Wembley Stadium

Next Game

England v Lithuania

Friday, 27 March 2015, 19:45

European Qualifiers Group E

Celtic Park

Last Game

Scotland 1 - 3 England

Tuesday, 18 November 2014, 20:00

International Match

Lambert story unbelievable - Merse

Rickie Lambert's rise from factory worker to England match-winner has been described as the stuff of dreams by Paul Merson.

Last Updated: 15/08/13 at 18:56 Post Comment

More of the games that matter

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

Rickie Lambert's rise from factory worker to England match-winner is the stuff of footballing dreams, says Paul Merson.

Southampton striker Lambert scored with his first touch on debut to earn England a 3-2 victory over Scotland in an international friendly at Wembley.

The 31-year-old started his career at Blackpool in 1998 but was released in 2000 and worked in a beetroot factory for £20-a-day until Macclesfield signed him in 2001.

He had spells at Stockport, Rochdale and Bristol Rovers before in 2009 joining Southampton, for whom he scored 15 goals in 2012/13 in his first season in the Premier League.

Reflecting on Lambert's 70th-minute strike, Merson said: "To score at Wembley is everybody's dream and to start off - with no disrespect - in the league that he did makes it an unbelievable story," said Merson, who won 21 caps for England.

"When you start your career at clubs like Arsenal, Man Utd or Chelsea more often than not you've got every chance of playing for England.

"But if what he's done was in a book, you'd throw the book down. From Rochdale to Southampton to Wembley and scoring the winning goal for England against Scotland - England's biggest fixture - you honestly couldn't write it."

Lambert's strike capped an entertaining game in which Scotland twice led through goals from James Morrison and Kenny Miller, which were cancelled out respectively by a near-post Theo Walcott finish and a Danny Welbeck header from Steven Gerrard's free-kick.

Merson paid tribute to the quality of England's opening goal but said that Scotland boss Gordon Strachan would be far from impressed by the quality of his side's defending for the other two.

"England opened up Scotland with the first goal - it was a great ball from Tom Cleverley and unbelievable pace from Walcott and a good finish.

"But they then got done on two set plays. If we play Ukraine and Poland [in the World Cup qualifiers] and we got done on set-pieces we'd be devastated.

"But when the Tartan Army travelled down from Scotland they couldn't have dreamt in their wildest dreams the amount of fun they had for 75 minutes so they will go home happy."

Former Scottish international Alan McInally praised the quality of Miller's 49th-minute finish into the bottom corner past England goalkeeper Joe Hart but agreed that Scotland were undone by two lapses of concentration.

"To be fair I thought we hung on a little bit towards the end of the first half but we came out in the second half and seized the initiative," he said.

"It was a lovely goal from Kenny Miller but to be fair to England they've come back. I don't think that we tired but I think Gordon will be disappointed defensively.

"He'll be really unhappy with the defending of the free-kick for Welbeck's goal - we've got to be better than that.

"You've got two guys in the middle who we expect to winner a header - Russell Martin and Grant Hanley and they both get sucked in and Welbeck has quite an easy finish."

Scotland will play two World Cup qualifiers next month, against Belgium and Macedonia, before taking on Croatia on October 15.

Meanwhile, England's next clash is a World Cup qualifier against Moldova on September 6. Four days later they will play Ukraine before playing both Montenegro and Poland in October.

TEAMtalk Facebook Fan Page

The TEAMtalk fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

really enjoyed this. Thanks F365 for another year of work avoidance - happy Christmas.

megabrow (cufc)
Our Person Of The Year: Alan Pardew

I

m no Sam Fan and this article sums him up beautifully. I always like to imagine that when he watches anything on TV and hears clapping, he stands up and aknowledges the applause, thinking its for him!

cozens
Football Managers On TV: Sam Allardyce

N

ah, Fergie is just having another pop at Rooney. He just wants to put him down whenever he gets a chance. Rooney is by far the best English player. Carrick is not far behind, mind. However, by elevating Carrick like that, Sir is having a dig at Wayne. Fergie is well-known for mind games like that. Good to see he's still feisty.

timbo
Van Gaal will thrive - Ferguson

Footer 365

Sky sources: Neil Warnock sacked by Crystal Palace after run of one win in 12 games

Neil Warnock has been sacked as manager of Crystal Palace, with Keith Millen placed in charge for Sunday's trip to QPR.

Rooney Enjoying 'Scholes' Role

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney is revelling in his position as an attacking central midfielder, after he scored twice in the 3-1 victory over Newcastle at Old Trafford on Boxing Day.

Arsene Wenger admits Olivier Giroud deserved his red card for headbutting Nedum Onuoha

Arsene Wenger admits Olivier Giroud deserved his red card for headbutting Nedum Onuoha in Arsenal's 2-1 win over QPR.

Mail Box

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

Hang On, Rafa's Success Is No Fluke...

The afternoon mailbox kicks the morning mailbox's arse after claims that Rafa Benitez has fluked his success. Plus, big talk about Liverpool's progress and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property