Aviva Stadium

Next Game

Rep Ire v England

Sunday, 07 June 2015, 13:00

International Match

Last Game

Italy 1 - 1 England

Tuesday, 31 March 2015, 19:45

International Match

Delph backed for England call

Fabian Delph can earn a shock call up to England's World Cup squad, according to his Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert.

Last Updated: 26/03/14 at 20:06 Post Comment

Fabian Delph: Worth of an England call?

Fabian Delph: Worth of an England call?

The 24-year-old has been in superb form, scoring four goals, including the winner in Sunday's sensational 1-0 victory over leaders Chelsea.

It remains unlikely that Delph will get a call-up from Roy Hodgson, but Lambert insists the midfielder would be an asset if a punt was taken.

"If England did call him in or give him a chance he wouldn't let anybody down, but that's up to the England manager to assess," said Lambert.

"I always think there's one surprise in there somewhere (with regard to the World Cup squad). Whether it's Fabian or someone else, I don't know.

"At the minute he's playing really well for us, which is my main concern."

Villa fans are finally seeing what all the fuss was about back in 2009 when the 24-year-old was signed by Martin O'Neill from Leeds for £6.5million.

Injuries over the years have not helped Delph's cause, although a lack consistency has primarily been his downfall - until this season.

Lambert, however, is convinced Delph will only improve, adding: "I can only speak from my time here and he's done fantastic for us, he really has.

"He's obviously had really bad injuries that have stopped him from progressing quicker, but he's only a young lad and people forget that.

"At this minute in time he's playing extremely well, but he's got his whole career in front of him, so I don't think we'll see the best of him until his mid-to-late 20s."

When O'Neill signed Delph five years ago he claimed the then teenager would go on to become an England international, only for the injuries to hold him back.

Experience

The one downside to Delph's game is his apparent lack of caution when he goes in for a tackle, not only picking up injuries, but also eight yellow cards this season.

Despite that, Lambert said: "I don't think you'll curtail the way he plays the game. That's him.

"But then I don't think there's any doubt he'll learn when to go to ground and when not to, but that'll come with the more games he plays and the more experience he gains."

Asked whether such a trait could deter Hodgson from selecting Delph, if not this summer then at some point in the future, Lambert added: "No, I don't see that as a risk."

After the win over Chelsea, Villa's next challenge is against Stoke on Sunday, with the club aiming to win three successive home league matches for the first time in seven years.

Standards

Given Villa's earlier wretched home form throughout Lambert's time in charge and Stoke's horrific away record of one win in 15 games on the road this season, for once Villa will start a game as favourites in front of their own fans.

Lambert knows with that comes a certain expectation as he said: "It's a totally different game now from Chelsea.

"Everybody will think we'll beat Stoke, but this league is so tough, with every game hard no matter whether it's home or away.

"If we're not at it, it's going to be a hard game, and if we fall below our level then we could be in trouble so we have to maintain our standards if we are to win this game."

Watch Aston Villa v Stoke live on Sky Sports 1 at 4pm on Sunday

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

hy is the dinosaur trying to hold on to this.... Just leave... No one wants you in this position you corrupt loser. Let someone else take over....

arsenal121
Defiant Sepp blames minority

N

ow is the time for Allardyce to finally get a chance at a big club please. He is likely to have a number of great offers for his services this summer, but who will he choose? Will it be Liverpool, Real Madrid, Dortmund or Man City?

medina_sod
Allardyce leaves West Ham

I

thought exactly this when the Match of the Day pundits were peddling this line. Is it really not okay for fans of a club to have some ambition these days then?

damoceltic
Bored Of Big Sam? It's Your Right...

Footer 365

D-day for FIFA as Sepp Blatter opens 65th congress

Sepp Blatter has formally opened FIFA's congress on a day his critics hope could signal a new start for football.

FA chairman Greg Dyke calls for possible Russia 2018 boycott

FA chairman Greg Dyke wants UEFA nations to consider pulling out of the World Cup finals in Russia in three years' time.

Sepp Blatter vs Prince Ali: FIFA election explained

Will Sepp Blatter see off Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein? We explain how Friday's presidential vote works...

Mail Box

What Is It That FIFA Actually Do?

That's the question raised timidly by someone sat at the back of the room, whilst others remind that UEFA aren't perfect either. Plus a few more gone on to better XIs...

Time To Step Up, Mr Platini...

UEFA should step up and extend the Euros to replace FIFA's tarnished World Cup, say a couple of mailboxers. Also: all hail Carlo, King of the Kop, and plenty more Budget XIs...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company