The striker rolled back the years to score on his return to the Three Lion’s setup.
Before I start this off, here’s a fun fact. Defoe made his debut for England against Sweden in March 2004. Guess who was among his team mates?
Coincidentally, it was the England manager’s final cap for the Three Lions
Yes, Jermain Defoe has been around for that long. And he still has plenty of gas left in the tank.
By the time the 2018 World Cup kicks off, Defoe would be 36. Amongst the talents of Harry Kane, Jaime Vardy, Daniel Sturridge, Marcus Rashford and even Wayne Rooney, it’s hard to see Defoe get a ticket to Russia. But here’s the thing; Defoe gets the job done.
While it may be the injury to Gareth Southgate’s preferred strikers that opened the way for the Sunderland striker’s return after 3½ years to the England camp, he served a reminder of his talents. And it should be noted.
Defoe did what Defoe does.
Here’s a striker who has been prolific for four top flight clubs. Hard worker, poacher, clinical finisher — covers the attributes of a striker doesn’t it? That’s exactly what Defoe is. You have to say, at 34, the man’s still got it. The spirit of the underdog lives. And I think that’s what drives Defoe to fight it out. He may not be world class, but he gets things done. Yet the man is cruelly underrated. Come on, if the goals of 20 year old prospect gets into double figures for perennial relegation strugglers, we’d be raving about him.
Year after year, Defoe has produced goals — in 16 different seasons to be exact. With over 150 goals in the Premier League, he is 7th highest scorer in the best league in the world. This season, Defoe has scored 14 goals for an utterly poor Sunderland team. His strikes have given the Black Cat’s the slimmest of chances of staying up. Just like he did last year. And then the year before. If we are to look at how things stand, look no farther than his goal against Lithuania. He made the most of the opportunity. At this level, the man has a genuine case to make for his inclusion to Russia. An out and out poacher is always handy. Food for though Gareth, food for thought.
Defoe vindicated his manager’s faith in starting him ahead of Vardy and young Rashford. The goal, a Defoe finish.
As for what happens next, I’ll go back to my club, keep my head down and see what happens — Defoe
It wasn’t just his 20th international goal that grabbed the headlines. Defoe walked onto the pitch holding hands with little Bradley Lowery, the terminally ill five-year-old. For Bradley, it was a dream and an inspiration to see his ‘best mate’ play for his country. For Defoe, it was an opportunity to let his young friend watch him score in England colors again, a reminder to keep fighting.
If you haven’t checked this extraordinary friendship. Then do it. Now.