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Roy Hodgson denies tipping Bobby Zamora for England

Roy Hodgson
Hodgson (above) signed Zamora for Fulham in the summer of 2008

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson has denied suggesting striker Bobby Zamora should be named in England's World Cup squad.

Hodgson recently said Zamora, who hit a seventh goal of the term at Burnley, could offer an "unusual selection."

But after the Burnley game he said: "There's an awful long way between what I said and touting Bobby for England.

"I was asked if there was space for a player who comes in from the left - how that's interpreted as saying he should play for England is almost laughable."

Zamora, 28, has no senior caps for England - and has not even been picked in any of Fabio Capello's squads in the two years the Italian has managed the national side.

His low drive at Turf Moor was his fifth in the Premier League and his manager enthused: "Bobby is playing very well.


However, Hodgson added: "I've been a national coach in three countries and the thing I hated most was a club coach saying I should pick his player. I have vowed never to do that and I never will.

"There's an awful long way between saying what I said and touting Bobby Zamora to play for England."

Standing 6ft tall, the former Brighton, Tottenham and West Ham player's physical presence makes him a handful for defences.

"He is the type of player who we don't have too many like in the English Premiership," Hodgson said in a previous interview.

"[Emile] Heskey is a very powerful player, a very willing player and a hard-working player. Bobby is more technical."

Signed as a trainee for Bristol Rovers in August 1999, before loan spells at Bath and Brighton
Hit 70 league goals for Brighton in three seasons after signing for £100,000 in August 2000
Cost Spurs £1.5m in July 2003 but moved to West Ham the following February as part of a swap involving Jermain Defoe
Signed for Fulham for £4.8m in July 2008 after hitting 30 league goals for the Hammers

Zamora has been criticised in some quarters for his failure to score more goals and was guilty of missing a memorable chance in the 2-2 draw against Manchester City in October.

"Our fans in the Hammersmith End actually constantly chant his name but these people who write into the club's blogs, they're the real experts and they want something that he's not been able to give them - 30 goals a year. But he has been a key player for us," stated Hodgson.

Zamora, born in Barking, Essex, earned six caps for the England Under-21 side.

He was reportedly called up to represent Trinidad and Tobago at full international level in 2009 - his father is from the Caribbean nation - but did not appear because of injury.

Zamora is still eligible to play for England, who face United States, Algeria and Slovenia in the group stage of the World Cup finals next June.

Capello has tried seven strikers during the course of the current calendar year - Heskey, Wayne Rooney, Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch, Darren Bent, Carlton Cole and Gabriel Agbonlahor - without turning to Zamora.

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see also
Burnley 1-1 Fulham
12 Dec 09 |  Premier League
England enjoy kind World Cup draw
04 Dec 09 |  Internationals
Capello happy with World Cup draw
05 Dec 09 |  Internationals

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