BOBBY IS PER­FECT AS A SU­PER-SUB

The Football League Paper - - ADAM VIRGO -

GREAT to see Bobby Zamora back in busi­ness with Brighton af­ter 12 years away. My old mate scored a won­der­ful chip against Leeds and fol­lowed it up with a sharp fin­ish against Bris­tol City.

When­ever I’m asked ‘Who is the best player you played with?’, I al­ways have to say Bob. I’ve said many times that he’s Brighton’s great­est ever striker.

When I played with him and we won League Two and League One, he was so far ahead of the game it was un­true.

Peo­ple seem to think that 4-5-1 was in­vented by Jose Mour­inho, but we were play­ing it way back in the early 2000s... and the only rea­son it worked was be­cause of Bobby. His strength, his work-rate – I’ve never seen any­one cover so much ground. I’ve known a lot of play­ers who ran the chan­nels and put them­selves about but never put the ball in the net. Bobby did that and scored a hat­ful of goals.

He left us to join Spurs, a move that prob­a­bly came too soon. He was a young guy up against ex­pe­ri­enced pros like Robbie Keane and Jer­main De­foe and he couldn’t dis­lodge them. But his record since is right up there.

Bobby al­ways said he wanted to fin­ish his ca­reer at Brighton and, at 34, it was the per­fect time to come back. He’s earned good money in his ca­reer and he can en­joy this time now.

If Brighton were re­ly­ing on him to be the main striker, I don’t think it would work. But he knows – and the fans know – that his role is an im­pact sub. No­body is on Chris Hughton’s back to give him a start.

He’s there for an in­jec­tion of pure qual­ity and that’s ex­actly what he’s pro­vided. That fin­ish at Leeds was clearly the re­sult of spend­ing so many years play­ing with bet­ter play­ers. If that was a younger lad, he’d have smashed it at the keeper.

His re­turn has gal­vanised the club af­ter a re­ally poor sea­son last year. With Bobby’s qual­ity and that feel-good fac­tor, he’s look­ing like a great sign­ing.

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Images

CLASS ACT: Bobby Zamora nets the win­ner against Bris­tol City in mid­week

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