Blues boss can’t find fault with Bobby

Zamora rifled home a brilliant 90th-minute free-kick in Sunday’s

Premier League clash against Blues to claim his 15th goal in 32

starts this season and complete a dramatic comeback by the

Cottagers. England coach Fabio Capello had already left the ground

when Zamora struck, but would have seen enough to have formed a

better idea on whether the forward should be involved against Egypt

on March 3. Momentum has gathered behind calls for Zamora’s

selection by Capello and McLeish insisted he is the equal of any

target man in the country. “Bobby Zamora was a thorn all afternoon

– he caused us a lot of problems,” said the Blues manager. “I think

Zamora was the difference. If Fabio Capello is looking for a

certain type of forward, then Zamora is as good as anyone I’ve seen

at keeping that ball up. “Like Emile Heskey, he’s a guy who can

bring other players into play and help other people prosper without

maybe being prolific.” Roy Hodgson stopped short of recommending

Zamora to Capello but is certain the Italian will have left Craven

Cottage with a high opinion of the in-form 29-year-old. “I think

Capello will have been impressed. I know the fans were chanting his

name for England and that was quite right,” said Hodgson. “Capello

knows football very well and is a person I regard as a friend. I’ve

got every faith in his judgement. “If he believes Bobby can do a

job for him he’ll pick him. “I’m sure that being the good judge of

a player that he is, he’ll have gone away realising that in Bobby

Fulham have a good player.” Zamora, who almost joined Hull in the

summer, has been a revelation since being taunted by his own fans

in December and Hodgson is delighted by the impact he is having.

“Zamora was very good throughout today,” said Hodgson. “He’s

performing like a true target playing centre forward who brings his

team-mates into the game and holds the ball up very well. But

because he’s skilful he also scores goals. “Last year he did all of

the things we wanted him to do but wasn’t lucky, but this year he’s

added the goals to his good play. “That’s fortunate because Andy

Johnson has not been available. Last year when people were

criticising Bobby for not scoring goals, I had to balance that out.

“I couldn’t argue because he wasn’t scoring enough goals, but he

was doing a lot of other very good things that we needed him to do

for the team.” A Chris Baird own goal gave Birmingham the lead but

Fulham responded with a magnificent strike from Damien Duff before

Zamora snatched victory. “I thought that was a remarkable victory,

I really did,” said Hodgson. “We won the game with two wonder

strikes. Not only did we win, we won with two great goals that we

might see in one of those goal-of-the-month competitions.”