Jay Bothroyd: The Fall and Rise Of Fabio Capello's Newest England Recruit
It was announced on Sunday that Cardiff City's in-form striker Jay Bothroyd had been called up into the England squad for this week friendly against France.
In reality, the call has come for Bothroyd for two reasons; first and foremost, Wayne Rooney and Jermaine Defoe-England's regular strike-force are out injured, if either of these two were fit, then it is highly unlikely that Bothroyd would be given his chance; secondly, he has been in inspired form this season, scoring 15 goals and earning the Championship's Player of the Month along the way.
The biggest surprise is that Bothroyd is playing second tier English football.
He will be the first player since David Nugent in 2007 to represent the Three Lions whilst playing in the Championship.
Nugent, after his one-cap, disappeared back into obscurity.
Bothroyd, however, has the chance to finally make a name for himself.
He was one of the most talented prospects coming through the Arsenal academy a decade ago, but an act of petulance during a FA Youth Cup game with West Ham United ruined any chance he may have had of impressing Arsene Wenger.
Wenger has admitted this week that he would have had a closer look at Bothroyd, saying: "He is one of my regrets, he left very early. But I have said many times it is important a guy has a good career, even if he goes somewhere else."
Will Jay Bothroyd win his first cap against France
The journey made its most significant stop when Dave Jones signed the striker for Cardiff in 2008.
When Bothroyd was finally given an extended run in the first-team, he repaid his managers faith by scoring goals on a regular basis.
Bothroyd's attitude seemed to change, and he began to show the potential a certain Mr. Wenger had seen some years earlier.
At the end of last season, Bothroyd was one of the catalysts in firing the Bluebirds to the Championship play-off final.
A lot of credit has to go to Dave Jones—a very under-rated and hard working manager— as he saw for all his flaws that Jay Bothroyd could be an exceptional player.
When people began to question Bothroyd's temperament at the latter stages of last season, Jones pulled off a masterstroke by making Bothroyd captain after an injury to Mark Hudson.
This sense of responsibility really brought out the best in Bothroyd.
A tall, elegant player, Bothroyd can be a very good target-man.
At 6"3", he has superb feet for a big man, and his left foot can unleash a great strike.
All in all, Jay Bothroyd has an excellent opportunity to make a big name for himself during the next week.
With him top of the scoring charts, and Cardiff top of the table, a move away in January would seem unlikely.
But an appearance for his country and the continued solid performances for his club leaves little doubt he'll be gracing the Premeirship and maybe the England shirt sooner rather and later.
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