Laugh at shy Emile

Daily Mail - - World Cup Countdown -

RENE HI­GU­ITA was Colom­bia’s goal­keeper for 12 years and in that time made 68 ap­pear­ances. He scored eight goals. Jose Luis Chilavert was Paraguay’s goal­keeper from 1989 to 2003, mak­ing 74 ap­pear­ances. He scored eight times, too. Emile Heskey has been Eng­land’s cen­tre for­ward for 11 years. He has played un­der the last four full-time Eng­land man­agers, in a World Cup and two Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships, a to­tal of 58 ap­pear­ances. You know what’s com­ing, don’t you? Seven goals. Now we can all laugh at this and one Sun­der­land fan, seek­ing to con­sole Dar­ren Bent on Twit­ter, ac­tu­ally did. He sent the statis­tics to the ex­cluded striker, al­though they would prob­a­bly have pro­voked a wry smile rather than a belly laugh in the cir­cum­stances. Within the rest of us, they trig­ger fear and con­fu­sion. Fear be­cause strik­ers who do not score are a li­a­bil­ity — ask any rel­e­gated man­ager — and con­fu­sion be­cause ev­ery Eng­land man­ager, from the one de­rided as a wally to the one now feted as our very own In­ter­na­tional Res­cue, comes back to Heskey in the end. In­stinct fights against it. In­stinct sug­gests Heskey would be the last player to lead the at­tack at a World Cup. He doesn’t do goals, he doesn’t do pres­sure. When the 2001 League Cup fi­nal be­tween Liver­pool and Birm­ing­ham City went to six penal­ties, Heskey did not vol­un­teer. Rob­bie Fowler,

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