The announcement of the Three Lions team for the Euro Championships has been postponed by a few days as Roy Hodgson is not sure about some of the players as far as their fitness is concerned.
Injuries might not let a couple of players whom Hodgson would have wanted as first choice in the team make the cut, but, the boss has plenty to pick from, particularly from those who have surprisingly starred for their teams in the Premiership.
One of the names who, until last summer, wouldn’t have the backing of anyone for a Euro spot is Jermain Defoe.
Hodgson had not taken him to Brazil and after the World Cup; the boss hadn’t looked in any mood to go to the aged players anyway. He had put all his weight behind the youngsters, getting them ready for the Euros and one could have imagined that the last international game for Defoe might already have taken place.
But, now with Danny Welbeck’s knee not healing quickly enough and Defoe having finished the third highest goal scorer in English top tier this season, in spite of being a part of a survival campaign for the Black Cats, here is a chance for the veteran and it’s a big chance.
Hodgson has to see who the in-form players are at the moment. It doesn’t matter if they are going to be in the mix or not a couple of years hence, but, can they get the job done right now, for this tournament? That’s what the question should be. If the answer is yes, then they should go to France and by that logic, Defoe must have the ticket.
Hodgson will, no doubt, be waiting for Welbeck till the last second and only when he is sure the player won’t be available, he will think of a replacement and there is none better replacement than Defoe right now.