Fabio Capello is lucky to have a few options when selecting those to play in the forward roles for England. The obvious starter is Wayne Rooney and is considering to be the obvious starter for very justifiable reasons.
However, who will play alongside him against Croatia and who will play alongside him in future matches. I think that against Croatia Mr. Capello will stay with the tried and trusted Emile Heskey. This is for the simple reason that victory will bring qualification for South Africa 2010 and qualification now will afford England twenty one months of preparation. This includes an away trip to the Ukraine who might have a play off place to play for. There can be no better test than playing a country in need of a win at their home stadium.
After Croatia, however, I would drop Heskey like a stone. His performances for England and Aston Villa have shown why he has only scored seven international goals in upwards of fifty performances. The argument of “he brings others into play” is nonsense because every international footballer should be able to recognise when it is right to play the ball, hold it up for others or go in alone.
I have been searching for a statistic to show how many games Aston Villa have won with Heskey starting and how many they’ve won without (since obviously he joined in January). Basic logic tells you that as Villa’s season tailed off horribly after January the statistic cannot reflect to well on Heskey.
England should have Carlton Cole and Jermaine Defoe groomed for the World Cup, barring any massive failure in form or fitness. Heskey should be considered a stop gap; thank him for his work but move him out to pasture.