Mariner predicts Defoe will be impact player off England bench

Michael Bradley (left) and Jermaine Defoe are expected to be named to World Cup rosters today....

Michael Bradley (left) and Jermaine Defoe are expected to be named to World Cup rosters today. Both, along with goalkeeper Cesar, could miss four to six TFC games. (Stan Behal/QMI Agency)

KURTIS LARSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:22 PM ET

England manager Roy Hodgson will finally end any and all World Cup speculation Monday morning at 9 a.m. EST.

We thank him. Jermain Defoe thanks him. Toronto FC head coach Ryan Nelsen thanks him.

After Monday, Defoe won’t face questions concerning his England chances.

As the Toronto FC’s leading scorer has repeated: “The manager knows” what he can do.

So, with hours left before selection, I reached out to former TFC manager Paul Mariner, who knows a thing or two about the England setup. After all, he scored for England at the 1982 World Cup in Spain.

“If I put my ESPN hat on, the only way I see Jermain Defoe making England is as an impact player off the bench,” Mariner told me. “He’s always going to get a chance. He’s a tremendous finisher.

“I don’t see him starting, I see him going as an impact player. They’re lacking pace. I think the door is ajar, I don’t think it’s wide open. I think there’s space for him.”


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