Rickie Lambert: The Catalyst for a United England?
The reaction to Rickie Lambert, of Southampton FC, playing and scoring for England over the last few days has been virtually universally positive. The Football Association in this country have […]
The reaction to Rickie Lambert, of Southampton FC, playing and scoring for England over the last few days has been virtually universally positive.
The Football Association in this country have seemingly forgotten that the vast majority of fans here are not supporters of the “big” clubs (Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal).
By repeatedly only picking players from these clubs, no matter their form or quality, a mockery is made of the national team. Last season, Danny Welbeck scored 1 goal for Manchester United in the Premier League and Wilfred Zaha has not yet appeared in the top division – yet these players now seem to be an automatic pick.
Why would any fan want to take notice of the national team when their own players are being belittled by the ingrained culture in the FA that if your club isn’t a regular top 6 finisher, none of your players have the required quality? Picking on reputation rather than skill and passion is a recipe for mediocrity.
When Lambert scored on Wednesday night, rising high to thump a bullet header beyond the grasping hand of Allan McGregor: he represented all the hard-working players throughout the country toiling away in an attempt to represent their country, and hence the fans who worship them.
Lambert showed that, regardless of who you play for, quality is quality. To see the pure outpouring of emotion from a man who has stated on many occasions that it is his dream to represent his country was fantastic. In contrast to many England players who take their presence for granted (spending most of the time looking bored and uninterested), Rickie is a breath of fresh air.
Every fan can get behind him as a man bucking the trend, and a man who people can relate to. He has the quality, the personality, and the passion. It wasn’t a coincidence that he was given a standing ovation by all of Wembley when crossing the white line, and mobbed by every beaming team-mate when he scored with his first touch.
Rickie Lambert could be the man who unites the fans, players and management of England, providing the feel good factor that we have been missing for a long, long time. A fantastic player, but more importantly, a fantastic man.