“For him to play every round and for him to qualify now for the cup final… how fitting it would be if Jamie could score the winner.”
Fair enough words if we say it ourselves of Danny Simpson, a former teammate of Leicester City talisman Jamie Vardy.
Vardy struggled to contain his emotions after Leicester booked their place in first FA Cup final in 52 years at Southampton’s expense[/caption]
Vardy will end an FA Cup fairy tale at Wembley on Saturday as Brendan Rodgers’ Foxes take on Chelsea in the FA Cup – a successful showdown which is live on talkSPORT.
The 34-year-old, who became the first non-league £ 1million player when he joined Leicester from Fleetwood in 2012, will play his 13th different FA Cup round this weekend.
Vardy has seen just about everything there is to see in his action-packed career to date which also includes stints in Stocksbridge and Halifax.
Simpson is very familiar with Vardy’s qualities, having shared a dressing room with the forward for five years – which culminated in an unlikely 5000/1 title triumph in 2016.
“I’m at a loss for words to say what Jamie Vardy is and what he does for the team and the players,” Simpson said during Friday’s talkSPORT breakfast.
“We talk about the goals he scores, but his pace of work is second to none.
“He’ll be a little frustrated not to score right now, but we’re also seeing a new side to his game.
“He installs Kelechi [Iheanacho] and he will be happy for him. That’s just the way he is.
Vardy’s return of a goal in his last 16 outings would worry most managers – but not Rodgers.
“The team is still winning. What’s most important to Jamie is that you have to keep working, shopping and sometimes you just need a little luck, ”Rodgers said last month.
“He created a number of opportunities for us. We know his threat and he can score anytime. He was just very miserable, between keepers making stops and blocks on the line and chances he might have put aside.
“He will always be there. He’s such a threat, his sharpness and speed, he’s such an important player for us.
This is the look Simpson has on Vardy as he believes the veteran striker is still good enough to play for England – although a retired U-turn is unlikely until Euro 2020.
“I understand his reasons for resigning and maybe that’s why he won the Golden Boot last year and still scores,” said Simpson.
“He’s taking a break from international weeks so maybe it was a good decision, but for me I would like to see Gareth [Southgate] Call him and say, “Let’s go one last time, I need you.”
“Do I think we’ll see him?” I do not think so. But personally, I would love to see it.
One thing that is certain is that if Vardy ends up scoring the winner who ended up securing FA Cup glory for Leicester, he will fall into football lore.
The pre-game port, along with Red Bulls and Vodka bowling, has certainly played its part along the way – call it the ultimate recipe for success.