Leicester striker Jamie Vardy is one of the most in-form strikers in European football. The 28-year-old is the Premier League’s top scorer with 11 goals this season.
The majority of fans have been impressed with the striker’s consistency this season.
His performances this season have led to Vardy winning four caps for England at international level and he thoroughly deserves those caps. The striker is in the England squad for the upcoming friendly matches against Spain and France.
The majority of his appearances for the Three Lions have seen him play from the left flank, which he can do effectively as he did last season.
It’s his performances up front this season that has earned him such acclaim though this season. Playing as a central striker is Vardy’s natural position, so that is where he should play for England.
Defusing media hype
However it seems that England boss Roy Hodgson has moved to stop any calls for Vardy to play as a central striker, by saying: “His job I think should be definitely to try and convince that he has got the ability to play as a forward in an England team and not get too hung up like some people if he only plays ‘here’,”
“I am just trying as I sometimes try to do, always unsuccessfully, to defuse hype and to make one very important point, which is very, very obvious that an England shirt is a very valuable commodity. I will play for England but only in this position.’ That is the point I am trying to make.”
I cannot remember Vardy actually coming out in the media and stating that he would only play for England up front, can you? He does not seem like the sort of guy to make such demands and comes across as a player who would play in goal if asked to do the job.
Other people, including his club mate Kasper Schmeichel and club boss Claudio Ranieri, have stated that Vardy should be playing up front for the Three Lions. Imagine that eh, an in-form player expected by everybody to play in his favoured position, it’s just not logical is it?
A dearth of central strikers
England currently has a dearth of central strikers. The other two central strikers in the squad are record-scorer Wayne Rooney and Tottenham star Harry Kane. Neither of them had been in great form until recently.
Kane has now scored in his last three competitive games, finding the net five times in all. Prior to that run he had scored just once in nine Premier League outings.
Rooney has come in for heavy criticism this season by Manchester United fans, but scored the winner last time out against CSKA Moscow in the Champions League. He played in the number ten role for much of that clash with the Russians and is effective in that role.
Vardy offers a very different threat to that of his two teammates. Kane and Rooney are no slouches, but they do not offer the lightning burst of pace that Vardy does. England’s attack has lacked pace at times in recent years and Vardy certainly supplies that in abundance.
Not only does he have that pace, but he is Leicester’s very own answer to the Duracell bunny. He just keeps running and running.
At times he has picked-up knocks that may have had other players calling for the bench to be substituted, but years of hard work have made Vardy far tougher than that. He appreciates the opportunity he has been given and looks to be loving every minute of his career.
Here to stay
Some players have been one-season wonders in the Premier League and then disappeared from sight as quickly as they arrived. However Vardy has worked too hard to get to where he is today to throw it away just like that.
It would be naïve to believe that Vardy could continue in his current form for the rest of the season. I am sure that even the striker himself knows he will go through a dry spell in front of goal at some stage.
In this dry spell Vardy will still work his socks off for his team though and will still offer an out ball for his teammates. The striker has shown his quality this season in front of goal and I have no doubt he will continue to score goals this season.
The Foxes striker has dragged his team through games in the Premier League, like a quality centre-forward should do. For all Hodgson warnings of the striker bring over-hyped he should be given an opportunity as central striker, as his performances for Leicester this season have proven it is his best position.
Should Jamie Vardy be playing as a central striker for England?