Jay Rodriguez bagged the first goal as Tottenham downed Southampton 3-2 by a last-minute winner from Gylfi Sigurdsson at White Hart Lane on Sunday.
A silky finish for the Englishman illustrated the striker's abilities perfectly in front of the watching England manager Roy Hodgson as the 24-year-old looks to claim a World Cup spot for this summer.
Reporter Ian Abrahams noted:
18mins Spurs 0-1 Southampton - Jay Rodriguez with a terrific finish after a mistake by Kyle Naughton at right back— Ian Abrahams (@BroadcastMoose) March 23, 2014
Certainly Football MAD felt that the smartly taken goal in the 19th minute will have put him on the plane to Brazil:
Surely that cements Jay Rodriguez in Roy Hodgson's World Cup team— Football MAD (@FootballMad92_) March 23, 2014
As Samuel mentions, it was his 13th league goal of the season, putting him in decent company as far as English strikers go:
Rodriguez: 13 League goals this season. The same as Rooney & more than van Persie, Lukaku, Giroud & Bony. #sfc— Samuel (@samuelj29060) March 23, 2014
And as Squawka points out, the stats are working in his favour:
Daniel Sturridge is the only English player to score more goals (19) than Jay Rodriguez in the EPL this season (13). pic.twitter.com/TKETP9zS1s— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 23, 2014
It looks as though Rodriguez is playing himself into terrific form just in time for the summer, per WhoScored.com:
Jay Rodriguez: Has now scored in 3 consecutive PL matches for the first time this season #SaintsFC— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) March 23, 2014
The former Burnley man is not the only Southampton star looking for a World Cup place, however.
The likes of Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Luke Shaw were also looking to impress. And they did so according to football writer Tom McDermott:
Real decision for Hodgson. Shaw, Lallana, Rodriguez and Lambert all playing well. Who doesn't make the WC squad?— Tom McDermott (@FootballMcD) March 23, 2014
Rodriguez's goal put the Saints 1-0 up against Spurs, and Matthew Stanger highlighted his impressive abilities in front of goal:
Rodriguez is such a wonderfully instinctive striker. One it seems will always be a form player, but great to watch in a purple patch.— Matthew Stanger (@MatthewStanger) March 23, 2014
It was also noted that the assist came from a slightly strange source, per the Premier League:
And Jacqui Oatley saw the forward's passion even before the game had kicked off:
Really hope Roy Hodgson gets to watch back that Sky interview with Lallana, Lambert, Rodriguez & Shaw. Such passion to play for England.— Jacqui Oatley (@JacquiOatley) March 23, 2014
He was taken off in the 64th minute with a knock having done a terrific job leading the line, as he has done all season.
BetVictor pointed out that the substitution was a bonus for the opposing team:
Good news for Spurs as Jay Rodriguez comes off with an injury, Gaston Ramirez replaces the England international.— BetVictor (@BetVictor) March 23, 2014
If Rodriguez can continue to show the kind of quality he did against Tottenham, it will surely be difficult not to put him in the England squad for this summer's showpiece event.
Daniel Sturridge and Wayne Rooney are likely nailed on for a spot in the squad but that leaves two or three places up for grabs. The likes of Danny Welbeck and Andy Carroll, as well as team-mate Lambert, will be competing for those last spots.
But there are many who see Rodriguez as the best option, including Stephen Smith and Chris Anderson:
Really pleasing to see the English boys rip Spurs apart. Hodgson should be sacked for even considering Carroll or Welbeck over Rodriguez.— Stephen Smith (@Stephensmith84) March 23, 2014
Now seriously the 4 strikers England need take are Rooney Sturridge Rodriguez and lambert. Welbeck, Defoe and Carroll just ain't as good— chris anderson (@chrisando1985) March 23, 2014
He has certainly staked a strong claim for the squad and will be very much in Hodgson's mind when the decision needs to be made.