World Cup 2014: Why could Roy Hodgson start with Rickie Lambert as his leading England striker instead of Daniel Sturridge or Wayne Rooney?

Lambert's record since making his England debut last year has been impressive enough to warrant selection for the Three Lions

Rickie Lambert topped his transfer to Liverpool with a goal for England during their 2-2 draw with Ecuador on Wednesday night, giving the Three Lions a lead they would relinquish late-on in Miami in the first of their World Cup warm-up matches in the US.

Lambert completed a £4m plus add-ons transfer to Anfield this week after five years with Southampton, which saw the striker rise from League One hotshot to England international. Having scored on his international debut against Scotland in August last year, Lambert has gone on to notch three goals in five appearances, with his latest striker an impressive thunderbolt to put England ahead.

Following a bursting run from midfielder Ross Barkley, Lambert received the ball on the right of the box and had no hesitancy to strike it first time past stranded goalkeeper Maximo Banguera before he had time to react.

In what was a lively yet concerning performance from Roy Hodgson’s England side, Lambert showed once more just how lethal his finishing could be, and with many predicting Daniel Sturridge to start in attack, could Lambert be a more suitable option?

 

In the Premier League last season, Sturridge recorded his career-best haul of 21 goals, which was second only to Liverpool team-mate Luis Suarez, and was considerably more than Brendan Rodgers’ newest recruit Lambert as the former Saints’ man scored 13 times.

But the 32-year-old offers more in the air and is able to hold up the ball much easier than Sturridge as well as the other available strikers Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck, which allows midfielders such as Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley to charge beyond him and through on goal.

Watch Sam Wallace's latest World Cup video from Miami below:

His record is rather impressive as well, with his five goals coming in just 281 minutes of action meaning he scores a goal every 94 minutes when wearing the Three Lions jersey. In comparison, Rooney scores a goal for England on average every 175.7 minutes, although he has played 91 times for his country, while Welbeck’s ratio is very similar at 174.3 minutes. Both fall behind Sturridge’s record of a goal every 160 minutes, but on that basis none of them can challenge Lambert.

Read more: England 2 Ecuador 2 match report
Oxlade-Chamberlain fear for England
Oxlade-Chamberlain injury would be 'massive blow', says Hodgson

He could have had another against Ecuador too, had his attempted back-heel not cannoned off the post and into the path of Rooney to score the equaliser. Should they find themselves on the wrong end of the result in the first World Cup group game with Italy next Saturday, Hodgson could very well turn to Lambert in order to shake things up and got with a more direct approach.

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

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable