People misjudged England striker Rickie Lambert – including me admits Roy Hodgson

The Southampton player has scored twice in two appearances for the Three Lions

With his international goalscoring record of two in two games, Rickie Lambert’s England career has got off to a fine start but in Kiev he will be key in carrying the hopes of his team in their crucial World Cup qualifier against Ukraine with no guarantees that he will be in the squad for Brazil next summer should they make it.

On Monday manager Roy Hodgson offered an interesting take on how a footballer who had not played above League One before the start of the 2011-12 season had suddenly started looking like an international. Modern football prejudices had affected the 31-year-old’s prospects, Hodgson said, including his own after he turned down the chance to sign Lambert at Fulham when the player was at Bristol Rovers.

“In football we go down roads sometimes and say ‘This is what a centre-forward should look like’. Sometimes we forget that you can still be a good centre-forward or right-back or centre-half without having those qualities,” Hodgson said.

“Let’s take a classic example, if we were looking at Bobby Moore today and saying ‘What has our centre-half got to be like?’ we’d say: ‘He has to be very athletic, very fast, very quick on the turn and recovery and come out with the ball from the back and beat people’. A lot of people would say ‘He can’t do this, that and the other’. Perhaps in the past we were [more] kind. The great Tottenham team with Dave Mackay and Danny Blanchflower, there were lots of things they couldn’t do. But there were things they could do and we admired them and built them up for the things they could do. Sometimes I think we are a bit quick to say, ‘Well, he is not quick enough not big enough strong enough.’

“The boy Tom Carroll [at Spurs, on loan at QPR] is an example for me. In the Under-21s, I worked with him for a week and saw him play and he is an outstanding footballer. But people say he is very slight, he’s not very big, he’s not strong. That’s what we tend to do these days. Perhaps Rickie is someone who has come into that category. They have watched him and then found a fault, ie he can’t run like Theo Walcott.”

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific