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Osman: World Cup Comment Was No Joke
Osman: World Cup Comment Was No Joke
Tuesday, 1st Jun 2010 08:45

Former Town defender Russell Osman says he wasn’t joking when he said that England boss Fabio Capello should take Connor Wickham to the World Cup instead of Aston Villa striker Emile Heskey. The 51-year-old ex-centre-half was co-commentating on England’s European U17 Championships final victory over Spain for Eurosport when he made the remark.

Osman, who was capped 11 times by England, said: “I wasn’t being flippant. It’s not bias, either, because I played for Ipswich.

“Of course people will question why Capello would take Wickham to the World Cup but my reply would be, “Why not?” Sven Goran Eriksson picked Theo Walcott four years ago and he was 17 with even less experience than Wickham.

“If there’s one area of the England team where we are possibly a bit short it’s up front. We have a problem knowing who to play alongside Wayne Rooney and another when it comes to putting the ball in the net.

“Wickham could do it. He’s not a boy, he’s a 17-year-old man and with his ability allied to his physique I genuinely think he’s a one-off.”

Osman is clearly a huge fan of Wickham, who is rated at around the £10 million mark by this morning’s papers: “He can do the lot. He hit two good left foot shots for his goals in the semi-final and an excellent right-foot drive in the final.

“He’s just as strong as Heskey and has a better eye for goal. And here’s the frightening part — he’s still growing.

“At the moment he’s 6ft 3in tall and weighs 14 stone but from my own experience I reckon he will be 19 before he stops.”

Capello will announce which of his 30-man provisional squad have made the 23 for South Africa later today. Surprise calls from outside the 30 are not expected.

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deliasplums added 09:12 - Jun 1
Connor will be 19 stone before he stops growing. Wow, he'll be a handful in the box!

bleedblue added 09:26 - Jun 1
Interesting views, Wickham did look awesome throughout the U17's tournament, more clubs to be linked me thinks!

bedsitfc added 09:28 - Jun 1
^^^^^ i think he means 19 foot wide lol

Golaboots added 09:34 - Jun 1
To be fair to Osman my 87 year old nan wouldn't be that much worse than Heskey.

Dale added 09:59 - Jun 1
"Surprise calls from outside the 30 are not expected."
And not allowed either.

dirtydingusmagee added 10:03 - Jun 1
Conners day will come, !

utrechtblue added 10:08 - Jun 1
osman is a bright man i think 2012 will be a great year for british sport and cw will be wearing the number 17 or 10 pretty soon in white and blue. up the town...
have there been many calls for JR to be in the world cup squad...? a good player too but maybe we have never had it SOGOOD or OSWOOD. OSBourne 78. wark all over 1981 and wick burning up 2011... believe.

yorksblue added 10:21 - Jun 1
Yes, I can see where Osman is coming from, but let's not get carried away. Admittedly, Heskey is well past his sell by date, and spends far too much time on his arse for my liking, but the one to watch out for is Steve Morrison at Millwall. A real handfull, and he will be knocking on the international door in the next 12 months.

BluJu added 10:35 - Jun 1
"'Surprise calls from outside the 30 are not expected.'
And not allowed either. "

Are you sure Dale? Some countries only announce their minimum 23, and if needed due to injury etc. swap players right up to the start of the tournament. I think you can do what you like until it starts?

blue added 10:48 - Jun 1
My own opinion he has just proved himself against the pressure of the u17s and has hit the net ,he also has more of a gift than heskey and rooney is not on song right now.putting crouch and wickam up there with fast pace down the flanks,2 hold up players crouch and wickam do well ,but also good height and pace to run onto crosses,that would be my front 2.good luck lads.cant wait to see THE ROBOT lol.

Dale added 10:51 - Jun 1
If you have a preliminary squad you can only choose 23 of those players. If players are injured between the date the final squad has been submitted and the teams first game they can call up whoever they like.

BobbyRobson added 11:01 - Jun 1
Blue did you just say that wickham has more skill the rooney :S as much as i like Cw he still isn't good enough for the world cup YET! come a few years then yes but at the moment its just to much.

Suffolk_n_Good added 11:29 - Jun 1
Golaboots thats great!! but don't put your Nan down in that way, what do you mean: "not that much worse" I've never seen your Nan play, but I'd say she would she would probably be better than Heskey!!

blue added 11:31 - Jun 1
I just sayin rooney is off the boil but doesnt help changing and swapping a team.connor has just played very well against young fast lads u17s championship and just maybe he would do a nice job for us if he was present.Especially running around older legs :) ,i know what it feels like my son does the same with me and i always played when i was a kid ;)

Wickets added 11:58 - Jun 1
but why only a 2 deal contract ?

jas0999 added 12:01 - Jun 1
We alll need to calm down! Remember all the hype around Bowditch and look what happened to him. Sure, I think Connor is a far better player - but we need to keep his and our own feet on the floor! He's 17. Talk of £10M deals and going to the world cup is over doing it a tad. Let's hope Roy continues to do an excellent job of managing this guy because he COULD be a great player. Time will tell.

Big_Foot_Blue added 12:06 - Jun 1
Wickets, I assume you mean why only a 2 year contract? Well thats because of this little thing called Rules mate! The FA and FIFA rules state that a 17 year old players first contract can be no longer than 2 Years in length. After this time the contract length can be any length of which the player, club and agent can agree. Therefore please don't try and encourage any KEANE OUTERS onto this message board by somehow implying that its Keanes fault we only have Wickham tied down for 2 years.

BluJu added 12:08 - Jun 1
Dale - came back to look at the link you posted - where did it go?

Kentish_Tractor added 12:15 - Jun 1
Osman needs a reality check if he thinks Wickham is good enough to go to the World Cup. Better than Heskey? Perhaps at finishing, but Connor could learn a hell of a lot about hold-up play by studying Hesky.

I think we should stop hyping the boy up - just let him play his football without the pressure of having to be Englands next target man. He isn't a world-beater yet, it's only the U-17s for christ's sake!

ChambersM added 12:50 - Jun 1
stronger than heskey? Not being funny this guy's an idiot

arc added 13:06 - Jun 1
"Why not?—Sven took Walcott." That has to be the weakest piece of reasoning I have seen in a long, long time.

andipeters added 13:06 - Jun 1
as a roit quality goul thoo


peckhamblue added 14:16 - Jun 1
darren bent - out
theo walcott - out

but connor 5 goals wickham in..?

Blueknight85 added 14:31 - Jun 1
I am not supporting england in any way shape or form at the world cup if Heskey or Defoe go instead of Darren bent.

and i think ull find osman meant he wont stop growing until he is 19 years old

Blueknight85 added 14:34 - Jun 1

Put the vodka down there is no one at millwall worth watching as one for an international future or any real future of note unless they pick a star in the transfer market for next year.

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