Football Expert & Columnist
QPR 2-2 Manchester City: Is Charlie Austin showing England form?
Striker scores sixth goal of season in front of Roy Hodgson
Last Updated: 08/11/14 8:21pm
Should Charlie Austin be on the radar of England manager Roy Hodgson?
That was the debate in the Saturday Night Football studio after the 25-year-old QPR striker produced another fine performance in the 2-2 draw with Manchester City, scoring the opening goal and having a further two disallowed.
With six goals so far this season, he is the second-highest scoring Englishman in the Premier League behind Saido Berahino, who was called up to the international squad for the games against Slovenia and Scotland.
Hodgson was watching from the stands at Loftus Road and Jamie Redknapp said he must have been impressed with what he saw.
The Sky Sports pundit said: “He has six goals this season and let’s not forget that he missed a penalty on the first day against Hull. I actually wondered how he would react. As a young man coming into the Premier League would it kill his confidence?
“It didn’t and he has been absolutely amazing. I look at him as a bit of a throw-back. He gets across defenders, he’s brave, he is good in the air and he is scoring goals.
I’d never have believed at the start of the year if you’d have said we’d be talking about him for England. I’d have said ‘do me a favour’. It just shows you.
“He has been absolutely fantastic so far this year for QPR. I love the honesty that he plays with. He has a great attitude for the game and he’s playing with confidence at the moment.
“I’m lucky enough to go and watch QPR train a lot and he practises for hours and hours after training, hitting shots and rifling them into the corner.
“I’d never have believed at the start of the year if you’d have said we’d be talking about him for England. I’d have said ‘do me a favour’. It just shows you.
“It’s a great advert for young players that are playing in the lower leagues today thinking they can’t get anywhere near the Premier League.
“Five years ago he was playing for Poole Town. Now look at him; he is giving top centre-backs real problems. It’s a great story.”
Fellow Sky Sports pundit Ruud Gullit believes Austin is benefitting from his promising partnership with Bobby Zamora and that QPR will reap the rewards when both are fit and firing.
“It’s a good partnership, you can see that,” he said.
“Austin is a clever player. He gets in positions that he can score goals. It’s not a coincidence and he has a real nose for it.
“Zamora is the target and makes it possible for him to get in the positions. Unfortunately for Zamora, at the end of the game he gets a little bit tired and that’s a pity for Austin. He gets less into the game and there are less moments he can hold the ball up.
“That’s the only downside, but it is lovely to see.”