mention a few of the players who earned caps during Bruce’s playing time: Keith Curle, Colin Cooper, David Unsworth and Neil Ruddock.

Robbie Fowler

Achieved 26 caps, scoring 7 goals; not prolific, but not a terrible return for a striker. Fowler’s problem was that he didn’t perform consistently enough at international level, so his inclusion is more on the basis that England’s managers didn’t know how to get the best out of him. There was never a doubt of his capabilities, as he showed time and time again during his years at Liverpool. Perhaps he could have been an England (not just Anfield) great, had he translated that into higher quality performances for the Three Lions.

Martin Keown

A controversial figure indeed, but there was no doubting his talent as a leader and heroic defender. Keown began his England career under Graham Taylor but was ignored under Terry Venables’ tenure. Hoddle recalled the Arsenal defender to his squad during his reign but, despite going to World Cup 98, he never played. It was under Kevin Keegan that Keown earned most of his caps, and he eventually retired from international football with 43 caps. Surely having Tony Adams and Keown together at international level made sense, after forming such a resolute backline at Arsenal

Julian Dicks

Unfortunately for Dicks, Stuart Pearce had filled England’s quota for hard and passionate left backs. However, Dicks won West Ham’s player of the season for four years out of seven, which surely warrants at least a friendly run out? West Ham’s gain was surely England’s loss.