From beetroot bottling factory worker through non-league football and on to the top scoring Englishman in the Premier League last season, Rickie Lambert has taken the long way around before bursting onto the international scene.
Now with 2 goals and 2 assists to his name in 94 minutes of international football, Rickie Lambert may well find himself leading the line for England as they head to the Ukraine in what will be his first competitive game outside of England.
In his first two games for England Lambert has proved himself to be much more than just a big target man but anyone who saw him play for Southampton last season could have assured you of that. Lambert has an assured touch and ability to pick a pass, he looks very much at home in this England set up.
Injuries to Rooney and Sturridge and the incredibly harsh suspension of Welbeck puts Lambert in pole position to be England’s striker in Donetsk. The talented Liverpudlian has recognised that his chance has come and if he continues to perform and score for England then the slightly patronising backstory may well become a distant memory as the press focus instead on his goals and performances.