Jermain Defoe faces a battle to win back his international place after he was left out of the England squad for next week's friendly against the Netherlands, but he believes his record for his country makes him impossible to ignore for Euro 2012.
The Tottenham forward's last appearance for England was in a 1-1 draw with Ghana in a friendly at Wembley in March last year. Despite a strong goal-return in the Premier League – he has scored eight times in as many starts – Defoe has again been overlooked for the Netherlands match as temporary manager Stuart Pearce seeks to learn about younger players.
Defoe remains confident that he can regain favour in time for the European Championships in the summer, but his frustration is clear. The 29-year-old was the only England forward to score in the World Cup in South Africa, and struck a hat-trick against Bulgaria at Wembley in September 2010. Still, though, he cannot force his way back.
"My record for England is brilliant," said Defoe, who has scored 15 goals in 46 internationals. "I've proved it in a major tournament, and if I'm chosen for the summer, I know I'll perform.
"I know that if I go in the summer, I can score goals at that level. That's what I've said. I am an honest person and it is difficult [to be left out of the squad].
"Stuart Pearce phoned me and said that senior players would not be in the squad and that he would pick players from the Under-21 squad, because it was the last opportunity for whoever the new manager is to have a look at them. In so many words, it sounded like he knows what I can do already."
Defoe could offer a handy reminder of his talent by helping Tottenham to victory in Sunday's north London derby at Emirates Stadium.
Speaking at St Andrew's Catholic Primary School in Streatham, south London, in his role as ambassador for children's charity Kids Taskforce, Defoe warned his team-mates of the threat posed by a wounded Arsenal: "They haven't been at their best recently, but playing against Tottenham, there is no better time for them to put things right. They've always been a top side."
Defoe collected £500, raised by pupils, to be donated to Soufriere Primary School in St Lucia, which was badly damaged by Hurricane Tomas in November 2010.Reuse content