England news

Capello impressed with Defoe's attitude

September 4, 2010
By Harry Harris

England manager Fabio Capello will use Jermain Defoe as an example of a player who is hungry, determined and committed to play for his country.

Jermain Defoe
PA PhotosJermain Defoe salutes the crowd at Wembley

While others have either retired, dropped out through injury or declined to make an international comeback, Defoe has shown Capello that England's players remain loyal to the cause.

ESPNsoccernet can reveal that a call from Capello's right hand man, Franco Baldini, to Defoe just ahead of the squad announcement found a player willing to put surgery on hold to turn out for England.

Capello has praised Defoe for his match winning hat-trick, but it's his attitude that has really impressed the Italian.

"We were aware that Defoe was not available, that he was due to have surgery and that his club, Tottenham, had announced that he wouldn't be available for England," a close aide of the England manager said on Saturday. "But when Franco Baldini called Defoe, he discovered a player who, when told that he was wanted, really wanted to play for England, and he said he would have the surgery another time.

"For that reason he deserved what he got against Bulgaria, a hat-trick and a match-winning performance. This player wanted to be with us, and that is the kind of attitude that has made Fabio very happy indeed."

England will be looking for a repeat performance from Defoe when they face Switzerland on Tuesday.