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Coral’s top 10 England ‘imposters’

| 02.06.2014

Off the back of comedian Simon Brodkin’s infiltration of the England camp, as Roy Hodgson and his squad prepared to fly out to Miami for the final World Cup warm-up friendlies, Coral takes a light-hearted look at 10 players who could be described as ‘imposters’ at international level.

Kevin Davies
One of two target men that simply struggled to reach double figures, former Bolton Wanderers stalwart Davies was rewarded for a career’s worth of hard graft by Fabio Capello with a call-up in 2010. He replaced Peter Crouch at half time in a Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro and, in keeping with his penchant for Premier League fouls, was booked on his only cap.

Carlton Palmer
Utility man Palmer turned out 18 times for his country, and the question that still puzzles Three Lions fans to this day is how did he get so many? A member of the Euro 1992 squad that finished bottom of the group, he was a beaten cup finalist on three occasions.

Robert Green
Spilling USA forward Clint Dempsey’s long range drive in the opening group game of the last World Cup, goalie Green became an instant England villain. Joe Hart take note, similar mistakes must be avoided in Brazil.

Neil Ruddock
Like Davies, another member of the one cap club. Central defender Ruddock, or ‘Razor’ as he was known, got a mystifying call-up to represent the Three Lions from Terry Venables in a friendly against Nigeria in 1994.

Theo Walcott
Arsenal winger Walcott may now be a key player that England will certainly miss in Brazil through injury, but he was once a left-field inclusion in Sven-Goran Eriksson’s World Cup squad in 2006. He went to Germany as a teenager, but never got on.

Jay Bothroyd
Another one of Capello’s crazy choice, former Cardiff City frontman Bothroyd was playing second-tier football when he answered the call of his country in 2010. A second one never came.

Stuart Ripley
A Premier League title winner in 1995 with Blackburn Rovers, winger Ripley never received recognition for that achievement. His couple of Three Lions caps came two years either side of this crowning glory.

David Nugent
Like Bothroyd, Nugent was playing in the Championship when Steve McClaren thrust him into the limelight for a Euro 2008 qualifier against minnows Andorra in 2007. It is widely perceived that he poached a goal from Jermain Defoe by diverting his goal-bound shot in during this game.

Gareth Southgate
Current England Under-21 boss Southgate became a villain for Three Lions fans when he missed a decisive penalty in the Euro 96 semi-final shoot-out against arch-rivals Germany. He still managed to amass 57 caps despite this blunder.

Emile Heskey
The other target man that found finding the net hard to come by. Heskey may have rounded off the scoring on that fateful night when England thumped Germany 5-1, but Capello took to him to the last World Cup a full nine years after this triumph and he flopped. Heskey scored just seven times in 62 caps.



Jamie Clark

Athletics aficionado, die-hard snooker fan and Crystal Palace supporter Jamie has written for Coral since February 2014 after spells with Soccerlens and the Press Association as a digital journalist and copywriter. A former East Midlands sports correspondent and Bwin tipster, he is a graduate of both the University of York and University of Sheffield, with a Masters in web journalism from the latter.