Defoe could be crucial to England’s World Cup success

“Boys, diving is back on the menu”.
That might be the most potent message after seeing England’s game against Slovenia. And no, UEFA is not going to do any retrospective video refereeing because it is lowly Slovenia. Rooney can pull a player’s shirt blatantly, fall down, and pretend he got fouled without retribution. And yes, Steven Gerrard does not make for a credible witness.
But I am going to write about Defoe because he is more germane to England’s goal scoring chances at the World Cup. Being an Arsenal fan, I am hoping he leaves behind his attacking chops against the Gunners. He has been in phenomenal form, Lineker like, in uncanny position to finish off chances for both club and country. Like the Spurs legend, Defoe could be the answer to England achieving their best finish since the 1990 World Cup success.
Capello needs to let go his predilection for big, tall forwards who he thinks can muscle their way through. Emile Heskey is not a Didier Drogba, he has neither the quickness nor the foot skills of the Ivoirian. Like basketball, his usefulness is in setting up a form of screen and roll because of his bulk. But England’s attack really livened up when both Defoe and Aaron Lennon were introduced.
Its funny we talk about these pint sized players being instrumental to England’s success when Maradona is being panned for relying so much on his bajitos. But if we look at England’s successful frontmen, none were big or especially tall. They were however very quick and opportunistic. Bobby Charlton and Jimmy Greaves were both 5’8″ and they dominated England’s scoring for a decade or more.
Against Croatia, as Theo Walcott proved last time around, you can beat the somewhat flatfooted defense with speed. Aaron Lennon linking with Jermain Defoe should be able to accomplish the same at home on Wednesday.

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